Two designated smoking areas were recently installed at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club.
Starting this week, customers at the Yacht Club and nearby Oasis Pool will only be allowed to smoke in those marked areas.
One section is near the fenced-in area just off the main parking lot, while the other is on the marina Boardwalk, near the ice machine. Both are marked with “DESIGNATED SMOKING AREA” signs, and include an ashtray, picnic table and shade umbrella.
Smoking will no longer be permitted on the patio area or near the pool.
Clubs Committee Chairman Gary Miller said his group explored the concept after receiving a letter from a concerned resident asking about smoking on Ocean Pines campuses.
“He mentioned that there’s kids running around, and people are smoking all over the place, and shouldn’t there be a designated smoking area?” Miller said. “The Clubs Committee did some research, we looked at different laws within Maryland and other communities, and basically decided that it was something we ought to present to Ocean Pines for their consideration.”
Working through the committee’s Board liaison, Miller said both Operations Director Colby Phillips and General Manager John Viola agreed with the concept of clearly marked, designated smoking sections.
He said Ralph DeAngelus, cofounder of the Matt Ortt Companies that manages the Yacht Club, also approved of the concept.
“Ralph said their job isn’t to make policy for Ocean Pines – they’re strictly doing food and beverage – but whatever Ocean Pines wants them to do, they’ll be glad to enforce,” Miller said.
Phillips said creating the designated sections is part of providing good customer service.
“We thought it was important to establish a spot for our smokers, so they have an area to go that’s comfortable for them, but also that’s away from the customers that don’t want to be around it while they’re eating or relaxing or swimming,” she said. “I think it just comes down to working together, and in talking with Ralph he was onboard with whatever we needed to do.”