OPA, Ortt Companies make contract extension official 

Ocean Pines and Matt Ortt Company officials on Wednesday night sign a contract extension to continue managing Association food and beverage operations.

Pictured, from left, are Ocean Pines General Manager John Viola, Matt Ortt Companies Managing Partner and Corporate Chef Stuart Diepold, Matt Ortt, Ocean Pines Association President Doug Parks, and Matt Ortt Companies Cofounder Ralph DeAngelus.

The Ocean Pines Board on Thursday voted 6-0 to approve a contract extension with the Matt Ortt Companies to manage the association’s Yacht Club and Beach Club.  

The agreement will also include management of the Tern Grille at the Ocean Pines Golf Club, once the facility reopens next year.  

Ocean Pines and the Matt Ortt Companies originally signed a two-year contract to manage the Yacht Club and Beach Club last year. The contract would have expired next spring.  

“We’re thrilled to have finalized the agreement to keep Matt Ortt managing our food and beverage facilities into the foreseeable future,” Ocean Pines General Manager John Viola said. “They’ve done a fine job in turning the Yacht Club and Beach Club around in terms of service, quality and better financial stewardship, and we feel the agreement is a win-win for both parties.” 

“We couldn’t be happier with our relationship with Ocean Pines and we’re excited to continue being a part of this community. We especially want to thank John Viola for helping make this happen,” Ortt Companies cofounder Ralph DeAngelus said. “The Ocean Pines public has really welcomed us with open arms and that only makes us want to get better. We’ll be looking to raise the bar each year.” 

Viola credited a workgroup with helping to draft the new contract. Workgroup members included Board members Jeff Knepper and Frank Daly, former Board member Esther Diller, Finance Director Steve Phillips, Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Larry PerroneExecutive Secretary Michelle Bennett and Marketing and Public Relations Director Josh Davis. The workgroup has since disbanded, Viola said.  

“It was a team effort with Jeff, a former attorney, helping us on the legal side,” he said. “We’re grateful for everyone’s input.” 

The contract was also reviewed by attorneys representing both the Ocean Pines Association and Ortt Companies.   

Based on the new agreement, the Ortt Companies will manage all food and beverage operations, including banquets, weddings and special functions, at all three locations. 

The Yacht Club is to remain open seven days a week, May 1 through Sept. 30, but may operate under a reduced schedule of at least three days per week from Oct. 1 through April 30. The facility will close from Jan. 2 until Super Bowl Sunday, with the exception of banquets.  

The Beach Club will be open seven days a week from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Monday.  

The Tern Grille will be open seven days a week, March 15 through Nov. 30, with a reduced schedule of at least three days per week from Dec. 1 through April 30, plus weekends through the NFL Playoffs. 

According to the contract, Any change to the days of operation shall be made by mutual agreement.” 

Additionally, the Ortt Companies agreed to conduct continuous surveys to determine customer satisfaction and a related food quality stipulation states: The quality of the food must remain at least at the same level as in the prior year, as determined by [Ocean Pines] in its reasonable discretion based on criteria such as (but not limited to) customer complaints, poor online reviews or customer survey results. In the event the quality of food drops off … Matt Ortt agrees to rectify the situation immediately. 

The Ortt Companies will receive a flat management fee of $200,000 each year, plus a profit bonus if certain conditions are met. They will also receive a 5 percent commission on gross banquet revenue for private functions and a 2 percent commission for functions of Ocean Pines clubs and organizations. 

There is also a clawback of management fee provision if the combined operating profit is less than $100,000 in any term year. 

 The contract is good for three years, through April 30, 2023If the Ortt Companies meet the first-year profit target, a fourth year will be added to the agreement. If first and second-year targets are met, a fifth year will be added. 

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