The original Atlantic Hotel was the first hotel ever built in Ocean City, Worcester County.
Opening on July 4, 1875, the Atlantic Hotel was the founding establishment of the Grand Boardwalk Hotels that started Ocean City’s hospitality industry. Originally owned by the Atlantic Hotel Company, it was purchased in 1923 by Dr. Charles W. Purnell and is still owned and operated by the Purnell family today.
The four-story, wooden structure could accommodate 400 guests and stretched from Baltimore Avenue to the Boardwalk. The boardwalk began as a walkway placed in sections in the sand by the individual hotel owners, but later versions were built high enough for the tides to wash under it.
On a summer day, you would find vacationers enjoying lunch under the shade of the pier or taking in attractions such as the Silent Movie Theater, Dance Theater, Bowling Alleys, or the Roller-Skating Rink. If you had ten cents, you could dance under the crystal ball in the Atlantic’s ballroom.
The original Atlantic Hotel along with three blocks of downtown and the pier was destroyed by the great Ocean City fire in December 1925. It was rebuilt in 1926 and is still in operation today.
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