Happy 40th Anniversary To The Coronet Apartments!

Happy 40th Anniversary To The Coronet Apartments!

Since 1978! On this day 40 years ago, Sam & Joan Fonte bought the North and South buildings of the Coronet Apartments.

Sam’s parents had a vacation beach house in Ocean City since the 1920’s. He spent his childhood summers here. His uncle owned a property on 6th Street and the Boardwalk back then and Sam dreamed of being on the Boardwalk himself one day. This same uncle donated one of the stained glass windows to St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church, built  in 1877 and renovated in 1939. It was Ocean City’s first Church and it is still there today. In the 1950’s when Sam was in his teens and twenties, he joined the Ocean City Beach Patrol as a lifeguard. His beach stand was usually on 12th or 13th streets right in front of the Coronet Apartments. It was on that beach that he fell in love with the gal who would soon be his future wife, Joan. She was the apple of his eye. Sam had the entrepreneurial spirit and in the 50’s he opened up the Sea Horse gift shop  in the Rideau Hotel. After Sam and Joan were married, they started a vacation rental business and purchased a small apartment building called Regent By The Sea on 13th street and Baltimore Avenue in the 1960’s. Then, in 1978, they finally purchased their first Boardwalk property, the Coronet Apartments. Many of their customers started coming here every year for decades as a tradition. There have been lifetimes filled with memories here, shared by numerous families. Sam and Joan’s daughter, Michelle, founded a chain of surf shops along the East Coast which she ran for over 17 years. When she retired, she purchased the Coronet Apartments from her Mom who continued to hang around and help her. Michelle and her family own a vacation rental business in several locations and they have done over $200,000.00 in renovations to the Coronet Apartments over the past 14 years. It’s a gradual and ongoing project done with love. Customers are like family here and new family and friends are always welcome to join the fun!



The following is a quote from Miss Joan from an interview she did in early 2017

“Many of the families who vacation here at the Coronet have been staying with us for over 30 years. They are like extended family. We have gotten to watch our customer’s children grow up year after year and then have their own children. We have middle aged customers who we knew when they were mere children playing in the sand making sand castles. It’s nice to have multiple generations in the families we deal with. We even have some people who came in the 1980’s for senior week, who now rent from us with their wife and kids. It’s been a wonderful experience over the decades we have been here. Longevity in a business gives you terrific memories.

When Michelle bought the building from me thirteen years ago, she used the Internet to attract an entirely new set of customers. And many of them have come year after year for over a decade now. When you are on the Boardwalk making new friends is a daily lifestyle.


We have been running the Coronet Apartments for 40 years! We bought the North and South building in 1978. Prior to that we owned Regent By The Sea. So, we’ve been doing vacation rentals for about 60 years. My husband was a lifeguard on the Ocean City Beach Patrol back in the 1950’s right in front of the Coronet Apartments. That is where we fell in love. And our family has owned businesses and property in Ocean City dating back to the 1920’s.”



Check back to this page often. Since it is the 40th anniversary, we hope to be updating it through the year with interesting historic tidbits and photos.

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