Editorial: Soaking in the Quiksilver Pro (sans festival) Disappointment.

There are many comments fights going on regarding the economic impact of the Quiksilver Pro as to who is going to benefit: Will it be the residents & merchants of Long Beach? The pockets of our elected officials? The Quiksilver sausage & pepper stand? (There’s a joke there somewhere.) The bottom line is this: The Quiksilver Pro will attract many folks to Long Beach and we are all going to benefit. Plain and simple. End of argument. Spectators (or drunks, as some will say) aren’t coming here just to hang out at the Quiksilver tents; they’re going to soak in our local flavor by shopping at our stories, eating at our restaurants and paying you 30 bucks to park in your driveway. This creates jobs and helps with our tax base. With the exception of a few parking concerns, this event is a win win for all. Oh…. but there is one small problem: things are now different. The event has changed: The Quiksilver Pro has turned into a disappointment for most and it hasn’t even started yet.

(Please take yourself out of the Long Beach world for a minute.)

Without the festivals (bmx, motorcross, skateboarding, concerts), The Quiksilver pro has officially lost it’s mass appeal. I read the comments all over the internet. I know what’s going on. There are many who think the words ‘New York’ & ‘Surfing’ just don’t mix. They say things like “that belongs in California.” And if I read the words 2 foot waves one more time ……. people just don’t get it. They don’t know that a surf culture in New York is alive and well (and thriving). Quiksilver was hoping to draw these people here; expose them to the surfing culture and hope they buy some Quiksilver t-shirts. For many folks – the festival was the event. The majority of the people (outside of Long Beach) that I have spoken to were more interested in the sideshows than the surfing competition. This is not a knock on surfing (I surf too), it’s just a fact of life in New York. (Again, please take yourself out of Long Beach for a minute…)

People will come. It just won’t be as many. The merchants who once saw giant dollar signs must be looking at this as a missed opportunity. Because lets face it, the economy isn’t great and they still need to pay rent, taxes, maintenance, insurance (workers comp, property, fire, etc.) and salaries. Many of these merchants were counting on this event for a much needed boost. Well, there is always next year. And the year after that (since Long Beach signed a three year deal with Quiksilver.)

Quiksilver has yet to release their new schedule. I’m hearing rumblings from local folks wanting to organize a ‘Pop Up Festival’ (more on that in a later post). Rumors are floating around of a scaled down Quiksilver mini-event, but I won’t believe it until I read it.

I’m still an optimist. I still think this event will be a major boon for Long Beach (That’s us). After all, Quiksilver pays Long Beach to use Long Beach. But, now that the event has changed, I wonder if the original deal with the city is still intact or if a revised plan was drafted. I say this because there are a lot of things around town that need some fixing and we could really use some of that Quiksilver money. For example:

  • FIXING THE HURRICANE IRENE MESS – Self explanatory.
  • REBUILDING THE BOARDWALK – This has been mentioned last summer. Our boardwalk is a mess. The city wants to build an entirely new boardwalk foundation: “The boardwalk really needs to be maintained, and we would really love to have the ability to do it over with higher-grade materials,” said City Manager Charles Theofan.  That quote is from a LB Herald article from two years ago (read – City approves capital improvement plan). I know most of the residents will agree. Give us a nice boardwalk that won’t give our bicycles flat tires!!!
  • REPAVING THE ROADS – When I first moved here about four years ago, I asked a long time Long Beach-resident neighbor why some of the roads were in such bad shape. He said it was speed control – certain roads just won’t get fixed, unless it’s a dire situation.
  • FIX THE SEWER DRAINS – This seems to be an ongoing processes. As the city ages, our sewer drains need updating and it’s very costly! This is a must, unless you like your cars swimming in water.
  • NEW SIDEWALKS & LIGHTS ON PARK AVE – Brick paved sidewalks, new pedestrian lamps, planters, benches, bike racks: You know the drill. The Town of Hempstead does this to all of their towns. Our downtown is long over due and needs a makeover.
  • FIXING CITY HALL, Because I’m tired of looking at the scaffolding that’s been there for months. or do I mean FIXING CITY HALL: The actual elected officials?

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30 thoughts on “Editorial: Soaking in the Quiksilver Pro (sans festival) Disappointment.”

  1. I have a lot of thoughts that I can’t organize at the moment because of lack of sleep but I do want to say this first:

    This is a blessing in disguise because it gives the city a chance to monitor the event on a smaller scale (i.e. traffic congestion, parking, security, etc). We’ll still get a large influx of people and can absolutely use it as a learning experience (if 10,000 people cause major traffic hassles then next year when we get 20,000 we’ll do the Jones Beach thing). Assuming we learn from it.

    Also, it gives them a great opportunity to make this competition about the SURFING and not the dog and pony show. Now that the distractions are gone I can’t wait to watch these athletes. Next year we can do the big festival with more knowledge of its full impact.

    More later. After I’ve slept a full night.

  2. Agreed! Although I can’t help but be a little disappointed. I was really looking forward to the concerts! Oh well, we’ll wait till next year!

  3. Hey, at least there’s an excuse for idiotic/erratic behavior pf these posters that are For this carnival. They are beer drinking liberals.
    Like any other 18 year old dumbass liberals, they know not what they are doing.

  4. Big disappointment. As much as I didn’t want the congestion it would have been a great thing for the city and a lot of fun for all. We would have dealt with the problems and survived.

  5. Alfredo Garcia Miss Annn, If you aren’t going to post something constructive, please don’t post anything at all or I will have to block you. I don’t like the name calling and stupid comments.

    As far as surfing is concerned, why don’t you tell that to all the surfers that are out there in the waters right now. You know this is a beach community, right?

  6. well, Like Tracy said above, this year will be the test for next year. Hopefully they will learn from all their mistakes and next year it will go on as a full event with better preparation. The fact is, even without the hurricane, the city didn’t prepare themselves properly.

  7. Anthony, my only concern is that with the lack of support from the city, the Quiksilver people simply decide to break the contract an go elsewhere. Im sure they probably have some sort of buyout or escape clause.

    The draw of having this event in Long Beach for Quiksilver was specifically for its merchandising and advertising potential in the largest media market in North America.

    Realistically, it wasnt for the waves, where heading out to Ditch and staging in Montauk would be best for holding a pure, Surfing-only, east coast event.

    If Quiksilver feels that they are getting a lukewarm response from the power that be in the city counsel and that Charles Theofan has simply been stringing them along, whats to keep them from just throwing up their hands and giving up.

  8. That is something to be concerned about. And you are right- If you go back to the NY TIme article that was posted here a few weeks ago, this event is purely about the money. That being said, It would be a big loss for Long Beach to lose this event and It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out next week as well as next year.

  9. Do you really think they will come again next year? I think not Theofan and council dropped the ball on this event and future events. What corporation will want to do anything here after watching this horse and pony show.

  10. True, but it was still a full event until something called Irene came into town. Lets just see how it goes next week. If nobody shows up (including good waves), then Quiksilver will know what to do next year…

  11. I’m still awake and not thinking clearly. This bickering is making us look like a Podunk town that can’t get it’s $h1t together.

    Compromise.

    We had a natural disaster with substantial damage days before a major event. Most of my clients at the Red Cross shelter were from here and many are still flooded and without power. Do they not matter because most of them are behind Waldbaums?

    This is so trivial it’s just getting f-ing irritating.

    Surfing? Yes, that’s what it’s really all about. Market it…that’s my job and I’m good at it. Kelly Slater without a shirt live? I can get 10,000 girls here for that alone. Okay, 9,999 not including me.

    Get people to help out so that we can have some live music. Can we get in a major band? I could. Easily. Free. Bet? Give me a stage and a few days.

    Make it the best event it can possibly be but show some respect to those still suffering.

    Let’s come together as a community to make it happen and be as successful as possible for everyone involved!

    I get the business side of it. I’ve run businesses before. It’s difficult. But if you don’t think you can turn a profit it’s not because there are no concerts. It’s because you don’t know how to tell people why they should STILL come to Long Beach regardless. I have more people wanting to come without the festival than when there was one.

    There is a happy medium, folks. Let’s find it and stop being so damn selfish. We can make this work and come out shining like the hidden gem that we are.

  12. I for one am very happy about this decision. I didn’t want to see at this 3 ring Circus, so I say thank God it was cancelled… We have enough drunks, trouble-makers coming in to the City without this Carnival. If we are to have a surfing Competition, then lets have it, we don’t need these bands and druggies coming to LB for their pleasure. LB is still a family city. Not for these freak shows. I can’t even imagine what 20,000 people a day would look like and what they wold do to this city. I figure the at least 10 percent of those 20,000 would be trouble-makers.
    Let the Hotel have them, they seem to like that sort of thing

  13. So as soon as you add “bands” we get “druggies”…what a narrow view you have.It’s not 1970 anymore and there is plenty of great music around without “druggies”…

    As far as what 20,000 people would do for the city- it would invigorate the economy. Remember that the storm hit on a weekend. There was virtually no business done during that weekend unless you own a hardware store or a food market. The usual influx of beach traffic was not there for the second to last weekend of the season. Plenty of local businesses are already hurting from the economy and a lost weekend represents a substantial chunk of revenue that was not made.

    As far as the 10% would be trouble makers- the last time I checked, the LBPD does still exist. As a matter of fact they are really good at their jobs. Ask anyone who has ever left a restaurant or bar after 11pm and forgot to signal when changing lanes! These guys are on their game and here to protect us against the 10%.

    Why live in a beach town if you can’t enjoy the beach and the events that happen there. This is not an everyday thing, it is a rare occassion…embrace it and lose the scrooge attitude.

  14. Unfortunately I think that LB should have learned a lesson from the Mini Riot we had here last Memorial Day from the Trouble Makers, and yes all the ‘delinquents, druggies, addicts, hipsters,, but it’s obvious that it did not.
    Sorry that all these comments didn’t meet with YOUR approval, but such us life.
    Maybe the next time the town needs to come to some agreement, they will come to you and get YOUR approval first.

  15. Being the fact that I am a world class event planner who has handled production for 2 presidential inaugurations, Woodstock 94 and several thousand trade shows and concerts, I would be all too happy to contribute my knowledge free of charge to see My home town of Long Beach shine!

    Did you grow up here? Somehow I doubt it, but I could be wrong.

    At what point did I suggest that the town needed my approval??? or yours for that matter…I was simply stating that just because there is music doesn’t mean druggies. This town is full of druggies, mostly housewives addicted to mood altering drugs and valium. Should we ban them from attending? C’mon, think before you speak (write)

    Anthony, Thanks for the props! In response to those who mentioned there being a scaled down version of the concerts maybe you can give some words to the event taking place in front of city hall on Sunday-Arts in the Plaza…Aside from the normal crafts and food available every sunday, this week there will be 5 local LONG BEACH bands playing to the masses coming off of the trains to watch surfing. Music runs from 11:30 – 5pm and is presented by a LONG BEACH musician Benoir and a LONG BEACH production company called TRUE LIVE PRODUCTIONS. I play in one of the bands and I am honored to have been asked to represent the local talent in front of all the visitors that will be attending. A mention on your blog would mean a lot!

  16. Rich,

    Too funny. I have some experience in event planning and such as well but not on a massive scale. I just said to some people this morning the city should have hired a consultant with experience in these types of events. Glad to know we have a resident with the knowledge to do so!

  17. Great comment Rich. I don’t understand how surf competition = druggies and drunks. No one around here needs an excuse to drink, bc we always have one! =) Bottom line is, we live in a great beach community & I welcome the opportunity for people all over the world to be able to enjoy it and appreciate it during the competition!

  18. OK, so the 3 Ring Circus was cancelled, What I would like to know is why don’t they clean up that disgusting mess they made on the Edwards lot?
    2 filthy dumpsters are there loaded to the top for a week, 5 trucks, 4 trailers, and about 30 piles of crap left along the side of the lot… Not to mention the 50- plus smelly potable toilets, that are a sight for sore eyes.

    As for your argument about the “merchants doing business” from this side show.
    Take one look at the merchandise tent ran by Quicksilver and then another look at the business (or lack of it) done by the “Local Merchants”
    It’s a no brainer that Quicksilver is doing ALL the business. They have even set up stands in some of the local restaurants selling their stuff to the restaurant patrons.

  19. Clean up the mess! Really? A world-class event comes to town and that is your first concern? Good thing you didn’t work at Woodstock in the 70’s. 😉

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