Note: I was going to write this as a comment, but had way too much to say, so I am exercising my ‘seabythecity’ power by starting a new thread.
Regarding U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s press release, urging Quiksilver to come back to Long Beach in 2012.
First of all, please put the whole Democrat/Republican crap aside. If the Democrats say chocolate ice cream is better, the Republicans will start screaming that vanilla ice cream is better and you’re not a patriot if you think otherwise. It’s so stupid. Both parties are stupid. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s press release has nothing to do with what party she is from. She is doing her job and I would still commend her for that, regardless of what party she is from. Heck, at least she is paying attention; half of these politicians do nothing once they are elected.
So why would she reach out to Quiksilver in the first place?
It has to do Tourism, one of New York State’s biggest industries. The Quiksilver Pro is a prestigious event that happens to be international. Why wouldn’t Gillibrand want them back in New York? If I were a U.S. Senator, I would be reaching out to anybody I could to do business here. Less we forget, the Quiksilver Pro and other ASP World Surfing tours are international (France, Brazil, Portugal, Brazil.. etc). Here is the wiki of the the 2012 Tour (which needs to be updated): 2012_ASP_World_Tour .
What was Quiksilver Pro’s impact on Long Beach?
We can go back and forth on this all we want. Did the city make enough money from this event? How about the local businesses? The LONG TERM EFFECT of QSPRO2011 was written on this blog before, so here is a copy and paste from that (read – A few thoughts regarding the Quiksilver Pro & Local Business):
- Long Beach, NY is now regarded as a surf city – not just nationally, but internationally.
- Long Beach, NY has and will be mentioned in every major surf publication (online, magazines) for the next few months – at least. (cough cough cough cough)
- Long Beach, NY is a train ride away from a city that everybody in the world wants to visit: New York City. How many surfers around the world are now going to make that trip to the Big Apple and take a pit stop to the town that hosted the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York? Lots.
- How many of these folks are going to spend money in our stores? Renting surf boards at out shops? Eating at our restaurants? Lots.
Yes, the event is over, but our elected officials will want to keep that momentum going. It doesn’t matter how well local businesses did those two weeks in September, it’s the loooooong teeeeeerm effeeeeeeect: To get those folks who were already going to visit NYC to check out that ‘cool beach/surf community’ that is only a train ride away. One can argue that New York also wants to promote New York to New Yorkers. Most New Yorkers that live north of the Bronx go to the Jersey Shore for the beach. Why not try to keep their money here?
Do we even want Long Beach to be a tourist destination?
I keep hearing the same stuff from the NIMBY folks: But Long Beach is a residential area. Well guess what? With a population of over 8 million people, one can argue that NYC is more residential than us, especially with the density factor. What does that mean? Should NYC get rid of all museums because it’s a residential area? Should NYC get rid of the theater district because it’s a residential area? Should NYC get rid of all things that make NYC great because it’s a residential area – and all in the name of traffic and parking?
We live in New York. Traffic and parking are going to be tough all over. If you don’t like it, then move to South Dakota.
Long Beach has the infrastructure to handle events like the Quiksilver Pro. We just didn’t have a good plan in place. That can and will (most likely) be corrected for future events.
From a local point of view, it’s not all about the money: The Entertainment Factor:
I enjoyed the Quiksilver Pro and found myself very lucky to be able to walk down the block and see all these pro surfers putting on a great show. Oh yeah, and not to rehash another thing that was written here before, but: We saw Kelly Slater surf Long Beach and we weren’t forced to buy a t-shirt to do it: THE EVENT WAS FREE. As far as I’m concerned, the entertainment factor alone is reason enough to want Quiksilver back in Long Beach.