Sea by the City
The Unofficial Blog of Long Beach, NY
Long Beach is coming back? I’ve never been a big fan of the recent Boardwalk Fairs but this year’s “street fair” was the tiniest, schlockiest, ugliest ‘I’ve ever seen, anywhere. If this is an indication of what kind of reputation and vendors Long Beach can attract these days, we are in for a fast decline.
Rule #1 of real estate – before buying property, check out the neighborhoods carnival.
In a city in FL where I spend winters the lady in the bank says that every time the carnival comes to town a blizzard of counterfeit money appears in local stores and business’ . She said that they tell business owners in advance to be alert. LB claims that the huge real estate project coming to town will attract upscale renters. Towns with sleazy carnivals attract sleazy customers, not upscale ones. Anybody remember the horrible, crappy “amusement park” that used to grace Edwards, right on the BW. Uber rusted, greasy, creepy and it was there from pre WWII to recent years. All it ever attracted was dirtbags. Be much more selective in what business’ you allow in LB. Just because there is still some vacant land doesn’t means that it must allow every crappy, tawdry, lowlife venture that comes along.
Someone told me today that the “carnival” I complained about is different from the Boardwalk Fairs. Different sponsor and group, and that those will still take place. I hope that will be the case.
But, having grown up in Long Beach in the 50s and 60s I can tell you, kayo, that I and many others spent many happy times at the rides on Edwards. And lots of us “graduated” to our first kiss (or more) on the tiny Ferris Wheel.
I got here in 1944, and love is blind. You should have opened your eyes
How did the gross fair help Beech St and Park Ave businesses?
“Chamber?”, this “gross” fair as you call it helped to attract thousands if not tens of thousands of people to your barrier island. People will not think of Long Beach as just a beach town but not will also think of us a destination for schlockey fair booths as well.
As to helping the Park and Beech street businesses, at the last City Council meeting the first speaker during good and welfare was a business owner (not sure which business) who lamented on the fact that the increased number of fairs and festivals are pulling people from Park Ave not adding to them.
The lady made some good points, but I think the highlight of her speech was the image of the Chamber of Commerce President walking out during her speech, as if he could not care less (maybe he couldn’t). But do not fear the city’s economic development director spoke with the business owner after she had finished speaking and I am sure within the next 2-3 weeks we will see some video on the city’s website promoting this lady’s business for half the commercial and the appointed ones names and titles for the second half of the video.
And unfortunately since that is their only idea for economic development (short of putting a trolley shop in front of that business), we just might see an resolution for a parking waiver for yet another nail salon.
it would be great if they paid someone to clean up the garbage! the boardwalk was overflowing this morning.
Hey Captain, and others, what’s your plan for economic development? I’m sure we would all benefit from ideas that would help our existing businesses, build others and serve our community.
And please be clear as to whether your proposal helps residents only, or brings visitors too…since some bloggers don’t want any more visitors, particularly during the summer.
And, whether any incentives should be given to the businesses, since some bloggers are against incentives.
And, if the new businesses might compete with any existing businesses.
And, can the business be part of a national chain, since some bloggers are against that.
And, indicate whether the users of these businesses will arrive by car or other transportation, since we have limited parking and others are against bikes.
Looking forward to your economic development plan.
I don’t see why a carnival has to benefit local businesses. Can’t a carnival just exist as something fun for residents and guests?
Why do so many think its the job of the LB government to find ways to support LB businesses? Why isn’t it the sole responsibility of the businesses themselves to get people in their stores by offering stuff people want to buy at prices people want to pay?
The LB government should support business by adopting policies that let them keep more of their money in their pocket, but not by filling that pocket to begin with.
If the carnival is (allegedly) diverting people away from a restaurant on Park, why doesn’t that restaurant go have an employee stand in front of the carnival giving out coupons for a free drink/discount after the carnival?
I empathized after Sandy when people thought local restaurants should have first dibs at food trucks at the beach, but now with the incessant local bike company trope sung when discussing the social bike program, are we now to keep new restaurants, coffee shops, etc. out of LB because we have them already? The nail salon business is thriving!
It seems a bit much…
Ed, We all know the best way to improve economic development is to lessen the burden of taxes and regulations on the prospective business owner. We live in New York so that would take a wholesale change in attitudes, representatives and the electorate
While our local representatives are very good at working on ideas and shiny new things that most people think help our local businesses think videos, trolleys, penn station tables. The main issue most people fail to realize is that Long Beach is a bedroom community with a beach and neither our city or chamber has any in depth knowledge base of who visits our city, in what numbers and for what reason. And our draw, the beach and boardwalk only draws people to our city maybe 6-7 months a year. After that we have nothing that other towns don’t have, there is no reason for a person to come to Long Beach to eat at any restaurant in town when they can get the same fare at a more convenient location.
Probably one of easily implementable and locally impactful item would be to get individuals running the local chamber of commerce who actually care more about the local businesses and less about the desire to “rent” out spots at the local fairs for the benefit of the chamber. This lack of caring was proven 2 weeks ago by the president walking our of the Good & Welfare portion when a local business person was speaking about this very issue.
And hopefully the new leader would also refrain from using wildly exaggerated attendance and visitation numbers in their talks and articles in the local media. I personally find it hard to not be suspicious of someone’s arguments when I see them presenting data that I know to be inaccurate. In one of the local newspapers there was an article/advertisement where the chamber presented some numbers and after reading the first data point where it was stated 1,000 people attended the NYS DOH forum, I found it hard not to question each of the subsequent figures, which were (IMHO) most likely as wildly exaggerative and hopeful as the forum estimate. That leads back to the fact that they do not know who comes here, for what and for how long.
This lack of data is something that they should be acting on and trying to gather, I think the cause for the lack of initiative is some of the “that is the way we always did it”. if they did do some data gathering I think my feeling that we are a bedroom community with a beach would be shown and then perhaps the people in this town could develop a sound economic development program.
Until they have that data and understand what it means I think the best we can hope for is somewhat slick videos that mention and display our representatives’ names and titles longer than the address and contact information for the subject of the videos, media advertisements that try to draw people to our “splash parks” (cannot even our little “pocket parks” be geared toward our residents?) and perhaps some more fairs that have the same types of vendors that are found in any fair throughout the entire northeast, and pull even our local people away from our downtown. [What good is bringing 1000 out of towners down to the fair, when we also drive 500 residents from Park Ave, those businesses on Park and Beech need to recoup the lost 500 residents before they have any chance of benefiting from the 1000 people at the fair]
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