VIA – LONG BEACH PATCH
Residents Express Hope Quiksilver Will Return
City officials dispel misinformation and rumors surrounding surfing event.
By Joseph Kellard
* The second part of a two-part story. The first part was posted earlier Wednesday (posted again below).
During Tuesday’s Long Beach City Council meeting, when several residents questioned and criticized the city for cancelling the festival part of the Quiksilver Pro New York surf competition, City Manager Charles Theofan dispelled the notion that the city signed a three-year contract with Quiksilver to hold the contest in Long Beach.
When residents inquired about obtaining the contract through Freedom of Information Law, Theofan said that the company simply had a permit with the city to hold a single event in Long Beach. Mike Matey, Quiksilver’s vice president of marketing, who attended part of Tuesday’s meeting, told Patch on Wednesday that Quiksilver has a three-year contract with the Association of Surfing Professionals, the foremost governing body in professional surfing, to run the Quiksilver Pro on the East Coast.
“It’s Long Beach for this year and we have a permit with Long Beach for this year,” Matey explained.
Meanwhile, Mark Tannenbaum, executive vice president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, told the council about the extensive time, effort and money he said local business and the chamber invested in anticipation of the full event. He estimated the lose in additional revenue to local merchants due to the nixed festival at $10 to $14 million, and that Quiksilver stands to lose $25 to $32 million.
“If you think they’re going to come back next year, chancing it will be cancelled, you’re crazy,” Tannenbaum said.
When asked about those figures, Matey said he was unsure where they came from, since Quiksilver has not disclosed such numbers: “On the economic impact, we can only speculate,” he added. “And we plan to measure it after the event, so we can have real numbers.”
Xavier Ceniceros was among the residents who expressed concern that Quiksilver may opt to not return to Long Beach due to the city’s decisions.
“Hopefully we can redeem ourselves and our reputation because, I’ll tell you,” Ceniceros said with enthusiasm, “they started the contest competition today and we got to see the world champion, Kelly Slater, surf on our beach, on our waves.”
Ceniceros said that the city’s leadership on Quiksilver matters “is less than we had hoped for,” and he called on the council to represent those who want to see Quiksilver return in coming years.
Matey was pleased with Long Beach’s support for the original plans for the event based on Tuesday’s meeting. “It seemed like there was overwhelming support by the community that they’re in favor of the event and hope to see it come back,” he said.
Councilman John McLaughlin said that perhaps the city’s efforts to inform the public about the events “weren’t good enough,” and he conceded that the city should have had public hearings on bringing the event to Long Beach.
McLaughlin also suggested that matters were made worse by people who spread rumors — including that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were expected to play at the festival, and that 50,000 people would come to Long Beach for the first events — and he called on others to cease their Monday morning quarterbacking.
“If this music festival had gone forward and we had packed them in, there would be this many people complaining that we didn’t take them into consideration,” McLaughlin said. “I understand that. And I think what we all have to do is, instead of throwing stones when we come up here and we give our opinions, it should be about how can we make this work better.”
For the full story go here:
First part of story:
City Officials Explain Why Bands Were Canceled
Residents ask Council who decided to bring Quiksilver Pro to the city without public input.
By Joseph Kellard
City Manager Charles Theofan and City Council members further explained the city’s decision to cancel the festival part of the Quiksilver Pro New York surf competition.
They did so during Tuesday’s meeting at City Hall when residents did everything from compliment the city’s cleanup efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irene to criticize city officials for not properly informing the public about the event, its scale and relative issues, such as parking.
“In the context of having just had a hurricane, I don’t feel that we needed Woodstock descending on this town,” City Council President Thomas Sofield Jr. told one resident who criticized the city for canceling the festival that was to feature music, skateboarding and motocross events on the Superblock and Foundation Block.
Sofield indicated that he was concerned about the scale of the event, described in Quiksilver’s words as the world’s largest actions sports and music festival ever assembled, after a storm that left many homes flooded, powerless and otherwise damaged.
“I understand that you and a lot of people may disagree with my decision, but you can’t question my motivation,” Sofield said. “My motivation was to do what I thought, under the circumstances, was the best for the protection of this entire community.”
Resident Fran Adelson, a Democrat running for City Council in November, thought the residents have right to know about certain decisions the city made about the event. “How was the decision made to bring the festival in the first place, and how was the decision made to cancel the music portion,” she asked.
Theofan said that he made the decision to bring the festival after Councilman John McLaughlin travelled to Quiksilver’s West Coast headquarters, and after he and his staff attended numerous meetings with the surf company.
“If you think for one minute that the decision to cancel was taken lightly, it was not,” the city said. “It was a very painful decision because of all the work that had gone into it.”
Theofan added that Quiksilver did not argue when he told them his decision to cancel the festival.
Mike Matey, Quiksilver’s vice president of marketing, who attended part of Tuesday’s meeting, told Patch on Wednesday when asked about the bilateral decision: “We obviously worked with the city and went on their lead because, at the end of the day, it’s the city’s decision on whether or not to hold that festival.”
Theofan on Tuesday, reiterating his reasons for canceling the festival that he included in an open letter to the community last week, said his decision was based on the damage the hurricane wreaked in the city, leaving thousands without power. Some residents told Theofan that they still didn’t understand why their loss of power prevented the festival from continuing, even if in a scaled-down form.
For the full article go here:
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