ShoreFest Won't HappenCity Mgr. Miller: "I...Cannot Allow This Event To Move Forward"
ShoreFest Spokesman: "Civic Leadership Has Failed..."
(Sept. 23, 2003) -- ShoreFest (Oct 3-5) will not take place.
At the September 23 City Council meeting, City Manager Jerry Miller delivered the following statement:
As was noticed at the June 11, 2002 City Council meeting, an agreement between the city and Shoresales would not be finalized until the following areas were satisfactorily addressed: logistics (example given), event venues, scheduling, permits and approvals, staging, event management, parking and public transportation. 2. Public safety (example given), police, fire and medical requirements. Third, impacts on neighborhoods and the general environment. Fourth, impacts and businesses and services. And fifth, impacts on conventions, hotels and non-ShoreFest events.
As recently as yesterday, I faxed a letter to the representatives of ShoreFest in which I requested at a minimum the following assurances in order to sign the permit and allow the event to go forward:
Evidence of a contract between ShoreFest and AMR for first aid stations, staffing and equipment; evidence of a contract between ShoreFest and CSULB for remote parking; evidence that there is sufficient bus transportation between remote parking areas and event venues.
As of 3 p.m. today, following a two and a half hour meeting with the Chief of Police, the Assistant Fire Chief and representatives from key departments, I am not assured that these minimum requirements have been secured.
In fact in my opinion as City Manager, the absence of these assurances compromises the safety and convenience of the residents of our city and I therefore cannot allow this event to move forward.
The city will make every effort to ensure that the public is made aware of the changes relative to this event. We will work very hard to maintain the most positive relationship possible with those military participants that may be unduly inconvenienced by our decision.
Madam Mayor and Council, that concludes my statement. Thank you very much
Mayor Beverly O'Neill invited members of the public to speak. David Jacobson, ShoreFest Media Relations Director, came to the podium and stated in pertinent part:
...ShoreFest was designed specifically to bring revenue and exposure and good will to the city of Long Beach and its residents. By not going forward with this event, the potential lost revenue is $65 million. Those are the projections that ShoreFest had established and had publicized as the potential revenue in direct spending by Shoresales and its associated partners, along with guest spending from the traffic that ShoreFest would generate into the city of Long Beach.
Without ShoreFest, there is no $65 million.
In terms of the exposure that we generated, and had planned to generate within that $65 million, there's a value placed on the media exposure of $17 million. Much of that has begun occurring. Some of the publications that have promoted ShoreFest based on our media relations outreach and efforts include American Way magazine which is on American Airlines read by millions of travelers from around the world who are now expecting an event to occur in Long Beach October 3-5. Others include the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times upcoming. Custom Plane magazine with a circulation of about 50,000, primarily to high net worth individuals who would have come to Long Beach for ShoreFest, devoted a page in the issue that's on the newsstands now to promoting ShoreFest, in hopes that that traffic would come here and we all could share in the benefits of that traffic.
Finally, ShoreFest not occurring means a loss of good will, including Blue Angels schools visits that we were working very hard even this morning with Councilmember Baker's office to ensure that NASA representatives and Blue Angels representatives would come and deliver once in a lifetime presentations to your schoolchildren, offering them a great deal of education that is simply unavailable elsewhere, through a program such as ShoreFest.
Finally, the children are not going to get those things if there is no ShoreFest. You will not get the Blue Angels coming back here without ShoreFest going on. And as of now, it appears to be my unhappy duty to inform the schoolchildren through their teachers and principals tomorrow that their civic leadership has failed them.
Dan DiCillo then spoke:
My name is Dan DiCillo, I am with Shoresales as well. Obviously, it's very disappointing to hear the decision today after we spent over two and a half years planning what we believe to be a tremendous event that would showcase the city of Long Beach in a fantastic light. I was very happy to be here to watch the Blues and the Snow Birds arrive town. I think they're very excited to be here. I think Long Beach represents a tremendous market for them. They have currently a void in this market. But it goes beyond certainly the Blues and the Snow Birds.
Specifically, it's very hard to do some of the things we've done over the last two and a half years, attempting to get a jet team in a first year event is a tremendous accomplishment. I can't underestimate the work involved with doing that.
Beyond that, you don't have an opportunity to tour or see an 844 ft. aircraft carrier that would roll into town and allow folks within Long Beach and beyond to appreciate the relationship that this area has with the Navy.
There are truly unique opportunities that came along with ShoreFest, and we certainly have endeavored to work toward a successful event. Obviously, there are details to work out. We have done our best to resolve the issues and believe that we still can put on a phenomenal event.
It's very difficult to send the news out internationally as well as nationally. David made mention of, obviously, the performers and the participants in the event. But beyond that, we have gotten emails internationally indicating peoples' interest in coming to Long Beach. And these are people who never would have had an opportunity to see the event or to see Long Beach and this event showcasing the city gives them that opportunity.
I think it's a tremendous mistake not to move forward. I think we can make this event still a tremendous success. It's certainly in my best interest to make it happen both corporately and personally. I've spent an awful lot of time on this as well. And I think it's a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city.
We certainly will work with whomever we need to work with to make it happen. We have not spent over two and half years to learn at this late date, too late I believe really, to change direction. It's an awful hard thing to do to send the Blues back home or to send the Boxer back home, and I don't think that this is what we want to do.
I've spoken my piece and I'd certainly love to speak with anybody who has an interest in determining how we can move forward successfully...
Mayor O'Neill: Thank you very much
Mr. DiCillo (continuing)...and I specifically would ask for an overruling [by the Council of the City Manager's decision.]
After remarks from the general public, Vice Mayor Frank Colonna made a motion to receive and file and support the City Manager's decision.
The motion carried 9-0.
Previous related coverage:
Sept. 2003: City Management Tells Council "ShoreFest" (Oct 3-5) Is Being Downsized, Revised, But Will Proceed
Sept. 2003: Pike @ Rainbow Harbor Initial Retail Operations Expected In Or About Mid-Nov. 2003
May 2003: ShoreFest Organizers Schedule May 21 & 22 Community Briefings (Public Invited) Re Plans For October 3-5 Air Show & Citywide Festivals
July, 2002: Council OK's 3-Day Corporate Backed Oct. '03 "ShoreFest" To Celebrate "Pike at Rainbow Harbor" After Supportive City Staff Memo Says Police, Fire, Public Works And Other City Services Will Cost Up To $250,000 But Resulting Sales Taxes Are "Anticipated" To Equal or Exceed This; Our Math Says That Would Require $25 Million In Taxable Sales; City Hall Gets Roughly $40 Million in Sales Tax Revenue For Entire Year
July, 2002: City Mgt. Says Promoters Of 3-Day Oct. '03 "ShoreFest" To Celebrate "Pike at Rainbow Harbor" Want City Hall To Donate Various City Services; Event Would Require Up To $250,000 in Police, Fire, Public Works & Other Services...And It's "Anticipated" Sales Taxes Will Equal or Exceed Costs