Concerning the 2019 ARP Long Beach Sprint Nationals Presented by Nick Rose Insurance
Concerning the 2019 ARP Long Beach Sprint Nationals Presented by Nick Rose Insurance:
Race fans, this has been the most difficult and baffling deal in my 40 years in the sport and 21 years as a Promoter. We have encountered one smokescreen after another after last years race. I have a 20 year relationship with the City of Long Beach, Special Events Dept, Fire, PD, etc. and we always were able to sit down and discuss any issues that might have come up from the previous year and found a way to handle it. Not this year, I haven't gotten 1 phone call back from Special Events, Fire, etc. despite calling and leaving messages since October. We have not hurt 1 Spectator/fan in the 20 years I have promoted the race and that should have been the primary consideration for Public Safety and Fire but instead they continued to ignore my calls/emails requests for a meeting to answer any of their questions.
I was told in September the event was going "under review" with the City agencies, when asked what that meant the Special Events coordinator didn't have an answer other than to say it was going to be reviewed for safety considerations from Public Safety, Fire, City Atty, City Manager, etc. I asked when I could expect an answer, they couldn't give me a time frame. I started calling in October, leaving messages to Special Events (Tasha Day/Jay Lopez) and despite previously getting a return call/email all I got was silence. It wasn't until February 1 of this year that I received the 1st denial letter with supporting letter from Fire on what they wanted "fixed." I revised my permit/site/safety plan to include the Fire Departments "new guideline" issues and resubmitted on that same day. I again called and sent emails asking for a meeting with all parties to discuss any issues but again, silence. I didn't get a response from Special Events dept. until almost 3 months later, April 22 when I got a vaguely worded email saying it was denied again but this time NO reasons were given. When I called and left messages again silence. I reached out to several people who know people at the City, Fire, etc. and supposedly the pressure was coming from Councilwoman Price from the 3rd district who also sits as chair of the Public Safety committee. I contacted Councilwoman Price directly via email and she acknowledged that she didn't like the event but denied she "killed" the permit. I revised my permit/site/safety plan yet again for a 3rd resubmittal on April 24th increasing and going way above and beyond at great expense to our organization in an effort to guess and appease those against the event. Once again, calls and emails left asking for a meeting, discussion, conference call, etc. all went unanswered. It wasn't until May 16th when I got another denial letter from Ms. Day from Special Events eluding to "new safety guidelines from Fire Department" but NO supporting documentation from Fire as to what these "new safety guidelines" are, or how to find them. Again, like the email in April, NO specific reason was given but included in the May 16th letter was a line about it now being too late to resubmit, which is complete nonsense. I contacted and am working with an atty who knows th in's and out's of the City of Long Beach. We have submitted a letter to the City Manager which I hope doesn't fall on deaf ears. If this fails then there is one last step. I truly hope it doesn't go there.
BTW, I was contacted by Tim Grobaty with the Long Beach Post, I did not solicit him to do an article about this issue as I was hoping our letter to Patrick West, City Manager might turn things around but since he interviewed me on Friday and posted the article yesterday the response from the public, racers, families and crews have been overwhelming.
It would appear that some within the City of Long Beach have chosen to send smokescreens and stall me long enough to effectively kill the permit. This is not acceptable, not fair and not legal so we will see what happens as again this is not a 1st year event, this event dates back to the 40's with SCSC and 20 years under myself and the board. If you want to help please contact Deputy Fire Chief Matt Gruneisen, Councilwoman Price, Tasha Day with Special Events, City Manager Pat West and Mayor Garcia and express your feelings (respectfully please).
I have sent respectful emails to all those mentioned, don't know if it will help at all but one must try, sorry state of affairs that they are not honest enough to just come out and say they want to kill the venue.
Thank you so much for the overwhelming support towards the Long Beach Sprint Nationals boat races. Today, I got a call from the City Manager offering a meeting to discuss the 2019 races. I ask that we all NOT attend the city council meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, June 11, 2019) as the goal at this point would be for the city of Long Beach and SCSC be able to make this historical event happen. Again thank you to everyone for your support, I will update you all after the meeting.
As promised as soon as I heard something I would let everyone know: A few hours ago, I received a call from the Special Events dept. indicating that based on the meeting last week they have preliminary approval to move forward (pending final approval from Fire) on the 2019 Long Beach Sprint Nationals however, supposedly our date, August 3 & 4 was given to another group - I believe the City Manager said it was the Long Beach Irish Festival. We are looking into this to see if there is a way to get our date back or perhaps move this years event to another weekend. We are trying to make contact with this other group to see if they would amenable to moving to another location within Long Beach that might be more suitable for a "festival" but in the end since the City supposedly gave our date away it would be up to them and the City to allow us our original submitted and traditional weekend.
The good news is we are now all on the same page and communication has been restored but as usual with the good there's always something bad. Nothing is easy and on behalf of the board we want to thank everyone that took the time to make calls and send emails to help bring light to this situation and right a wrong.
Once again, I will be working to try to get this situation resolved and move forward on this great event. I will keep everyone posted to our progress.
Thanks and keep the faith that we will have a 2019 Long Beach Sprint Nationals!!
Here's the latest update: Received a call earlier today from Special Events indicating that we could have our date back, August 3 & 4 or take another date either 17 & 18 or in September.
The reason for the other dates is as follows: The city has now imposed a new list of demands for the permit including a $10 Million insurance policy (to give you and idea a typical "regular policy" is $1 million) which according to our insurer makes no sense as it's not cost effective - ie, the premium is going to be so big it won't be worth the cost increase.
That being said, there is a list that I will be given tomorrow (Tuesday) June 25th, that will spell out all the new demands from the Fire & PD (as a note, PD was never involved in the discussions prior as they have never indicated there was any issues with the event). Most of the items that were given to me verbally (over the phone today) were things I believe we can comply with without a problem, however there are going to be a few that we are going to have to spend some time on. BTW, I did ask if we could meet with Fire/PD, etc. if needed to go over their list of demands for compliance and was told this time that "yes" they would meet to discuss it.
The long and short of it, the City has said once all items on the permit are submitted they will have 21 days to review the permit and make a decision. Should anything not be in order, they can and most likely will deny the permit.
As promised I will keep everyone posted as I'd rather not move the date if at all possible, but the 17 & 18 may make more sense given this 21 day review deal that just was imposed.
Thank you for all your support! As usual, nothing is easy.......But on a good note it's race week and Burley is only a few days away, can't wait to see everyone and just go racing!!
At long last I can finally say there will be a 2019 ARP Long Beach Sprint Nationals- The Greg Duff & Phil Bergeron Memorial Race Presented by Nick Rose Insurance.
The new date is August 17 & 18 for reasons I outlined in my previous update- the new city stipulations/requirements don't leave any room for error, which they can still deny the permit if not satisfied. The SCSC Staff and I will be working overtime to insure compliance.
In an effort to produce one of the best Sprint Boat races in the country on such a short time frame we (SCSC) need your help. The costs to produce this event are going up significantly and we would like to bring on more sponsors/advertisers/businesses/vendors/supporters to help. Anyone that is interested in getting involved please contact me at your earliest convenience as we have several different "tier" options as well as custom sponsorship packages to fit your budget/needs. Please contact Ross at (310) 318-4012 or [email protected]
SCSC wishes to thank everyone who took time to send emails, make calls to save this great event! It was truly a community effort and we appreciate more than words can describe.