The surfing competition headed for Long Beach in September is expected to draw unprecedented crowds – and where to house them during the 12-day event will be a major challenge.
Quiksilver Pro, which is organizing the extravaganza, is finalizing contract negotiations with Prudential Douglas Elliman real estate to find housing for the hordes expected to flock to the city for the spectacle.
The event may draw anywhere from 400,000 to 600,000 people to the area, many of whom will need a place to stay.
With the Allegria hotel quickly filling up, Prudential has been getting the word out to owners of homes, condos or townhouses who may want to lease their residences.
“Some residents may want to stay with relatives for those two weeks,” said Prudential agent Alex Rubin. “I think people are really open to the idea. It all depends on how much money the market is willing to bear.”
Rubin has already contacted several homeowners who may be interested in leasing their homes, including an oceanfront condo that could draw top dollar.
“At this point, we’re collecting as many as we can get,” he said.
The competition, to be held in Long Beach from Sept. 4-15, will feature the world’s best surfers competing for $1 million in prize money. Long Beach is the first East Coast town to hold the event, and the sixth stop on the tour for the Association of Surfing Professionals.
“I think it’s an amazing thing for this town,” Rubin said. “It will bring a lot of great commerce and will be great for the shops and restaurants.”
He said the 40 Prudential staffers could each bring in a handful of homeowners willing to rent to outsiders.
Joe Ponte, also with Prudential, said he has been trying to solve parking issues during the major event. He said since the competition will be held after Labor Day, that should help open up parking spots.
Some parking possibilities include the double-tiered parking lot at the train station and the potential use of the Superblock and the Foundation Block.
He has also looked for parking possibilities in neighboring Island Park and Oceanside.
“Hopefully, there will be a lot of sharing car rides,” Ponte said. “We may be surprised and there may be an influx of bicycles.”
Ponte also pointed out that officials have to make preparations in the event of a storm, since the competition will take place during hurricane season. He said the city must coordinate efforts with the county and town to safeguard residents and the throngs who attend the event.