City Officials Hopeful For Quiksilver Return

Surf contest a success for both contestants and Long Beach.

City Manager Charles Theofan said the administration is currently in negotiations with Quiksilver to bring the Pro New York festival and surf competition back to Long Beach in 2012. Theofan would not disclose details of the talks but said the city is speaking to "multiple people at different levels" about the tournament's return. 

Quiksilver Pro New York wrapped up its contest earlier this month with surfer Owen Wright defeating long-time veteran Kelly Slater to take home the $300,000 prize. The total event was cut in half, however, as the impact of Hurricane Irene forced city officials to cancel the festival portion of the tournament. Some Long Beach residents were critical of the city's decision to nix the festival, which included live bands, skateboarding, and motorcross displays. 

Nonetheless, Theofan described the experience as a positive one and said he welcomes Quicksilver's return. 

"The event was nothing short of fantastic, phenomenal, and we would love to have them back," Theofan said. "And we've already started discussions to bring them back." 

Quiksilver has a three-year agreement with the Association of Surfing Professionals to hold Quiksilver Pro New York in the state for the next two years, but the agreement does not bind the company to hold it in Long Beach. That leaves the city in competition with other surf-friendly communities such as the Rockaways and Montauk. For its part, Quiksilver officials continue to praise the recent event and applaud the private-public partnership with the city. 

"The event itself exceeded everyone's expectations," said Jodi Wilmott, the event's onsite media director. "The hospitality of the local community, the businesses...this was one of the most positive experiences we've had." 

In an interview with a surfing trade publication, shop-eat-surf.com, Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight also praised Long Beach as a great location, but stopped short of committing to it for next year. "At this point we just don’t know," McKnight commented. "There are some insurance issues we have to get through, and the way the city cancelled some of the 'festival' events at the last minute – we have to see." 

Theofan acknowledged that problems existed between the event organizers and the city, particularly in relation to the cancelled festival. 

"There were issues," Theofan said. "We worked out those issues. Some of the planning went down the drain with the storm. There were meetings with the LIRR, Nassau County police, and Long Beach police...but at the end of the day we did get to where we both needed to be." Theofan added that had the festival taken place, Quiksilver would have been able to provide an economic impact statement to outline specific revenue figures for the community. Theofan remained confident, however, that the city benefitted financially. 

"There's no question the Quiksilver attendees spent a considerable amount of money," said Theofan. "The surfers, their entourages, spent good amounts of money. Over Labor Day weekend you could not get another person into the restaurants, they were so packed." 

Quiksilver would not disclose its financial numbers from the event, but McKnight told the press that its retail store did well, and was able to provide "locals only" discounts on merchandise, which was a hit with the community. 

"We showed them what we can do for their town, their community, their international recognition, their local charities," McKnight stated. "We need some weeks to assess the media impact, the insurance issues, and what the city is willing to do for us if indeed we are invited back. We need to measure the success and value of everything." 

Theofan said the city has learned from the issues that arose during the event, and would like the chance to play host again. 

"It was one of the most exciting moments in sports that I've been able to see in person, and we just hope we get to repeat that," he said. 

paul.d.spellman September 21, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Who had to file a FOIL? What information were they trying to get? Where is this information coming from?
CSC September 21, 2011 at 02:49 AM
Everyone interest in change & doing something about should go to the Democray office & sign to SPREAD the word. WE ARE READY FOR CHANGE!
Nola September 21, 2011 at 05:10 AM
Get over the parking already. You choose to live here & you know that every summer the influx of renters & visitors causes parking issues, move or get a house with a driveway. The Quiksilver Pro was amazing, the reps from both Quiksilver & Roxy went above & beyond for the community, especially the kids! Free surf camp,free crafts, loads of give aways & every Pro we encountered were so generous with time, photos & autographs! They delivered an event that should make the city & it's residents proud to have hosted. I only hope they return in the future and with all of the venues that were planned for this year in place. Our summer had a perfect ending & I personally welcome you back Quilsilver & you can even use my parking spot!!! :)
Nola September 21, 2011 at 05:12 AM
Agreed, Bobo!
True Colors Shining Through September 21, 2011 at 09:15 AM
Long Beach is controlled by powerful interests outside of City Hall. This is not revelatory information. It is nothing new. Presently, the acting police commissioner and city council president, father and son, are conduits for the decisions that are made by power brokers with deep political ties. Our smarmy city manager is told what to do to implement decisions that are made by people who would not typically associate with someone as pathetic as he is. The remaining majority city council members have no say whatsoever. They are merely props who do as they are told. And, the others are resigned to using the Freedom of Information Law to get information about what is going on. This is democracy in action? The trouble is that the average citizen is understandably too busy with their own private and family concerns to understand what is really going on behind the scenes in LB government. So, we get either low voter turnout or voters lining up to support a system that is incomprehensible to most. People end up voting for (or against) symbols and images of this or that. It is not that people are ignorant or incapable of understanding what is really going on; it is that they have busy, stressful lives and no time to decipher what is really going on with respect to the shadow government in LB. if there are any "good guys" out there, you need to go door to door and reach every citizen in Long Beach. Otherwise nothing will change come November.
HP September 21, 2011 at 11:21 AM
and the City Council (Theofan) told us go to National Boulevard, we will have an anouncement @ 10:30AM, one of these two City Council members waited there with us, was completely left in the dark, and then there was no announcement?? Jack, you are wrong about the two City Council members that were supportive. Actually, McLaughlin was supportive also, according to my Quiksilver contact.
HP September 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM
well Bobo, it sounds like you would be the guy to educate the rest of us. I am sure we can find enough people to go door to door to educate and get voters to make a change in LB....
ally K September 21, 2011 at 11:50 AM
Who are the powerful interests outside?
ally K September 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM
Jack your kinda right... It was McLauglin who wanted it. He went to CA and came back and convinced the other two to do it. It was then Sofield Jr. and Sofield Sr. in the last month who decided no we don't want this and used the hurricane as an excuse. Sofield Jr. at the city council meeting stated that he felt it was "woodstock" and didn't want it. The only reason it happen was a protest by Unsound. Power of the people. My issue is with the handling of the event as a whole. Why all the hiding?
Kelly james September 21, 2011 at 12:31 PM
James Kelly is a stupid head. Hee Hee. You are right why should people have to slow down on the ramp. No one could ever get hurt. Let's get rid of traffic lights and the police. Fun.
toolittle September 21, 2011 at 12:49 PM
If the Dems take control of the Council, who is likely to be appointed City Manager ?
LB voter September 21, 2011 at 12:51 PM
yes Bobo you are right on with your observation. When the current President got elected on his platform of open govt. and nonpartisan politics he then gave a THANK YOU job to Mr. Rooney for his support by the republican party.. Was this position needed? I don't think so. Even though our President ran as a Republican he is actually a Democrat that was shunned by the Democratic machine so he changed parties. I think Long Beach residents need to look outside the box for a new City council. We need to find people with progressive /open views . The problem with this is that by choosing people that have these views they get stoned by not only the Republicans on the right but also the Democrats on the left. In all my years in Long Beach I have seen only one person on the City Council who had these altruistic views and that was Dennis Kelly. After he sounded off against his own democratic party he was blackballed by his own party and not nominated for reelection. So this is how people who look out for our best interests get treated by their own parties.
IRISH 4 September 21, 2011 at 01:30 PM
ohhh puleezze not the parking again . 30 years I have been listening to it -stop already or move ..
IRISH 4 September 21, 2011 at 01:33 PM
It seems now that Theo is now taking credit when he is the one that screwed it up and caved under pressure by not taking charge and keeping the festival going he played it safe and it might cost him dearly.
IRISH 4 September 21, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Kat September 21, 2011 at 01:39 PM
They have to realize that that was a complete fluke to have those waves exactly timed for the contest... if they came a week or two later?? There is no guarantee about the waves, which should be the main concern...we were all wondering how embarrassing it would be if "normal" for Long Beach waves occurred. And don't think Long Beach could have handled any more crowds than what was comfortably there....Quiksilver is right in having second thoughts..
Kat September 21, 2011 at 01:49 PM
because the boardwalk is very bumpy and roller bladers would probably fall?
True Colors Shining Through September 21, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Powerful interests include people in formal party positions (in this case Republican, but the truth is that they are no worse than their counterparts in the Democratic party), people associated with the LB Chamber of Commerce, and others who are tied to both political machines. In all of these three categories the individuals are tied together and make the decisions that then get passed down to the marionettes. Sorry to be vague, but that is the best I can offer.
rich September 21, 2011 at 03:32 PM
that would be up to the council, but there is a very qualified individual who could manage the City he lives in better than anyone else. There are also some great possibillities for staff in city hall for needed positions. You should also see an upheaval of unqualified positions, patronage no show jobs, and a more direct management of monies for services and infrastructure. more for the people, less for the party.
ally K September 21, 2011 at 05:14 PM
not a fluke.. waves usually come first week in Sept. if you surfed you would know that
maureen September 21, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Seariously, you live in a great beach town and it was an amazing summer weekend...walk!
Kat September 21, 2011 at 05:45 PM
I do surf....
JohnA September 21, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Statements about "powerful interests", "marionettes" don't advance understanding. The silent majority, most of us, have no allegiance to a particular party/person, yet care that our City is run well/taxes spent wisely. I'm not happy with the lack of transparency about the QS Event, the permit, the cost, who pays/paid for overtime, etc., and from the Sept 6 CC meeting, none of this was made clear (except no contract). The CC should prepare an FAQ concerning the key questions people have been talking about regarding the QS Event both before/after the event. No need for wild rumors, which breed mistrust. Folks could pose questions about the FAQs at the next CC meeting. What concerns me most now is whether the CCl has the abilities to deal with another QS Event. Having attended a few CC meetings and from media reporting of others, it appears the majority (which I had voted for) has stuffed the minority time and again. I understand fully that the minority can be outvoted. I'm talking about process. Search FOIA/ FOIL requests in the LB Herald over the last few years and I think you will see a number of times where Theofan told the minority to seek information by such a request. Insane. I intend to speak to those running from both parties, to inquire about those things in the City that concern me. Then, I will determine how I will vote. If things break evenly in my mind, I will probably vote for the dem guys only to avoid entrenchment.
ally K September 21, 2011 at 07:08 PM
then you know hurricane swell is very common first weeks in Sept.
Jack September 21, 2011 at 07:13 PM
I don't think that's true. At the protest one of the council people was ranting about his FOIL for the QS info. I followed up with a friend at City Hall. When she got back to me she said didn't think there was a FOIL request. But, that you can FOIL who made FOILs. Sounds like a riddle. But, it will show who's telling the truth and who's not. I thought this guy was completely full of it. Anybody I know said that Mclocklin was the one who brought QS in and really worked at this event. he was up on the boardwalk during the protest and didn't rant at all. He just sat on the side and explained what he thought was going on. He also never tried to take any credit and didn't bash anyone.
True Colors Shining Through September 21, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Good conclusion John A!
sondra September 22, 2011 at 11:46 AM
I hope it happens again, it was a great experience!
Insider September 22, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Paul, Councilman Len Torres filed a FOIL request seeking the contract between the City of Long Beach and Quicksilver (we later found out at the 9/6/11 meeting of the City Council that only a permit was issued). The information is coming from Councilman Torres.
Penn street voter September 22, 2011 at 10:43 PM
get rid of the incumbents and theofan, especially sofield and johnny lungs Mclaughlin
Karen Fife Sahn November 03, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Penn Street. We obviously agree on more than we disagree. Why are we fighting? I was just throwing out ideas that may or may not be viable. Let's work on what we do agree with and stop the fighting. Now, throw the bums out and so long Charley.


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