Thursday, August 30, 2007

Calendar Contest Judges Set to Pick Final 12

Calendar Contest Judges Set to Pick the Final 12

Photo Gallery to be Showcased on AOL’s Indefinitely

LAGUNA BEACH, CA -- The panel of judges in the first Men of Laguna Beach Calendar Contest will be announcing the 12 winners of its contest next week following the Labor Day Holiday. The current field of 20 finalists will be narrowed down to the Final 12.

The calendar will go on sale in September. Proceeds from the sales will go to benefit the ongoing efforts of SAVE the BOOM!!! as it continues its campaign to save the legendary gay bar and keep it as it has been for the last 60 years as well as several Laguna Beach charities.

Meanwhile, an online photo gallery of the calendar models has been running on AOL’s for the last two weeks. The gallery has logged over 750,000 page views, and visitors have cast 200,000 votes! “That exceeded all expectations by about 190,000 votes,” said calendar producer and SAVE the BOOM!!! founder, Fred Karger. “Everyone involved with this effort is shocked and awed by this overwhelming response. We just heard that there have been over 750,000 page views on the gallery site over the first 2 weeks that it has been up – just incredible numbers. And all these visitors are reading about our campaign to SAVE the BOOM – Forever!!!.”

In addition to AOL, the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot has been featuring the calendar contest in a full page color newspaper spread and on its web site.

Contestants may be viewed at: and

Now as the Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn in which it is housed are set to close their doors on September 4th, we will reach out to the building owner, Steven Udvar-Hazy to help us reopen the New Boom ASAP. This will be a brand new redone bar and hotel that we can all be proud of.

Be sure and come back to the blog for all the latest news and lots of photos from the Boom, Labor Day Parties, the Beach and around Laguna.

Behind the Scenes - Calendar Contest

Here are a few behind the scenes photos from SAVE the BOOM!!!'S famous Men of Laguna Beach Calendar Contest. You can see our incredible photographer, Cristopher Lapp ( go to work on finalists Gustavo, Todd, Michael, Ryan K., Sean, Russell M. and Darko caught here emailing some photos back to his friends in Croatia.

To look at the 2 Galleries posting photos of the 20 finalist go to:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Boom Pictures Make Recent Memories

Second to Last Weekend at the Old Boom Boom Room

If you were there, you know how much fun Friday and Saturday were this weekend. If you missed it, be sure and come to the Boom over Labor Day Weekend -- 2007. The current Boom's last night is Monday, September 3rd, so be sure and come by to say goodbye.

But we are confident that there will be a New Boom opening soon. A nice new, fresh, fixed up Boom to continue on for another 60 years. Stay tuned and watch for our updates.

See you at the Boom!!!

Share Your Memory of the Boom

Would you take a minute to help in a very important story (see below) that will be running in the Orange County Register next Sunday, September 2nd? The reporters have asked me to ask you to jot down a couple of sentences on what the Boom Boom Room has meant to you. Either a fond memory, or how it may have helped you in coming out or helped you in any way -- see below. And if you have any pictures, send them along, too.

You can send them directly (please keep them g-rated) to the reporters:

christa woodall --

heather ignatin --

thanks very much!

fred karger

Send us your memories of the bar, due to close Labor Day.
After decades of operation, the Boom Boom Room – a landmark gay bar in Laguna Beach – will close its doors Sept. 3. Please send us your favorite memories and pictures at and
Contact the writer: or

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Weekend Update

Just had to post a copy of today’s incredible editorial in the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. It is the second time that they have editorialized in support of saving the Boom Boom Room and the over 100 years of gay history that it represents. Below is the story and the link to their online edition so you can send a comment in to the paper if you would like.

EDITORIAL: Boom’s loss will be felt
August 24, 2007
Reader Feedback - Currently No comments posted. Comments
The end is very near for the fabled Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn, Laguna Beach’s — and some say the western U.S.’s — oldest establishment catering to gays.Steven Udvar-Hazy, the billionaire who bought the ocean view blocks containing the bar/motel as well as Coast Liquor and the Gay Mart is reportedly moving ahead with downscaled plans for the location.Unless someone pulls a miracle out of a hat it looks like the last call at the Boom will be Labor Day, Sept. 3.A four-day “Closing Party” is being advertised on the Boom’s website, and it seems that Laguna Beach will soon be the site of one of the unhappiest social gatherings of the season.Save the Boom activist Fred Karger is still hopeful that someone will step forward to reopen the Boom on a short-term basis, or until a buyer can be found for the properties — reportedly still on the market with an asking price of $20 million. But hopes have been raised and dashed before.The boom was lowered on the Boom Boom Room more than a year ago.Udvar-Hazy was set to close the landmark last Labor Day, but gave the operators another year to keep the business going. In the meantime, he apparently was discouraged by meetings with city officials about his plans, and put the property on the market.Hopes were raised that a new buyer would come forward with the desire to keep the Boom intact. Karger delivered some 5,000 signatures on petitions to the Laguna Beach City Council asking for city intervention in the future use of the properties, and even took out an ad in Daily Variety begging Brad Pitt and George Clooney to invest in the Boom’s future, which drew national attention to the campaign.For certain, over the past year, the issue of the Boom has gone beyond that of the demise of a popular local watering-hole and gathering place.Karger and gay activists argue that, without the Boom, Laguna will lose its niche as a safe haven for gay visitors and residents — and the gay community will lose an “anchor.”On the other hand, some note that gays no longer need “safe houses” because same-sex couples are no longer unwelcome in mainstream society. (Indeed, where Boom patrons used to require police escorts to their cars to avoid gay-bashers, this is no longer the case.)It is sad the Boom will apparently follow in the footsteps of Woody’s, the little bar/restaurant one block north that stood for many years as a beacon to the gay community.Perhaps the demise of the Boom — if it does close for good — can be seen as a sign of progress, rather than failure. But the loss will hurt.
And if you’re still sitting down from the other day, we just heard that our Calendar Contest gallery on aol has received over 450,000 views since it launched 9 days ago. Go to: and see for yourself and vote for your favorites. It takes less than a minute and is very fun.

That’s 450,000 who have looked at our Men of Laguna Calendar Contest – 450,000!!! And there are now over 112,000 votes cast in only 9 days. The contest will be over in a week, but aol is now planning on keeping the posting up indefinitely. So as we continue our fight to SAVE the BOOM!!! and our search for a buyer who will keep the Boom open and then remodel it, our story will be continually viewed by huge numbers of people from all over the world.

And the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot has its own great poll to help select the 12 finalists for the calendar contest as well. Easy to go to:

Here are some other links that have picked up the calendar contest story and have run with it since my last update:®ion=5

And be sure and come by the Boom by September 3rd and partake in the fun. If you have never been it is a must do, and if you have been before, well, it’s still a must do!

See you at the Boom and thanks for all your help and support to SAVE the BOOM – Forever!!!

Best regards,

Fred Karger

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Update on the Boom

Below is the story that ran in today’s Orange County Register by Christa Woodall and Heather Ignatin re the closing of the landmark Boom Boom Room in Laguna Beach.

While a change will occur after September 3rd, there is excellent news to be garnered from this story. For the first time in a year, the property owner Steven Udvar-Hazy has talked to a reporter and confirmed that the Boom and his other two properties across the street are officially for sale and / or lease. This is what we have been hoping to hear in our 1 ½ year campaign to SAVE the BOOM -- Forever!!!

So do not despair, we are working with some very interested investors who are extremely anxious to pick up the lease and reopen the Boom immediately. There is also tremendous interest in the purchase of the property.

And the story indicates that Mr. Udvar-Hazy is moving his boutique hotel, restaurant and shopping center concept to another city in the OC. So this is huge news, and know that we are working day and night to make a deal happen. A very special thank you to Mr. Udvar-Hazy for his openness and willingness to help us preserve our 60 year old landmark bar and hotel. He has been nothing but a gentleman and we are so fortunate to have a property owner who is willing to work with us to help SAVE the BOOM!!!

Men of Laguna Beach Calendar Contest

If you haven't voted on the final 12 for the Men of Laguna Beach Calendar Contest, there are two ways to do it. Go to aol’s
or to the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot’s site:

We are astounded with the number of people visiting these sites and hearing about our campaign to SAVE the BOOM!!! You sitting down? AOL’s site alone has had 72,000 votes for the 20 Finalists in just 7 days!!! We should break the 100,000 vote count by the end of aol’s posting next week.

So this fight to save our landmark Boom Boom Room is far from over. To coin an old but very applicable phrase “when one closes, another opens.” Look for those corner doors at the Boom to be reopening soon!

Keep the faith and thanks to one and all for all of your help and support. We will not rest until the Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn are Saved Forever!!!

Best regards,

Fred Karger

Landmark gay bar to close
Laguna Beach's Boom Boom Room will shut its doors Sept. 3 after owners fail to reach agreement with landlord.


LAGUNA BEACH – After Labor Day, the Boom Boom Room will be no more.
The iconic Laguna Beach gay bar will close its doors permanently Sept. 3 after co-owners Patrick O'Loughlin and James Marchese were unable to reach an agreement with landlord Steven Udvar Hazy.

Although Hazy said he offered a month-to-month lease through spring 2008 for the properties housing the bar and Coast Inn, O'Loughlin opted to close the historic establishment.
“At this location, there is no future to it,” O'Loughlin said. The property owner wanted the flexibility to immediately move ahead if he found a buyer or was able to get the necessary approvals to renovate, he added.

On Tuesday, long-time patrons and supporters were sad to hear the bad news.
“It's not as much the actual place, but a symbol of the gay community's role in the city of Laguna Beach – its development, shape and sense of character,” said Robert Gentry, 68, a former Laguna councilman and mayor who recently co-chaired grassroots committee Save the Boom.

“There is a certain sense of history there that is really important. I don't want the gay community to return to second-class citizens in that wonderful seaside community that it helped develop.”

Added Gentry's partner, Dennis Amick Gentry, 56: “It's a shame we couldn't find another owner to continue it the way it had been.”

No plans have been made to move the bar to another location. The bar was originally set to close last Labor Day, but received a reprieve in the form of a one-year extension on the lease last August.

Hazy purchased the property in April 2005, planning to make it a boutique hotel. He has moved his intended hotel elsewhere in the county but continues to consider renovating the Coast Inn, Boom Boom Room and a convenience store across Mountain Road.

Although the property is not actively on market, Hazy is entertaining offers from potential buyers, said realtor Joseph Smith. The asking price for the three properties is $20 million.
Save the Boom leader Fred Karger is hopeful that a gay-friendly buyer or a lessee could keep the bar open.

“I'm ecstatic that Mr. Hazy is willing to (extend the lease),” he said.

“I think it's sad it is closing,” said Councilman Kelly Boyd, who has lived in Laguna his entire life and owns the Marine Room Tavern, “But I'd try to keep it open as long as I could.”

Even if the property owner sold it, the deal would most likely go through a 60 to 90-day escrow, Boyd said. “Why not keep it open until it's time to leave?”

1980s: The landmark gay bar reaches its heyday and national prominence as one of the few places where homosexual men can let loose.

April 2005: The bar’s future is in limbo after the beachfront property – along with the Coast Inn’s 24-room hotel are sold. The owner, Steven Udvar-Hazy, agrees to keep it open one more year.

February 2007: Supporters gather 1,200 pages during the “Save the Boom” campaign that they present before the City Council.

June 2007: “Save the Boom” activist Fred Karger appeals to Brad Pitt and George Clooney to buy the bar.

September: The bar’s lease ends.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weekend Update

Well, there has been a lot of activity on the calendar contest over the past couple of days. And today the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot has started its own poll that features all 20 Men of Laguna Beach Calendar Finalists in a full page color spread. So check out today’s paper by going to:

And to vote for your 12 favorites: go to:
send an email to, or fax your favorites to (949) 494-8979 or mail to the Coastline Pilot, Attn: Calendar Contest, P.O. Box 248 , Laguna Beach , CA 92652 . Entries must be received by August 31.

Also, AOL’s has received over 13,500 votes so far (in just 2 days!) in its online poll that began yesterday – incredible! To vote for your favorites on that site go to:

And Queersighted’s coverage was picked up by gay blogs and newspapers all over the world! Here are just some of the links to that coverage:


There are also two front page stories on the change /closure that most likely will occur at the Boom Boom Room after Labor Day Weekend. One is in the Laguna Beach Independent and one in the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. But there are some new opportunities brewing that might keep those corner doors at PCH and Mountain open. We will keep you posted on any new developments.

Independent story by Andrea Adelson:

Coastline Pilot story by Josh Aden:

Thank you one and all for all of your encouragement and support as we work to SAVE the BOOM – Forever!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pick Your Favorite Save the Boom Model

Men of Laguna Beach Calendar Preview AOL's Showcases 20 Finalists!!!

LAGUNA BEACH, CA - SAVE the BOOM!!! today announced the 20 finalists for its 2008 Men of Laguna Beach Calendar have profiles and photos which can be viewed on, the GLBT blog/portal on AOL. The public is invited to see all 20 men in a photo gallery:

The Men of Laguna Beach Calendar is a contest which began with an open casting on Saturday, July 7, 2007 at the landmark Boom Boom Room when over 30 men gay and straight tried out to be a finalist for the Calendar. All contestants must live, work or play in Laguna Beach . A panel of 5 prominent Hollywood judges narrowed the field of shirtless men who auditioned on stage down to just 20. All finalists had photo sessions over the past 3 weeks with celebrity photographer Cristopher Lapp

Judges will narrow the group of 20 to determine which 12 men will appear in the calendar. Judges will also choose their top three calendar models, each of whom will be awarded monetary prizes, with $1000.00 going to the first place winner. The public is also invited to vote for their favorite guy in an online poll:

(Scroll down and on the lower left of the page you will see the online poll.) QueerSighted Managing Editor, Kenneth Hill notes, "QueerSighted is thrilled to share in the excitement of these 20 handsome men who've literally given the shirts off their backs to raise awareness about saving the Boom Boom Room, a beloved gay landmark." The calendars will go on sale online, in Laguna Beach and around the world after Labor Day. All proceeds will benefit the SAVE the BOOM!!! campaign and several local charities. The Men of Laguna Beach 2008 calendar promises to be one of the hottest male calendars ever produced and showcases one of Laguna's great natural resources -- its great looking men. SAVE the BOOM!!! is a grassroots volunteer effort to save the landmark Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn in which it is located. The Boom is the oldest gay bar in the Western United States . The building is currently for sale by owner and SAVE the BOOM!!! is searching for a buyer who will remodel and keep the 60 year old bar operating for the gay community and our friends for another 60 years.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Boom Boom Room's Closure


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

We are truly at the eleventh hour of our 1½ year crusade to SAVE the historic Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn in Laguna Beach.

The property’s owner, Steven Udvar-Hazy and the operators of the Boom Boom Room and the Coast Inn were apparently unable to reach an agreement to keep the bar, restaurant and hotel open past this coming Labor Day Weekend. So it appears that a change will occur in less than 3 weeks time.

We have heard that there are several interested parties in negotiations with the property owner to either buy or lease the 3 parcels that he owns on Coast Highway and Mountain in Laguna Beach but the clock is ticking.

Because of the uncertainty of the immediate future of the Boom, SAVE the BOOM!!! today is writing this open letter to all gay and lesbian leaders in our community who have the ability to help save this gay landmark. We hope that one or more of these leaders will come forward to help preserve over 100 years of gay history in Laguna Beach.

Regardless of the outcome, SAVE the BOOM!!! will continue in its campaign to find a gay buyer or someone who will pledge to keep the Boom as it has been for the last 60 years. We will not rest until our goal is realized.

SAVE the BOOM!!! began its campaign last year and gathered 6,000 signatures last summer in only 3 months. All the signatures were collected from residents and visitors alike in Laguna Beach to preserve this gay icon. We have sought buyers throughout the United Sates and the world and are hopeful that soon our dream will be realized. The property was recently put up for sale or lease, and we are hopeful that someone will come in and turn this property into the finest gay destination resort in the world.

We will continue our quest and are extremely optimistic that we will be successful.

We are currently sponsoring the Men of Laguna Beach Calendar Contest which will be completed within a few weeks, and our 2008 calendar will printed soon. Sales of this first of its kind calendar will go to help our fight, as well as support local Laguna Beach charities. We just reordered our bright yellow SAVE the BOOM!!! T-shirts for our volunteers, and are gearing up with a plan and budget to continue our efforts for as long as it takes to save our landmark bar.

The Gay Community will not be evicted form Laguna Beach. We will use our collective strength and seek out our friends to help SAVE the BOOM – Forever!!!

Thank you very much.

Fred Karger
SAVE the BOOM!!!
Robert F. Gentry
SAVE the BOOM!!!

The Honorable Bill Rosendahl
SAVE the BOOM!!!