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 www.queersighted.com/laguna
or to the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot’s site: http://www.coastlinepilot.com/.
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!!!
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.
BY CHRISTA WOODALL AND HEATHER IGNATIN
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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.