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
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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

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