NEWS UPDATE March 12, 2008
Fred Karger 949-494-4750
Hundreds of News Stories Worldwide on SAVE the BOOM!!!
New Bloomberg.com Story Leads the List
Laguna Beach, CA – what a week, and it’s barely half over. Bloomberg News, the world’s leading business news organization, came out with a really comprehensive story by Daniel Taub on Monday. I wanted to send it out then, but I have been scouring the internet the past two days and have literally found hundreds of major news outlets from Shanghai, China to Montgomery, Alabama that have covered our David vs. Goliath efforts as well. We are trying to persuade multi-billionaire property owner, Steven Udvar-Hazy to lower the asking price or even consider donating the landmark Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn to a trust for the benefit and use of the gay community.
Thanks to Bloomberg and so many other news organizations, plus all the blogs and individuals the story of our nearly 2 year old campaign to SAVE the BOOM!!! www.savetheboom.com is spreading worldwide, and support for our cause is growing. Our Post Card campaign to Mr. Udvar-Hazy has generated over 600 hundred of the yellow cards into his Century City office.
Scroll down the list below to view just some of the regional, national and international coverage that we have received in the past week.
And finally a great letter to the editors of the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot and the Laguna Beach Independent by Thomas Miller, a real estate agent, questioning Mr. Udvar-Hazy’s new plan which appears to make no economic sense.
Happy reading and thanks to one and all for all your help and support as we work to SAVE the BOOM – Forever!!!
Billionaire Udvar-Hazy Is Urged to Revive Gay Hollywood Getaway
By [bn:PRSN=1] Daniel Taub 
March 10 (Bloomberg) -- Supporters of a beachside nightclub that catered for half a century to Hollywood's gay stars are hitting its owner with a blizzard of yellow postcards urging that the shuttered bar be reopened.
The Boom Boom Room in Laguna Beach, California, closed in September when its lease expired. Supporters are trying to sway the development plans of owner Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, chief executive of International Lease Finance Corp., after he aborted a nine-month effort in February to sell the oceanfront Coast Inn that houses it for $14.9 million.
For decades, the Boom Boom Room served as a getaway where Hollywood gays could mingle discreetly, away from photographers and gossip columnists. Actors Rock Hudson and Robert Reed, star of the television show ``The Brady Bunch,'' were among stars who would drive an hour south from Los Angeles to relax at the Boom Boom Room in the '70s and '80s, said Laguna Beach resident Fred Karger.
``This really is a gay community going back to the 1930s and 1940s,'' said Karger, 58, who had frequented the club since 1973 and is leading the campaign to reopen it. ``That is what we're fighting to preserve.''
The inn no longer is for sale and the plan is to redevelop the building ``as an upscale small boutique hotel,'' Udvar-Hazy wrote in an e-mail. He gave no further details. Real estate agent Joe Smith of Monarch Beach Realty said last month that he had three potential buyers for the property.
The hotel opened in 1927. By the mid-1970s, the Boom Boom Room had become an exclusively gay bar, Karger said. Udvar-Hazy bought the Boom Boom Room and the Coast Inn in 2005 for about $13 million.
Save the Boom
``There was a little more freedom than there would have been in Los Angeles,'' said Robert Hofler, author of ``The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson,'' a 2005 book about gay actors of the 1950s and 1960s. (Carroll & Graf, 325 pages, $26.95).
Save the Boom, a group Karger formed before the bar closed, is urging Udvar-Hazy to preserve the Boom Boom Room ``or donate it to the city or to a trust that will continue to operate it as a gay establishment.''
Supporters, including ``Brady Bunch'' co-star Florence Henderson and former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman, have sent about 500 yellow postcards emblazoned ``SAVE the BOOM!!!'' to Udvar-Hazy's Los Angeles office, Karger said.
Laguna Beach has had a reputation as being gay-friendly since the late 1930s, Karger said. Former Laguna Beach Mayor Robert Gentry was one of the first openly gay U.S. mayors.
``There was a pianist, and we all sat around and sang,'' said Mark Miller, 81, who was Hudson's manager, recalling a visit to the Boom Boom Room in the 1970s with Hudson and singer- comedian Martha Raye. ``Lots of show business people came down there.''
Forbes Magazine ranked Udvar-Hazy 79th on last year's list of the U.S.'s richest people, with a net worth of $4.1 billion. A Hungarian immigrant, he sold his company, the world's largest purchaser of commercial aircraft, to American International Group Inc. for $1.3 billion in 1990.
The pink-and-white Coast Inn is perched along the Pacific Coast Highway, spilling down a cliff to the beach. Its 25 rooms are being rented on a month-to-month basis, Karger said. Brown paper covers the windows of the Boom Boom Room, which sits empty.
Morris Skenderian, an architect who has worked with Udvar- Hazy, said a redevelopment plan may include restoring the inn's façade and turning the Boom Boom Room into an art gallery, the Orange County Register reported. Skenderian didn't return telephone calls seeking comment.
A boutique hotel worries Karger, who said that might be a difficult fit alongside an occasionally rowdy bar, ``unless you had incredibly understanding guests, because you have a fair amount of noise coming from there.''
Boom Boom Room supporters have approached Laguna Beach officials to help keep a gay bar at the property. The city will consider any proposed building permit it receives, said Mayor Jane Egly.
``Everyone on the council would love to see a Boom return,'' Egly said. ``There's nothing we can do except encourage the developer to consider that.''
To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Taub in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: March 10, 2008 01:00 EDT
Battling for the Boom Boom Room
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-03-11 13:36
EDGE MAGAZINE BOSTON: http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3=&id=71471
GAY TRAVEL BLOG: http://travel.gaynewsblog.net/2008/03/billionaire-udvar-hazy-is-urged-to.html
DIGITAL NEWS DIRECT: http://digital50.com/news/items/PR/2008/03/05/DC15887/basketball-stars-urge-billionaire-steven-udvar-hazy-to-save-laguna-beach-gay-bar.html
YAHOO NEWS: http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20080305/pl_usnw/basketball_stars_urge_billionaire_steven_udvar_hazy_to_save_laguna_beach_gay_bar
GAY BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.gaybusinessworld.com/page.cfm?Sectionid=3&typeofsite=snippetdetail&ID=2441&snippetset=yes®ion=5
BOSTON HERALD: http://markets.kiplinger.com/kiplinger?GUID=4515718&Page=MediaViewer&Ticker=aig
EARTH TIMES: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/basketball-stars-urge-billionaire-steven-udvar-hazy-to-save-laguna-beach,304281.shtml
ABC TV BOSTON: http://finance.abc7chicago.com/abclocal?Account=wls&GUID=4515718&Page=MediaViewer&Ticker=aig
Greg Hernandez’s Out in Hollywood: http://www.insidesocal.com/outinhollywood/2008/03/john_amaechi_lends_his_name_to.html
KIPLINGER NEWS: http://markets.kiplinger.com/kiplinger?GUID=4515718&Page=MediaViewer&Ticker=aig
GAY TRAVEL NEWS: http://gaytravelnews.com/news08.cfm?id=85
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP WIRE: http://www.topix.com/wire/com/aig
WSFA TV (NBC) MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA: http://www.wsfa.com/Global/story.asp?S=7820241
MONTANA’S NEWS STATION (CBS): http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/global/story.asp?s=7820241&ClientType=Printable
Letter to the Editors
Laguna Beach Independent March 7, 2008
Is Udvar-Hazy crazy?
I read with great interest a story in the OC Register re: the Coast Inn in Laguna Beach. I was very curious because I am a licensed real estate agent pretty familiar with the commercial market here in Southern California.
Now, I am sure the Mr. Udvar-Hazy is a very smart man. You don’t become a multibillionaire unless you are a smart businessman, but I have to tell you that his plan for the Coast Inn and the Boom does not make any sense to me.
He is trying to sell the building for $14 million and let’s say will spend another $6 million to fix it up. And he is going to cut the number of rooms in half to make them bigger, so that will leave about 11 or 12 hotel rooms.
12 rooms at $20 million equals close to $1.7 million per hotel room. This would make Mr. Udvar-Hazy’s hotel about the most expensive price per room of any hotel in the world. Seems like he would have to charge $5,000 per night per room if he ever wants to get his money back. Makes the Montage at $800 a night seem like a bargain.
And then, I read that there won’t be a restaurant on the ground floor, but instead an art gallery or a salon. Well, the rent for this space will have to be $100,000 per month and that is a lot of haircuts. I have never seen a successful hotel big or small without a bar or restaurant as an anchor.
It appears to me that Mr. Udvar-Hazy is just proceeding with this poorly thought out new plan to spite the gay community and all our friends in Laguna Beach who used to so love the Boom Boom Room.
Why not make everybody happy and donate the building back. If I had $3.1 billion that is what I would do!! We can redo the bar in airplane theme in his honor. We could use the wings of a plane for the bars, a landing strip on the dance floor, space drinks -- it would be amazing!!
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