Thought that you would be interested in Suzie Harrison’s front page story from this week’s Laguna Beach Independent re the sale of the Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn. It also explains what is happening with Mr. Udvar-Hazy’s other properties on Coast Highway and Mountain. Very interesting story.
You will also find some more photos from our Men of Laguna Beach 2008 Calendar Launch Party http://www.menoflagunabeach.com/ that was held last Saturday night at Stylistic Intervention in downtown Laguna Beach. These wonderful pictures are courtesy of professional photographer, David Lundin http://www.sonappareil.com/ Thank you, David!
We will keep you posted on our upcoming Los Angeles Calendar Party – happening soon!
New Direction Ahead for Gay Landmark
By SUZIE HARRISON
A for sale sign propped inside the Boom Boom Room this week confirms that Beverly Hills billionaire Steven Udvar-Hazy is ready to unload the historic Coast Inn and 60-plus-year gay landmark that closed Sept. 3.
The sign raises hope for Boom fans who desire to see the gay beacon reopen, but Udvar-Hazy’s architect says seeing the disco ball glimmering again is highly improbable in the near future. The asking price is $14 million, according to one person.
“Quite honestly I don’t think it’s likely,” said local architect Morris Skenderian, who has been working with the property’s owner in recent months.
“I know Fred has a drive to preserve the Boom,” said Skenderian, referring to Fred Karger, the Laguna Beach resident who initiated a campaign nearly two years ago to preserve the gay landmark with his Save the Boom campaign. To bring the bar and adjacent Coast Inn to current building codes alone would be monumental without considering other issues, such as lack of parking. “It may not even be feasible,” he added.
Skenderian’s initial focus is reworking plans of a previous architect whose work on an adjacent beach-front home had been rejected by the Design Review Board as too ambitious. “Once we get approval we’ll switch gears to the hotel and liquor store,” said Skenderian. “The likelihood of the liquor store staying is good and the hotel staying is good. Whether the restaurant will be incorporated is unknown.”
The general direction for the hotel is toward refurbishing rather than starting over, said Skendarian, also the architect behind the recent renovation of the historic Pottery Shack into a vibrant commercial center.
Karger, who remains perpetually optimistic, said Hazy’s broker, Joseph Smith of Monarch Beach Realty, is in negotiations with potential gay buyers. “He’s been in touch with me to help find a buyer. I’ve sent several,” Karger said. Neither Hazy nor Smith returned calls seeking comment.
Hazy is seeking $14 million for the Coast Inn and the Boom, $6 million for the Liquor Mart, Gay Mart and parking lot, according to Karger, based on prices in July. Skenderian didn’t seem to indicate Udvar-Hazy is selling the house, valued at $8 million. Karger says definitively he isn’t.
Former co-owner of the property and current lessee Patrick O’Loughlin is seemingly in the dark about the sign. “I’m not sure what the sign means; it’s not for sale; it doesn’t say that it’s for inquiries contact…a slight nuance one from the other.”
To see the Boom booming again would be O’Loughlin’s wish. “I’m willing to sign a multi-year lease. I’m interested in overseeing the club again.” If the bar reopened, it would impact the hotel’s business. He’s working on transferring the liquor license to Udvar-Hazy.
In the meantime the hotel is self-sufficient and is used for monthly rentals. “It’s good seeing life at the hotel,” he said.
O’Loughlin, who originally was to close Labor Day weekend in 2006, received a one-year lease extension, which ended Sept. 3, and is now on a month-to-month lease.
He was told Skenderian was looking at the possibility of redevelopment plans. “There are not any great secrets. I think Udvar-Hazy likes to think of realistic possibilities.”
The only gay bar left in town is benefiting from the Boom’s closure. Bounce bartender Gabby Huerta said tips are up 30 percent and business has nearly quadrupled, but he still misses the Boom and Woody’s.
Ryan, Michael, Russ, Joe, Chris, Caleb and Caleb helping sales during the live auction. And encouraging everyone to help 3 great causes and buy calendars. It’s so easy to order on line.
Just go to: http://www.menoflagunabeach.com/