LAGUNA BEACH, CA – SAVE the BOOM!!! (http://www.savethboom.com/) today announced that it will canvass the globe to find a buyer for the gay landmark Boom Boom Room and the Coast Inn in which it is located.
“Laguna Beach has been a gay destination for over 100 years. If the current owner could be persuaded to sell this historic building to a gay buyer, or one of our many friends who will keep it gay, then Laguna Beach will remain a safe and welcoming city to the gay community for the next 100 years.
“Laguna has a long history of strong ties to the gay community. The gay community has shaped Laguna Beach in many ways,” said former Mayor Robert F. Gentry, who was the first openly gay Mayor in the United States and currently serves as Co-Chair of SAVE the BOOM!!!. “Hundreds of gay men and lesbians have served the city in policy positions, volunteers, artists, police officers, residents, and city staff members. Laguna Beach would not be Laguna Beach if it were not, in part, for the gay community. Gay and lesbian visitors have helped to fill the coffers of the City and provide the resources for its safety, its infrastructure, and its identity around the world.”
Here is a list of some of the Laguna “Firsts” passed during the three terms of Bob Gentry from 1982 to 1994 while on the City Council:
* One of the first cities in the nation to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodation.
* One of the first cities in the nation to prohibit discrimination based on HIV status in employment, housing and public accommodation
* One of the first cities in the nation to establish a Domestic Partner registry for any 2 people who can meet basic qualifications. Available to anyone from anywhere, not just Laguna Beach and Orange County.* One of the first cities in the nation to extend employment benefits (health, etc.) to the Domestic Partners of City employees.* One of the first cities in the nation to establish an HIV Advisory Council.* Bob Gentry — a founding member of the International Network of Gay and Lesbian Public Officials* Bob Gentry — a founding member of the National League of Cities Gay and Lesbian Caucus* Bob Gentry — established Gay and Lesbian Student Center at the University of California, Irvine.
“If the First Baptist Church and Brown Chapel in Selma, Alabama, both landmarks in the Black Civil Rights Movement, were sold and being replaced by a boutique hotel and a shopping center, I am sure that Oprah Winfrey, Magic Johnson, or some other supporter(s) would come in and help to save these historic buildings. This is exactly what we are hoping to do to SAVE the BOOM – FOREVER!!!,” added Karger. “We don’t have a lot of landmarks in our civil rights movement. Our bars and clubs have long been our gathering places and have thus taken on far greater significance in our quest for equal rights. The Boom Boom Room remains the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the Western United States.
“We will contact wealthy individuals, developers big and small, gay businesses, and even celebrities to purchase this building,” said Karger. “If the Boom Boom Room were sold and then remodeled, it could return to its past grandeur. There are well over 1 million gay and lesbians living within a 60-mile radius of Laguna Beach in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. Once discovered and rediscovered, we are confident that this could be the most successful and profitable gay hotel and nightclub in the world.”
We recently turned in nearly 6,000 signatures to the Mayor and City Council of Laguna Beach to SAVE the BOOM!!! that was gathered between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend of last year. We had petition signers from 35 states and 15 foreign countries. These visitors spend a lot of money in the city and are part of the $65 billion domestic gay travel industry. Laguna should be getting its fair share of that market,” stated Karger.
Any interested buyers or referrals should contact the SAVE the BOOM!!! office:
949/494-4750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org