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By Jim Miller, Dana Point

The creation of the IlluminOcean holiday Harbor light show, put on by the four major hotels of Dana Point using the funding from Tourism Business Improvement District, was a home run. I was very proud of our TBID, our hotels and our city for stepping up and creating an event that in years to come would have made Dana Point the most popular destination for hotel guests and visitors our city has ever been.

Last year IlluminOcean saw over 250,000 visitors attend the 40 nights of lights with many returning two or three times bringing aunts and uncles, grandparents in wheelchairs, little children, family and friends.  All year long I have heard from my customers about how great the event was and how they were planning on having family come from out of town to see it this year.

I was told and have read in the City Council meeting agenda and reports from Sept. 4, 2014, that “the event will attract visitors from across the region and become an annual holiday attraction for years to come.” I was told, as were many others that it was to be an annual event and the hotels were committed, knowing it would take a few years to put what they call “heads in beds.” In fact in the budget that was approved by City Council on Oct. 21, 2014 for the 2015 budget, the light show was referred to as, “the IlluminOcean light display event to bring overnight visitors in the non-peak season.” And the budget reflected this in a line item that reads: Event Production and support $800,000.

Why did the four hotels cancel IlluminOcean? It wasn’t for lack of funds. It wasn’t for lack of attendance. Even if it was canceled for the reasons they would have the public believe, the decision was still a mistake.

Fact: Do you know that the city of Laguna Beach has been looking at sponsoring its own holiday light show? That would be a slap in our face, after canceling our Christmas light show, to let Laguna steal the TBID’s concept. I would prefer visitors come to our city.

If IlluminOcean is really canceled, then the TBID has $800,000 budgeted for this fiscal year. What are they going to do with all that money during the remainder of fiscal year 2015?

I have been told the displays delivered did not meet the expectations of the TBID. I have been told that all the work/displays from last year are unusable. My question is this: Are those displays under warranty? This question needs to be answered. If they are under warranty they should be repaired. I believe the OC Harbor Department would be prepared to assist to make any version of IlluminOcean happen this coming holiday season. Let’s keep IlluminOcean alive as something special for our city.

We are going to have thousands of people coming to Dana Point this holiday season; let’s not disappoint them. The city must step up and not let IlluminOcean fade into darkness. Make it happen and make sure no other coastal city steals what is Dana Point’s own IlluminOcean.

 

 

 

 

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comments (3)

  • I said it once and I will say it all again, as I believe, I missed a lot of people, because I was out of town. When this was first published.

    “This is just about the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Who tries a promotion for only one year and gives up? My grandchildren came from out of state for this event and I have friends that came from out of town, they specifically planed on coming earlier for next years Illumniocean. These are people with expendable income. They planed on inviting other friends.

    Whomever, is the responsible person that decided to scratch this amazing event after one year, is an idiot! I am a long time resident and homeowner and I didn’t even hear about it until just a few months before.

    I am not saying any one or any business owes any one any thing, I’m just saying, you are a short sited idiot!

    If in my business life, I tried a promotional event once and it didn’t pan out exactly as I hoped but I knew it was a great idea, I would give it another chance or two. Seldom, have I heard of a innovative idea, taking off like a bat out of you know where, the first year.”

    REPLY

  • I said it once and I will say it all again, as I believe, I missed a lot of people, because I was out of town. When this was first published.

    “This is just about the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Who tries a promotion for only one year and gives up? My grandchildren came from out of state for this event and I have friends that came from out of town, they specifically planed on coming earlier for next years Illumniocean. These are people with expendable income. They planed on inviting other friends.

    Whomever, is the responsible person that decided to scratch this amazing event after one year, is an idiot! I am a long time resident and homeowner and I didn’t even hear about it until just a few months before.

    I am not saying any one or any business owes any one any thing, I’m just saying, you are a short sited idiot!

    If in my business life, I tried a promotional event once and it didn’t pan out exactly as I hoped but I knew it was a great idea, I would give it another chance or two. Seldom, have I heard of a innovative idea, taking off like a bat out of you know where, the first year.”

    There are new additions and information I added. Now after Jim Millers comments, I am even more upset.

    REPLY

  • I said it before, I will say it again, as I was out of town when this was published first.

    This is just about the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Who tries a promotion for only one year and gives up? My grandchildren came from out of state for this event and I have friends that came from out of town, they specifically planed on coming earlier for next years Illumniocean. These are people with expendable income. They planed on inviting other friends.

    Whomever, is the responsible person that decided to scratch this amazing event after one year, is an idiot! I am a long time resident and homeowner and I didn’t even hear about it until just a few months before.

    I am not saying any one or any business owes any one any thing, I’m just saying, you are a short sited idiot!

    If in my business life, I tried a promotional event once and it didn’t pan out exactly as I hoped but I knew it was a great idea, I would give it another chance or two. Seldom, have I heard of a innovative idea, taking off like a bat out of you know where, the first year.

    REPLY

comments (3)

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