Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Dec 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Lesson in ‘Durbinomics’

durbin_dayDurbin Day’s economic impact
Durbin Day wasn’t just about celebrating 22-year-old American Idol contestant James Durbin’s return to Santa Cruz—from the city’s perspective, it also meant dollar signs, increased hotel occupancy (which has been low in the last several years), and increased “buzz” about Santa Cruz.

Kris Reyes, community relations director for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where the May 14 event was held, tells GT that Durbin Day boosted the Boardwalk’s sales, but adds that the event’s impact will be more far-reaching than that.

 

"James Durbin’s return to Santa Cruz and performance at the Boardwalk turned what would have been an OK Saturday in May into a 'good day' in terms of sales,” Reyes says. “But the true economic impact will be felt in the long-term, as this was another amazing opportunity to showcase Santa Cruz and the Boardwalk as one of the premiere destinations to visit in California."

The event, which gathered an estimated 30,000 people, also helped spike hotel occupancy levels during what is known to be a lull between spring breaks and Memorial Day weekend. The Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Council (CVC) reports that hotels occupancy was at, or near to, capacity the weekend of Durbin Day. They also report that it generated an estimated $1 million in visitor spending.

There was initial speculation that the planned homecoming, which is a tradition for American Idol contestants who reach the top three, would be canceled following Durbin's May 12 elimination from the competition; however Durbin was able to return to Santa Cruz—a first in the show's history. The Boardwalk reports that show producers have asked for footage of the Durbin Day celebration and may feature it in the May 18 episode of Idol, which will show the homecomings of this year's top three singers still in the competition.

The event, a collaborative effort between the City of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz County CVC, the Downtown Santa Cruz Association and Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, featured a concert with The White Album Ensemble beginning at 4 p.m., joined by Durbin at 5 p.m. Santa Cruz City Mayor Ryan Coonerty was present to honor Durbin for his achievements on American Idol.

Durbin, who was diagnosed as a child with Tourette's and Asperger's syndrome, has been a source of inspiration for many across the country. In addition to the concert, Durbin took time to visit Downtown Santa Cruz, speaking at the Louden Nelson Center and visiting the Teen Center to address groups of Santa Cruz youth, sign autographs and answer questions.

See Durbin Day photos and videos >

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Adele E. Talmadge, May 22, 2011
I think that Santa Cruz had a "blink" moment where it knew that lobbying to American Idol for James' homecoming was the right thing to do. To see the City of Santa Cruz, Convention and Visitors Council, Downtown Association, the Boardwalk and the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce come together and work as one sends the message that when we work together for the economic good of the community we can accomplish great things. Not having time to debate and over think all of the ramifications was a true blessing - we just got it done. Santa Cruz County has much to offer from the mountains to the sea, clean air, perfect climate and unparalleled beauty. I'm so proud of James and my hometown - we rock!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her