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Sep 16th
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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!

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A Different Revolution

Aries Moon late Wednesday and Thursday. We think new thoughts and initiate new ideas. Sun in Virgo with Saturn in Scorpio help disciples to create orderly structures to anchor and bring forth new ideas. Stabilizing Taurus moon Friday and Saturday. We anchor new ideas into form and matter, like seeds planted in the soil. We tend them, waiting for green shoots to emerge. Like the gestating Virgo Sun Madonna, awaiting the birth of the holy child, the Soul, the new light at winter solstice. Mercury and Chiron converse about what hurts and what heals.Saturday is a complex day with Mercury (communication), Mars (action!) and Uranus (revolution). Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries. Oppositions (recognizing something new appearing over there somewhere) eventually synthesize. Mercury in Libra calls for Right Action and Right Relations, especially with money. Uranus in Aries—the revolution this time must be different.  Also on Saturday, Mars enters Sagittarius. Where are we going, what are our goals, where’s justice, where’s the mountain, do we have good shoes? Sunday Venus trines Pluto—in-depth assessment of money, values and resources. Gemini moon Monday; we talk a lot, tending to tasks in gardens and neighborhoods. Cancer Moon Tuesday and Wednesday; we nurture and nourish. The stars and planets remind us.Note: William Meader, esoteric author & international teacher, will be speaking on “The Soul of Humanity Evolving Through Crisis” at Meditation Mount, 7pm, Friday, Sept. 12.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

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