Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Jul 31st
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

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Jailbreak with Reality

‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ revisits one of the most notorious studies of all time
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover