U.S. Open draws complaints from H.B. residents
While the U.S. Open of Surfing brought thousands to the beach to celebrate the sport that gave Huntington Beach its nickname, some residents consider the nine-day event a nuisance.
An estimated 700,000 people hit the beaches at this year’s event to watch some of the best surfers in the world, visit vendor booths and attend concerts and BMX competitions, among other activities.
More than a dozen residents filed complaints with the city citing various annoyances during the nine-day event that kicked off July 30, including trash and feces on their front lawns, residents’ cars being blocked in their driveways by people illegally parking and people smoking marijuana on the streets, according to a complaint.
Other grievances: broken bottles and trash littered in front yards, excessive noise and people sleeping in their cars.
City spokeswoman Laurie Frymire said the city apologized to residents who complained for any inconveniences and will work on solutions to problems for next year.
“We will try very hard when working with the US Open organizers next year to avoid the same issues,” she wrote in an email to the Register. “We really don’t know until they bring us the details of the event next year, what changes may need to be made.”
The event, one of the largest and most prestigious surfing events in the world, features some of the best in the sport, including this year’s winner 10-time World Champion, Kelly Slater.
The USOS has been held in Surf City for 50 years.
The event is a revenue powerhouse for local businesses and the city bringing in much-needed tax dollars to Huntington Beach and surrounding cities.
A report from the Huntington Beach Marketing and Visitors Bureau showed in 2010 the event generated $21.5 million in spending for Orange County; 16.5 million of that was spent directly in Huntington Beach.
About $612,000 was generated in local taxes and of that about $475,000 came from lodging and retail sales. By JAIMEE LYNN FLETCHER – OC Register