Boom Boom Up For Sale?

The Boom Boom Room
LAGUNA BEACH – The Boom Boom Room is up for sale, according to a group trying to save the landmark Laguna Beach gay bar from closure.
Only there’s one hitch to this real estate venture: The bar’s billionaire owner doesn’t know about it.
“We’re not in real communication with him,” said Fred Karger, founder of Save the Boom, a group formed last year to stop the bar’s new owner from shuttering it.
Karger said today that his organization is launching a search to find a gay buyer for the scenic beachfront property on Coast Highway. The bar is located inside the 24-room Coast Inn.
Save the Boom said it would reach out to anyone willing to keep the bar in operation – including gay millionaires and celebrities such as Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell.
“We will spend as long as it takes, talk to as many people and contact as many companies as we can to try and find a knight in shining armor to come in and save the day,” said Karger.
Karger said it’s been months since he’s talked to property owner, Steven Udvar-Hazy, whose $3.1 billion net worth ranks him among the Top 100 richest Americans, according to the 2006 list published by Forbes. The Beverly Hills businessman, who made his fortune leasing aircraft to airlines, could not be reached for comment this morning.
After buying the exclusive coastal property, Udvar-Hazy reportedly told longtime bar patron Karger that he had plans to convert the Coast Inn into a boutique hotel with half as many rooms. As part of the remodel, the Boom Boom Room – known as one of the most popular gay bars in Southern California – would be closed.
Karger immediately formed Save the Boom. He and other activists petitioned gay neighborhoods for months, eventually logging more than 6,000 signed signatures. The 1,200-page stack of support was presented to city officials last month.
Karger acknowledged that it is “a little unusual” for Save the Boom to seek a buyer for a piece of a property it doesn’t own.
But he said the organization’s goal isn’t about money – it’s about saving what they see as a tourist destination and a vital part of the city’s history. Former Laguna Beach Mayor and Boom Boom supporter, Bob Gentry, agrees.
“Laguna Beach would not be Laguna Beach if it were not, in part, for the gay community,” stated Gentry, California’s first openly gay mayor. “Gay and lesbian visitors have helped to fill the coffers of the city and provide the resources for its safety, its infrastructure, and its identity around the world.”
from The Orange County Register

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