Teen Choice snipers Aug 2019

Snipers protect the crowds at the Teen Choice Awards Aug. 11, 2019 (Photo by Lisa Jacobs)

Business owners vented frustration over the impacts of the Teen Choice Awards that took place in Hermosa Beach at a meeting with the city's Downtown Subcommittee on Aug. 21.

The Aug. 11 event that brought global superstars to Hermosa Beach heavily impacted downtown businesses according to those who spoke at the City Council Chambers.

“A lot of people just couldn't get down to the beach, a lot of families... because it was all shut down,” said one business owner. “It was blocked, especially a few days before the event.”

Parking was a main issue along with the Hermosa Beach Pier being blocked off, no notice of closures, and little communication from the producers, as well as the city, during the planning stages of the event.

“If you take parking away, you give us nothing to go on,” an owner said.

One business owner said he felt there was “no consideration for the businesses.”

“I think we kind of got star-struck because we seemed like we let our guard down,” the owner said.

Hermosa Beach Mayor Stacey Armato said city staff worked with producer Bob Bain, a Manhattan Beach resident, and his company for three to four months to a point where “we believed we could hold this on the beach."

“We were bracing for what we believed a very positive infiltration of teens and families and world-wide recognition of Hermosa Beach because of the event,” Armato said.

The city staff and Bain were working on the logistics of the event when the mass shootings in Dayton, El Paso and Gilroy took place.

“I'm speculating, staff has not briefed us on that, but there was a beef-up in security and police officer presence, snipers and FBI, et cetera, which probably impacted more of the downtown than we had originally anticipated,” Armato said.

Armato also added, “what we clearly took for granted was that we believed the producers were in communication with the business owners.”

Councilmember Justin Massey said the goal of approving the Teen Choice Awards was to generate exposure for the city, but “we don't always hit the mark.”

Armato said they will address the Teen Choice Awards issues and those of other large events such as this weekend's Hermosa Beach Summer Series, at two upcoming meetings.

On Thursday, Aug. 29, there will be a “Stakeholder Meeting,” beginning at 8 a.m. at the Clark Building, located at 861 Valley Dr.

That will be followed by a study session on special events on Wednesday, Sept. 4, beginning at 7 p.m., at the City Council Chambers, at 1315 Valley Drive.

There is also a community survey available to provide feedback at hermosabch.org.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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