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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I'm confused about the Bed Race complaints

I really can't get over some comments here and on Facebook, regarding the Bed Race, all coming from people who did not attend, yet they are critiquing it.

I know most people did not like the idea of the $5 cover charge, I didn't either, even though I got in for free, I originally did not like the new location either, and preferred the Center Grove location on Grand Avenue, but in the end, the new location was so much better. It was easier for people to see, there was breathing room and it just made sense on a wider street. The track was so much better on South Bayshore Drive.

It's amazing that people have been complaining about the street being closed for a few hours, and then having to pay to get on those streets, yet they think nothing of voting in favor of the Grove Bay Waterfront project that will block and tie up our precious waterfront for 80 years and worse, hand over the waterfront to private developers.

Having been on most of the committees in town, including the Great Grove Bed Race committee for years, I can tell you that the expense and logistics are enormous, events take months to plan. Unfortunately, the times we live in make it almost impossible to put on events yet we are lucky that people continue to put on events. The city services are way out of hand and funding is scarce. I hate the idea of paid admission to closed street events, but I understand them.

In South Miami, they had an art show this past weekend, there were three police officers on duty. Here when we do a similar size event, there are 35 cops on duty. The clean up crew is another story, events pay thousands of dollars just for garbage clean up. The Arts Festival pays almost $60,000 to the City for garbage clean up. If they could do it with a private company, the cost would be so much less. The cost to shut each street down is enormous and even the BID is considering raising the price for the street banners by double. And all that's just a portion of the costs.

As for the $5 fee to enter the Bed Race, kids under 12 were free, so basically a young family with a father, mother and kids could enter for $10, where only the parents paid. If only one parent went, it was $5 and the families got a big value for that $5, unlike so many festivals lately that charge you at the door to come in and eat and shop. This was literally a six hour show. I don't think many teens went with their parents, as teens typically don't.

People complained about parking fees, but we always have these parking issues, that's nothing new around here. I paid $6 for the whole day in one lot, I was there seven hours; that's less than the parking meters at $1.50 per hour.

As for this comment on our Facebook page: "Grove business's who have and do support this event were basically left out in the cold and our community event that we all look forward to every year was reduced to a joke..."

I'm not sure how it was reduced to a joke as it was bigger and better this year and only will get bigger and better in the new location, and as for Grove businesses being left out, how could this event even happen without the Grove businesses participating? I counted dozens of Grove businesses there having a great time. All the previous years' racers were there and so many new ones.

After the event, there was nowhere for people to go except up the hill into the Center Grove, where they stayed around, had dinner, drinks and spent money in the village. There is always that trickle down effect from events in Peacock Park.

I feel that the event was a success.  If I felt differently, I would say so, as I have been honest about all the previous events this season.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, most of the negative comments on here seem to originate from the same person who critiques every single event that you write about. They probably don't even live in the area and are doing it just for the sake of trolling. Heck, someone could set up a booth in Center Grove giving away stacks of cash and I'm sure that person would find a way to complain. I would just ignore it.

November 05, 2013 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam Samora,

When a business gets involved in the bed races its because they want people to drink and eat while the races are going on.remember although a few stick around after an event the grand majority are ready to get the hell out.so by that time its way to late.i rememeber saying last year wow sandbar is making alot of money today.even baracuda was.this year the grove was dead while the races were going on.this event should be free and in the ceter of the grove.if not just move it elsewhere and not call it the great grove bed race.i personaly wish it would be on south beach right on ocean drive.that would be awesome.south beach knows how to do it right.i was at the grove and lincoln road this halloween and by far lincoln was better.the grove and all these new stupid rules is just riduculous.

November 05, 2013 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Kitty litter said...

And there you have it. 9:25 came and commented. Expect another 2-3 comments from them.

November 05, 2013 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Tom the location looked less crowded compared to the bustling and exciting race last year, even the announcers on stage said the street was too narrow and the race had become dangerous, the old location was much better, cozier and looked more crowded and crowds were allowed to gather on both sides of the track whereas this year viewing was done from one side only. I left early it did not have last years vibe and loud excitement. Return it to Grand Avenue and DO NOT CHARGE FOR ENTRANCE. I agree that private garbage service and private security can do a better job cheaper.

November 05, 2013 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to tell you, I have been going to the bed races for years before they were "Great and Grove" This was by far was the best. The kids activities were incredible and I was able to stay the entire day going back and forth to the race. Weather was perfect. Music was great. Vibe was great. I am a Grovite and have been for a long time now. The people that live here are what kills this place, The same people that oppose to change are the ones begging for it now. It ridiculous. Great Job to the producers, GREAT JOB to the TEAMs that worked so hard to make it a great day for all of us, Great job to our village which was seen ALL over the news for a week now. Show some support people and stop complaining. I had fun and will be back again this year.

November 05, 2013 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Kent Tate said...

Tom,
I think I would stop publishing the anonymous comments.
I think the Bed Race was perfect on Bayshore Dr. It used to be there years ago, and it has much more space than the Grand Ave spot.
Kent Tate

November 05, 2013 4:49 PM  
Blogger Kristi Stout said...

The biggest complaints I have were that the announcers were horrible and the lack of Flo Rider.

When it was announced that Flo Rider was the Grand Marshal, we all assumed it would be how it was when Vanilla Ice was Grand Marshal - he stayed. BUT it was not made clear Flo would only be there at the very beginning. Most people didn't even get to see him!

Otherwise I agree with other comments that the vibe is better in the center of the Grove so that all the businesses can participate!

November 05, 2013 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, you will always get some naysayers... saying nay. But they are obvious trolls. Sure once could say it seems more crowded with the race in center grove (it does, and not many people can actually see it), and it seems less crowded on bayshore (most of us were very happy to not be pushed or bumped into or spilled on, or packed in tight). This was the best event in the grove in recent months by a long shot. And anyone who thought it was expensive does not live in Miami (or really anywhere in 2013).

November 05, 2013 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love all events in Coconut Grove. Just thought this one had a cheesy carnival feel with the jumpy jumps, arepa and cotton candy stands.

As for the track being wider, not a chance. I couldn't believe those crashes didn't seriously injure the participants. Probably did. The $5 wasn't a big deal, but it took that cool Grove feel away from the day.

Just needs a little tweak next year and prob back where it was.

November 05, 2013 5:11 PM  
Anonymous gwen said...

This was one of the best bed races in decades!! It brought in a ton of folks from other areas and the entertainment level was well worth 5$ ! I can't wait until next year. If it's not your cup of tea, just leave the fun to us.

November 05, 2013 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Two positive comments! And here I thought Tom's blog was only read by Negative Neds. It was a great event. I loved it. Brought the whole family - two adults and three kids for $10 bucks (Miami Children's Museum, a not-for-profit, charges $12 PER KID over the age of 1) I hope it stays on Bayshore and continues to grow. There were many, many Grove places involved - Olfactory, Grove Ink, The Tavern, Barracuda, Scotty's, Sapient, Cocowalk, The Coconut Grove BID, Grove Spot, Atchana's, The Mutiny, Sandbar, Acropolis, Oasis, Duffy's, the Police dept, fire dept, ... I may be missing some here. As I understand, any bar or establishment or organization in the Grove (or anywhere, for that matter) could have participated, but apparently chose not to. And being a former restaurant owner, understand that restaurants don't set up food booths at events - it is not their business model and they can't staff two places at once. Food trucks/vendors are necessary. The tacos were awesome, and Frankie's pizza is one of the best food truck pizzas I've ever had. The beer was ice cold (and only $5 for 16 oz pour, less than most bars in the Grove), the races were awesome. Olfactory's evolution of dance was hilarious!! If you weren't there you missed out on some great, Grove fun. By the way, I was surprised to see Flo Rida on The Voice singing his new song live, the very next day. So apparently he had to split early.

November 05, 2013 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was upset by the radio station picking people over 21 (and seemly drunk) to participate in a car2 go event. In this "fire drill" event some one (extremely intoxicated) fell head first onto the concrete gushing blood everywhere. Finally driven off throwing up beer by paramedics, I noticed that nothing has been said whether "Toby" suffered any brain damage. If he didn't thank god. If so, shame on the radio station for picking drunks out of a crowd to participate in acts like this...

November 05, 2013 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's next? $5-$10 for the Mango Strut?

I've gone to every Bed Race for the last 5 or so years. I remember going as a kid growing up in South Miami, Coral Gables, AND Coconut Grove. My parents took my siblings and I to all the Grove Art Shows and Struts and Bed Races and Parades.

As an adult, I've enthusiastically emptied my wallet on those days at GreenStreet and Cuda and Sandbar and Taurus and Tavern. All with great local friends celebrating great local traditions.

What a shame.

I am not a troll. I am a disappointed Miami native who witnessed the demise of yet another great Coconut Grove event.

Please please please don't do this to the Strut.

November 05, 2013 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all the people who want free events, you are welcome to put one on. Please, feel free to open your wallet as much as you open your mouth to complain. Seriously, do you think these things happen spontaneously? or do you think someone works tirelessly, spends a ton of money, and hopes to get near breaking even for entertaining you? Do the math on the bed race, and seriously, tell me how you would put it on for free. I'm waiting.

FYI - I'm not involved in the bed race, but know what it takes to hold large scale events.

November 06, 2013 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Leigh Fortuna said...

Best Bed Races so far....Happy to pay the $5 so that they can continue.

November 06, 2013 1:14 PM  
Blogger C.L.J. said...

I was on one of the racing teams: the track was plenty wide enough. There was a general air of chaos getting to the pit area; the folks at registration were giving different information than the pit boss. And the numbers of the pits were somewhat randomized.

Flo Rida really dissed the races by not staying, and not being more of a presence.

I had no problem with the "carnival feel" - in fact, that's how it SHOULD be.

But I thought that there were too few family-friendly food stands, and ran into a language barrier at the taco stand. Disappointing that we didn't have a circle of proper food trucks onsite - isn't this kind of event the reason for these trucks?

Finally, I'm never happy to pay to walk on the streets and sidewalks I've paid for with my taxes. That ain't right.

Looking forward to next year, when our own team will know what it's doing. ;-)

November 07, 2013 9:24 AM  
Blogger Grovie Mom said...

Our family was happy to see the Bed Races held on S Bayshore! I don't mind paying $5- but it would be nice if Grove events were free to Grove residents. But really $5 is no big deal considering a coffee at Starbucks might cost you almost $5-

November 10, 2013 9:50 PM  

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