By Greta Cobar
Following their promise to leave only footprints, Flightlinez removed the two towers supporting the zipline and are in the process of restoring the grass that was uprooted when the towers were installed. Unfortunately, the process of restoring the grass involved a stinky fertilizer that stunk up parts of Ocean Front Walk for days.
Business at the Sidewalk Cafe was negatively affected by the foul smell according to Mason, who works there.
In spite of the stench, Venetians have been delighted to see the ocean-view-obstructing zipline gone.
“It’s finally quiet again,” said Vivianne Robinson, whose Name on Rice stand on OFW is right in front of the location where the zipline operated.
The best news is that they did not make their anticipated profit, and therefore will probably not return. Their loss should stand as a testament and warning to other similar attractions that might consider coming to Venice.
“Our goal was to have 350 riders per day, but we did not touch that,” said Brina Marcus, marketing director for Flightlinez/Greenheart, in a conversation with the Beachhead.
The so-called attraction was sold to Venice residents under the pretext that it would provide money to the city of Los Angeles to clean and maintain the bathrooms in Venice. Three months later, the bathrooms are not any cleaner. This should stand as a testament to us Venetians to not be fooled again, and to remember that it is the city of L.A.’s job to clean our bathrooms. Such cleanup should never be contingent on an ocean-view-obstructing attraction operated by a company in Canada.
“Financially it doesn’t make sense for us to come back as temporary because setting up and tearing down is time-consuming and costly,” Marcus told the Beachhead. “To become a permanent project, however, would take anywhere between 18 months to 3 years, and it would involve permits and processes with the California Coastal Commission,” Marcus said.
“I can’t divulge anything we learned,” Marcus told the Beachhead. She was not able to tell us the average number of riders per day, nor the amount of money the city of L.A. received from Flightlinez. According to the contract, the city was supposed to receive 15 percent of gross profit. By the low number of riders that residents have witnessed throughout the summer, there might not have been a profit.
Meanwhile the Venice bathrooms continue to offer third-world conditions and to stand as a violation of basic human rights. Busy summer weekends witnessed hour-long lines, lack of toilet paper and no locks on doors. Of course we get annoyed when people pee in our neighborhoods, but where are they really supposed to go when nature calls and there is nowhere to go?
In Santa Monica they have new, state-of-the-art, well lit, clean bathrooms with plenty of paper and other basic necessities that we, over the border, see as fancy.
Cityhood is the difference between Santa Monica and Venice. They get to spend their money on what they choose, while all of the revenue generated in Venice goes downtown L.A. and we are left crying and begging like an ignored step-child.
The city of Los Angeles annexed Venice in 1925, following the discovery of offshore oil. The citizens of Venice at that time voted in favor of annexation, but the vote was rigged by just-arrived implants, who were moved to Venice right before the vote. In addition, Venice citizens were misinformed and threatened that without annexation, they would have no more drinking water.
Add this to the barricades the city of L.A. put against Venice cityhood: the entire city of L.A. would have to vote on and approve a current de-annexation. However, only the citizens of Venice voted to approve the annexation in 1925.
If Venetians were allowed to decide and vote upon, we would have our own magnificent city of Venice with the grandeur of yore. There would be no need for an ocean-view-obscuring zipline in the vain hopes of having clean bathrooms. One way to achieve that would be to change the requirement that the entire city of L.A. needs to approve de-annexation, and allow Venetians to once and for all decide for themselves.