This afternoon Virginia Beach's Resort Advisory Commission (RAC) met for about 80 minutes.
The Minutes from the January meeting were approved without correction. That was the only vote of the afternoon.
Barry Frankenfield gave an update on the Laskin Gateway Project. A few Commissioners who had been at the stormy December 10 Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting agreed it would have helped had the information that evening been formatted as presented to the RAC this afternoon. Not only are property owners looking to redevelop their holdings within the area, but developers are trying to assemble land in the periphery. The CAC doesn't currently have another meeting scheduled, but probably will meet in late February.
JT's Grommet Park rolls along, and will probably open in May. The playground for the wheelchair-bound will be on the beach at Rudee Inlet. It will be double wide (so two wheelchairs can pass), have a soft play area in addition to the playground equipment already considered, as well as sand tables. There will be access from the Boardwalk at that elevation so wheelchairs don't have to go down to the beach level then back higher again. There will be wheelchair areas at the front that will allow families to gather. The design of the front area is such that it should deflect fairly heavy storms. In the wake of the November Nor'easter designers went out and took photos and measurements to calculate storm surge on that part of the beach.
Speaking of Rudee Inlet, money is currently in the City Budget to allow design of an extension of the planned Rudee Walk out onto the jetty.
There are three potential operators seeking to bid on The Hippo, the proposed huge waterslide on the beach. City Staff is currently finalizing the language for a possible franchise.
As expected, revenues collected for the Tourism Growth Investment Fund (TGIF) are down in the recession. There will probably be a TGIF Presentation to the RAC this Spring.
Running the Shamrock Marathon through The North End is now go, with issues stemming from the current drainage pipe construction in the neighborhood having been overcome. There were talks between the City, marathon organizers, and the neighborhood's civic league to resolve the matters.
The next RAC meeting will be a strategic planning meeting. It will be Thursday, March 4 at 3 P.M. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.