Thursday, August 30, 2007

PNC Bank Arts Center: A sign of the times?

The PNC Bank Arts Center has a drinking restriction in place: It was to be expected, people died recently at Ozzfest. Meanwhile, a lot of people were arrested by police for any number of reasons. So, the PNC Bank Arts Center issue has been settled. I did hear today that there is an additional measure being considered, which is placing DWI checkpoints at the exits to the arena following shows. I don't know how far along that one has gone.

While I think these measures are expected, I also think it is a sad development. It will not be as popular or as attractive a venue to promoters once the word gets around. Similarly, I do not think many fans, spending a lot of money in some cases for tickets, are going to want the extra hassle.

I recently attended a Bob Dylan concert at the Borgota Hotel and Casino, in Atlantic City. Dylan was Dylan: He was great. Security was obnoxious and everywhere. It was too much for a group of vintage hippies and younger people who were far from rowdy. I won't be going back to the Borgota for any show, at any time, for any reason...even if someone gave me a ticket. If I wanted to be treated like cattle, I'd go to the DMV. I'm not going to put out $150 a ticket for a show where the centerpiece of the event is a bunch of security guys. Bet I'm not the only one. I understand the need for safety on a certain level, I can agree with it. But I'm not spending my money to go to an event like that.

The recent developments at PNC Bank Arts Center led me to think about business in Northern Monmouth County. Well, the building trades do well. I see small business isn't what it could or should be. The only large companies the area attracts are retailers that only employ nominal amounts of people at low wages. Taxes are out of control. There is no plan for enouraging business, other than area proponents chanting some mantra about how great things are here without any foundation or initiative within the optimism. So, where is this going overall?

The arts center can't work as it had anymore. Fine, it never really brought that much to any of the Bayshore towns anyway. But it is a sign of the times. Business here is not getting larger; it's getting smaller.

The area needs to start becoming something chartable and identifiable economically. I think this area needs to concentrate on building commerce in a way that is not controversial, but economically sound and not via abdication of responsibility by lawmakers or passing the buck (of which there are fewer and fewer).

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