Discussion about Seaside’s participation as the finish line for Hood to Coast will be back on the table during a second public workshop, set for Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. Representatives of Hood to Coast had anticipated attending Monday’s council meeting, but agreed to return next week at the city workshop.
Seaside City Council held a preliminary work session Sept. 21 after 74 local businesses submitted a letter to council relaying their concerns with the annual event. Business owners said it disrupts what could be a significantly profitable late August weekend for small businesses, at little to no benefit to the city.
Event organizers said they contributed $25,000 to the Seaside Chamber of Commerce, $25,000 to Providence Seaside Hospital and $17,000 to the Sunset Empire Park & Recreation District this year, despite a disastrous finale.
Councilor Randy Frank, who moderated the work session last week, said he believes the timing of the event is bad for the city. He does not want to ban Hood to Coast from Seaside — just some changes made.
“I’m not trying to get rid of the event,” he said. “I just think that they need to consider changing when they have it. It’s just too big of a burden on our town and resources at that time of the year.”
The first work session ended with no resolution, prompting the need for a second open forum, preferably with representatives from the event.
No one with Hood to Coast spoke at the first workshop, but a representative attended and took notes.
In a subsequent interview with the Signal, Chief Operating Officer Dan Floyd said they plan to attend the council work session to respond to complaints.
Meanwhile, he said, he is considering other backup options for a finish line location.
“We love Seaside and we’d love to be back, but it would be smart of us to always have a backup plan for Seaside and every other location on our race course,” he said.
The problem with changing the venue, or even just the date, Floyd said, is that the race is about 200 miles long. Any change would impact not only Seaside but every jurisdiction that provides a start or exchange location on the route.
Because of time constraints, it is important to hold a second Seaside work session as soon as possible, Frank said. The city needs to make a decision so organizers can finalize plans for next year’s event.
Councilor Tita Montero said she perceives the second work session as an opportunity for collaboration between local residents and Hood to Coast organizers, including founder Bob Foote or his daughter, Felicia Hubber, who now serves as president.
Even if they don’t attend, councilor Dana Phillips said, the city can record various opinions and concerns expressed by citizens and pass on that information to Hood to Coast organizers.