Three years ago, Hood to Coast Relations between the city and the organization became so frayed there was talk of sending the legendary 197-mile relay from Mount Hood to Seaside elsewhere. The Seaside City Council threatened to sever ties to the 200-mile relay event after complaints of bad behavior and traffic nightmares.
After workshops with local businesses, the public, city staff and organizers, the city and Hood to Coast collaborated to address local concerns.
In March 2018 the city and Hood to Coast inked a new contract, starting at $25,000 and increasing 5 percent a year through 2022, when Hood to Coast will pay the city more than $30,000.
After last weekend’s relay — highlighted by glorious weekend of weather and nearly 50,000 visitors — the City Council is singing a different tune.
“I didn’t hear anything coming across as a real negative,” Police Chief Dave Ham said at Monday night’s council meeting.
From 6 p.m. Friday night to 6 a.m. Monday, dispatch received about 108 calls for service, he said.
About half of those calls came in Saturday, with traffic complaints, a “couple of dog bites” in the downtown area, and a few disturbances over the weekend unrelated to the Hood to Coast event.
A parking issue was quickly resolved by the Hood to Coast organization, he said. A van with vulgarity painted on its sides was noted by race organizers and “they will not be invited back,” Ham said.
“It was very uneventful, believe or not,” Public Works Director Dale McDowell said. “It was very well organized. They did a great job.”
City Manager Mark Winstnley praised employees who kept trash emptied and responded to emergency calls. “Most cities don’t know how to handle an event that brings 50,000 people to town,” Winstanley said. “They handled it cheerfully and easily — and that’s not easy to do.”
Three years ago, councilor Randy Frank was a leading advocate for changes to the Hood to Coast relationship with the city.
This year, Frank gave credit to city workers and staff for their “amazing work” and described the progress event organizers have made over the past three years.
Tita Montero called Hood to Coast “a great party of the beach,” but she did ask that in coming years, organizers provide an 800 number for complaints. “We still don’t have that 800 number that has been agreed to year after year after year. The Hood to Coast organization could have a lot more credibility if they did that. They did say they would provide that.”
Mayor Jay Barber worked with Chief Operating Officer Dan Floyd, Chief Executive Officer Jude Hubber and founder Bob Foote of the race series for their cooperation and communication.
“It was a great event,” Barber said of this year’s race. “It makes our city proud. Forty countries were represented, and those people will come back. People really recognize this as a seminal event around the country.”