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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 19, 2002

City's events on beach have cost at least $300,000

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser City Hall Writer

The city has spent more than $300,000 to stage the popular Brunch on the Beach and Sunset on the Beach events over the past nine months, Harris administration officials told the City Council yesterday.

And the price tag is sure to rise, as officials did not have figures yesterday for such expenses as overtime pay for parks workers or the cost of those umbrella tables.

Budget Committee Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi and others praised the events, which feature food and entertainment in outdoor settings, but said they wanted to get a handle on the cost. It was the first time the city has provided comprehensive expense figures.

Brunch on the Beach was launched in July as a once-a-month event. Sunset on the Beach, which features outdoor movies, is held about three weekends a month and began in November.

Managing director Ben Lee said each brunch event costs $12,000 to $15,000. In addition, the city paid the Waikiki Improvement Association $50,000 to coordinate the brunches for a year. Lee did not provide overtime expenses or the cost of buying chairs, tables and the artificial turf, which were paid for out of the construction budget.

The Sunset on the Beach events cost $5,000 per night plus overtime, Lee said. He said he would have to get back to the committee with a total price tag.

Councilman Duke Bainum proposed shifting some of the costs to those who benefit, such as the brunch food vendors who earned $43,000 in gross receipts this month with none of it going to the city. Vendors pay a $500 fee each time to participate.

"Maybe they can share more of the responsibility," Bainum said.