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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Events California Events Why don't we (We will) have an LA Tiki Bar Room Crawl(In September)?
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Why don't we (We will) have an LA Tiki Bar Room Crawl(In September)?
Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1432
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2011-03-06 02:43 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-03-02 22:37, JOHN-O wrote:
It might be nice to get input by people who ran the Nor Cal Tiki crawl on lessons learned.


Okay, I'm willing to throw my hat into the ring, and help organize this idea/event, and/or give advice and observations from throwing the Tiki Central Tiki Crawls in the S.F. Bay Area.

Right off the bat, the first thing to know is that running a Tiki Crawl with a chartered bus on multiple days with bands and other hired entertainment is a break even situation - at BEST. I'm only working a part time gig right now (it was two part time gigs, but now it's down to one), so I can't afford to bear the financial responsibility of covering a tiki crawl's finances, especially if it's going to be in the red (which it most likely will be). Some costs can be covered by some sponsorship, which I could set up and secure, but it is much easier to obtain free stuff such as rum and juice for the bus, than it is to secure money, or get people to perform for free. And letting people know that the event that you are throwing isn't a "for profit" thing, that it's break-even at best, doesn't really help the matter, no matter how honest and noble your intentions are.

Second, if you have a bus for a good three days, say a Thursday-Friday-Saturday, then you will not sell all the available seats on all three days, especially on Thursday. People will tell you how you need extra seats on those days, because they are coming, and bringing so-and-so, but when it comes to everyone actually buying all those available seats, it's a different story. Plus, people are either broke from this economy, or can't risk getting hammered enough on a Thursday that they either show up hung over for work on Friday, or have to call in sick. And people do end up getting hammered on a tiki crawl.

Third, people can only really handle a good four stops per day on a crawl. No matter what they say, our experience in throwing extended tiki crawls for the past four or five years is that by 11pm or 12 midnight, people are DONE, and want to go back to their hotel. There will be a small handful of people that will make one last stop together until close to last call, but there is usually only around 5 or 6 of them on a consistent basis, everyone else is fast asleep at the anchor hotel by that point.

Fourth, you can't please everyone. You will hear constant criticism of "Why did you pick THIS place???" and "I wish you would have gone to THAT place instead!" "Why can't we go to that bar that is all themed about toilets?" or "Such-and-Such is the latest mixology rage, we should go there, even though it has nothing to do with Tiki". So be prepared for more than your fair share on that. You basically have to figure out itineraries for certain areas, and make the best fits for those areas.

Fifth, it should really only be you and one or two other people at most that helps plan out the itinerary. Too many cooks spoil the soup. If you have too many people that try to plan things out, then there will be disagreements, and perhaps compromises that you or others will regret later. If you have more than a couple of people help you out in planning an event like this, you better be sure that all of you will be on EXACTLY the same page. Hanford and Martin and I all got along well and communicated our wants and desires when planning out our Tiki Crawls, but we still had our squabbles and disagreements, though they were all pretty much very minor.

Sixth, You can't hit all the tiki bars in one day, or one weekend, even though we all would like to try! And Southern California is so large in scope as compared to the Bay Area, that some places would be spread really far apart from each other. I think a big part of the success of a bus chartered bar crawl is not spending hours on a bus, but instead having relatively short bus jaunts that lead to enjoyable stops at each location.

Seventh, the people throwing the crawl will not have time to enjoy it themselves. Ever see Otto and Baby running around like crazy addressing all kinds of issues at Tiki Oasis? It's kind of like that. No, it's EXACTLY like that. Just a few of the many items that you will have to deal with are making sure you have secured all the items for the goodie bags, handing them out, making sure that your bus driver knows how to get to each location, making sure that everyone starts settling up their tabs in time to catch the bus and not slow down the schedule, then herding them all into the bus in a timely fashion, etc., which gets harder and harder at each stop as people get more and more sloshed. Throw in the sale of an official tiki crawl mug to that mix, and all of the other additional things that it will require, and you will really have your hands full. Telescopes, I don't want to be a kill joy, but if your intentions are to throw this tiki crawl so you can hang out and catch up with your buddies, including friends from out of town that you haven't seen in a while, then you're probably not going to experience that. But if you know in advance what you're in store for, and are cool with that, then that's a different story.

Eighth, and final point for tonight, you are going to need several friends to help volunteer to keep things flowing smoothly. Not just one or two friends, SEVERAL. They are going to help you stuff goodie bags, make punch for the bus, carry heavy cases of water, hand out goodie bags, make sure people get name tags and wrist bands, check people in, sell mugs, break up skirmishes and non wanted amorous advances, and stay sober enough for the whole event each day to manage a bunch of fun lovin' tiki folks. Basically they are going to be your designated "Cat Herders". And they are going to wonder if it was worth the free bus ticket you comp'ed them to put up with all of that. Needless to say, they are going to have to be a good friend, and someone you can trust, and who can trust you.

So, that's a lot of food for thought. But it can be done. Jeff pinged me when he was thinking about throwing a Southern California Tiki Crawl. I thought he had a good idea, and had a good list of places. But it takes a lot of effort to coordinate such an event, especially when you figure how much work you will have to do for a break-even situation at best. I kicked the idea around with Boris a couple of years back, and even pitched to him the idea of "The Amazing Tiki Race", where we hit EVERY tiki bar in California in a weekend - with a designated driver or two, of course. Needless to say, Boris brought me to my senses on that one.

If you want any more info, or have any further questions, just let me know, and I'd be more than happy to answer them. I guess I could come on board to help things out, if it was wanted or needed. Okay, hope this info helped in some way! Cheers,
-Mai Tai
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PolynesianPop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2011-03-06 11:02 am   Permalink

Mai Tai pointed out most of the same stuff we dealt with on the OC Bus Crawls too (that I was too lazy to type). Which I think pretty much answers the question posted in the title of this thread.

To add to his list, some of the things I remember most that he didn't post about was (a) getting the crowd on and off the bus within specific time constraints to keep it on schedule (and as the night wore on you couldn't always find everyone) and (b) hoping that no one would get sick and vomit on the bus or we would be charged a cleaning fee (or have to clean it up ourselves) because that extra fee would blow the budget. And remember, splitting the cost of the bus isn't the only thing -- you'll need to tip the bus driver as well as pay for bands, goodie bag items, food (if you are hosting anything at the starting/ending spot), etc. You get the point... (c) one last thing, not everyone will welcome you. Billy's at the Beach was not very happy that many of the crawlers tried to steal their Mai Tai glasses.

For Southern California, we tossed around a bus crawl for the LA area but realized (at the time) that the bars were just too far apart to make it work. That's why we only did them in OC - because the 3 bars, including the starting point (Bamboo Ben's shop, Royal Hawaiian, Billy's at the Beach and Sam's Seafood) were relatively close to one another. Today an LA Crawl might be feasible since Trader Vic's, Tiki Ti, Tonga Hut and Tiki-No are relatively close to each other (done in that order). But again, this is only one night. Start all over again for the west side and then again for OC. Remember all the points above -- you'll have to deal with them 3 days in a row.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not discouraging anyone from putting an event like this together. They're lots of fun (WAY more fun if all you have to do is buy a ticket and board the bus). As an organizer, they're a lot more work than you think.


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[ This Message was edited by: polynesianpop 2011-03-06 11:25 ]


 
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2682
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-03-06 1:25 pm   Permalink

Very insightful feedback. Thank you Mai Tai and Poly Pop !!

Your candid responses may have scared off others, but I'm willing to volunteer. (I have excellent organizational skills and know how deal with whiners. ) My K-Town crawl was pretty successful with 25 people.


I propose one of the following plans, A or B:


Plan A. I'll take chief ownership of a LA Tiki bus crawl with the following Saturday itinerary:

1. 3:00-3:30pm - Meet the bus at LA Live in Downtown LA where there is ample secure parking.

2. 4:00pm - Arrive at Tiki-Ti where we drink in two shifts (if necessary) to accommodate the bar's small size. 2nd shift can drink at next door El Chavo which has a cool bar. After 45 minutes, we switch.

3. 5:30pm - Leave for Tonga Hut

4. 6:00pm - Arrive at Tonga Hut for Hiphipahula's shift !!

5. 7:30pm - Leave for Tiki No

6. 7:45pm - Arrive at Tiki No

7. 9:00-9:30pm - Leave for Trader Vic's DTLA

8. 10:00 - Arrive at Trader Vic's where we cut the bus loose. Since that's where all the cars will be at, people can stay as long as they want and sober up. There are also many hotels in the area.

I'm willing to front half the bus cost but I need a financial partner. If we go with a small bus (up to 30 people) then worst case exposure for each of us is a $350 loss (that's if NO ONE shows up) but would only be about a $100 loss if we fill up two-thirds of the bus. A full bus would be break-even. This is based on a $25 "ticket".

I can live with this financial exposure if someone else is willing to split the risk. If you think about it, it's like throwing your own Tiki party where you'd shell out at least that much out-of-pocket money anyway.

Anyone interested in helping out with the finances? (Christiki?, BigTikiDude?, PolyPop?, Boris?, Trader Tom?) Do it for Tiki !! FYI, I'm not doing this on my own.

Telescopes, here's YOUR big opportunity. And dude, don't say a 90-minute drive from Palm Springs isn't worth a 1-day itinerary. It sometimes takes me 90 minutes just to get to Don's in Monday night rush hour traffic.


Plan B. Here's my alternate plan for a Nautical Bar bus crawl (which is something I'd rather do). This one I'd be willing to pre-fund on my own since we'd only need a bus for about half the time. It would involve the following:

1. Chez Jay
2. Galley
3. Copa D'Oro (as a New Cocktailian ringer)
4. Warehouse
5. Tony's on the Pier (although this might be a little far in relation to the other Westside places).


So what do people think ??

(Update - We could also switch out TV for Purple Orchid but I'm not sure of the long term parking situation there.)



[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2011-03-06 21:33 ]


 
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bigtikidude
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Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8826
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2011-03-06 4:00 pm   Permalink

John O or anyone planning on doing a So. Cal. crawl.
I cannot step up for any of the financial help.

But if any of the Venues are band capable,
I would be willing to get entertainment.

and my drinking tolerance is way down,
so I would be willing to be a bus volunteer person.

Jeff(btd)



 
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RevBambooBen
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Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7438
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2011-03-06 6:12 pm   Permalink

When is this going down?

(sorry, too lazy to read entire babble.)

There might be another stop in Hollywood, May-ish.....




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PolynesianPop
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2011-03-06 6:17 pm   Permalink

I'm sorry John-O but I am not in a situation where I can or will open myself financially for this nor am interested in putting the time and effort required to organize and run such an event. Perhaps Telescopes can volunteer some financial donation and/or assistance (considering that is where the suggestion and drive is mostly coming from)? Come on Telescopes, you have 3 people willing to help organize this now. Isn't this what you were waiting for? Why haven't we heard from you?


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freddiefreelance
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Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2990
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2011-03-07 06:44 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-03-06 13:25, JOHN-O wrote:
I'm willing to front half the bus cost but I need a financial partner.


Telescopes?
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-03-07 07:33 am   Permalink

Mai-Tai, and Poly-Pop, your experience raises interesting issues.
So, it seems like a bus for just one night?
John-O, your plans are well-considered, especially beginning & ending at LA Live for parking, hotels and enabling those to leave without waiting on the bus.

Does one have to have goody bags?
Could we "outsource" the mug sale somehow?
Regarding the band, Trader Vics LA Live, in the past, has had a duo playing Hawaiian music.
I wonder if they would provide if we asked nice and said we were rolling 45 deep?

John-O, most of your Nautical crawl, the Galley; Chez Jez & Copa D'Oro, we wouldn't even need a bus.
(Is Chez Jay too small?)



 
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2682
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-03-07 08:14 am   Permalink

I'm only willing to run a one night Sat itinerary. If someone else would like to own a Friday or Sunday agenda to bookend Sat then that's up to them. FYI, I'm making my crawl simple, there will be no goodie bags or booze served on the bus. BTD's offer of procuring entertainment is a compelling one, and might be a good argument to start and end the crawl at the more TC-friendly Purple Orchid. I'm not sure though what the parking time limitations are for the public lots in the area.

All of this discussion however is moot unless someone wants to help me finance this thing. It doesn't have to be just one other person sharing 50% of the risk, it could be broken down 50% + (25% x 2), or even more.


As for the Nautical crawl, yes Chez Jay, the Galley, and Copa D'Oro are all in walking distance. The bus would only be needed to get to the Warehouse (and Tony's if included) and back. Chez Jay doesn't serve food between 2pm and 5:30pm so we could take over the space just as a bar during that time. The Galley is a little tougher since it's primarily a restaurant with limited bar space. They told me the best time for a crawl would be on Sundays when they open at 1pm but Copa D'Oro isn't open on Sunday and I also don't want to poach off Kelly's main shift at Tonga Hut.

I'm thinking the timing of either of these events would be late summer.


 
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telescopes
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 06, 2007
Posts: 566
From: Palm Springs
Posted: 2011-03-07 4:59 pm   Permalink

John-O, I am back. I was gone planning my on Poly Pop party that we had last night. It was a blast and I am exhausted. Three days of planning.

I see some buzz is starting to happen. Great.

The 35 seat bus is excellent and I think I can get my wife to let me be willing to help you with that one. I'll email you and we can talk.

I think the idea of splitting the costs for that would certainly allow us to start something and create an event worth having.

Taking it small - your Plan A - is certainly and most likely the way to go.

I have really poor organizational skills in this area.

Hey, one night is better than nothing. And, as you pointed out, someone might be able plan something that can be attached.



[ This Message was edited by: telescopes 2011-03-07 17:02 ]


 
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telescopes
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 06, 2007
Posts: 566
From: Palm Springs
Posted: 2011-03-07 5:03 pm   Permalink

By the way, to everyone who has chipped in with suggestions - thank you - they really have pointed out the very real challenges to organizing something like this.
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4244
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-03-07 5:09 pm   Permalink

I would pre-pay for a ticket or two if the night fits my schedule.

DC


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-03-07 11:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

[i]On 2011-03-07 16:59, telescopes wrote:

I see some buzz is starting to happen. Great.

The 35 seat bus is excellent and I think I can get my wife to let me be willing to help you with that one.



Way to bring it, Telescopes!


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2682
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-03-08 12:17 am   Permalink

All right !!

It looks like we got some skin in the game so now we can get this show on the road.



 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-03-08 12:40 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-03-06 13:25, JOHN-O wrote:
Very insightful feedback. Thank you Mai Tai and Poly Pop !!

Your candid responses may have scared off others, but I'm willing to volunteer. (I have excellent organizational skills and know how deal with whiners. ) My K-Town crawl was pretty successful with 25 people.


I propose one of the following plans, A or B:


Plan A. I'll take chief ownership of a LA Tiki bus crawl with the following Saturday itinerary:

1. 3:00-3:30pm - Meet the bus at LA Live in Downtown LA where there is ample secure parking.

2. 4:00pm - Arrive at Tiki-Ti where we drink in two shifts (if necessary) to accommodate the bar's small size. 2nd shift can drink at next door El Chavo which has a cool bar. After 45 minutes, we switch.

3. 5:30pm - Leave for Tonga Hut

4. 6:00pm - Arrive at Tonga Hut for Hiphipahula's shift !!

5. 7:30pm - Leave for Tiki No

6. 7:45pm - Arrive at Tiki No

7. 9:00-9:30pm - Leave for Trader Vic's DTLA

8. 10:00 - Arrive at Trader Vic's where we cut the bus loose. Since that's where all the cars will be at, people can stay as long as they want and sober up. There are also many hotels in the area.

I'm willing to front half the bus cost but I need a financial partner. If we go with a small bus (up to 30 people) then worst case exposure for each of us is a $350 loss (that's if NO ONE shows up) but would only be about a $100 loss if we fill up two-thirds of the bus. A full bus would be break-even. This is based on a $25 "ticket".

I can live with this financial exposure if someone else is willing to split the risk. If you think about it, it's like throwing your own Tiki party where you'd shell out at least that much out-of-pocket money anyway.

Anyone interested in helping out with the finances? (Christiki?, BigTikiDude?, PolyPop?, Boris?, Trader Tom?) Do it for Tiki !! FYI, I'm not doing this on my own.

Telescopes, here's YOUR big opportunity. And dude, don't say a 90-minute drive from Palm Springs isn't worth a 1-day itinerary. It sometimes takes me 90 minutes just to get to Don's in Monday night rush hour traffic.


Plan B. Here's my alternate plan for a Nautical Bar bus crawl (which is something I'd rather do). This one I'd be willing to pre-fund on my own since we'd only need a bus for about half the time. It would involve the following:

1. Chez Jay
2. Galley
3. Copa D'Oro (as a New Cocktailian ringer)
4. Warehouse
5. Tony's on the Pier (although this might be a little far in relation to the other Westside places).


So what do people think ??

(Update - We could also switch out TV for Purple Orchid but I'm not sure of the long term parking situation there.)



[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2011-03-06 21:33 ]




If the Tiki Crawl began and ended at Trader Vic's, would they be interested in providing sponsorship?
I recall meeting Eve Bergeron at Trader Vic's BH when it first opened, and she might be a worthwile contact, as we discussed Tiki Central.

Parking at LA Live could be an issue as it maxs out at $25, if there is no exception made.
There is cheaper $10 or $15 parking around.

The "O" Hotel is $110 or $140.
http://www.ohotelgroup.com/rooms.php?mod=rooms

Regarding the Purple Orchid, there is free parking in the open lot on the corner, but
the LAX hotels would be a short taxi ride to Sepulveda, and could be less expensive.

Of course, if the culmination is the Purple Orchid,
maybe modify the itinerary to

Meet at Purple Orchid
Tony's on the Pier - Free Mai Tai glasses!
Trader Vic's Lounge (Dinner)
The Galley Santa Monica
Purple Orchid






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