City to consider hotel management deal for Queen Mary; possible reopening this fall • Long Beach Post News

The aging ship has been closed since 2020 as the city works on critical repairs. At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the board will consider a five-year hotel management agreement with Evolution Hospitality, a San Clemente-based third-party contractor that has managed the day-to-day operations of the ship for the past decade.

Under the agreement, Evolution will plan for the reopening and operation of the ship’s hotel, attractions, parking, retail and catering services.

The $2.87 million for the reopening of the ship would come from Tidelands Operating Fund, which are municipal funds that can only be used in coastal areas. The package includes $1.6 million in pre-opening costs for personnel and other approved costs and $1 million for improvement projects.

The city ​​in a report said the ship needed approximately $1 million in upgrades to reopen, including replacing the ship’s boilers, HVAC/refrigeration and elevator repairs, repairing/installing heat exchangers, cleaning the kitchen, repairing guest rooms and more.

Meanwhile, the city continues to work on $5 million for larger critical safety repairs to the ship. Earlier this year, the city removed 20 of the ship’s 22 badly corroded lifeboats, which were deemed unsafe. The next round of critical repairs will include improvements to the ship’s bilge pump systems and bulkheads, which support structural stability and help shed water in the event of flooding.

While the city plans repairs to reopen the ship safely, plans for the Queen Mary’s long-term viability remain unclear.

A 2021 report by marine engineering firm Elliott Bay Design Group said the ship would need $23 million in urgent safety repairs to remain “viable” over the next two years, while an investigation Navy in 2016 revealed that the ship would need around $289 million. in repairs.

In one possible solution, the city is considering transferring operations of the ship to the Harbor Commission, which oversees the Port of Long Beach. The commission would then use its own budget for critical repairs and to develop the surrounding land, known as Pier H.

The plan is still being negotiated, but the port, in an analysis in May, said taking over the vessel could cost the port $354 million and eat away at critical resources. capital projects.

Long Beach, owner of the Queen Mary since its arrival in 1967, resumed operations last year after former operator Eagle Hospitality Trust filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In June 2021, the city approved a six-month, $2 million contract with Evolution Hospitality to cover monthly utility costs, security, landscaping and other costs to keep the ship running.

Under the proposed new contract, Evolution would be paid $25,000 per month starting in July to prepare the ship for a scheduled reopening date of October 1. The company would also receive 2.5% of the ship’s total operating revenue in the first year, then 2% in subsequent years.

The city said Evolution anticipates that the ship’s operations can offset expenses for tax year 2023, with a expected net income of $1 million for Long Beach.

Long Beach to ‘dispose’ of historic Queen Mary lifeboats after receiving no qualified bidders

Nicholas E. Crittendon