Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CityWalk Article in the Orlando Sentinel

For those of you who don't read the Orlando Sentinel, there was an excellent article in the paper yesterday (Monday) describing Universal's quest to get the business of those of us who formerly patronized Pleasure Island. Read the entire article at: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/trave...,4387699.story

I think we all agree that their free pass offer was an excellent way to get our business. That was a brilliant move and it is appreciated. But I make these editorial comments:

1. They need to follow-through on a CityWalk Annual Pass to replace our free passes once they expire at the end of March. The cost should be comparable to what PI charged for their AP. Hard to believe they've never offered one in the past. But no one I know is going to pay $11.95+tax every weekend for CityWalk. Sure PI charged $24 but that was tourist money; all of us locals had AP's for $55/year and we were the bread & butter that supported the place during the non-tourist/non-convention seasons.

2. I've met many former PI patrons out at the CityWalk clubs over the past 3 months but few are consistently there and it's definitely begun to wane. I don't know where everyone has drifted to but CityWalk is not holding on to what they gained. I think this is because:

3. CityWalk has made close to no effort to capture our hearts by even remotely replicating any of the things that made Pleasure Island unique. Hip hop clubs are a dime a dozen in this town and that is basically what the Groove has become over the past few years. Red Coconut Club is interesting but most of the music played is exactly the same as what you hear in the Groove. So in that regard both the Groove and RCC are good replacements for PI's Motion. But the 3 most popular venues at PI....the ones whose closure has stirred the most emotions....are Adventurer's Club, 8TRAX and Mannequins. I don't think AC can be legally replicated but the music of 8TRAX and Mannequins can be yet there has been no effort to do so. Those PI patrons that I know, the many on this blog's e-mail list, were incredibly excited when we learned DJ Doc and DJ Peapod were going to be spinning their music at CW yet it didn't happen. So many have moved on. Yet this business is there for the taking, Universal!

4. CityWalk didn't EARN our business, Disney basically GAVE it away to all takers. Universal was clever enough to divert a lot of it to them but are they clever enough to keep it? I'm having my doubts. BK's Burger Bar may spare me the 2am run to McDonald's on I-Drive but unless the music improves, it may not matter. I know a lot of people who feel the same way.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Club Report: Tiesto at Hard Rock Live

Don't people know that there's a Recession going on? The THOUSANDS that were out at the Universal Orlando Resort last night sure don't know it. The thousand or so clubbers who paid $40-$50/per person to see Tiesto last night sure don't know it either.

The entry line stretched down the stairs and around the sidewalk in front of the Hard Rock Cafe.
The doors opened at 8pm and it took until nearly 10pm before everyone was in. Fortunately the opening DJ (Andy Hughes) did a great job warming things up and then local DJ Jimmy Joslin came on to really get things going. At 11pm he snuck out and the podium light came back on and there was DJ Tiesto, the #1 techno DJ in the world! And he put on yet another 3 hour extravaganza of Trance and Dance including a few songs previously heard at Mannequins.

Besides the group I was with, I only saw 2 other Mannequins patrons out there. But the 1000 or so people in the crowd made it clear that there is pent-up demand for this kind of music and obviously local clubs are overlooking this money-making opportunity. And where are all these people hanging out now on their Saturday nights? It's not at CityWalk. Universal surely get's a piece of the action on ticket sales out at Hard Rock Live so they should take notice that there's a LOT of people wanting to hear Techno music (Dance/House/Trance) in this town!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Club Report: Floyd's at the Hard Rock Casino

Things are desperate enough in Orlando that Mannequins regulars Mark & Beth checked out Floyd's over in Tampa. This club is located in the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, just off I-4 at Orient Road. Admission for guys is a steep $15 after 11pm on Saturdays however women are free. He reports that men are free before 11pm but the bathrooms are outside the club which means you can't get back in without paying. So guys need to either pay or hold it!

The DJ was playing mashups until around 1am at which time it switched to House and Dance.
Special guest DJ Baby Anne came on around 3am. An Orlando native, we know her from her Tuesday night sessions at Red Coconut Club. Mark reports that the dance floor is large as was the crowd. It's upscale with patrons well-dressed although nice jeans are allowed. I will check this place out next Saturday night and report back.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

News You Can Use

Out at DTD Westside construction is underway on the new docks that will be the home of the new tethered balloon ride.

Rumor has it that a lot of the lighting equipment that was in Mannequins is now being used at the new American Idol show in Disney Hollywood Studios. 8TRAX is being stripped right now.

Coming in 2009 to the upper level of Universal's CityWalk: BK Burger Express, Moe's & Panda Express.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CityWalk Annual Pass Reminder

If you have not already converted your Pleasure Island Annual Pass into a CityWalk Annual Pass, this is a reminder that the deadline to do so is 12/31/08. It's not really an Annual Pass; when it first came out just before PI closed, the 3/31/09 expiration gave you over 6 months of free admissions. Now we're down to just over 3 months of free admissions. But since CityWalk's nightly all-club admission price is $11.99 + tax per night, this is still a great FREE bargain.

Originally your PI AP had to be unexpired to take advantage of this deal but I'm aware of a couple people now who took their expired PI AP and was issued the CW AP. So don't miss out! Go to ticket office on the left side of CityWalk as you come in, just beyond the Endangered Species store.

So far CityWalk is not selling an Annual Pass. They said they plan to do so. Perhaps as we get closer to the expiration of our free passes, they'll start offering one for sale for the next 12 month period.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Up?

What up? Not a whole heck of a lot. I've run into a few of you out at CityWalk but it seems that most Mannequins-fans have disappeared. Where are you all hanging out now? Please e-mail me at kingbobofthenorth@gmail and let me know what you're doing!