Richard Knoll said in an interview Wednesday that he's preparing a staff report to the council for its March 20 meeting in which he'll urge them to move forward with the event, which for the past two years has been hosted at Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa.
The city hosted a public meeting March 6 to allow community members the chance to give their opinions on the plan.
At the council's request, a second meeting to gauge community opinion about the event will be held at City Hall at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20.
From the first community meeting, Knoll said the city received 23 written responses from community members that were opposed to hosting the event, and 19 that expressed support.
He said that he hoped the council wouldn't rely solely on those responses to make their decision, because he believes the event is consistent with past lake-centered events hosted in Lakeport, including boat racing and sailing events.
Knoll said city staff has come up with conditions for the event. “More than anything else, it's a rough operational plan.”
That plan calls for fencing, limited gate locations, hiring extra security personnel to augment the police staff, and requiring that the event be nonalcoholic. That last part, said Knoll, would be enforced through searches of bags and coolers, with alcohol being confiscated if necessary.
A beer garden will be part of staff's suggestion, he said, which would be tightly controlled, with no alcohol leaving that area.
Knoll said there are still other issues that need to be addressed, such as providing access to bathroom facilities for boaters, which he said was a problem at Konocti Harbor.
He said he believes the event will bring a lot of people to the county and could potentially have a very beneficial impact on the local economy.
The event will likely take place in August, Knoll said, although the timing could be more flexible in the future.
He said he's concerned about water quality, because algae blooms have happened in the past at that time – although not recently, he said.
Knoll said the council could make a decision as early as its March 20 meeting, but that he thinks they might wait until April 3, at which time Stimmel – who is currently out of the country – would be able to attend.
Local business owners share opinions
Roy Disney of Disney's Water Sports was one voice at the March 6 meeting who laid out several concerns about the event, especially the intersection of boating and alcohol.
Disney said in a later interview, “Our No. 1 concern with the whole event is safety and safe boating out on the lake.”
Alcohol, he said, “just has no room in boating.”
Disney, who has been in business locally for 25 years, said that the event is “well known for its alcohol consumption.”
While he loves the water sports competition side of the event, Disney said he doesn't believe BoardStock is a good fit for Lakeport, and doesn't think it can be converted to a nonalcoholic event.
He's also not convinced of the potential benefit to local hotels and restaurants, because August is already a peak tourism time.
For Disney, “ideal events” for Lake County include the Konocti Challenge (formerly Pedal the Puddle), fishing tournaments and car shows, which all possess a strong family element.
He said he's not alone in his concerns about the event, and that other local businesses, particularly hotels and restaurants, have told him they don't support BoardStock being held in Lakeport.
Sandra West, owner of Kelseyville's Edgewater Resort, has built a successful business on the lakeshore and been a staunch advocate of the county.
She also was at the March 6 meeting to ask questions.
West said Wednesday that she thinks BoardStock in Lakeport could be a good idea, if it has limitations and restrictions, such as making it an alcohol-free event.
She agreed with Disney that August is already a busy season for local tourism, and she would like to see the event held during the off season, such as in April or October. Like Disney, West said she's also heard from local business owners and community members about hosting the event in Lakeport, and the majority of them have “negative thoughts.”
West said she's also like to see the county hold a “safe, clean and sober weekend,” which she feels would end up attracting more families interested in having safe fun on the water.
She said she would only really support the event if it was advertised as being “safe and sober.”
“No beer gardens, none of that stuff,” she said.
West said it's her understanding that BoardStock, when it was held in Stockton several years ago, was an alcohol-free event.
She added that the promoter should waive any fees for holding the event in Lake County.
There's no better setting for the event than Lake County, she said – if it's done properly.
E-mail Elizabeth Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org.