Tall Ships

My otherwise perfect Saturday was marred by going down to the dock next to the tall ships. It was 8pm and I just wanted to stroll by and see them with my kids. They wanted $6 each for the privilege.  Seems a little much to pay to walk by on the street after the day’s events. The city apparently sold its soul to the greedy company running this year’s festival. Bad show.

50 Comments

B-man

about 11 years ago

I concur with balmora, $6 to walk by something on the street is getting a little greedy.  I was there at 2am (after work) and a security dude told me I could not walk by then either.
Just one more reason to avoid the mess I guess.

jbrown

about 11 years ago

I couldn't agree more. It's not like we're trying to get on the ships. $6 to walk down a public street, to see some tall ships whose visit is subsidized by our taxes. If I remember right I think it's something like $100,000 that won't be going toward filling potholes or keeping our libraries open. I'm no economist, but with all the law enforcement/Coast Guard, I don't quite get how they expect to make it back.

Drifter

about 11 years ago

Ships are extremely valuable and the potential for things to go very wrong is high.  A captain of any ship is responsible for the safety of the crew, guests, and the boat.  The captains of the tall ships docked behind the DECC aren't going to want uncontrolled pedestrian access to their gangplanks at 2am any more than the captain of a laker at an ore dock would.

     As for the price, yes $6 is high.  Also, gas is expensive, movie tickets cost way more than they used to, and the growth of college tuition has outpaced inflation for decades.  Its a "damn kids get off my lawn" thing to complain about.

jbrown

about 11 years ago

Through tax revenue that is. Who ever is charging $6 to walk down the street is making a killing.

conrad

about 11 years ago

I think it is just fine.  Avoid the street for one weekend.  You get most of the experience by walking by them so I understand why they charge to get close to them.  The festival adds a lot to the area so I am not going to spend my time knocking it for something that seems common sense to me.

Zeldfelder

about 11 years ago

Hippies. Is the Man ripping you off? 

"But why should I have to pay? I'm not here to attend the ballet. I just came to see all the dancing."

It's a commercial endeavor.  Do you think they all sailed here at the same time by coincidence? As far as taxes, almost all city auditoriums and arenas are tax supported ... so all events should be free?  The financial benefit ("killing") from this event will inject a great deal of cash flow into the local economy.  In turn, it increases tax revenue to pay for that street that you walk down the other 358 days of the year.

Wes Scott

about 11 years ago

$6 bucks for a wonderful city is nothing to me. Go buy some rolling papers or something and meditate in your back yard.

year of glad

about 11 years ago

$6 is way too much. It's not like going to the ballet. It's like looking at one of the dancers standing around! They're also getting money from our taxes, vendors, parking, etc. I heard the boats were part of a race. They didn't just come to the Great Lakes to visit Duluth, so it's not like they're relying solely on us for profit.

I just think it's crazy that a typical family of five has to pay $30 to do nothing more than stand and look at boats that are docked along a public street.

David

about 11 years ago

This thread reminds me of how much Duluth is not a city.  In any other metro areas, $6 would be a deal, the boats would be appreciated, the revenue they generate celebrated (what are occupancy rates this weekend at hotels?), people unable to afford the $6 would appreciate seeing them arrive, seeing them enter or exit the harbor 12-16 times a day for 3 days for free from the Canal, or appreciate the views from as far away as the Bellisio's parking lot.

Duluth is bustling with Other People's Money this weekend, and everyone in Duluth can experience the Tall Ships in some way, regardless of income.  This one is a win for VisitDuluth.

Swan

about 11 years ago

I paid $7 dollars this morning to board replicas of Columbus's "Nina" and "Pinta" in Winona.  I met some of the crew earlier in the week and the told me how someone boarded their ship at 2 am and stole a ship model worth several thousand dollars. They do not have after-hour security. Fortunately, the guilty party returned  the model a few days later. The tall ships in Duluth have many expensive items on board as well as the crew's personal possessions and they need to be secure.

The Tall Ships Festival is great boost to Duluth's economy. All the tens of thousands of visitors are spending money, tipping wait staff etc generating tax revenue. If you really want to see the ships up close, paddle up in a kayak or canoe.

$6 bucks? What did your last movie cost?

ironic1

about 11 years ago

Considering that the $6 gets you in to see Pirates of Penzance and other fine entertainment, I say it's the best deal of the summer.  And, by the way, I went to Pirates last night and it was fantastic.  Best $6 I'll spend all month.  Perhaps all year.

ZoeG

about 11 years ago

It didn't cost a cent to walk down that street the last time they came to town.

mac

about 11 years ago

Or you could walk across the blue bridge and see all the ships from behind Grandma's Sports Garden for free.

Adam

about 11 years ago

The question you should be asking is: "Where does the $6 go?"

The Big E

about 11 years ago

Yeah, Zoe's right on point.  Last time, you could walk and gawk [and harangue some kid who spit gum on the street at your feet, only to have his doting parents protest, but that's another story] for the low, low price of zero.  We weren't going to stand in line for hours, but we did take the kids down to see them last time.

Wes Scott

about 11 years ago

One of Duluth's finest moments to date I say! Stay home and watch it on the Channel 3 news if your worried about your $6 bucks. And if you went to Avatar in 3D with your family you would have spent a lot more. Or how many times do you get pizza a week? Better yet go to the Lakewalk and watch for free. If people aren't whining about something they wouldn't feel right I guess? Good for VisitDuluth. They are doing a great job and it's only getting better. I hope they bring the Tall Ships again and soon! And for the revenue, who knows how it breaks down and where it goes? But would you rather have higher taxes??

Adam T

about 11 years ago

My girlfriend and I spent close to 8 hours this weekend watching the ships from the canal, the lakewalk, the rose garden, and the Portland malt shop. We purchased drinks at Little Angies, fantastic malts and enjoy the great scenery of the lift bridge and the lake. Seeing a Laker and a Tall Ship both traverse the canal... that's pretty much priceless experiences right there.  

Frankly 12 dollars is a pittance for a great weekend of entertainment. Nice job, Duluth!

Chad

about 11 years ago

x2 for what mac said.  It was a good (read: free) view of the ships.  There were plenty of places, that one included, to watch them.  No need to pay a cent to enjoy the day.  Aside from parking, I suppose.

And even if you did want to get closer, 6 bucks for this unique show?  That's a screamin' deal compared to any other paid entertainment.

Jude

about 11 years ago

Because of the heat and crowds I have not ventured to Canal Park this year. I did watch and photograph the ships coming in down the lake on Wednesday from the parking behind the Holiday Station on 26th ave E (walk to Lakewalk) and from the Perkin's parking lot (overpass view).  They were spectacular as the sun reflected off their white sails and it didn't cost me one cent.  Had it been cooler I would have gladly paid the $6, plus the money to have some good food and a cold beer. I love that we are making the harbor friendly to more than shipping business. I was upset with myself for not thinking of going out on the Vista--those folks had a wonderful view, right in the midst of all those tall masts headed for the bridge. And next year I would like to be out there in a kayak.  Yup.

EvilResident

about 11 years ago

Yeah the $6 wasn't just to see the ships. There's a lot going on down there. I unfortunately missed Pirates of Penzance, but I heard it was totally worth it.

Oh and get off my lawn. Etc.

dbrewing

about 11 years ago

People will bitch about anything.

B-man

about 11 years ago

I am not saying that $6 is too much to go "play" with the ships, I'm saying that the Zoo, Mighty Thomas Shows, Bayfront Blues Festival, Grandmas Marathon tents, etc. do not charge you to walk by and you can see  the area that the attraction is set up in.  I was trying to make a decision as to whether I wanted to pay the $15 to go on board the ships, if they looked interesting or if there is something I would like to see up close.  

I understand the Captain of the vessel is responsible for the crew and ship and all of that but if this is a security issue how did they get away with it two years ago when I was able to walk past on the street with a fence keeping me from leaving the driving area, and security on the ship side of the fence?  It does not add up to precaution, it adds up to maximizing profits for someone. 

I guess I'm not a big enough fan to spend $15 blindly on an attraction.  It sounds like the people that like big boats are having a great time with it so, who-hoo for boats.

David

about 11 years ago

There was no blindly about it.  You clearly have internet access;  I'd bet there were 100 to 1,000 pictures and videos of those ships to see on the web.  

And there were plenty of ways to see them for free.  Just not in the secured areas immediately dockside.  This was an event that served the whole city, regardless of income.

Zac Bentz

about 11 years ago

Obviously the $6 goes to Nazi actors.

tony d

about 11 years ago

It cost $6 to get into the park to get up close to the ships docked. You could see them under sail for free from many, many vantage points as they came and went. You just had to pay if you wanted an up close look at them were docked. If VisitDuluth hadn't done this, and a private promoter had, would you complain about the $6 or think, they invested in this, so I suppose they should make some money. 

How much did you pay to see the last concert you went to? Couldn't you have just borrowed a friend's CD and ripped it down for your MP3 player for free? How dare people who create and invest in a product or service or form of entertainment expect to earn a living from their work! The shame of it all.

Adam, the $6 may go to help cover the cost of all the advertising for the event, or for the fee charged by the owner of the ships to bring the ships here in the first place, or maybe to rent the space, or tents and tables, or buy insurance. Heck even passes and lanyards and t-shirts for the volunteers cost money.

It's an event, and the ships are the show. That $6 got you a close-up view of the ships, an opera, several music acts, a replica British naval training camp from the era of tall ships, a free child's activity tent set up by the Tweed, and other wandering acts (e.g., "MN Jack Sparrow"). Even folks to entertain the  good paying people waiting in line. If you wanted to, for a little more $ you could tour the ships, even more, take a short cruise on one. Lines were never longer than 1.5 hours. Last time, when it was free, lines were six hours long.

Local food and merchandise vendors had four days to sell their wares. (Folks happily plunked down $6 for a handful of cheese curds--you think they even blinked at a $6 entry fee?) Glensheen set a record for the weekend as shuttles left Bayfront for the mansion tours. I've also heard from reliable sources that many local restaurants had a great weekend, as did hotels and Canal Park retailers. They certainly did better than if Bayfront had sat empty this weekend.

I myself have said before that I think what VisitDuluth does best is to promote VisitDuluth, But this time I believe they truly did a great job. If they get financial support from us "taxpayers," then they did their job of bringing folks from out of town to spend their money supporting local businesses and paying sales tax on food, lodging, events, and merchandise, a good chunk of which goes back to the City.

mac

about 11 years ago

B-Man, Balmora, whatever your name is... did you really just label the Grandma's beer tents as an attraction/spectacle/something to see?

B-man

about 11 years ago

@mac
Just stating the fact that walking by an attraction is not the same as entering it and that is (as I understand it) the original beef that balmora stated.  Have you ever been to the Grandmas tent?  1000 people consider it something to see, I avoid it like the plague, but 1000 G.B. Leighton fans can't be wrong?

@tony d 
Looking at something on line or listening to a CD vs. going to a concert is not the same activity.  I do not have the luxury of waiting all day to see a ship possibly sail by.  I had time at 2am and wanted to take a look at what all the commotion is about so that if there is that "something" that draws me in I could plan to attend during regular business hours.  

I have no problem with the event or the ways that visit Duluth handled it.  In fact I am grateful for the extra revenue spent in our city.  This leads me to a couple of extra revenue questions for the city at large. Why is there no permanent "tall ship" docked in Duluth year round? Or how about we charge $6 to drive/ walk by the William A. Irvin?

David

about 11 years ago

B-Man:  the ships sailed by on a regularly and publicly available schedule.  Your arguments are just silly -- if only because you clearly have access to the websites and could have seen video, photos, and even seen maps of the places and times to view for free.

A 2am walk behind the DECC just sounds to me like an attempt to avoid the $6 fee, like the guy who walks into a buffet at 2:55 hoping to pay the lunch price but get the dinner food, or the guy who sits in Barnes and Noble all day reading the book all the way through to decide whether or not to buy it.

Justify it any way you want;  no one is going to convince you.  But few will agree with you, either.

Tony D.

about 11 years ago

B-man, you have to be reasonable and consider that this entire festival was put into action without once considering your personal schedule or spending habits. Ship gazing at 2 a.m.? I'm sure that was a big topic at the planning meetings. This event was not set up to give you free entertainment. It was set up to promote Duluth and its local businesses. And you could have previewed all you wanted to online. The "something that draws them in" is the arrival flotilla, absolutely free, and the daily  trips out on the lake with a few of the vessels. (Also the Irvin is a permanent attraction, not a temporary event--not a fair comparison; a permanent tall ship in Duluth would be great--will you please build it and let us look at it and sail on it for free?)

B-man

about 11 years ago

Just to be clear, the only time I had to go was at 2am of Friday night for a preview to see if I was interested in going back and spending many hours and at least $6 during the day Saturday.  
I could not go and see them "sail by regularly" (8am-5pm work, home to eat, back to work at 8pm-2am Thursday and Friday)  When did this sailing by happen?  The only time I could go was Saturday afternoon and I was not sure I wanted to.  This trip @ 2am was just recon to help me make up my mind about committing 6 hours to the event the following day.

I am not complaining about the admission amount of the festival (see previous post)I am disappointed that the set up changed from last time the festival was here when walk by access was available.

@David, 
I am not trying to avoid a fee; I was trying to decide if I wanted to pay a fee. Have you ever paid for a movie that you did not know anything about? Unlikely. Usually a preview or trailer will get you interested before you make a financial commitment and often they are misleading or wrong. Seeing the boats online was not very engaging, I was hoping an in person walk by would help me decide.

@tony d
I understand that they did not take my personal schedule into account when planning this festival and I am not asking for free entertainment.  I did not expect anyone to be available for information or have the tour available at 2am I was just taking a look to see if this is an interest to me.

By the Way $6 is cheaper than the festival charges in other markets and many thought it was a good deal. I guess it was for them, just not for me.

huitz

about 11 years ago

I biked there, saw the HMS Bounty, which was the only ship moored outside the gate.  That was on Sunday.  I was happy to see it since it was the only ship I cared about.

I was actually expecting them to charge on the road near the Irving on that side, and the price to be more like $10 or $12.  Either that, or have people pay to board each ship.  I was more disappointed in me, because I didn't approach the gate to find out it was only $6 (I only had 8 bucks on me at the time, but would have gladly paid had I known).  Alas, I hate crowds and there were way too many people for my comfort at the time to bother checking.

En route, I was really hoping, complete with fingers crossed, though, that they'd let people at least walk by all of them at a respectable distance for free.

linda

about 11 years ago

I think it is a great event for Duluth, economically and otherwise.  It would be nice to have some time on the schedule for the locals (like me) to view the boats either before or after the hoards appear.  Most of us live here because we don't like crowded cities, so we avoid events like this even when we would like to see the 'attraction'. I'm actually a sailor and would have liked to see the boats, but between the cost and the crowds I opted out.

mac

about 11 years ago

Linda,

Cost?  $6!?!?!?!??!!?  Crowds are one thing, but the cost was completely within reason.

Adam

about 11 years ago

"Locals only." That's rich.

"If VisitDuluth hadn't done this, and a private promoter had, would you complain about the $6 or think, they invested in this, so I suppose they should make some money." First: it was public / private. Second: I just want to follow the money.

c-freak

about 11 years ago

There were tall ships here???

David

about 11 years ago

I am not arguing this time, but what was the public part of public/private?  VisitDuluth is funded in part by the tourism taxes, I know, but you could live in Duluth for 20 years and never pay a penny of those taxes.  UMD and the Coast Guard participated in the planning.  But where else were there public funds involved?

Just curious,

db

mac

about 11 years ago

I don't think the public/private issue here was about.  I think this is what they meant... the public part was the parade of ships, the ability to view them while they are docked and sailing around the harbor and outside the lift bridge.  These things were all free to anyone who wanted to take the time to find a place to watch them.  The private part was if you wanted to pay to take a ride or get on the ships or attend one of the many private functions associated with the ships.

HappyHippo

about 11 years ago

I have to agree with Huitz - you could get a decent view of the ships without paying anything; enough to decide if you DID want to pay.  Walking along the harbor on the 'bridge' side, you could see all six...seven?...boats lined up.  And the Bounty was tied up before the gate you needed to pay to go through; you could get quite close to her.  Enough to make an informed decision, in my opinion.

I think it's a lot like the Zoo.  You can walk by on Grand for free and peer through the fence.  You'd probably even see a llama or some monkeys.  But if you want the whole experience, you need to buy a ticket.

SuckerPunched

about 11 years ago

I just brought my family to Duluth for the weekend and spent well over a thousand dollars on hotels, meals, transportation, amusements, but not one cent on walking down the street that you're complaining about. I did that for free last time, and you couldn't pay me to put up with that crowd again. But what I did get was a lifetime's worth of pictures and memories from other vantage points that were just as satisfying if not more so. That is, until reading that petty people such as yourself have to ruin what was an amazing weekend by throwing a wet blanket over something you don't deserve in the first place. I hope you take your precious six bucks that you couldn't bear parting with and choke on it while you get off on free auto-erotic asphyxiation. Thanks for tainting what few positive thoughts of Duluth I had left. I only wish I could get my money back because I don't want any of it going to anything that you might enjoy in the future.

Tang!

about 11 years ago

Zowie Wowie 'SuckerPunched'.  Your lifetime's worth of pictures and memories - sucked in to the void of some frustrated citizens?  That's tragic! Lighten up!

rediguana

about 11 years ago

I work in Canal Park, and business this weekend sucked ass. Two years ago during the first Tall Ships (which was free), we were swamped. Methinks making people pay to sightsee just drains the cash they would have otherwise spent on local businesses and keeps them in one spot because they paid for the privilege of being there.

Shane

about 11 years ago

I don't recall the things being free last time around. Tickets to tour the ships cost money then too. 
The difference this time were vendors and stuff in  Bayfront park.  That and there were not five hour long lines.  Longest line this year was 45 minutes.

Bob

about 11 years ago

Dear Duluth,

Why do you hate capitalism?

Ryan

about 11 years ago

Dear Bob,

I love capitalism.

-Duluth

PS I just don't know how to show it.

Bob

about 11 years ago

Dear Duluth,

You used to love capitalism and entrepreneurial when you had the most millionaires per capita in the United States as recently as 1979. Since then, you've embraced an Iron Range mentality - a sense of entitlement without the hard work or creative ideas.

I miss the old you.

Love,
Bob

The Big E

about 11 years ago

I'd love to see a solid citation on that millionaires-per-capita thing.  Especially the 1979 part.

tony d

about 11 years ago

Big E, Bob knows not of what he speaks. The last time that Duluth had "the most millionaires per capita" was around 1905 or thereabouts, when it was on pace to outgrow Chicago -- and really, that was a claim: no one conducted a census of millionaires.

The Big E

about 11 years ago

For the record, I was just being a jerk--claims of most-millionaires-per-capita appear to have been made by most smallish cities in existence during the Gilded Age; the 1979 bit was just funny.

francenestarr

about 11 years ago

Good one! (Directed toward Zac B.'s Nazi actor comment.)

lk

about 11 years ago

We drove 240 miles, spent $17 each for the 3 of us to be allowed to climb on board the ships.  Due to the very long lines, we only boarded 2 of the ships.  We stayed in a motel downtown, visited the aquarium and railroad museum among other things.  Ate our meals out.  I figure the 2 days cost us $1000.  And you know what?  I'm not complaining.  We thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days, and honestly, $17 for the entire time  the ships were in the harbor and all the festivites going on is nothing.

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