Sink, scrap or save

By | Category: Travel destinations

For the last fifty-four years, the ocean liner, Queen Mary, has been moored in Long Beach California as a tourist attraction which also boasted a hotel and some restaurants.

the Queen Mary moored at Long Beach. Image – The Queeen Mary

How important a tourist attraction she was to the local community was suggested by an economic impact report carried out in 2020 on behalf of the operator of the ship and passed to the city. 

The report estimates that spending associated with the Queen Mary in the Los Angeles county area generated $205.3 million in economic output, supported 2,224 jobs, and contributed $84.8 million in labour income in 2019.

Given that contribution why should it be that city has just taken over the vessel from the previous operators. Because the operator says it couldn’t turn a profit.

The situation is mired in how money was spent, why maintenance may not have been carried out and why urgent repairs are now needed.

Without going into the full details of those questions, Long Beach and maybe Los Angeles County as a whole needs to decide what to do which were summed up as scrapping the ninety year old ship, sinking it as an artificial reef off the Californian coast or restoring her.

The mayor, Robert Garcia, made his views clear in a tweet, “The Queen Mary in Long Beach is an icon and historic landmark. The city finally has full control of the ship for the first time in 40 years. Preservation must be the top priority.”

That seems to answer the question. It won’t be scrapped, it won’t be sunk but remain for visitors to Los Angeles and Long Beach to see for years to come.

And that would seem a better outcome than that being faced by the USS United States which took the Blue Riband (awarded to the fastest ship crossing the Atlantic) from the Queen Mary in 1952 and which lies forlorn, rusting away and in need of a visionary who can restore the ship as has happened to the Dutch ship, Rotterdam

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