Put-in-Bay Good News! Snowbirds fare well after Rita! Many Put-in-Bay people have winter residences in Florida, and for the most part, everyone we’ve talked to came through the hurricane relatively unscathed. John Dodge and Bridget Wise and Glenn Cooper and Jackie Taylor who spend time in the Keys between Marathon and Key West where damage seemed the most severe reported some issues. Lime Kiln bus driver Dale McKee lost his banana tree. Mark Mathys lost one panel of a pool screen enclosure in Fort Myers Florida.
Put-in-Bay Good News! Korossy drops lawsuit- Former Put-in-Bay police officer Steven Korossy, who was prosecuted for misusing a state computer system and convicted, recently had his case overturned by an appeals court. Several months ago, he filed a suit against the Village of Put-in-Bay, Mayors Scarpelli, and McCann, police chiefs Michael Frank and Ric Lampela and council persons Melinda Myers, Jeff Koehler, Lee Krendl and Terry Bodenbender. Korsossy voluntarily dismissed the suit shortly after the appeals court ruling was made. This ends the case for now, but Korossy has until August 31, 2018 to re-file.
Put-in-Bay Good News! -Toby Keith bash a huge success!!! The Toby Keith Bash at the Bay on Thursday night, August 31st, was held at the Put-in-Bay Airport and was a big topic of discussion on the island over Labor weekend, and the verdict was it was a resounding success! The concert pleased young and old fans alike, but this initial bash was important in another way, too. It was the first big concert of its kind on the island and everyone was wondering if it would be a success or a failure. If it were a success, i
t would open the door to other similar concerts. If it were a failure, chances are there wouldn’t ever be another one.
Being the first of its kind, some of the event statistics and logistics are rather interesting. It took several months for promoter Tim Niese to put the concert together. One of the main hurdles was getting permission to have the concert at the Put-in-Bay Airport, one of the few places something like this could be held on the island. Tim and his son, Josh, met with the Put-in-Bay Port Authority and got permission to piggyback the concert onto the Put-in-Bay Road Race Reunion sports car races which saw the airport closed for several days at the end of August.
From there it was putting everything together. Since the concert venue would be at the airport, other details to work out included security for the event, food and beverage vendors, fencing around the show, parking for vehicles, bus and taxi transportation to and from downtown, the number of porta potties, Put-in-Bay Ferry Boat transportation on and off the island for the fans, vendors and trucks with equipment to put on the show and more.
Security was a huge issue at the concert. Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Lavorchick provided 72 deputies from around the state. There was a dozen mounted police, a contingent of both drug and bomb-sniffing dogs, a bomb squad vehicle, a command center from Franklin County, plus private security within the venue. There were also medical emergency vehicles on site. On the mainland, there were deputies at the ferry docks. One comment heard from many was why isn’t security like that around for the Christmas in July weekend. There were multiple food and drink vendors ranging from Cameo Pizza to Mexican food and The Old Forge to Budweiser. Miller Boat Line played a tremendous role in getting the semis full of staging and equipment to and from the island, plus they along with the Jet Express had to run late boats to accommodate the fans who wanted to return to the mainland once the concert ended at 10 p.m. Amazingly, all the vendors and their trucks, plus all the trucks needed to put on the show, were all off the island by seven in the morning thanks to Millers running into the wee hours of the morning. Those who drove by the airport on the way to work in the morning saw no sign that a huge concert has taken place just a few hours before.
Brad Ohlemacher tells us his private hangar across the runway form the venue was used by the setup crews and Toby’s entourage to take breaks and grab a bite to eat. The few problems that surfaced during the event were minor and ranged from not quite enough porta potties in some areas to the horse pies left by the mounted police. These are minor and have already been noted for any future event. Who benefited from the concert is interesting, too. Island businesses may have been fairly quiet during the show, but pre-show daytime and post-show business was brisk. Good news is the docks in the harbor were packed as were Put-in-Bay Hotels and Resorts. The Put-in-Bay Port Authority earned almost $60,000 between the Road Race Reunion and the concert, the bulk coming from Toby’s bash. The Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center benefitted by helping with the paid parking for Put-in-Bay Golf Carts, plus each volunteer got a ticket to the concert. Put-in-Bay’s American Legion Post sold American flags and made enough for a several thousand dollar donations for hurricane relief. And last, but not least, we hear the promoters even made some money for their herculean efforts.
We found out Toby Keith flew to the island mid-afternoon by helicopter after landing in a private jet at the Port Clinton Airport. Before landing at Put-in-Bay, he had a tour over the islands. He went back to the mainland on the ferry boat after the show. We’re not quite sure how many people were at the concert, but the numbers ran from five or six thousand all the way up to thirteen thousand from a variety of sources. Can we expect another Bash at the Bay? Given the success of this very first one, the answer is yes and Good News!