Long Beach's historic Queen Mary embarking on $5M repair job

"We are not sinking the Queen Mary," says Long Beach Director of Public Works. 

But he admits it was one of the options on the table when the city took it over after Eagle Hospitality filed for bankruptcy in 2021.

Instead, the city is spending $5 million to repair as much as it can to get the public back in. Keep in mind that in past studies of the place, the cost of just keeping the famed tourist attraction afloat was over $200 million. 

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But it seems the city has found a way to do more with less. In fact, much more. Before it closed at the start of the pandemic, the Queen Mary was generating over $3 million in tax revenues a year from its operations as a hotel with restaurants, event venue and film location. 

When we visited, there was a rather large movie shoot in process (no, they didn’t share the details, as much as I tried to find out).

But we were allowed deep into the bowels of the ship, where the first order of repair business -- as you’ll see in our piece  -- was removing most of the hanging lifeboats, which were causing structural damage to the hull.

And guess what? They are now available to nonprofits, museums or even private individuals who would agree to refurbish them. That’s easier said than done and more expensive than you’d think. They are huge, and many have old lead paint, so just imagine the permit process to clean them up.

But, if you want to find out more, click here. There is a deadline so don’t wait too long if you want your own piece of Queen Mary history. 

Let me know if you do, as I’d love to follow where they will go.

The city does hope to finish enough repairs by the end of the year, to start letting the public back into at least some areas of the ship. The city has a link to track the latest on Queen Mary.

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