For the first time in 40 years the City of Long Beach regains full control of the historic Queen Mary housed in Long Beach Harbor.
LONG BEACH一 Long Beach City has regained full control of the Queen Mary and authorized a $2 million temporary caretaker contract with the current on-ship operator Evolution Hospitality.
On June 4 the city reported that the previous lease-owner Urban Commons Queensway LLC, a Long Beach-based traveling company that has been leasing the Queen Mary since 2016, was surrendering its existing leases and filing a motion to formally reject the leases through the bankruptcy process.
The lease was in default for several violations, including failure to maintain the ship caused in part by decades of deferred maintenance by previous operators.
On June 8, the Long Beach City Council voted to enter into a $2 million contract with Evolution Hospitality, a third-party hospitality management company, for a six-month extension on the current contract with the possibility of a six-month renewal.
The vote on June 8 authorized a total of $2.5 million to maintain the liner and plan out repairs in order to reopen.
The remaining $500,000 after the $2 million contract with Evolution Hospitality will go to the city’s contract engineer, Moffat and Nicol, to develop the engineering and design repair work. Moffat and Nicol estimated the cost of the needed immediate repairs is $5 million.
The city also voted to include an amendment for staff to consider establishing a historical designation for the Queen Mary including a federal national monument declaration.
It is unclear when the repairs will start, but AP News reported that officials expected it to start temporary work soon which included installing temporary bilge pumps, warning systems for leaks, and removing lifeboats and installing an emergency on-shore generator.
The Queen Mary will remain closed to the public while critical repairs are made.
The last time the city was in control of day-to-day operations of the Queen Mary was from 1978, and the Port of Long Beach held ownership until 1993 before leasing out to private companies for the past few decades, according to the June 4 press release from the City of Long Beach.
The Queen Mary retired in Long Beach Harbor in 1967, after 31 years at sea.
The luxury liner was built in Clydebank, Scotland during the Great Depression and carried an estimated 2.2 million passengers in peace times and 810,000 personnel during WWII, according to the Queen Mary website.
Since settling into the harbor, the liner has had an estimated 50 million visitors and according to a study published by the city in May 2020 the ship has provided over 1,300 jobs and produced $94 million in economic output and $3.3 million in tax revenue annually, according to the press release.
The city is set to meet again to discuss additional oppositions and strategies for preserving the Queen Mary.
The City of Long Beach could not be reached for comment at this time.