3:26pm | It's been a rough year for the Pike shopping center in downtown Long Beach.
Several popular businesses like Club V20, Gameworks and Long Beach Clothing Company vacated their locations last year due to the economy and rising rent costs. Crowds have been slow even on normally busy weekends, even with recent additions like Hooters, Kitchen Den Bar and KODI Boutique shopping. It's a far cry from decades past where the area was alive with an amusement park and beachfront attractions.
Pike management hope that they'll be able to recapture a little bit of that past glory with a new strategy.
Large signs depicting historic photos of the area will be installed along the currently-empty walls of businesses facing out toward Pine Avenue and Shoreline Drive, as a 12-foot by 22-foot reminder of the what the Pike has been. The images will be installed in mid-February and depict things like the old Cyclone Racer rollercoaster and Looff Carousel.
“We are excited about these new graphics,” said General Manager, Jeff Miyaoka. “It will not only enhance the look and feel of the property, but it also is the first step in helping to market The Pike and the entire waterfront region as a unique destination for visitors and locals alike.”
Miyaoka may be optimistic about the signs and soon-to-open businesses like the Pike Mini Market and Sultana's Delights restaurant, but there is something at least a little odd in celebrating the history of things like the Looff Carousel in images when the real thing was moved into storage last year after decades of decay.
“Our new signage will bring back some fond memories of Long Beach’s waterfront to everyone who visits The Pike,” said Miyaoka. “But the waterfront’s best days are still ahead. We have great entertainment venues here at The Pike. We have a world-class aquarium across the street. There are incredible hotels, harbor tours, top restaurants, beautiful parks, water activities and even a comedy club. We have it all right here.”