Friday, March 30, 2007

More observations on Daytona Beach

This is my last night on the beach. Tomorrow morning I have to check out, though I still have one more day of client training and another day in Daytona. Tomorrow night I'm going to be staying at a Hampton Inn near the airport. Next week is Black College Reunion week, and the hotel is full tomorrow night. They will also be closing several of the bridges across to the main land. Since my flight leaves at 6 a.m. eastern time, it's just as well that I'll be spending the night near the airport.

I heard some comments about BCR week while I was here. Apparently there is more damage done to Daytona Beach during BCR than for the Daytona 500, Bike Week, and the Pepsi 400 race combined. The difference is 50,000 people for BCR compared to about 10 times that many for the other events combined.

A couple of things about that statistic.

  • I wasn't able to find it confirmed anywhere. Not sure where the people heard this, but it doesn't sound like the sort of thing most news outlets would be likely to report.

  • As far as I can tell, there are no big organized events here during BCR. The races occupy people's time, and focus visitors west of the beach. Bike Week is apparently pretty wild, but it also seems to skew to an older demographic. As far as I've seen so far, BCR week is an excuse to get drunk.

  • They didn't compare BCR with spring break, where the demographic (except for racial make up) is similar, and where the main excuse is to get drunk.

I have my doubts as to the veracity of that statistic. The crowds so far have been quieter, older, and more respectful than the high school kids that had infested the place earlier in the week, so go figure.

(Oops. Spoke too soon. There was a huge, loud commotion at the front door of the hotel. Security had to be called...)

I'm tired of Daytona's divided streets. All the major roads have medians on them. Obviously this is to aid the flow of traffic, but it makes it a pain in the neck to drive around. I'd sure hate to be down here in the middle of spring break. I also noticed that there isn't much on the strip along the beach other than restaurants and surf stores. You'd think someone would come up with a slightly different store, if only to grab those people who are tired of surf store after surf store.

I ate at Shells, a really good seafood place, last night. Great clam chowder! I'm glad I got to have seafood while in Florida. I haven't decided if I'll go there for supper tomorrow or not.

I found a comic store that had more non-collectible miniatures games than the actual game store I found on Tuesday. The games were almost all old enough to be in the comic store I worked in two decades ago. They had wargames and RPGs, which surprised me. Unfortunately the store owner is a Luddite. I ended up buying an old Call of Cthulhu module for $4, but I put away a comic I was going to buy because they don't take plastic (credit or debit). I simply don't walk around with cash anymore. When I saw the old games I figured that he'd make a killing on eBay. I'm not entirely sure the owner has heard of eBay...

There's a game store in Orlando (thanks, John!) that is tempting to visit. It would mean having to drive for 60 to 90 minutes each way, and it's not like I can really afford any game stuff anyway. I'm not likely to go there. I would if we weren't heading down to New Orleans in two weeks. There were two game stores in New Orleans prior to Katrina. There is still a game store in Baton Rouge. It happens to be the best game store in the state. (I could make a joke about "the best game store in Louisiana" not meaning much, but in fact it's one of the best game stores I've ever been in...)

Much as I'd like to check it out, I'm likely to pass on the Orlando game store and just get to bed early, as I'll have to get up at the equivalent of 3 a.m. central time on Sunday morning. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

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