Hogan’s Beach bows to complaints, pulls plug on dance music

January 30th, 2015 by Staff

Hogan (center) with Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Jimmy Hart.

(TBO.COM) TAMPA, Fla. – The party at the end of the Courtney Campbell Causeway is over, at least for now.

After complaints from neighbors and warnings, Hogan’s Beach will no longer hold large-scale music concerts, a consultant for the Rocky Point nightclub told the City Council Thursday.

The decision comes after the nightclub in December received three warning notices to curb concerts that drew up to 5,000 revelers and had neighbors complaining of late-night thumping bass, drunken and unruly behavior and parking hassles.
To avoid potential code fines, the club’s management is working with the city staff to detail what kind of events they are permitted to hold.

“We have agreed to work with city and we are working with them on a daily basis to resolve these issues,” said Stephen Michelini, a commercial relations consultant working with Hogan’s Beach, which is part of the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel.

City code enforcement officers cited the club Dec. 23 for holding events that violated its zoning, inadequate parking and an unpermitted electronic sign. Michelini said the venue has canceled future concerts. Last month, it relocated its planned New Year’s Eve party to a hotel. Nonetheless, the club still drew about 800 revelers to see in the New Year, city officials said.

City council members welcomed the club’s decision but said they want the county’s Environmental Protection Commission to conduct noise testing through the Spring Break period. City officials are scheduled to brief the council April 16 on any further code or noise violations and provide a police report.

Neighbors including residents in nearby Dana Shores have complained that Hogan’s Beach was operating as a major concert venue and hosted more than 50 bass-heavy tech music events last year, complete with light shows. Some of the biggest names in electronic dance music, including Afrojack and Skrillex, have appeared at the nightclub with music continuing up until 3 am.

The club’s website boasts of a new sound system, 40 high-definition TVs and four outdoor bars. In a promotional video, the club’s namesake pro wrestling legend bellows, “Whatcha going to do when Hogan’s Beach slams you.”

Yet, the club, considered an ancillary operation of the adjoining hotel and restaurant, is not zoned as a “place of assembly,” city officials said, and lacks sufficient parking for large events.

The club could apply for a special events permit and provide temporary parking but it would be limited to four each year, city officials said.

A request to rezone the property filed last year was withdrawn in December after it kicked off a storm of complaints from neighbors. Michelini said there are no current plans to rezone or to apply for special event permits.

Residents from Dana Shores and other nearby residences said there have been few problems since New Year’s but they re still concerned that the lull is from the cold weather.

“This is generally the downtown at Hogan’s,” said Alison Roberts, head of the Dana Shores Civic Association. “This is typical for this time of year. We would ask that we could monitor them on a 30-day period through spring break.”

codonnell@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7871 Twitter: @codonnellTBO

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