The City of Long Beach Queen Mary Updates
Queen Mary Critical Repair Efforts
UPDATE: April 24, 2023
The City of Long Beach announced today an anticipated partnership between the City and Port of Long Beach. Expected for early May 2023, the Long Beach City Council will consider a partnership agreement with the Port of Long Beach that would provide support and investment for the Queen Mary, while strengthening two Long Beach industry sectors: tourism and hospitality, and transportation and logistics.
“This proposed agreement will support our Grow Long Beach Initiative by identifying new strategies to bolster our local economy in two key emerging industry sectors, tourism and goods movement,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “I look forward to the many benefits this partnership will bring, and I appreciate the Port of Long Beach’s leadership for engaging with us in this opportunity and the Harbor Commission for their support.”
“This additional property will generate additional economic activity and jobs and in turn will create additional revenue for our environmental and community programs,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “The Port of Long Beach is an economic engine and this opportunity will provide additional economic support to our city and our residents.”
The Long Beach Department of Energy Resources has identified 13.9 acres of underutilized City-controlled oil operations properties in the Port of Long Beach. Long Beach Energy Resources would shrink its oil operations in these areas, providing additional land that can be used for new non-oil uses. Under the agreement, control of these properties would then be transferred to the Port of Long Beach to be leased by Port customers. The revenue from these new leases would be split equally between the Port and City.
As part of the agreement, the Port will advance $12 million to the City, which will be used to fund the Queen Mary’s re-opening amenities and activities, support ongoing restoration projects or address infrastructure needs at the site to help the Queen Mary generate revenue to support additional future restoration and ultimate development of the surrounding 43 acres. The City’s allocation of the new revenue share will be used to repay the advance, after which it will accrue to the City’s Tidelands Operating Fund.
“The advanced funding proposed under this contract agreement would help support the many ongoing restoration and refurbishments taking place onboard the Queen Mary as well as other reopening amenities for our residents and tourists to enjoy,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “I look forward to discussing this with my City Council colleagues next week.”
The recommendation that led to this proposed agreement was brought forth to the Long Beach City Council on April 6, 2021, by Second District Councilwoman Cindy Allen, co-sponsored by First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas and former Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price, and was approved unanimously by the entire City Council.
“When I introduced the item that began this process, I never imagined we would get to such a great place. I am so proud of our Port and City for jointly working together to secure the Queen’s future with this mutually beneficial agreement,” said Vice Mayor Cindy Allen. “I am pleased with the direction this effort has gone and I look forward to discussing this opportunity with my colleagues at our upcoming Council meeting.”
Major Partnership Benefits
- As part of the Grow Long Beach Initiative, the partnership will be key to implementing strategies and policies that will facilitate the Port and City’s future economic success by diversifying the local economy, establishing new revenue streams, and grow targeted industry sectors.
- Implements innovative collaboration that recognizes the shift away from fossil fuels. The 13.9 acres of former oil operating property will be provided to strengthen and grow transportation and logistics at the Port of Long Beach.
- The City and Port will create new revenue streams supported by private leaseholders.
- The City will receive $12 million advance to support the iconic Queen Mary, strengthening the broader tourism and hospitality sector in Long Beach.
“I want to thank our City team and our Port team for the comprehensive review of all options to pursue the best possible future for the Queen Mary,” said City Manager Tom Modica. “It is clear the Queen Mary has the potential to be a large economic generator and this partnership helps find new revenues to give her the best shot at being successful in generating revenue to support restoration efforts.”
“It's very rare to be able to expand the leasable land we manage in the harbor,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “To do so is an opportunity we welcome as we continue to build a more efficient, sustainable port.”
At its April 19, 2023, Harbor Commission meeting, the Board authorized the Port’s Executive Director to complete a Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the Port. This agreement is anticipated to be considered by the Long Beach City Council in early May 2023.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health and Human Services; Parks, Recreation and Marine; Development Services; Public Works and more. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, 12 libraries, five golf courses, 169 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths and a Bike Share program.
UPDATE: March 28, 2023
UPDATE: February 21, 2023
The City of Long Beach has begun preparation work for the installation of anticipated new boilers and heat exchangers onboard the RMS Queen Mary. The multi-phase project, which began in late January with the demolition of the existing heat exchangers, piping and electrical pneumatics, is part of the last round of critical repairs required to reopen the Queen Mary’s hotel, restaurants, bars and other onboard amenities this spring.
Demolition work is underway for the ship's existing, out-of-commission boilers and heat exchangers and is expected to be completed over the next few weeks, at which point installation of the new piping and mechanical equipment that support the new boilers and heat exchangers will take place. The new boilers and heat exchangers can then be installed. Once installation of the new boilers and heat exchangers is complete, which will supply hot water for cooking, cleaning, sanitizing and other hospitality amenities, Evolution Hospitality staff can begin preparations to reopen additional elements of the Queen Mary, such as the hotel, restaurants, bars and shops onboard.
The remainder of the critical repairs approaching completion includes the installation of an emergency generator, which powers critical components of the ship in the event of an emergency, and the completion of the bilge pump system that is also designed to protect the ship in case of an emergency. The installation of the generator and bilge pump system is expected to be completed by early spring.
Other projects that are taking place concurrently and are anticipated to be complete prior to a broader reopening include upgrades to the ship’s main boarding entrance – such as repairs to the Wharf and Promenade Deck gangways; elevator repair and modernization; and painting, lighting and other enhancements to the entire Wharf area – as well as onboard restroom repairs, flooring replacements and ceiling paint and tile repair in the Promenade Deck’s Main Hall; HVAC repair and floor and window repairs in the Observation Bar; parking lot repairs; and kitchen and restaurant improvements, among others.
UPDATE: December 15, 2022
The City of Long Beach, in partnership with Long Beach Heritage, in collaboration with Evolution Hospitality, LLC and the Queen Mary Heritage Foundation, will offer the first-ever annual membership opportunity for the RMS Queen Mary. Membership dues will be tax-deductible and will support the ongoing conservation and restoration efforts of the historic landmark.
Currently available membership opportunities include the Tourist Class Membership – the first tier of the membership program at $150 – with additional tiers to be implemented in spring 2023. Members will begin receiving benefits once additional elements and amenities begin to reopen in the spring of 2023 and the membership will be honored for a year thereafter.
Tourist Class Annual Membership benefits include:
- General admission for member with limited block out dates.
- Two (2) general admission Day Passes annually.
- Hotel guest pricing for Tour/Exhibit/ Attraction tickets.
- 24-hour presale on Queen Mary Signature Events.
- Discounted Ticket pricing during the presale of Queen Mary Signature Events.
UPDATE: December 12, 2022
The City of Long Beach was pleased to announce that we could officially welcome visitors back onboard the RMS Queen Mary, on Dec. 15, 2022, for the first time since March 2020. To celebrate the reopening of select elements of the ship, and to thank the community for their patience and support during the ship’s closure, the City offered free guided tours to the public for a limited time.
UPDATE: November 28, 2022
This past summer, the City of Long Beach completed another round of critical repairs to the Queen Mary and is moving into the final stages of repairs. Critical repair work ensures that the ship is safe for visitors when the City welcomes the community and Queen Mary fans back on board to enjoy sections of the ship by the end of the year.
Over the summer months, the City conducted safety and reinforcement upgrades to the ship’s bulkheads – the inner walls within the hull that prevents the ship’s water intake – to enhance their overall safety and operational effectiveness. The bulkheads heights were extended, making the bulkheads serve as watertight compartments and largely improving the ship’s internal structural stability. These repairs, in addition to the removal of 20 deteriorated lifeboats earlier this year, have drastically reinforced the overall structural integrity of the ship, allowing for additional safety improvements to be conducted. During this phase of repairs, the City also began the installation of an automated bilge pump system, a critical safety component that will discharge any excess water resulting from an unlikely event of water intrusion. All eleven bilge pump platforms have been built to support the new system and the installation of the bilge pumps is expected to occur in early 2023.
This fall, work continues onboard the Queen Mary with the final phase of critical repairs currently in progress. The City will install an emergency generator, which has the capacity to generate 500 kilowatts of emergency power to operate the bilge pump system, interior and external lighting, and safety equipment in the event of an emergency. Lastly, the City is slated to finish the installation of two boilers and heat exchangers, which will allow for hot water to be used for cooking, cleaning and sanitation, by early 2023. Approximately 75% of the critical repairs inside the ship—electrical, plumbing and metal fabrication-related work—is expected to be complete by the end of this year, with the remaining internal critical repairs to be completed in early 2023.
Once the critical structural and safety repairs are completed, aesthetic repairs – such as interior and exterior painting, flooring and railing – will continue to be worked on leading up to and after the ship’s reopening to the public. City staff from the Department of Public Works will continue making other minor repairs, including the upgrade of interior lighting to LEDs and other necessary ship maintenance.
In June, the Long Beach City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into a Hospitality Management Agreement with Evolution Hospitality, LLC., to reopen and operate the Queen Mary’s hotel, food and beverage facilities, entertainment attractions and ship-related events for a period of five years. Since then, the City has allocated a total of $3.6 million to support preopening improvements for priority projects and preopening staffing costs, funded in part by Tidelands Funds and revenue from Special Events and Filming.
While critical repairs are conducted, the Queen Mary has been closed to the public but continues to be available for filming and special events, which helps generate revenue to support the ship operations. Click here for interest to film or host an event near the Queen Mary.
UPDATE: September 26, 2022
On June 21, 2022, the Long Beach City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into a Hospitality Management Agreement with Evolution Hospitality, LLC., to reopen and operate the Queen Mary’s hotel, attractions, and ship-related events for a period of five years. As of September 15, 2022, the City has provided $1.5 million in funding so that Evolution can begin to operationalize and manage the Queen Mary Hotel and will provide additional funding in the amount of $1 million for pre-opening improvements aimed at ensuring amenities and guest experience are of the highest quality.
UPDATE: May 16, 2022
Twenty out of twenty-two lifeboats were removed from the ship, which also means that nearly 100 tons of weight, which was negatively impacting the ship’s structural integrity, is now gone. Out of the twenty-two lifeboats, we are going to preserve three and set aside five for future consideration. With our partners, we also reviewed all the lifeboats that were previously on the ship and salvaged a substantial number of props, rudders and other artifacts of interest from those remaining deteriorated boats that must now be safely disassembled. Details on ongoing efforts can be found here.
Our next round of critical repairs planned will include improvements to the ship’s bulkheads and bilge pump systems. Public Works staff will also continue to work on minor repairs including painting, replacement of lighting and other necessary ship maintenance. The Queen Mary remains closed to the public while critical repairs are underway but continues to be available for filming and special events, which helps generate revenue to support the ship operations.
Bid Opportunity For Museums, Preservation Groups, And/ or Developers Interested In Preserving a Piece of History
UPDATE: May 4, 2022
The City received two proposals in response to the RFP, and neither complied with the requirements of the RFP. The City contacted the two proposers to provide them each an opportunity to comply with the minimum requirements of the RFP by no later than Friday April 28. One proposer withdrew its proposal. The other proposer did not submit any additional documentation as required by the RFP before the extended deadline. The City considers the matter closed and will move forward with the safe disassembly of the remaining lifeboats, per applicable health, safety and environmental regulations, and will work to identify potential creative solutions to repurpose elements of the lifeboats.
The City of Long Beach has solicited an opportunity for qualified museums, preservation groups and/ or developers to acquire lifeboats from the RMS Queen Mary (ED22-031 Queen Mary Lifeboat Disposition), affording them the ability to preserve and feature a piece of history at their place of choice. The City had provided the opportunity to interested entities, giving them the opportunity to preserve one or all the historic lifeboats. The electronic bidding system, PlanetBids, provided an easy and accessible way to submit proposals while ensuring fairness during the application and selection process. Registered companies and organizations have received customized emails notifying them of specific bids, the ability to search for bids, and download documents.
Below is timeline of keymilestones for RFP ED 22-031 Queen Mary Lifeboat Disposition, and as follows:
- Two site walkthroughs were conducted on February 25th & March 4th at 3:00 PM PST
- Questions from vendors, have been answerded and were posted on March 16th via the PlanetBids Addenda/Emails Tab
- RFP ED 22-031 Queen Mary Lifeboat Disposition, was extended by 31 days from its original closure of March 25th, 2022 to April 25th, 2022
- The solicitation officially closed on April 25th, and the City will begin the process of reviewing all bids, ensuring that they meet the requirements for disposition
Please see the official posting on PlanetBids Vendor Portal.
The Queen Mary arrived in Long Beach in September 1967 after having carried over 2 million passengers on more than 1,000 voyages across the North Atlantic during its historic sea-going career. It is important to note that when open and operating, the Queen Mary is a major economic generator for Long Beach residents and helps to generate tax revenues that pay for important services citywide. An economic impact study completed by Beacon Economics was released in May 2020 (Queen Mary Economic Impact Report), confirming the immense economic impact that the Queen Mary has on the Long Beach economy. Some key insights for Long Beach specifically:
- In Long Beach, spending associated with the Queen Mary supported 1,374 jobs;
- Contributed $42.7 million in labor income;
- Generated $93.7 million in economic output; and
- Of the 1,365 direct jobs supported in Long Beach, 329 were at the Queen Mary
City leadership has proactively documented the necessary repairs to the Queen Mary, beginning with the first-ever comprehensive inspection report shared with the public in 2017. The previous operator took responsibility for beginning implementation of these repairs in 2016 pursuant to the Lease. On September 18, 2018, the City Manager detailed these repairs in a public presentation to the City Council.
On September 23, 2019, the City Manager provided another written update to the City Council regarding the status of these projects. On October 1, 2019, the City of Long Beach sent a letter to the previous operator which is detailed and attached to a written memo to the City Council on November 4, 2019, indicating that the operator was falling short of its obligations under the terms of the Lease. For more information on the repairs and public reports, please see this latest update on May 20, 2021.
Beginning with the notifications in late 2019, the City has provided numerous formal notifications of default to the previous operator regarding various failures to comply with its obligations under the Lease. These included, among others, a failure to maintain the Ship in a first-class condition, timely rental payment, and failure to provide financial details requested by the City and City Auditor. On February 26, 2021, the previous operator formally provided a Notice of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The bankruptcy proceedings are ongoing.
On May 14, 2021, the City of Long Beach filed an Objection to Sale of Leases with the Court administering the Queen Mary bankruptcy. In May 2021, the City and its maritime engineering experts had the opportunity to inspect the Queen Mary and have determined that the approximate cost to cure all existing noticed defaults under the Lease have increased to between approximately $41 million and $58 million. City management, together with the City Attorney’s Office, will continue to take all appropriate actions in the debtor’s bankruptcy case to protect the City’s property and achieve an outcome that will best position the Ship for long-term success.
On May 28, 2021, the Office of the City Manager released an official statement about the Queen Mary.
On June 4, 2021, the previous operator surrendered its interests in the Lease, and responsibility for operating the Queen Mary Hotel and surrounding property returned to the City effective immediately.
To protect the safety and stability of the Queen Mary, on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, the Long Beach City Council approved a short-term caretaking agreement with the current on-Ship operator Evolution Hospitality. In addition to the Queen Mary, Evolution Hospitality operates a diverse portfolio of lifestyle hotels across North America.
The council action will ensure day-to-day maintenance of the Ship and associated properties prior to a more long-term solution. The action also provides funding to prepare a plan to address the most urgent repairs on the Ship.
The City continues to hold the previous operator responsible for Shipboard repairs through the bankruptcy process and will pursue every legal avenue available to ensure the protection of the asset and address any potential wrongdoing or Lease violations. The City has also released a Study Session Report on July 20, 2021, that has outlined short-term and long term next steps:
Short-term next steps:
- Work with Harbor Department staff to complete engineering assessment of alternatives for the long-term disposition of the Queen Mary (90 days est.) and return to the City Council with updated projected costs.
- Further, evaluate potential Pier H transfer to Port and return to the City Council for direction.
- Complete critical repairs identified by recent inspections and reopen the Queen Mary Hotel and tours to visitors in 2022.
- Work with the Harbor Department to jointly negotiate short-term agreements (1-3 years) for hotel and special event operations to reopen Queen Mary while developing long-term recommendations.
Long-term next steps:
- Work with Harbor Department to develop organizational and budget models including ongoing management of: hotel, special events, filming, and landside development.
- Initiate RFP processes for long-term hotel and special events operations.
- Re-establish a non-profit foundation to assist with donations and offers to assist with historic preservation, education, and art collection.
- Prepare a master plan for landside development including environmental due diligence, zoning, and RFP for long-term ground lease.
Finally, on September 14, 2021, a recommendation was made to the City Council to authorize the City Manager, or designee, to engage in negotiations with the Harbor Department for the transfer of the operation and control of “Pier H” from the City Council to the Harbor Department.
Related Documents Timeline
City to Enter Into HMA with Evolution Hospitality
City Reaches Major Milestone in Critical Repairs to Queen Mary
Queen Mary Reopening Plan Update
City to Conduct Critical Repairs to the Queen Mary Beginning in February 2022
City Council Letter
Presentation on Pier H Transfer Negotiations
Queen Mary Study Session Report
Official City of Long Beach Statement Regarding the Queen Mary
Queen Mary Inspection Report Update to City Council
Queen Mary Economic Impact Report
Update on Queen Mary Lease Management
Update on Queen Mary Projects and Long Beach Cruise Terminal Dome
Royal Treatment: How Urban Commons Is Restoring the Queen Mary
Queen Mary Update to City Council
Public Invited to Provide Input on Future Development of Queen Mary Area
City of Long Beach Welcomes New Master Lessee to the Queen Mary