Derrick Henry has become the second black mayor of Daytona Beach. Henry snagged 58 percent of the vote defeating Edith Shelley. Republican Shelley lost despite backing from several corporate sponsors including the International Speedway Corporation and outgoing Mayor, Glenn Ritchey. Shelley reportedly spent $93,000 on her campaign, while Henry a modest $53,000. Henry credits his victory to connecting with voters directly by going door-to-door.
Mayor Henry plans to run Daytona from “the ground up, not the top down.” Focusing on the “core of the city that’s been most neglected.”
Daytona’s recent mayors have all discouraged college students from visiting the city during spring break. Henry would like to see young visitors welcomed back, rather than just appealing only to families.
“I am also going to do whatever is necessary to make African-Americans feel welcome in the city and that includes the students.”
“If someone wants to promote events geared to Black students and spring break events, I want to help create an environment to make it happen.”
“My point is it is not my job to set the agenda to say who comes to the city. We should be big enough to welcome everyone.”
“I am not throwing out things that made us successful.” – Mayor Derrick Henry
All encouraging words to college students and those who loved attending Black College Reunion in the past.
Its about that time again. Time to start planning for your summer vacations! Site updates will being shortly, so stay tuned.
Daytona Beach is a ghost town. No BCR signage and the hotels are empty. The once grand event that was BCR has rode off into the sunset. It’s a shame that Black College Reunion has dwindled to nothing, due to the of lack of support by the City of Daytona. From the complaints of noise from local residents to the occasional violence BCR has always had strong opposition. True, there have been isolated incidents of trouble at these events, but when you have 200 to 300,000 people in one area there are bound to be some bad apples. Instead of focusing on the majority of the crowd – The media, the city government and the residents used the negative factors to fuel their hatred for this event. Instead of living with blinders on, true leaders would be looking at the big picture. In a time where city governments around the country are laying off employees and cutting back on services, the top brass should be trying to exercise all avenues for revenue. This is short sighted planning. Everything that is here today is not guaranteed tomorrow. Depending on the NASCAR season to fuel Daytona’s budget for the year is reckless. To expect tourist to spend their vacations in an area with older hotels that have not been remodeled or update in years in silly. To bank on visitors coming to a beach that has increased their entry fees while reducing the lifeguard staff is laughable.
A major reason older businesses fail is from operating with a “Business as usual” attitude. Philosophies that worked 50 years ago will most likely be outdated. In the information age, ideas and processes die even faster. That being said, the City of Daytona needs to rethink, retool and reinvent itself. It IS possible to satisfy the residents and bring in millions in revenue at the same time.
Who suffers from demise of BCR? The businesses.
Daytona Beach is an aging city, from the residents to the hotels on the strip. What incentives are available to business owners to renovate? Why pour millions into repairs or renovations for rooms that are at 20 percent occupancy year round? Where is the money going to come from to pay the city’s employees? Property tax? Hotel tax? Sales tax? All of these revenue streams are drying up with foreclosures and the reduction of tourist dollars to the area.
This snowballing effect is based on old school thinking and older residents who will not be living there much longer.
…The ghost of BCR is watching and waiting to be revived.
The official dates are March 19 – 21, 2010. Verified with the City of Daytona, which is a welcomed change. Last year (2009) BCR wasn’t even on Daytona Beach’s event calendar.
The tentative dates for Black College Reunion (BCR) in Daytona Beach, FL will be March 11-14, 2010. These dates are considerably earlier than years past, so I would wait a while longer before booking hotels/reservations. I personally would like to see the dates moved to the second week in April. We will post more information as it becomes available.
We might be late, but we did make it on the twitter train. If you have a Twitter account make sure you follow us @bcrinfo.
When we add a new entry, you will get an update. Stay on top of the haps with us on Twitter!
As was expected, the crowd for BCR 2009 was extremely light. I was happy to see first time visitors like Shawna Mitchell from FAMU having a good time. “We came down to see what we was missing. Me and my (six) friends are looking for the parties!” Their enthusiasm was a welcomed site.
During my walks up and down Atlantic Avenue I met visitors from FAMU, Florida State, Jackson State, University of Miami, Florida Memorial, Texas Woman’s University, University of South Florida, Fort Valley State and Morris Brown. Families dominated the landscape as was the case in 2008. The hotel managers I talked with admitted their revenues from this event has all but dried up.
The weather was a factor once again this year, just as in 2008. “I would like to see this event pushed back a little further into April so we can get in the water.” says Nicole Chance from Tallahassee. She makes a valid point, scheduling dates in mid April makes a lot more sense. There would be less of a chance for cold temperatures and a little rain would be welcomed to help visitors cool off.
In order for this event to regain some momentum artists, vendors, promoters, event coordinators and the City of Daytona must be on the same page. There will be a new section added to the site to help this process. Stay tuned for more information on that.
I will be also adding a gallery section to showcase pictures from this year and past BCR events. If you would like to contribute, feel free to submit your pictures using this form.
The dates for Black College Reunion 2009 a/k/a Black Spring Break in Daytona Beach, FL has been announced.
March 20 – 22, 2009
Its a little earlier this time around, so make your reservations now. As information comes in I will update the site accordingly. Lets hope gas prices continue to go down so more people can make it down to BCR 2009.
Traveling to BCR you will have the opportunity to meet college students from around the country. ( Primarily from southern states though ) One year I met this nice girl from Hawaii, she was more than happy to let me know black people live there. I apologize for my ignorance, but I was young. LOL
Most of the time the weather is nice for BCR. There has been years where its been a little cold, but this is the first time that rain was an issue.
It was an interesting mix of people this year at BCR. There were a lot of ‘families’ in town, so the landscape was not as chocolate as in years past. Although the crowd was light we still had a good time.
I was informed by email that the information regarding the concert at the Bandshell was posted in error. According to the email BET has no involvement in the concerts at the Bandshell. So as of this moment please disregard the entry about a BET concert at BCR this year.