Nearly a month after the Ironman triathlon clusterfuck left residents trapped in their homes, traffic at a standstill, and businesses empty, the La Quinta City Council has issued a letter to express how “truly sorry” they are for the event taxpayers forked over a good deal of cash for.
“Even though we know a first-year event of this caliber would bring some growing pains, what actually happened was never part of the plan,” the letter, signed by all five council members states. “We too were extremely disappointed and concerned about the massive traffic problems that plagued our city.”
Residents were, and this putting it mildly, pretty pissed about the Ironman, voicing their displeasure on a Facebook post from the La Quinta Police Department – in which even the department distanced itself from the decision to host the event in the city and shut down its busiest roadways during the busy Holiday Season.
But that didn’t seem to do anything to please residents.
“Terrible planning and execution LQ Police,” one commenter wrote. “No logic to your plan from a traffic flow standpoint. Maybe it was good for the visitors. Piss off 60K people for the benefit of a few thousand; brilliant!!”
The council then went on to state in the letter (see the entire letter here, via KESQ) that a future Ironman in the city is not guaranteed.
“We need IRONMAN to understand that while we are honored La Quinta was chosen to co-host this event, the negative impact it had on our community cannot be repeated. We are evaluating what went wrong, where improvement is needed, and what needs to change BEFORE agreeing to host any future IRONMAN or other events.”
In the days following the Ironman outrage, La Quinta voted down a chance to host what sounds like could’ve been a pretty cool installation.
“It’s more about the impact than anything else right now, because of the Ironman, in my opinion,” Mayor Linda Evans said during the council meeting “This, quite simply, is just not worth it for me, for our residents based on what we just went through.”
In the letter, the council proclaims they have now established a “Shop LQ” campaign to encourage the entire Coachella Valley to shop “La Quinta businesses who were impacted so greatly” by the event.
They did not explain what, exactly, the “Shop LQ” campaign was, how much taxpayer money they are spending on it, how its success would be measured, or how it would work. They also, surprisingly, didn’t include a cool hashtag with it.