Ever wondered what was going on behind those construction walls at the Boardwalk every time you drive by on the way for a surf. Well, wonder no more. Millerslocal managed to wangle her way onto a site visit with the Weekend Post peeps earlier this week to suss out what was going on behind the scenes. We gotto keep tabs on what's happening on our turf, right?!
To start with, there one moerse big hole back there. They're going 3 stories deep, to fit in plenty underground parking. I asked about whether they had any water issues down there cos of the proximity to the beach, but turns out the water getting in there is actually fresh water...which they're having to pump out 24/7.
It'll be used to fill the lake and for irrigation etc. Can't they use it for drinking purposes seeing as it's fresh? Well, turns out that the water table flows from Forest Hill area...right under the cemetery - so yah, unless we keen on drinking granny and grandpa...we'll pass on that one! They are running some tests to establish how kosher it is, but until they get the all-clear it'll just be coming out the hose, not the tap.
I was stoked to find out it'll only be going up 3 stories, not like City Lodge Alcatraz down the way. Happy to report that the architecture is in keeping with the whole Boardwalk style, so looks pretty nice. We even got to traipse round a full size mock-up of one of the suites. You could jol with you and about 15 of your mates in that thing. Nice 40 inch plasma for entertainment, bar etc.
The first phase, which is the new smoking (cough, cough, cough) casino will be ready this December. The hotel and conference centre will be done by Dec next year. Big-ass conference centre too. Which is cool cos hopefully means we'll get some more shows and stuff. Can seat 2400 peeps cinema style, or about 1400 seated for a gala dinner or for show. The hotel is just going to be 130 rooms, with a nice gym, spa and indoor pool.
So all in all, Millerslocal gives it a thumbs up cos it's going to have a low visual impact and is in keeping with the PE beachfront's feel. So props to Sun International for not going all nasty big is better, like the muppets at Humewood.
We recently ran an article about how the PE surf spots got their names, and Denville was one of the spots that had everyone stumped. Well, that was until I went to go visit one of PE's original surfers recently, as baalie Leon Killian turned out to be quite the detective!
He'd got in touch with me a little while ago to say that he could help out with naming all the guys featured on our Back in the Day photo's, and that he also had a collection of old PE surf photo's and some old surf mags, and that I could pop round to see what I wanted for the site.
Leon started surfing at the Fence back in the 60's, right when surfing started up in PE. He reckons there were probably about 30 surfers max in the whole of PE, and on weekends you had to hunt for guys to make the mission to JBay with you, as you'd basically only surf with the guys you arrived with! Imagine that!!
He says Fence was really, really good back then, cos the sea came right up to where the old putt putt course at Kings Beach used to be (which in those days was where the Kings Beach Lifesaving Club was....they had to move it to it's current position when the sea ended up over 700m from them!) So you used to get around 400m of harbour wall that was at right angles to the break, so plenty of space for the swells to rebound off and make the most perfect peaks.
Maybe we can go "borrow" a coupla front end graders and restore Fence to it's former glory? Any volunteers? All the other spots in the bay sure could use the sand we dig up there....so everyone would be happy!
So Denville's, now how did that come about. Turns out it was named after the first two guys who surfed there:
Dennis Buchman and Neville Mandy. Leon tracked Neville down to confirm it with him, it was the first time they'd been in touch in over 40 years!
So shot to Leon for solving the mystery! Got some classic old PE surf shots from Leon during my visit, including cooking Fence, which I'll load up next week.