It's a good year to fly.
The Catalina Flyer, a high-speed catamaran that can whisk up to 500
people a day to and from Catalina Island, looks to be on its way to good
year. In fact, for the first four months of this year, the Flyer had its
best year ever. And though things slowed down a little in May, Catalina
Passenger Service President Bob Black said 2002 is looking promising.
"I feel good about it," said the Newport Beach native who's been
involved in the business for about 30 years. "I feel like it should
continue. We're real prone to weather and hopefully we'll start getting
some nice sunny weather -- not just for us but for the whole Peninsula."
The company's main business is operating the boat that, for $37 round
trip, carries visitors from the Balboa Pavilion to Catalina Island's
quaint city of Avalon. From January through April, the Flyer averaged
about 200 passengers a day making the 75-minute, 28-mile voyage. In the
busiest season, which centers around July and August, about 450 people
take the Flyer each day.
But a good first quarter isn't the only reason for optimism, Black
said. Catalina Island has some events planned for the rest of this year
that he says are sure to be a hit:
Now through Nov. 9, the Island is celebrating "Buffalo In Paradise,"
a public art display of life-size whimsically decorated fiberglass
buffalo placed in various outdoor locations throughout Avalon. In
November, the buffalo will be auctioned off and proceeds will go to a
And there's good news on this side of the pond, too. Balboa Peninsula
revitalization has finished its first phase, and people coming down to
the area like what they see, Black said.
"Memorial Day weekend was just a zoo down here," he said. "The city is
really sprucing up the area and we really appreciate what they're doing
down here. Things are looking good."