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Mayor Prang: 'City Doesn't Make Any Money on Halloween'

Weho Mayor Jeffrey Prang contends there is a misconception that the city generates large amounts of revenue from the Halloween Carnaval.

West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang said Wednesday that contradictory to public belief, the city does not make any money from the ever-popular Halloween Carnaval.

"There are some assumptions and myths that are untrue," Prang said. "We don’t make any money on Halloween. We spend almost $900,000."

Prang said the city gives nearly $500,000 to the agency that plans and organizes the event, and more than $300,000 goes to the sheriff's department.

However, the money the city receives from West Hollywood businesses in return, which is based off the city sales tax, comes nowhere near the amount of money the city spends on the Carnaval, according to Prang. 

"I'm kind of a critic because of the money we spend on it. I'm a supporter of the event but not the size of it," Prang said. "The city has deemed it important. But every year, when people say it’s a moneymaker for the city, that’s just not true."

Prang listed a number of reasons as to why businesses around West Hollywood do not enjoy as much success on Halloween night as one might anticipate.

"There are a bunch of businesses in the area—bars, night clubs and restaurants—that have a good night," Prang said. "But up on Sunset Boulevard, businesses don’t do as well because no one wants to come unless they're going to Halloween because of traffic and parking. Customers can't get to these business and in turn, they're not busy. Parking can be miles away and people park in front of businesses, then walk to the Carnaval."

Prang said he has been attending the event since 1987 and has seen it transform over the years. 

"Basically, it used to be in the main business district, but it got enormous over the years," Prang said. "I always ask the question, would this event not be a wildly successful event if it had 100,000 people instead of 400,000? Could we provide a more quality event? We provide Halloween entertainment for all of Southern California."

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Paul November 02, 2012 at 03:46 AM
I'm sure these vendors have to pay some sort of fee to participate in the Halloween carnival. If not they definitely should. Why does the city have to be involved at all? It managed just fine back in the day.
Ali November 02, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Sexual orientation is immaterial Paul. This City has people of all orientations.
Rudolf Martin November 02, 2012 at 07:21 AM
we do not expect our halloween parade to pay for itself so we give it a million per year. in contrast the residential parking permit program must pay for itself. citations within the program are not credited as income. therefore we will keep raising the fee that residents pay for the program. as stephanie (and many others) pointed out we do have some strange priorities. halloween is great for kids. can we at least tie this pointless parade to a charity so we have a party with a purpose?
me November 02, 2012 at 07:45 AM
The West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval is produced by the City of West Hollywood and the Authentic Agency, a West Hollywood branded entertainment agency.....there was some tiff a while back about how these contracts were awarded and then it was all swept under the rug....see what you can find out about the "authentic agency" and who owns it and what political campaigns they donate to.....as they say: FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!
Chloe Ross November 02, 2012 at 07:06 PM
"We provide Halloween entertainment for all of Southern California." No we don't. We provide "adult" entertainment for all of Southern California. Children (and dogs?) are not advised to partake. So this is not an accurate comment - however well meaning it may have been. The best part is we pay for all of it too. The demand register will be on the agenda for the Nov 5 City Council. Maybe someone should demand to see how this chunk of change gets parsed. As it stands now - it a paid event sponsored by the City of West Hollywood that is essentially rated R. As an aside - some of the costumes worn by four of CC members were very fascinating - I wonder who/what they were supposed to be???? Anyone have a clue???

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