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Tickets on sale now for Southern California’s #1 Rated Oktoberfest

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Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest Welcomes the Return of a Band from Germany

Tickets to the 52nd Annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest are now on sale. Organizers of Southern California’s #1 Oktoberfest are ready to deliver another authentic Bavarian-style celebration for nine consecutive weekends from September 10 to November 5. Ticket options range from general admission, preferred seating options, Sunday Family-Fun Packages, and Über Bürgermeister Party Packs. Other big news for Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest is Frankenrebellen Express, a band direct from Bavaria, will perform two weekends in October. 

“This marks the first time since 2019 that we were actually able to get a band direct from Germany to travel to the United States,” said Monica Marini, director of Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest. “The Frankenrebellen Express will definitely bring the spirit of Munich’s Oktoberfest right here in Big Bear Lake.” 

Frankenrebellen Express derives from the Franconia region of Bavaria. They’re slated to perform in Big Bear October 1-2 and the following weekend, October 7-9. They sing with thick German accents and deliver exuberant party music that’s driven by a hearty, rhythmic oompah-pah sound. The other seven weekends are booked with Southern California’s top German-style bands, which includes Die Sauerkrauts, Hazelnuss Das Music, Da Stuben Buden, and Ladyhosen featuring international yodeling sensation Kathrin Jakob. These bands perform on the main stage inside the Big Bear Lake Convention Center. Each band is renowned to stir up good times with a mix of popular cover songs such as “Sweet Caroline,” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” original tunes, and of course traditional Bavarian sing-alongs like “Ein-Prosit,” “Hands to Heaven,” and “Das Esellied” that are certain to bring plenty of smiles and cheers. A second stage located outside, in the High-Altitude Beer Garden, features a variety of regional bands that perform rock ‘n’ roll and country music. For the full entertainment lineup visit BigBearEvents.com.   

“We have two stages of continuous live entertainment, which provides a lively atmosphere throughout the day,” added Marini. “We give our guests plenty of activities to partake in too, from ‘Ein Prosit’ toasts, kids’ games, a mechanical bull, log-sawing contests and various interactive group dances that everyone seems to enjoy such as the ‘Fliegerlied’ and ‘Chicken Dance.’”

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest represents Southern California’s most authentic Oktoberfest, which is well-known as the closest thing to the original celebration in Munich, Germany. Just like the original, Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest starts its celebration in September and goes into October (due to popular demand, it now stretches into November). What really makes this Oktoberfest more special than others is Big Bear Lake is situated in an Alpine environment with evergreens trees, mountain vistas, and a town-square village. This environment naturally reflects the scenery and heritage of the Bavarian Alps of Germany. At 6,750’ altitude, it marks the highest altitude Oktoberfest in California, and second highest in the U.S. The food served at Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest respects German traditions to the tee, including grilled bratwursts and knockwurst sausages, fresh-made colossal pretzels, home-style sauerkraut, German potato salad served warm, Bavarian-style potato dumplings, and apple strudel served with a warm vanilla sauce.  

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest even serves the very same beer poured at Munich’s Oktoberfest! There are two full-service bars located inside the Convention Center and three different beer gardens outside, including the Tiki Bar, which provides a variety of micro brews and craft beer, ideal for beer connoisseurs.

The true spirit of Bavaria comes to life in Big Bear Lake for nine consecutive weekends, which starts September 10 and ends November 5, 2022. The weekend festivities take place at Big Bear Lake Convention Center, located at 42900 Big Bear Blvd. Event times are Saturdays 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sundays 12 noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays (October only) 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. This year’s event has limited capacity, and some dates are anticipated to sell out. Saturdays in October have set arrival entry time blocks to ensure everyone with a pre-purchased tickets get a speedy entrance into the event. Tickets are on a first come, first served basis, and guests are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase tickets online. Ticket options range from general admission, preferred seating options, Sunday Family-Fun Packages, and Über Bürgermeister Party Packs. Ticket prices for Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest vary per ticket type and per date. For complete details regarding tickets, pricing, and general information, log on to BigBearEvents.com, or call 909-585-3000.

For all there is to see and in Big Bear visit BigBearGuide.com

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Commercial Real Estate

Court Appoints Receiver to Oversee Former American Sports University Dormitory in San Bernardino

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The San Bernardino Superior Court has placed the former American Sports University Dormitory, located at 340 West Fourth Street under receivership. In a ruling dated January 18, 2024, Judge Thomas Garza appointed Richardson Griswold of Griswold Law in Encinitas as Receiver.

“We are pleased that Judge Garza has granted our motion to appoint a Receiver,” said San Bernardino City Manager Charles Montoya. “He agreed that the site conditions have likely worsened since we made our initial request for a receiver a year ago and the property poses a danger to the community.”

Under the powers granted by the Court, Griswold is authorized 1) to rehabilitate the property; 2) demolish the building, or 3) sell the property to an entity who will promptly undertake the rehabilitation and correct the identified deficiencies and violations.

Receiver Richardson “Red” Griswold has extensive experience as a court appointed receiver. He has been appointed by over 180 California courts in 21 different California counties, including appointments related to health & safety, rents, post-judgment, and partition matters. Griswold also acts as an expert witness in cases involving habitability standards. He will report directly to Judge Garza and will enforce the judge’s orders to protect the building from additional break-ins and damage.

In its ruling, the court found “the substandard conditions on the Subject Property are ongoing and will likely persist unless this Court appoints a receiver to take possession of the Subject Property and undertake responsibility for its rehabilitation.”

The court found that the property is a public nuisance and is being maintained in a manner that violates State and local laws. The violations at the property are so extensive and of such a nature that the health and safety of neighboring residents and the general public is substantially endangered.

The court stated that the property owners did not comply with City issued notices and orders to correct the substandard conditions, despite being afforded a reasonable opportunity to correct the conditions.

The court also ordered that Ji Li, Fox Property Holdings, and its representatives are prohibited from entering the building without the Receiver’s permission, making any changes to existing insurance policies, selling or encumbering the building, or collecting rents or other income from the building.

The property at 340 West 4th Street has been a challenging property for several years. Used as an unpermitted housing facility by Ji Li and Fox Property Holdings, tenants were subjected to unsafe and unlivable conditions including black mold, inoperative fire alarms and sprinklers, blocked fire escapes, and insect and rodent infestations.

San Bernardino had been working through the Civil Court process to take control of the building the past eighteen months. In that time, Ji Li and Fox Property Holdings of Irwindale, have ignored court orders, including a September 2022 Temporary Restraining Order requiring them to pay to relocate tenants and make all required repairs to the building.

Due to the unsafe conditions, on August 17, 2023, the City of San Bernardino red tagged the building, relocating the tenants that still remained. Despite boarding up the property, there have been repeated fires and break-ins.

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Community

San Manuel Orange County Golf Tournament Raises $425,000 for Five Tribal, Local & National Nonprofits

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24th Annual Tournament Recognizes O.C. based Meals on Wheels and Radiant Futures Among Others 

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Tribal leaders, business and community partners united for this year’s annual golf tournament to raise $425,000 for tribal, local and national nonprofits, making it the largest year for funds raised at the annual event. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has donated more than $3 million to 50 nonprofit organizations as a result of its annual golf tournament. The tournament was the first Tribal event at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club since the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians acquired an interest in the property earlier this year. 

The annual event commenced on July 16 with a celebration and a check presentation of $85,0000 each to five inspiring tribal, local and national nonprofits. The following nonprofits were awarded: Lakota Waldorf School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota dedicated to providing an exemplary education to reservation students while incorporating their culture; Voices for Children which serves children in Riverside and San Diego County who are in foster care by providing court appointed special advocates; Citrus Counseling Services located in Redlands which provides mental health services at low or no cost; Radiant Futures of Orange County provides crisis support, services for survivors, and education to prevent domestic violence and human trafficking; and Meals on Wheels OC which provides programming to nourish the wellness of senior citizens in Orange County. 

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman, Lynn Valbuena, says she is moved by the community’s commitment to providing a hand up to nonprofits that are dedicated to making a difference regionally and throughout Indian Country.

“Each year I stand in awe of the thoughtfulness and generosity of our sponsors and partners to continue San Manuel’s mission of supporting organizations that are truly the boots on the ground for making our world a better place,” said San Manuel Chairwoman, Lynn Valbuena. “These five nonprofits are improving the lives of so many Native Americans, as well as local communities, and we are proud to help. The tournament is one of the many ways San Manuel demonstrates its value of giving back.” 

This year, golfers teed off on ocean-view golf courses at Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach and Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point from Monday, July 17 to Thursday, July 20. 

Presenting sponsors of the tournament included Imagine This and PENTA Building Group. Yaamava’ Resort & Casino was also joined by its sports partners from the LA Dodgers, LAFC and the Anaheim Ducks.

Supporting nonprofit organizations is part of the Tribe’s commitment to their Giving Pillar also known as “San Manuel Cares.” For more information on San Manuel Care’s Program, please visit: www.sanmanuelcares.org

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Business

City of San Bernardino Planning for the Revitalization of Its Downtown

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The City of San Bernardino has proposed a set of initiatives, programs, and investments intended to revitalize its downtown area.

“When we transform our downtown, we transform San Bernardino.” said Interim City Manager Charles McNeely. “And that time is now.”

The Mayor and City Council were given a preview on June 30 of the initiatives planned to revitalize downtown. In the coming months, the City Council will be asked to approve many of the specific steps.

“Downtown San Bernardino is already a huge economic driver for our City,” added McNeely. “It has the potential to bring many more jobs, much more housing, and significantly more economic activity than there currently is.”

The downtown area accounts for only 1.4 percent of the city’s population, but accounts for 19 percent of the city’s jobs.

“To build upon the opportunities in downtown San Bernardino, the City has assembled a set of proposals that will take advantage of San Bernardino’s strengths,” said Economic Development Manager Amanda Hernandez. “Some are best practices; some are specific to San Bernardino. Collectively, they will make a tremendous impact.”

Among the proposals are:

  • Partnering with the Cal State San Bernardino Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) to create an Entrepreneurial Resource Center to offer programs and counseling to existing and startup businesses. Since its inception, IECE has counseled and trained nearly 150,000 existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners, and students.
  • Evaluating the feasibility of using Court Street between D and E Streets as a pedestrian corridor to hold farmers markets, arts, culture, and food fairs, and other special events.
  • Partnering with downtown businesses and property owners to create a downtown property and business improvement district (PBID).
  • Working with Cal State, San Bernardino to develop a downtown satellite campus for select programs.
  • Authorizing the San Bernardino Police Department to hire additional officers to create a permanent downtown quality of life team to address safety issues specific to the downtown area. This would build upon a successful pilot project launched earlier this year downtown.
  • Working to revitalize City-owned property, including the Regal Cinema Plaza, the Convention Center, San Manuel Stadium – home of the 66ers, E Street retail sites, and the former Woolworth Building.
  • Conducting a preliminary Engineering and Space Study Plan to determine the next steps for San Bernardino’s City Hall.
  • Starting a $2.5 million renovation to the historic California Theater.
  • Adding additional economic development staff to focus on the attraction, retention, and expansion of businesses, housing, and employment.
  • Contracting with a real estate brokerage firm to market city-owned property.
  • Developing an economic development action plan to build upon recent planning efforts such as the downtown specific plan and investment playbook.
  • Launching a façade improvement program to enhance and upgrade building exteriors along key commercial corridors.
  • Developing a revolving loan program to provide emergency and ongoing financing to small businesses.
  • Exploring the creation of additional downtown special events to build upon the success of the Miracle on Court Street, Route 66 Rendezvous, Arts Fest, and Vegan Fest.

Some steps to revitalize downtown San Bernardino are already underway. In recent months, the City has:

  • Created a $3 million small business and non-profit grant program. The program, in partnership with the Small Business Development Center, awards grants between $10,000 and $35,000 to qualifying small businesses and non-profits who receive training on how to sustain and grow their business. A second round of funding will be available in the coming months.
  • Began a proactive review of downtown properties to ensure that owners maintain the physical appearance and condition of their properties. This is a result of recent Council actions to expand the size of the Code Enforcement department.
  • Investing $9 million into the refurbishment of Seccombe Lake Park. Conceptual plans were presented to the City Council on July 19.

“We are already seeing increased investment in downtown San Bernardino,” added Hernandez. “Entrepreneurs, investors recognize that the transformation is underway.” 

  • Last year, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted to consolidate and expand its footprint in downtown San Bernardino with the creation of a 307,000 square foot government center. This project will bring more employees to downtown San Bernardino and create additional demand for downtown business and housing options.
  • Several new restaurants are under construction on 5th street. This includes a second downtown Starbucks location, a Del Taco, and a Chipotle. In addition, the Planning Commission recently approved the expansion of the In-N-Out Burger and the construction of a Sonic restaurant.
  • Investors recently purchased the historic Heritage Building on Court Street with the intention of renovating the building and opening a new restaurant.
  • The owners of 330 D Street where Chase Bank is located recently created the shared workspace Studio D. Among its tenants are the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce and Music Changing Lives.

One of the biggest economic opportunities remains the 42-acre Carousel Mall property. Currently, the mall is being demolished, with planning underway to build the infrastructure needed to re-develop the property. Ultimately, the City will seek a private partner to develop the site with new housing and commercial development.

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