Set aside the emotional consideration that some of us are energized and excited by being part of a massive crowd and some of us detest the same experience. And set aside the fact that the City of Royal Oak doesn't really benefit financially from either event. Why do we hear grumbles about ABE from both those who love or are neutral about the Cruise? The comparison emerges repeatedly in conversations since ABE raised its entry fee to $5.00 --- a 67% increase over $3.00.
The fundamental objection is that the public at large benefits from the Cruise, a proper use of tax-funded city services, while all the city's work and costs assigned to ABE end up profiting a business owner.
ABE's popularity wasn't enhanced when long-time local business owners, like Chuck Button and Gayle Chinn appeared during August 20's CITCOM Public Comment to complain about being arbitrarily denied permission to repeat their 2011 conversion of their property to paid private parking during the festival. And Attorney Dave Richards seemed to suggest there would be legal action about the City's arbitrary denial of 16 private parking sites, which were used last year. (I couldn't tell whether Chuck and Gayle are included in Richards's 16.)