Surfer's Bay - History

Written by Duncan Blackburn – Owner of Surfer’s Bay VIP estates

Over the past few months there has been a lot of mistruths and plain lies about Surfer’s Bay VIP and the previous Surfer’s Bay sim.

 

I am not the type of man to react to lies and slander in SL because I operate on the basis of ‘those that really know me, know the truth’ and also because I do not want SL drama impacting on our members. My priority is to always ensure our members enjoy their time at Surfer’s Bay VIP and in group.


But sometimes in life – you need to put your side of the story forward to allow people to make up their own minds and the time has finally come for me to do that here – away from SL itself.


This is a lengthy explanation about the true history of Surfer’s Bay VIP and the previous sim, backed up by hard facts, logged IM conversations and dated financial transactions. It is long, but if you are genuinely interested in the real truth, then please read on.


On 2015/12/7, I met my ex business and personal partner (who I will not name here) on another beach sim. We struck up a conversation and both realized we enjoy surfing, but we were not impressed with the majority of the places to surf in SL.


She had a jungle themed sim at the time and had thought about creating a surf sim at one point but was about to give up the sim since the cost was too expensive for her on her own.

 

She showed me her sim as it was set up and I thought she had done a very nice job with the landscaping. I had asked her if she had considered having a business partner. She said she would but finding a business partner isn’t easy. I asked her at that point what she expected in a business partner and she listed


1. Pay half the rent (see below to how that worked out)

2. Have equal rights (on the land and group)

3. Help run the group and island (as you will read below this was one sided)

4. She would do the landscaping (rebuilding the sim to a beach)

5. She doesn’t want a partner who be here a week and gone the next

 

I offered to be her business partner based on the equal pay and rights. She wanted me to know about her and explained she is in SL to do her store and photography.

 

I explained my background to her of having once been half owner of a 6-sim ski resort. I have experience running resorts in sl. I explained after running the ski resort together with my previous business partner we started to have differences in opinions and the partnership ended. I agreed with her list if I had a partner I could work well with and trust. I didn’t have her creative eye, but I was a jack of all trades at running resorts.

 

We continued to discuss how we would run a surf island. Such things as

 

1. Group only access

2. Reasonable group membership fee

3. Allow sex

4. Beachwear and nudity only

5. Adult humans only

6. Having both beach area and wooded area

7. Water space all the way around the island

8. Mountain and cave. 

9. Dancing and parties but not a night club


We offered each other friendship at is was late for her she needed to log off. We decided we would think about being business partner overnight. The next day she said she thought it over and wanted to do the business partnership with me. We agreed, and the build started. I purchased the sim.


We went shopping for items for the island. She had a lot in inventory. I had some and we bought some. I purchased the wave and set it up in a unique style (exclusive to our island). We started going through ideas for the island name, tossing out several. I had thrown out Surfer Paradise and she said she things we should have bay in the name so how about Surfer Bay. We agreed on that. I said we should create the group quickly before it is taken. She said it would be best if she created the group and offered me owners’ role. That how we started the group. She continued to do the landscaping, I continued to set up the land setting rights.

 

The next day 2015/12/30 we finished setting up and opened the island for access. We started getting people showing up and joining.

 

On 2016/01/02 we were already seeing that we were going to outgrow the homestead quickly and started talking about a full sim sometime in the future if necessary.


On 2016/01/10 We had to make the move and I rented the new full sim (Sunny Shores) and we began the build of the new Surfers Bay.

 

Again, she did the landscaping and I did the technical setup. Throughout both builds when we needed to purchase landscape items we shared the cost, but the items went to her as she was doing the build while I was at rl work.

 

We only had 5 days before our rent was up on the old sim so we had to move fast. We did get the owner to apply the terraforming from the old bay to the new one (by downloading and uploading) saving us time.

 

In order to keep lag down I went through and started removing scripts from trees and bushes. I told her to do the same and she started doing that as well.

 

On 2016/01/12 we opened the full sim - Surfers Bay. Again, all was going very well. People loved the new island and membership was growing.


Now - when a sim charges membership through its group to cover tier for example, the membership fees are automatically divided between the people in the owner’s role – in this instance – me and her. You receive the L$ on a daily basis depending on who has joined the group recently.


We had decided to charge membership fees so that the tier – or at least some of it - could be covered between us. Running a full sim costs around 200 US dollars a month. But she kept all her group membership fees and didn’t pay towards the upkeep of the sim or the tier involved.


Her last payment in that regard took place 03/01/2016.


She did use a good 80% of her own inventory items to build the sim but the rest I paid for help cover the cost of landscaping 50/50. Keep in mind she kept the items purchased as she did the builds.

 

If you add up the months and cost per month you will see this is a substantial financial investment in RL money on my part to provide our members with a fun and friendly place to be together. She failed to do her part in covering that cost.


Throughout all this time she was active at Surfers Bay as well as having to go off sim to deal with her other business.

 

For a WHILE… everything went smoothly.


The island was growing in popularity. Very minor issues to deal with. She and I were both active at the sim.

 

Around mid Feb 2016 we started to have personal issue in our relationship. As stated these are personal and will not be discussed here.


In mid May 2016 our personal relationship ended. I’m not going to discuss the details as they are personal between the two of us. She picked up a few of her personal item (mostly non copy gacha items). She left the owners role at that time. I continued to look after the sim, pay all tier.


By the end of May she was coming back to the Island and asked if she could put a camper on the back of the island for her home. I agreed, and we attempted to keep a friendship.


She expressed an interest in staying involved in the design and I agreed she should.

 

At the beginning of June 2016, she started doing updates to the island to give it a fresh look. We appeared to be getting along well and working together. During the Island update we came to the agreement to put her back in as an owner of Surfers Bay. This made it easier for her to do the work.


What happened next is sadly typical of her.


Once she finished the work, she would stay active around the island for a few weeks then she wouldn’t be around much and when she was there she would stand at the back of the island and be afk for long periods of time. Again, she was receiving membership fees to allegedly contribute towards tier – but never paid tier and instead kept  her half of the fees for herself.


In early July 2016 she helped me put together a marketplace, so I could start selling poses. I put a couple of items in it, but I admit I have not been doing much with it.


Our contact after that was friendly but not steady. We would talk for a little while then she would go off to focus on her other SL interests including her Marketplace store.


May of 2017, she began to do another update to Surfers Bay. She rebuilt the back half of the island. This was a big hit. Again, she would stay around for a week or two then move into long afk visit then off to deal with her other interests.


December 2017 we were arguing again about her leaving her avi for long periods of time AFK. I was tired of all the IMs asking me why she never responds to them.


I wanted her to use her shop skybox if she was going to be afk. She wasn’t involved in the day to day running of the island or contributing any money towards it and carried on keeping all membership fees from group. I was doing all that work and had been for months – as well as paying the entire tier on the full sim out of my own RL money. She was still in the owners role at this time.


She didn't feel there was an issue.

 

Per the typical pattern she wasn’t around as she got involved in other projects.


In January 2018 I visited her at a new sim she was building based around a popular video game. She had someone she was working with on this project. We spoke and got along well. We discussed Surfers Bay.

 

She agreed she was not active with the island and she volunteered to remove herself from the ownership role (for those who are not aware once you’re an owner you cannot be remove. You have to remove yourself). I informed her I was going to be making changes at the island and I would be returning her items over time.


The sim was getting very busy and I wanted to drastically reduce scripted items to help with lag – mostly the large oak trees that used to cover a lot of the old sim. She agreed, and I was under the impression we had a friendly agreement.


In February 2018 we spoke again. I had stopped over to see a new sim she had built. We had a good conversation. She was building a place for rentals based on a famous place in Los Angeles and wanted our sims to work well together, so we each placed teleport boards advertising each other’s sims on our own.


March 2018 she was upset that items were being sent back as I began to change out her items with my own. This is when thing went bad between us.


She was upset I was changing things and felt she should be consulted. She was no longer an owner by her own action of removing herself. I was working to make Surfer’s Bay mine in a way that could manage cleanly because we were experiencing an increase in traffic and I work 60 plus hours a week in real life.


Harsher and harsher words were being used and at one point she made the comment that she could at any time just come over and remove everything on the island. It didn’t matter if she would do it or not the threat had been made and I had to take it seriously. I did not want our personal issues to impact on our group members or for our members to teleport to an almost empty sim.


That is when I realized I had to make a big change. I stopped returning her items and went out and purchased a new sim with 30,000 prims on a different estate. Please note – this was a completely empty sim when purchased.


I named this sim Surfer’s Bay VIP in order to distinguish it from the old sim and so that our current members could easily understand that it is an evolution of the previous sim and group.


This is the current Surfer’s Bay VIP sim and it was built from scratch with no input of items from her. All items are owned by the sim administration avatar – surfersbaydude – and the concept, landscaping, terraforming and all other sim jobs were carried out by myself and my current partner over a 3-week period while we still ran and paid for the old Surfer’s Bay sim.


She also started spewing her hostility in the Surfer’s Bay chat and I was left with no choice but to ban her.


May 2018 The new Surfer’s Bay VIP was finished, and I created a new group (she had been the owner of the old group). The new Surfer’s Bay VIP was opened and the move to the new group and island began.


This is where we stand now. I have Surfer’s Bay VIP and Surfer’s Eden sim opposite and she had gone on to start her own sim. More power to her. SL is a big place and there is room for many Surfing sims. I have not ever said negative or harsh words to the group about her in any way nor do I condone anyone else doing so. Anyone saying I did is misleading you.

 

As for those upset about the new group and claiming to be double charged. The new Surfer’s Bay VIP group was fee of charge to join for over 3 weeks to allow previous members to move over at no extra cost. I also work with previous members who contact me in a polite and civil manner to re-add them at no cost if they missed that open enrolment period as I kept a full membership list from the previous sim and group.


You now have my side to this story. I do not want IM’s to me about this, I do not intend to discuss it further. I happy with anyone being member of both groups and friends with both of us. Just do not come to Surfer’s Bay VIP or group and start speaking poorly about the island. Some have done this already and have been rightfully banned for doing so. Nobody has been banned just for being in both groups.


My sole intention is simply to run my sims and provide and relaxed and fun environment for our thousands of group members. Yes – this has meant personal financial cost to myself, but I love doing what I do and consider Surfer’s Bay VIP Estates as something worth doing!


Footnote: I have all the logs to back all this up as I keep records of all transactions and I consulted them while writing this to make sure I had accurate facts. I will not share the logs as this would go against SL TOS and I will not have that brought back against me. If Linden Labs needs to get involved, I happily look forward to them consulting the log that I am sure they have in their backups. Not the ones that she or I have on our systems as they are easily altered. I know mine are accurate and stand by what have written.