Updated 4:50 p.m.
A meeting is scheduled Friday morning to bring together sandcastle stakeholders to see if a competition can be planned to take place this summer.
Last November, , ending the competition after 31 years. At its height, more than 400,000 people came to the Imperial Beach over the course of the two-day competition, making it the largest event in the city's history.
The meeting is being organized by Che, formerly the J. Simms Agency.
The PR firm is the City of Imperial Beach's public relations arm, and in the past did the same for the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition.
"I might be crazy, but I think if we scale back, it's not a big deal," said Julia Simms, who said she moved to IB a year ago and said she is "personally and professionally invested" in seeing sandcastles survive in IB.
"I have talked to people at the city and at the port and people on the previous sandcastle committee for a few months, and they're saying there's no reason the event has to be abandoned and we can pull together to pull this off," she said.
The initial meeting is being held to see if parties involved in the event in the past would be interested in seeing it move forward this year. Future meetings may ask for more public participation.
If the event is held this year, she said, it may be much smaller than in years past and not include the street fair or bands in Pier Plaza.
Ironically, Simms believes this could benefit local businesses more.
"We don't need the street fair selling food right in front of businesses that sell food. Let's have the crowds dine in IB restaurants and be a benefit to IB restaurants instead of hindrances," she said.
the competition helped their business, while others said they did not see an increase to their bottom line from the sandcastle competition.
The competition was the largest fundraiser of the year for the South Bay Union School District Education Foundation, and made up 80 percent of money raised by local Boy Scouts. The Boys & Girls Club of South County-Imperial Beach also regularly received more than $10,000 from money raised by the competition.
About $20,000 in prizes were given out for the competition in the past, but this year the event may be an exhibition instead, with possible votes from attendees to determine the top sandcastle, Simms said.
To keep with tradition, ideally the exhibition will be held the same weekend as the Kids 'N Kastles Sandcastle Competition which is tentatively scheduled to take place in July 2012.
The Boys & Girls Club of South County-Imperial Beach, IB Optimist Club, South Bay Union School District, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Imperial Beach station and Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce have been invited to attend Friday's meeting.
Members of the sandcastle teams IB Posse, Sand Squirrels and SandQuest were also invited.
Sponsors or funding for the event has not yet been discussed.
For more stories on sandcastles in IB, check out the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition topic page.
Check back with IB Patch Friday for an update on the meeting.