HITS Daily Double

Nikon at Jones Beach reopens after Sandy

JONES BEACH PARTY: Three million gallons of sea water. Hundreds of tons of debris. Massive structural and equipment damage. Superstorm Sandy did a number on the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, Long Island. But after a massive restoration effort—in collaboration with various vendors and the N.Y. State Parks Department—Live Nation today opened the venue's doors again, and Rascal Flatts will take the stage tomorrow to kick off its summer concert season (which also features Pitbull and Ke$ha, Fleetwood Mac, Rush, One Direction, Maroon 5, Bob Dylan, Blake Shelton and Lil Wayne, T.I. and 2 Chainz, as well as other major acts). The 14,000-seat restored theater (previously hailed as a top concert venue by Rolling Stone, among other publications) will boast new concessions operations, and expanded VIP area, new orchestra seating and an upgraded box office, among other improvements. What's more, the renovation was undertaken with future big storms in mind, with its electrical system moved above the floodplain, to name but one example). In addition to making this historic place look brand new, the cleanup gave a boost to the local economy, which was as battered by Sandy as were the region's buildings. "It was a priority for Live Nation to return this historic venue to working order," reads a quote from LN CEO/prez Michael Rapino, who added, "We actually started preparing for the potential clean-up and reconstruction efforts before the storm even arrived. It's a testament to the single-mindedness and dedication of the entire reconstruction team that we were able to put Jones Beach back together in time for this summer's great lineup of shows." (5/30p)