Ty Lomes’ father was an industrial designer in real life, who ran a marina for 30 years in his second career. He was a landlord of commercial properties during his final year of life. Second Life was a project he could focus on, and he loved his virtual canvas.
“My father was an artist at heart. As a matter of fact, even the painting up on the wall to your right, was one that he painted. I uploaded it,” Ty told me as we began a tour of the six sim Snug Harbor, which was a labor of love of his late father. “It’s a sim for people who want to sail on the Blake Sea.”
Ty stated that Second Life residents can rent slips for their boats here. They can live on their boats, rather than a house. The sea surrounding the islands is public property, which ends the feeling of isolation and brings life to the virtual community.
Renting residential property can be done through self-developed islands. He explained that you can rent a parcel and create your own home, but you have to follow the Mid-Atlantic theme, something along the lines of Atlantic City or Delaware.
You will find five venues on Snug Harbor. The smallest is the “Tiki Bar,” but I find that most of the sets are performed there. There are rattan tables for couples to sit, and it’s a cute social gathering place with a tiki bar. Get out your mermaid, merman or scuba gear when you venture to “Neptune’s Court.” There’s a piano, stage, an octopus, even a dance floor there. Ty also has a low lag venue up in the sky called “Gale Force,” which is an informal venue — located the next sim over. Snug’s formal venue is called “The Dance Emporium.” There’s even an open-air theater and blues club.
“One of the reasons we hold musical events here is to get people acquainted with our island and for them to shop at our stores,” he explained, which I believe is the general idea of most sims. But Snug Harbor isn’t like most sims. This one was created by a father and maintained and cherished by his son. One of its features is educational. “Many come for the entertainment and leave, but a small fraction of whoever comes to our dances, do wander around and shop.”
Ty either has hostesses on the entertainment nights or he fills the role of host. An interesting fact is that he has an international radio station that broadcasts in public with rights paid. He’s semi-retired as a sound support tech in real life, but that’s enabled him to have the time to manage the sim.
“This has become my project, so I can break even to preserve my father’s work. I don’t know if I can keep it preserved, but I can keep the direction of it. So far, I haven’t changed much,” he said and he hasn’t. Check out the maritime museum his father created at Snug Harbor, when you visit this labor of love.