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About the beach bum SurfsideSam.com, and contact information.

Hermosa Beach Turning Away Tourists With Short-Term Rental Law

Busting Airbnb Hosts Chases Away Needed Tourism Dollars

Hermosa Beach Pier sunset
People gather to watch the sunset on the Hermosa Beach Pier.

Most beach cities – particularly in the slower fall and winter months – do things to attract tourists to its town.

It has specials on hotel prices, package deals that include things like golf or offers discounts on shopping and dining.

But not in Hermosa Beach, CA, which has basically tossed thousands of visitors per month out on the curb with its strict policy and questionable enforcement of a new short-term rental law.

It is now illegal to advertise short-term rentals in Hermosa Beach and in September the city issued some 300 citations to home owners, many of whom had tenants renting out a spare room.

The result is becoming a mess – the city’s stated policy was to issue warnings to “occupants” but never did, claiming that “occupants” are not the actual residents but the property owners – and there are several lawsuits in the works between the owners, tenants and, no doubt, eventually against the city itself.

And the fines are ridiculously expensive – $2,500 for first-time offenders!

But I’ll ignore that for the moment to focus on what this means for tourism in Hermosa Beach. It’s basically wiping it out like a big rogue wave rolling through the city.

There are very limited accommodations in Hermosa, especially near the beach. There’s only two hotels on the beach, the old Sea Sprite Motel and the plush Beach House. And neither of these is cheap; the Sea Sprite is around $250/night in the summer while the Beach House starts at around $350.

By contrast, you could get a room in a shared house (meaning the tenants are also in the house) for $75-125/night. For Airbnb’ers, this is the way to travel, for you get a comfortable place to stay and have interaction with locals who then send their visitors out to the shops, restaurants and bars, boosting the local economy.

Even by a conservative estimation based on the number of citations issued, Hermosa Beach is turning away 3,000-4,000 potential visitors per month.

Sure, there are other hotels, but they are up on Pacific Coast Highway, a half mile to a mile away from the Hermosa Beach Pier and the shops, restaurants and bars of Pier Plaza and Hermosa Ave.

The original objection to short-term rentals were property owners who were renting out their entire houses, then getting out of town. Those people were making several thousand dollars a week.

However, the city’s policy and implementation is missing that target and instead coming down hard on tenants who were simply earning a few hundred dollars a month to make up for escalating rent prices.

Hermosa Beach needs all the residents and visitors it can get, for Pier Plaza – once buzzing with activity – is now sometimes like a ghost town. Tourism dollars would help boost the economy and keep businesses in business.

So those tourists are going and spending their money elsewhere in the South Bay or even in other parts of Los Angeles. I just can’t understand why the city is turning away all these visitors.

Like Key West, San Diego’s Seaport Village Has Street Performers

Magician And Other Entertain Tourists On Weekends

San Diego Seaport Village street performer
A talented magician does a great escape in San Diego's Seaport Village.



It’s not quite like Mallory Square at sunset – hardly, in fact – but San Diego’s Seaport Village entertains visitors with shows by street performers.

Unlike Key West, they don’t wait until sunset to come out, and they are not doing tricks with fire and other acts while balancing on a unicycle. And they only do their dhows on the weekends.

Still, it’s a nice diversion while walking around the shops and deciding which restaurant to have lunch. There’s a guy in a white suit and painted white and a pretty good silent magician performing magic tricks.

Well, he’s quiet until the end when he starts rolling off a few jokes.

San Diego Seaport Village street performers crowd
A crowd gathers at scenic Seaport Village to watch the street performers.

If Surfside Sam were to be doing a review of him, I would say it would be nice if he added a couple more tricks to his show and cut down the time between the ones he performs. But for a few bucks donation, it’s a great diversion in a very cool area of downtown San Diego.

Seaport Village is a collection of shops and restaurants on cobblestone streets in front of the bay. It’s between the twin-tower Marriott and the USS Midway Museum. The area also has a marina and two seaside parks, called the Embarcadero (one is the site of the annual San Diego Wine & Food Festival each November).

Yes, it’s mainly tourists and families; if you want real “action,” then go across the street and down Market Street to the Gaslamp; 4th and 5th Avenue are the prime streets.

But it’s by the water and a nice place to spend a few hours on a sunny San Diego day.

 

Congressional Cup Race Hoists Sails For 50th Anniversary In 2014

Annual Sailboat Event Is April 5-13 Hosted By Long Beach Yacht Club

Congressional Cup racing Long Beach CA
The Congressional Cup matches the world's top skippers in identical boats.



The Congressional Cup is the gold standard for annual match race sailboat racing around the world, and in 2014 the event celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club, it takes place April 5-13 in Long Beach, CA. And at 50 years old, the Congressional Cup is the longest-running race of its kind in North America.

Skippers and crew from six countries are competing, many with America’s Cup experience. This includes Ian Williams, long regarded as one of the top race skippers in the world.

The format is a match race, meaning the skippers and crew go out on identical boats prepared by the Long Beach Yacht Club. In fact, the skippers are not even assigned their boats until they arrive on the dock.

The boats are 37-foot Catalinas. No, they are not the sleek, super-fast catamarans that glide out of the water on hydrofoils like in the America’s Cup, but single-hull boats that proceed at a more delicate pace.

The course, which is actually Congressional Cup Stadium as designated on the Federal Register by the United States Coast Guard, is in and around the harbor running from Belmont Shore to practically the Queen Mary. So it’s quite scenic.

The start-finish line is at the Belmont Pier, which makes for great up-close viewing for fans. The boats come so close you can almost reach out and touch them. In fact, sometimes you think they are going to actually hit the pier before they tack at the very last instant.

You can most definitely hear the skippers giving their crew instructions, as well as the wind whipping against the sails.

This viewing is all free, by the way. Plus, there’s Stella Artois beer on the pier as well as food. So for fans it’s a party and a picnic on the pier.

The action takes place Monday thru Saturday from 1-6 p.m., with the championship race occurring Saturday after 3 p.m. These times are all approximate, as wind and weather conditions dictate the schedule of sailboat racing more than the clock.

LINK: Congressional Cup Official Website.

TWITTER: @ConCup

 

About SurfsideSam.com and Contact Information

Welcome to SurfsideSam.com! This is a website about the beach, on the beach and around the beach.

If you’re not at the beach, you should be on SurfsideSam.com, the place for the Ultimate Beach Bum!

Surfside Sam has been to beaches in the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, throughout the USA, and even beaches in Canada.

He resides in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Surfside Sam welcome your comments and input (and also your advertising dollars!). Here’s how to contact him via e-mail:
KevinWilkerson@pubclub.com