As a friend and I walked down to the beach this past weekend we were in for a very rude surprise. Beginning at the start of the beach walk, halfway down to the shoreline, from the start of the beach walk all the way to the rocks, were new signs: Welcome to 'Del Beach', ask an attendant for help. Over half of South beach is now seemingly the private property of the Hotel Del Coronado.
There were hundreds of red and white lounges, many cabanas, and one or two shacks set up on this "new" beach. I asked a young man in a white shirt what this was, did they have a permit to take over so much of the beach, and he told me that the beach was private property. Later when I attempted to walk on that beach I was approached and asked if I needed assistance and basically that I needed to check in with them (and pay?) to step foot on a beach that I have used and grown up with for over 50 years.
I didn't see anything in the local papers, or in my eCoronado.com news to prepare me for this. Is the Del legally allowed to be there? Oh, did I mention that they sell (and encourage) alcoholic beverages on this new beach! The bar line was long, and there was service to the cabanas and lounges as well. I thought our beach was a no-alcohol beach? Why isn't this a huge story? A huge chunk of our beautiful and pristine beach has been taken over by a single entity and it seems to be okay with our city officials. Was a deal made that we, the residents don't know about? Please, eCoronado.com find out what is going on here!
I know that tourists are important to our community, and the beach is what brings many of them. But not all our visitors stay at the Del, and allowing one single hotel to claim so much beach front is unfair and unwise. What about the rest of our tourists? and residents who bring their friends and family down to the beach? To see what I saw last weekend sickened me. It looked like a Las Vegas pool scene, but it was our beach. City leaders, step up and return our beach to it's natural state, where it is open for everyone to use!
Yes, this is legal. eCoronado.com spoke to the City of Coronado and they confirmed that the Hotel del Coronado does have a private beach area in front of their hotel in which they may provide or sell services/goods. There is a public beach around and beyond the private hotel property where they are not allowed to offer 'beach service' (in the photo below, the staked signs represent the end of Del Beach and the beginning of the public beach). The City monitors the activity to ensure they remain on the private beach.
You can learn more about "Del Beach" here: http://hoteldel.com/activities/
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