Measure LL passed and now provides an increase to hotel taxes. This additional city revenue has been directed in part towards city costs related to tourists, aka, day-trippers. Unfortunately, I’ve uncovered an unintended consequence to Measure LL or what’s fast morphing into my mind as Measurin’ Cup of Lulu.
Many readers know that my most trusted confidential sources are the stool pigeons on Main Beach boardwalk. For mere breadcrumbs, I get in return tasty morsels about all the hush-hush tattle that makes this column worthy of the Putzer Prize. Recently, the stool pigeons informed me that their Hotel Laguna entertainment has flown the pigeon coop. A mottled pigeon explained, ”Here’s the down and dirty. At night we used to hang out on the windowsills of Hotel Laguna. From there, we heard the music of Skyloft and let loose on passing tourists below. Great times. But that’s not the best part. The best part were the teenage raves that went on in the hotel rooms. These kids were a sight to see. There were drinking games, wild dancing, interior-redesigning, and never ending room service for us. Then poof it all went away.” A moment passed between us. I drew a breath, “You know I was one of those passing tourists you let loose on.” My informant was suddenly hit with a loss of cooing. “Sorry mate. Didn’t recognize you without the baseball hat. Here’s a heads up. Keep the cap on.”
We made up. And the true story of Measure LL unfolded. The additional hotel tax went beyond the teenagers discretionary spending limit. The cool kids could not afford a hotel room. Laguna’s very own day-townies had to find accommodations elsewhere. And they did and it was free. In mass, they descended on South Laguna beaches. Suddenly their wild shenanigans were witnessed in the light of day. Area residents saw for the first time what the Main Street boardwalk pigeons found so entertaining. The residents were not entertained. They called the cops. And the cops came. The cops also were not entertained by the teenage behavior. They gave out tickets. Lots of them. There were parking tickets, open alcohol tickets, littering tickets and tickets upon tickets. Suddenly, word got around that Thousand Steps beach was Thousand Tickets beach. The teenagers got the message. Some stayed and behaved. Others left for new areas to rave. Residents thanked the police for their fine efforts.
But the story doesn’t end ‘happily ever after’ here. What remains unanswered is whether raised hotel room rates will ignite an exodus of well-behaved guests in addition to the riff raff variety. Good riddance to the one. What’s your hurry to the rest?
Laguna needs its tourists for the revenue. The pigeons need its tourists for their entertainment. Here’s hoping for both that Measure LL doesn’t morph into Measurin’ Cup of Lulu. We’ll see. Keep your reading glasses handy for the fake news follow up. Until then, keep your caps on readers. Pigeons need their entertainment.
Crantz tells the Indy that he was a well-behaved teenager, but he’s bit of a late bloomer and is now enjoying his later teenage years. Party hardy, Seniors.