There was some confusion at the Museum Hotel planning meeting. I for one thought it was a tryout for American Idol. I sang my heart out. Others were confused, as well. Top of the World Elementary students arrived with skateboards in foot, anxious to be the first to speed through the three-level underground parking structure. Village Laguna homesteaders came with heirloom tomato seeds to plant in the native wing of the hotel. One attendee vocalized the area-wide confusion by asking, “Why is it called the Museum Hotel?” Liberate Laguna advocates refused to acknowledge the question and screamed, “Liar, liar pants on fire.”
On the most part, the Museum Hotel planning meeting was a civilized affair, compared to recent unruly city meetings. Attendees were respectful to one another while having differing opinions on hotel issues. One resident suggested, “We need to adhere to the 36-foot height restriction of the General Plan. We’ll start counting at the bottom of the underground parking lot. This approach assures the Museum Hotel cannot be built. Let’s change the underground parking lot into a Fornes’ mushroom farm with an above-ground rooftop community garden. All those in favor? Raise your hoes. Village Laguna has it. Motion carries.”
The Planning Commissioner critiqued the developer’s proposal by saying it looks like “a Hampton Inn hotel with a fancy restaurant.” He further opined, “To come to a beach community where you can’t see the beach, you can’t see the sky, that’s not going to be a five-star hotel. The design misses the major opportunity to offer a unique experience that truly caters to an art loving clientele.” The harsh words were ruled offensive and not in compliance with Laguna’s new decorum and civility rules. The Planning Commissioner was escorted from the room by the sergeant of many arms.
The attendee whose pants were on fire would not be put out. “I ask again, why is it named the Museum Hotel?’ The project developer took a deep breath and explained, “The hotel will have local Laguna art throughout. The rooms will have self-portraits of famous painters whose eyes will be replaced by local Pageant volunteer eyes that engage guests by following them around their rooms. We believe guests will spread the word that Laguna art is the most real life art in the world and assure Laguna Beach as a great art lover’s destination. And a side benefit of the moving eye art will be the reporting of any untoward activity to management. “What happens bad in Laguna gets sent to Las Vegas.”
Crantz tells the Indy that he will volunteer to be a pair of art eyes, so long as he can keep them shut. His doctor says he cannot withstand any surprises at his advanced age.