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Huntington Beach
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City Pool

1600 Palm Ave.

Huntington Beach, CAA

(714) 960-8884


Huntington Beach New Hotels and Tourism Focus Examined


Huntington Beach, Calif.―Huntington Beach is busy adding three new oceanfront luxury hotels to its inventory of approx. 1500 rooms currently to become an overnight destination to rival nearby Laguna Beach. With the addition of three oceanfront luxury hotels,  one property rekindles the roots of the city once named Pacific City, envisioned as a West Coast resort, and solidified by naming it Huntington Beach in 1904 when Henry Huntington infused capital into the boom town, which soon became Oil City instead.

Full Circle - Tourism as its next big industry with a wave of construction that's bringing three oceanfront hotels and mixed-use residential/commercial ventures with shops, restaurants and offices to the beachfront once know for one-story beach hotels, a nine-hole golf course and surf-friendly diners such as the Grinder. While Sugar Shack, TK (The Kind) Burger, and Perqs Nite Club (once a Huntington Beach brothel) still remain, such individually-owned and operated stores and small chain restaurants are subject to supply and demand commercial space concerns, and many worry that their future in Huntington Beach is not guaranteed.

The new Pacific City development, for instance, borrowed from its early roots the name that will herald what was originally planned more than 100 years ago. With 31 acres of shops, offices, restaurants and a W Hotel at Pacific Coast Highway, the owners/developers at Makar Properties previously stated they could include an entertainment venue such as the Golden Bear in their project in Huntington Beach. Golden Bear was one of several music venues at the beach that attracted top name acts. Those businesses faded out during 1980's.  What's for certain is that just a few blocks south of Main Street , their property will include a boutique hotel of just under 200 rooms, bringing to the city additional upscale offerings.  The Strand, north of Main Street, will also offer restaurants, shops, office space and a 157-room Shorebreak Hotel. A third high-rise hotel is slated for construction between the nearby Hilton and Hyatt resorts and will likely reflect the quality projects  Robert Mayer Corporation is recognized for. The southland developer not only built and owns the Hyatt and Hilton hotels in Huntington Beach, its holdings also include residential projects elsewhere.

Huntington Beach draws more than 11 million visitors a year (new figures claim 16 million), and most are on daytrips from the inland empire where hot summers create an exodus to the mellow, cool beaches where it can even be foggy as the folks in Riverside cook in the desert sun. Among overnight vacationers, Huntington Beach is especially popular with residents of Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada where temps can push over 100 degrees daily during the summer months.

Known for its seasonal popularity, winters find the beach sometimes empty--a paradise for loners sitting on the edge of a 15 million-plus urban area of Southern California. Meanwhile, two hotels have worked in a steadfast manner to bring offseason travelers to the beach. The Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa with nearly 500 rooms and conference & meeting space has succeeded in attraction corporate clients. For business meetings and events, the rest of the U.S. looks for beach getaways and Huntington Beach has become a popular place for companies hosting small to mid-size events and meetings. Such efforts have kept the hotel room rates at a healthy $220/night upwards. Conventions and meetings are ideal audiences to fill rooms (additional revenue in catering). Its next door neighbor, Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, set the stage for quality accommodations in Huntington Beach.

Among the 20 most populous cities in California (population approx. 200,000), the traditions the city embraces include home-spun 4th of July Parade and Fireworks (now over 100 years old), US Open of Surfing, a Marathon and Paintball competition, to name a few events that work to fill hotel rooms.

With an increase 27% in hotel rooms, Huntington Beach's 2,100 hotel rooms, Huntington Beach will fall within the range of nearby beach cities, and even exceed most.

In the long term, how will tourism fair for the next 100 years?  We predict prices up on housing will put Huntington Beach more in line with Los Angeles County beach city property values, and the reputation as the affordable vacation will be replaced and those with expendable income will visit for weekend escapes and getaways to more expensive, boutique hotels charging $250/night and up.