two for historic value and turn the place into a campground.
After my column ran, I got a rather sarcastic message from a
former Crystal Cove cottage resident who scoffed at the idea that
anyone would ever be able to stay at the cottages for $100 a night.
If the cottages were available for $100 a night, he'd pick up the
tab, he told me.
Well, my wife and I will be checking the calendar pretty soon as
the state parks officials have unveiled their plans for the sandy
enclave that includes just that -- cabins for $100 a night among
I don't write this to pat my back, but instead to give a nod to
the state parks officials, former cove resident Laura Davick, Laguna
Beach resident Jeannette Merrilees and Irvine Co. heiress Joan Irvine
Smith for realizing that the best thing for Crystal Cove is to come
up with a plan that gives access to all residents of California, not
just a select few.
Because of their effort and others, Crystal Cove will soon become
one of the prime destination points in the state parks system, I'm
pretty sure of that.
Still, at $100 a night that's a little steep for some.
So as for the campground that I made a pitch for, I think there is
still hope for that just down the road from Crystal Cove at El Moro.
El Moro is a situation that almost mirrors the old one at Crystal
A bunch of trailers sit on the beach and just across Coast
Highway. The people in these trailers, much like those who lived in
the Crystal Cove cottages, have known for years that they are on
borrowed time. They are living on state park lands and must vacate
Yet, they are now crying the same tune the cottage dwellers did.
It seems like they must have hired the same public relations agency
as the Crystal Cove folks. Here's some of their tall tales:
El Moro's magic is more about the people that live there than it
is about location, they croon.
They say on one hand that the beach will either be ruined if they
leave because of the massive crowds, or on the other that no one
actually uses it anyway so why kick them out?
Some are blaming the big, bad state for being so cruel to evict