Laguna Beach Mayor Elizabeth Pearson's statement that we as a town are tolerant is true, ("Coast Inn project OK'd," July 9) but her statements that "every bar and restaurant is a gay and straight bar" is questionable. Pearson and Councilwoman Jane Egly are slightly out of touch with reality. The Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn was a destination bar/cafe and inn. The "Boom" did $60,000 plus on big weekends years ago, and gays, lesbians and others from around the planet enjoyed gathering in their own establishments and landmarks such as West Street beach in South Laguna, another international destination which attracts thousands every year and brings millions into our economy.
Yes, whoever you are, you are welcome in Laguna, but with the hotel bed tax down nearly 20% and sales tax revenues down 25%, this is no time to claim we are beyond certain groups gathering in their favorite places. The Laguna Visitor's Bureau, which takes part of the hotel tax, spends nothing on advertising in national gay and lesbian magazines such as Instinct, the Advocate and the Lesbian News, and yet gay travelers are known as good spenders.