Imperial Beach residents divided over hotel proposal - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Imperial Beach residents divided over hotel proposal

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IMPERIAL BEACH (CBS 8) - A proposed beachfront hotel in Imperial Beach has some residents concerned about hte size, while others said it's about time visitors begin noticing Imperial Beach as a tourist destination.

The proposal indicates the new hotel would be built on a vacant lot that used to be rundown beachfront apartments.

"I love the concept. I think it is beautiful. I think we could use another hotel," said Imperial Beach resident Candy Unger.

However, not all Imperial Beach residents are keen to the idea of the 100-room Imperial Beach Resort Hotel.

"One -hundred rooms on this small of a space is too much," said Michael Karey, who is concerned about the new hotel.

Some residents have been pleading to revive the sleepy beach town for years.

"I think we have been San Diego's best kept secret for so long and now we are on the map," Unger told CBS News 8.

Randy Putland, a 40-year-old local, lives next to the 30,000 square-foot proposed hotel. "It feels more like a city build. A royal building in downtown. In Imperial Beach we are in a village atmosphere," he said.

The city's Design and Review Committee was set to vote on the hotel Thursday, but due to a technicality the vote was pushed to April.

Some residents argued the hotel would generate money from the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) - money that stays in the city.

"I am more excited about the TOT money and some of things we can actually afford like street lights," said Tim Unger.

Randy said he would like to see a new hotel be built, but the one proposed is just too big. "We are all for development and good development. We want people to have more jobs and more opportunity here, but we want to do it our way - our city way."

The developer, Henderson Hospitality Management which is based in Nevada, said it could break ground next year and it would take two years to build the hotel. They hope to open the hotel by 2020.

The design and review board will vote on the project in a special meeting on April 13th.

The mayor said the other beachfront hotel on Seacoast "Pier South" brings in about half-a-million dollars in revenue each year.

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