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Beach Fire Pits Saved For Another Year

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Aired 5/12/11

If you were dreaming of having a beach bonfire this summer, you’re in luck. A deal has been reached to save San Diego’s fire pits for one more year.

— The beach fire pits are treasured by many San Diegans who grew up going to bonfires, but the pits were once again facing the budget ax this year.

A deal has been reached between San Diego and several tourism and non-profit groups to save the beach fire pits for the coming fiscal year.
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Above: A deal has been reached between San Diego and several tourism and non-profit groups to save the beach fire pits for the coming fiscal year.

But Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s office has announced a deal has been reached between the city and several tourism and non-profit organizations to provide funding to clean and maintain the pits this year, about $150,000. Tony Manolatos is a spokesman for Faulconer. He said the group is also working on a long-term solution to preserve the fire pits.

“The fire pits are a part of San Diego. You can’t imagine a San Diego beach without a fire pit,” he said. “The goal would be to make sure we’re not here year after year trying to come up with money to save the fire pits.”

Faulconer’s budget plan calls for private donors to provide about $120,000 toward this year’s maintenance of the pits. That would leave about $30,000 for the city to cover. The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, the county’s Hotel/Motel Association, the San Diego Foundation and the La Jolla Community Foundation are among the groups working to find funding for the fire pits. The plan will be officially announced at a news conference tomorrow morning.

Comments

Avatar for user 'dialyn'

dialyn | May 12, 2011 at 8:49 a.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

I find it very hard to believe fire pits are the most important need the City has or that most tourists come to San Diego just to sit around a fire pit on the beach. The City gets to fill the $80,000 gap in funding for no good reason than a privileged few want something that is marginal in use but takes a lot more to maintain because people don't clean up after themselves. I'm not impressed by the fiscal priorities Faulconer is setting. If he thinks this is a #1 need, we continue to be in fiscal trouble because of lack of intelligence on our City Council.

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Avatar for user 'dialyn'

dialyn | May 12, 2011 at 8:57 a.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

Okay, it's a $30,000 gap. A previous story I read said $80,000. I still think it's a waste of money when the City has so many other needs.

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Avatar for user 'greatbay'

greatbay | May 12, 2011 at 1:55 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

Congratulations to Kevin Faulconer and all who worked to find a solution to save a San Diego tradition. The fire pits provide enjoyment to countless locals and visitors while making the beach safe from stray hot coals. Safe, fun beaches bring in billions to the local economy. Thanks to ConVis and the Hotel and Motel Association for realizing this and helping to support a fun activity for everyone.

Hopefully, the city will work to improve the cost efficiency of simple services like emptying ashes.

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Avatar for user 'Jillio'

Jillio | August 27, 2011 at 7:19 p.m. ― 2 years, 7 months ago

San Diego's third largest industry is tourism, and nearly every San Diego tourism website includes beach bonfires to draw in tourists. More importantly, let's not forget that each year we get 26 MILLION visitors that spend 5.6 BILLION dollars: City Data.com - http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-West/San-Diego-Economy.html. Let's face the fact that our economy is very dependent on tourism, and that includes the charm of beach bonfires.

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