The Fourth, and Making Money Running Beach Lots in LA

I live near the Marina in Los Angeles. I can hear the fog horn’s baleful wale when June gloom, our annual visit from overcast skies, covers the beaches that line our coast. Usually by the beginning of summer, the cool, damp weather gives way to sunshine and beach weather is upon us.

(Most people think of bikinis and palm trees when they think of LA, but in reality we have many different climates. In the Valley, temps regularly exceed 100 in the summer, but less than 15 miles away at the beach, we have cool damp weather up until often mid July and even then, the thermometer seldom exceeds 75.  Few in the “west of the 405” area have air conditioning and revel in temperate climes. May and June, however, are miserable in that beach area. Overcast every day, often never burning off. We begin to go stir crazy.)

The parking operators that bid on the parking concession for the beaches do just that, bid a flat number ( in the millions) and then work to recoop their investment during the summer when Angelenos from the heat of the San Fernando Valley (It will be 95 there today) rush to the beach and cooler climes. Of course, they don’t come in groves when the sun is hidden behind the fog and the temperature seldom exceeds 60. And therein turns the tale.

Operators know that if there is fog on the Fourth of July, the prospect of them making much money on their investment in the beach lots is slim. And I know that if I hear the Marina Del Rey fog horn on the Fourth, they are in trouble.

Things are going well so far this year. We have had great weather the past week. Blue skies, temps in the 70s and I’m sure full lots at the beaches. We all hope it stays that way, not only for the poor souls who live where you can fry eggs on the hood of your car, but also for the businesses that invest beaucoup bucks in hopes of hordes heading for the beach.

I will be listening. The fog comes on little cat feet.


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