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How Our Beach Proposal Can Increase
County Tourism and Revenue

We propose to increase the number of beachgoers at Bates Beach in Carpinteria by extending the bus lines and partnering with the local business merchants and hotels to attract new customers. We suggest the fastest way to increase revenue was to consider reinstating the clothing-optional section at the northern end of Bates, which what nude for nearly 50 years until 2000. We know there are skeptics reading this who do not believe the nudist tourist community has the bucks to make much of a difference in local tax revenue. We provide you with the facts below:



Based on conversations at the beach, these beaches draw about half of their populations from local county residents, students from UCSB and other nearby campuses, and the other half from residents of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties who drive up for the day.

Gaviota State Beach, South Shore

The clothing-optional beach is located 33 miles north of Santa Barbara on U.S. Highway 101. We observe perhaps an average of 150 beachgoers on the clothing-optional beach during the summer, as few as 25-50 per day during the winter months. Perhaps half the beach visitors come from the Santa Maria-Lompoc area. Total estimated visitors: 15,000 per year. With a parking fee per day of $8/day per car, assuming 2 visitors per car on average this equals $58,800 total revenue from this beach. With an active Ambassador program underway for several years to pick up trash off the beach, the county saves several thousand more dollars in maintenance worker salaries and materials.

More Mesa County Beach

This clothing-optional beach is located mid-city in Santa Barbara next to Hope Ranch. We observe perhaps 200 beachgoers on the clothing-optional beach during the summer, as few as 10-25 per day during the winter months. Total estimated visitors: 15,000 per year. There is no fee to park on the city streets nearby, so there is no direct revenue received from this beach.

However, beachgoers tell us they often stop to eat at restaurants in Santa Barbara after their beach day, and some of the out of town tourists say they stay overnight in town and then shop along State Street before heading home. We are unable to estimate fiscal impact, if any, on Santa Barbara.

FOBB is NOT advocating any increase in beachgoers at More Mesa, as we do not want to disturb the nearby Mockingbird Lane neighborhood nor disturb the flora or wildlife on the mesa above the beach.

North Rincon (Bates) County Beach

This clothing-optional beach is 2 miles south of Carpinteria at the Ventura-Santa Barbara County line. It is accessed by Bates Road at Rincon Point, hence its unofficial name. The Bates parking lot holds 150 cars, yet even on the most populated summer days, the lot remains over half empty. Most who do show up are their either to surf in the morning or to walk their dogs for an hour, and not to enjoy the sand and surf. The fact that Bates will be the new terminus for the Coastal Trail presents an opportunity to bring people to/from the beach via the trail and also to shuttle tourists from the nearby hotels and motels who prefer a less crowded location that Carpinteria State Beach 4 miles up the coast.

We estimate our proposal could bring in an estimated $600,000 to $800,000 in additional South County tourist revenue once the Coastal Trail and bus line extensions are completed.

How did we figure these totals? By calculating the number of parking spaces in the Bates parking lot (150) we figured perhaps 10% might come to Carpinteria for dinner after a day at the beach. We added to that an influx of 50 people per summer weekend in hotel bed tax and restaurant/shopping sales. These calculations use the same percentage assumptions as upon what has occurred at Haulover Beach, Sandy Hook, and Black’s Beach in San Diego Based upon these assumptions, we estimate an additional $600,000 to $800,000 /year in revenue can be collected per year in a few years once word of these legal beaches reach the international tourist community.


Pirate’s Cove, Avila Beach

In November, 2008, we reported that the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors were considering buying 67 acres of private land along Avila Beach, 32 acres of which included the nude beach at Pirate’s Cove. Unfortunately the county could not afford to buy the entire area so they settled on just the bluffs above the beach. Now, almost five years later, the county has the funds to purchase the balance of the property. Some locals nudists emailed us that they were nervous about losing their 3,100-foot stretch of beach area but Supervisor Adam Hill made it clear at the 2/26 hearing that he “would not support a change in its historical use.”. In February 2013, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted to include the Pirates Cove area near Avila Beach into the County Parks system and to maintain its traditional clothing-optional status. Supervisors heard testimony during the hearing that tourists and locals using that beach brought in several hundred thousand dollars annually to the county. We have seen no survey of beachgoers or of local merchants to confirm this amount, although from the number of beachgoers who travel to Pirate’s Cove from out of the area during the summer, this estimate sounds about right.
2013: Nudist Beach at Pirates Cove Joins SLO County Park System

February 26, 2013 - After decades of informal public use, the nudist beach at Pirates Cove section of Avila Beach is now a part of San Luis Obispo County’s park system.

The hearing made it clear, however, that improvement to the surrounding cliff paths and parking areas must be done for public safety and liability reasons.

The bottom of the stairs on the main trail from the west side parking lot above is constantly being degraded by waves, sand, and mud erosion. A second access trail on the east (Pismo Beach) side known as the “Rope Trail” is far more precarious, and there is discussion that it may just be closed, leaving beachgoers with only one way to and from the beach. This could leave beachgoers trapped on days with a very high tide.

Second, the county wants to pave and stripe the dirt parking lot above the beach where everyone now parks. They also install safety rails along the edges to prevent cars from accidentally going off the cliff. This will reduce the number of cars allowed to just 35. Currently up to 80 cars have been known to squeeze together on a typical summer day. This means more cars will have to park along the narrow 2-lane road that runs up the hill to the parking lot, a road really too narrow to support two-way traffic AND parked cars. Some beachgoers may have to walk more than a mile up the hill to reach the trail head before descending to the beach. It will also potentially impact trash pickup and road erosion of the paving and shoulders. The county also intends to install restrooms at the trail head, and build a new trail connecting Pirates Cove to Shell Beach. These trail and parking improvements will be paid for by a series of grants from three state agencies. After the initial $1.4 million upgrade is complete in a few years, it is estimated the park will cost $42,500 a year to maintain. But first, all improvements must be approved by the California Coastal Commission, a process that could take 18 months to two years. So nothing will change for nudists, for the trail, or for parking in the meantime. Lastly, the county is concerned about continued vandalism and graffiti on the rocks, trees and on the trail itself. Everyone agrees all parties need to do a better job here.

The group in the middle of all this is the Whales Cave Conservancy. They recently re-instated the WCC non-profit 501c3 status so the county would have a formal group to negotiate with (instead of a gaggle of disorganized volunteers). One of the things they are considering is to establish a group of Beach Ambassador volunteers, similar to what is used at Haulover and Black’s Beaches, to patrol the area to discourage any potential misbehavior or graffiti. . This would be better than having Park Rangers do the patrols.


Black’s Beach/Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego

Black’s Beach is located just north of the San Diego city limits near La Jolla. Above the bluffs is the Torrey Pines Golf Course.

Above left: Black's Beach gets 325,000 beach visitors per year. Above right: The Beach Ambassadors there, named the Black’s beach Bares, works well with local deputies and lifeguards to maintain the safety of beach guests.

A 2007 survey of Black's Beach visitors was done by the San Diego Tribune. Results: • Black's Beach gets an estimated 1,325,000 beach visitors per year. • 25% of those visitors are from outside Southern California. • 6% of those tourists visited other city attractions and spent 2.7 days in a local hotel or motel. • The newspaper article stated that Black’s estimated contribution to the local San Diego economy in 2006 was $21 million, $17 million of it coming from hotel bed taxes!

The bottom line:
Black’s Beach estimated contribution to the local San Diego economy in 2007
was $21 million ($17 million in hotel bed taxes!)

The Black's Beach Bares (the "beach watch" team on that beach) conducted their own survey in July 2008, which confirms the above numbers.

Our comment: While we do not expect Santa Barbara to attract nearly as many tourists to its clothing-optional beaches as does Black’s, this does demonstrate the financial power that such beaches can bring to a community.

San Onofre State Beach, near San Diego/Orange County line

This beach is located between San Clemente and Oceanside, about 2 miles south of the Edison Nuclear Power Plant. State records show that park gate revenue at this park is down by $2 million from what it was just two years ago since Park Superintendent Haydon shut down the clothing-optional beach at Trail 6. The closure was his way of controlling lewd activity in the parking lot about 2 miles above the beach. Since the nudists were chased away, the lewd activity has continued up in the parking lot, unabated.



Published: December 18, 2011

Pasco County to Spend Tax Dollars to Attract Tourists to Nudist Resorts
By Laura Kinsler | Tribune Staff

TAMPA, FLORIDA - LAND O'LAKES. For the first time, Pasco County Commissioners will consider spending tourist tax dollars to promote the county as a destination for nudists.

Pasco has about a dozen nudist communities, including Lake Como, Caliente and Paradise Lakes, all of which are in Land O' Lakes and double as year-round resorts. On Tuesday, commissioners will consider awarding a tourism development grant of nearly $4,000 to PANDAbare, which stands for Pasco Area Nudist Development Association. The nonprofit association sought funding in 2008 from the county's Tourist Development Council, but they were denied. "The first time they came to us, they were just starting their organization and they were looking to partner with the county," Tourism Director Eric Keaton said. "We told them to regroup and come up with a better plan of action." PANDA President Paul Brenot said they took the advice to heart. They joined their local chamber of commerce and increased their philanthropic activities. PANDA became so mainstream it was rewarded in April with a resolution signed by all five commissioners honoring the 70th anniversary of naturism in Pasco County.

Brenot said Commissioner Pat Mulieri, who has represented the naturist communities for decades, and the Tourist Development Council was receptive to the idea of a "Eurobird" season in the dog days of summer. "Europeans go on vacation in July and August for weeks at a time," Brenot said. "It's an untapped market."
PANDA will launch a marketing campaign targeting nudists from Germany and England to use Pasco County as their home base while they venture out to visit museums, beaches, amusement parks and the Space Coast. "What they have is an idea and a time frame," Keaton said. "July and August are two of our poorest months of the year. They're going to advertise overseas, and they feel they can capture that market."

Brenot said the ads will be published in international magazines, such as "Internaturally," that cater to the naturist lifestyle. "They've told us there's a good chance we'll get the back cover," he said.

Commission Chairwoman Ann Hildebrand said the grant makes good business sense. "Believe it or not, there are a lot people who come to Pasco County to go to our nudist resorts," she said. "They pay a hefty amount of tourist tax dollars. The whole purpose of the tax is to bring in more out of town tourists."

State law says revenue from a 2 percent tax on hotel stays and short-term rentals may be used for activities, services, venues or events that promote tourism. Keaton said the nude resorts have paid into the fund for years – Caliente alone has 100 rooms.

Commissioner Jack Mariano said he doesn't have any qualms about spending county tourism tax dollars to lure nudists from Europe to Pasco County. "It's legal. And this is all about putting heads in beds," he said. "The thing that I want to keep an eye on is what the numbers are."

Haulover Beach maintains an Information Center for its 1.3 million beachgoers each year. The secret: Beach Ambassadors make sure all understand proper beach etiquette and behavior guidelines.

In November, 2013, Haulover Beach set a new Guinness World Record for the most number of people skinny-dipping at the same time and place.

Tourists Flock to Haulover Beach

Haulover Beach is considered the most successful clothing-optional beach in the United States. The Beach Education Advocates for Culture, Health, Environment, and Safety Foundation Institute, Inc. (B.E.A.C.H.E.S.) maintains an Information Center and trains the Beach Ambassadors (pictured top right from 2010), who make sure all understand proper beach etiquette and behavior guidelines.

Before Haulover Beach (in Miami-Dade County, Florida) was approved as a clothing-optional beach in 1991, it was an abandoned stretch of sand, filled with trash and visited mostly by gang members and transients, very similar to the north end of Carpinteria's Bates Beach today.

• In 2007, the county estimated Haulover’s parking lot revenue at $1.25 million annually.
• A 2008 survey of beach-goers last year by the Miami Tourist Bureau revealed 60% of the 1.3 million people who visited Haulover are tourists, not from Miami-Dade County.
• In 2009, the county estimated Haulover contribution to the local economy was $800 million.
• In 2010, the county estimated Haulover contributed $ 842,000 in tourist tax revenue and $ 5.9 million in additional state sales and bed tax.
• In 2011, the county estimated this contribution to be $933 million, despite the weak national economy.
• Today, Haulover's 1/2-mile stretch of beach sees 7,000-8500 visitors on a typical summer day.

Haulover information links:
Haulover Tourist Survey
Tourist Revenue Generated for Local Economy
Parking Revenue Generated by Haulover
An Amazing List of References by City/County/State Officials
State Rep. Sally Heyman letter
Vivian Rodriguez, Director, Miami-Dade Parks Department
Letter from Norman S. Edelcup, Mayor, City of Sunny Isles (adjacent to Haulover Beach)
Support letter from Ibis Romaro, Executive Director, Sunny Isle Resort Association


Bare Necessities' annual nude cruises to the Carribean, Alaska, and to Mexico are consistent sellouts. The April, 2010 cruise from San Diego to Hawaii sold out all of its 3100 tickets. Palm Springs' 10 nudist hotels and resorts bring millions in revenue to that city each year.

Worldwide Nudist Tourist
Estimated Gross Profits:

(Source: Forbes Magazine 2010):

1992….. $120 million/year
2003….. $400 million/year
2008….. $800 million/year
2011….. $1 billion/year (projected)

Forbes' Conclusion:
This is the one segment of the tourist business not affected by this recession! Worldwide, nudist tourists spend money!

An International Viewpoint:
Forbes Magazine: Nude Travel Reveals Profits

This national business magazine did a revealing expose on the high flying nudist tourist industry and marvelled how, despite the current economic downturn, it has grown quickly over the past decade (especially among baby-boomers) to become a force that destination locations and transportation officials dare not ignore.

Forbes Magazine: “Nude Travel Reveals Profits”

This national business magazine did a revealing expose on the high flying nudist tourist industry and marveled how, despite the current economic downturn, it has grown quickly over the past decade (especially among baby-boomers) to become a force that destination locations and transportation officials dare not ignore.

The article quotes Castaways Travel, a Spring, Tex.-based travel agency as claiming they sold 70% of the charter plane's 172 seats in just five days for a nude airplane trip from Miami to Cancun. The flight costs passengers $499 round trip and they stayed at the El Dorado Resort and Spa, where room prices start at $910 per week. Nude cruises are also taking it off. For the second year in a row, Carnival is offering a clothing-optional cruise on its 2,000-passenger ship Ecstasy. Other cruise lines offering similar cruises include Cunard and Windstar (both owned by Carnival), as well as privately held Star Clippers.

Hollywood, Fla.-based International Lifestyles is the parent company of Super Clubs, which runs some of the best-known clothing-optional resorts in the Caribbean, such as the five-star Grand Lido, and the Breezes chain of resorts. Super Clubs' vice president David Hancock is quoted in the article as saying thatbusiness has been so good that International Lifestyles opened three new resorts under the Breezes chain last year. "The nude market is very strong, and we are definitely looking to expand into Mexico and other Caribbean areas," he says.

Dr. George R. Harker, a former professor at Western Illinois University based in Hawaii, calculated the economic impact of transforming a nude beach. Kaloko-Honokohau, a former nude beach on the island of Hawaii, was converted back to a traditional beach in late 1998. Harker, citing the Hawaii Travel Authority statistics, says that in January 1999, the island of Hawaii had a 4% drop in visitors, while the rest of the state saw an increase. "I can't think of any other reason for the drop in visitors than the closing of the nude beach," says Harker. "The 4% decline in visitors translates to 2,873 people, who on average spend $1,700 apiece on hotels and food. His estimation is that closing the nude beach costs the local economy $4,941,904 per year.

Bare Necessities is one of the most successful international nudist tourist travel companies in America. Based in Austin, Texas, the company hosts nude cruises about twice a year to somewhere in the world. Its April, 2010 cruise from San Diego to Hawaii sold out all of its 3100 tickets, carrying passengers mostly from Southern California. As of this writing (March, 2013) the February 9-14, 2014 cruise through the Western Caribbean is 2/3 sold. A new cruise to Fiji May 31-Jun14, 2014 was just announced; the 2012 cruise there sold out in two months.

Click here to read the entire article (pdf format.)