The Coast News Group

When village folks were encouraged to rent their homes to vacationers

DEL MAR — There’s concern by some folks over a proposed tax on vacation rentals. A lot of homeowners don’t think it’s such a hot idea. Rentals have been a summer tradition in the village like grunion hunts and beach parties long before it became a city.
Decades ago rentals served a dual purpose. They gave residents revenue they could use to go to faraway places and they also provided lodging for vacationers and particularly the horse racing crowd. The racetrack trumpeted it worldwide as the vacation land of the racing fan.
There was the Del Mar Hotel; no motels or other similar facilities in the area. Carmel Valley was farms, jack rabbits and coyote country and Mission Valley was a series of dairies. Even La Jolla didn’t have much to offer the vacationer. And it didn’t necessarily care to.
So you can even say it was patriotic to rent your manse during the summer to enable well-heeled visitors to have a nice roof over their heads while you graciously accepted their generous gratuities. Later when accommodations became more plentiful, a lot of vacationers continued to rent and still do.
Homeowners still enjoy taking off for the summer on tourist’s dollars, but now the city wants a piece of the bountiful action.