UPDATE: June 29: Councilmember Kevin Faulconer questioned how money raised from these ad revenues will be spent. This morning he declared that in order for him to support the idea of selling ads at the beach, City policy on directing such monies into the General Fund would have to change. (Go to San Diego Reader for more info.)
By Mike Lee / San Diego U-T / June 29, 2011
San Diego once again is looking at selling some prime beachfront property — space on signs in Mission Beach Park — to raise money for city coffers. A similar idea surfaced last July, then fizzled despite interest by the City Council. It’s back in front of a council committee Wednesday morning, adding another chapter in a long-running debate about corporate America creeping into natural settings.
Open-space advocates are leery about saturating forests, deserts and seashores with company logos that threaten a basic attraction of such areas. But some government officials and parks supporters say tasteful signs are OK and the accompanying cash is necessary to keep those places open.
“This is kind of happening quietly and I think fairly successfully at a lot of different levels in parks as the need becomes greater,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group. “I think people’s fears are largely misplaced. There are not going to be billboarded parks in any way, shape or form.”
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City beach sponsors may get “logo recognition” in several ways:
• Signs on permanent and/or seasonal lifeguard stations and surrounding towers listing current weather, surf, tide and other conditions
• Signs on trash or recycling bins encouraging recycling and discouraging littering
• Signs on existing poles listing beach regulations
• Signs in other spots such as poles, walls and benches with safety or public service messages
• Opportunities to sponsor city educational programs which could include product display or materials (i.e. recycling programs, water conservation programs)
San Diego beaches
A proposal to expand corporate sponsorships in San Diego would start at Mission Beach and be expanded to others if it’s successful.
Mission Beach — 3,752,342 annual visitors
South Pacific Beach — 3,620,700
La Jolla Shores — 3,603,270
Other beaches — 3,000,000
Ocean Beach — 1,901,799
Children’s Pool (Casa Beach) — 1,788,100
South Mission Beach — 1,786,500
North Pacific Beach — 1,781,510
La Jolla Cove — 1,437,374