When it comes to places to visit on my bucket list, near the top is the Alibaba Motel even though I have lived since 1989 a few miles from the Costa Mesa landmark known for its inviting dome roof.
The delay in fulfilling that wish may owe to the, uh, colorful, dentally impaired tweakstes found wandering around that general location (2250 Newport Blvd.).
Actually, I believe I first became intrigued by the Aladdin-worthy joint while being driven past it as a kid, when there was no Costa Mesa (55) Freeway and Newport Boulevard was the way we inlanders hit Newport Beach.
Nowadays, it's not exactly the glamor part of town (if there even is one up here on Goat Hill), and now comes word from the city that the 42-room motel just logged code violations in half of its rooms. Of course, if you look at the motel as half full ...
Costa Mesa code enforcement officers issued $3,150 in fines and 54 notices of violation to the Alibaba Motel owner during an inspection earlier this month, according to a release from the city.
"The Alibaba was fined $3,150 for 21 rooms that had insect problems or smoke detectors that did not work," reads the release. "The motel owners were also put on notice for 54 other violations, including illegal remodeling, improper cleanup of construction materials, and illegal storage of furniture."
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Costa Mesa is on a mission to clean up motels "that generate the most police and fire calls," according to the statement, which notes code enforcement officers issued $19,000 in fines and a $23,000 fix-it citation to the 236-room Costa Mesa Motor Inn in August.
In the past year, the city has inspected 10 of the 12 motels in Costa Mesa that generate the most public safety calls, and code enforcement intends to get to them all by the end of the year.
Here's hoping Mr. Baba or whoever the owner is turns things around before the inspection process begins anew in 2014. Wouldn't want an excuse to erase that place from the ol' list.