Hotel Site's Connection to Boom Boom Room to be Preserved

We told you here that even though the Laguna Beach Planning Commission in May approved a plan to build a garage where part of the Boom Boom Room once stood, officials were still concerned that nothing concrete was included on the future boutique hotel site to pay homage to the legendary gay nightclub.

That changed last night.

The Laguna Beach City Council demanded that the complex include a bar and that the city must approve an exhibit to commemorate the site's significance to the gay community before any renovations can begin, reports the Orange County Register.

When the Planning Commission approved the garage, it was revealed the new hotel on the Coast Inn site might include retail space and a
restaurant/wine bar, and the location of an interpretive center
dedicated to the property's gay past was still to be

That ignited fears that any trace of the Boom would disappear, and the exhibit would be shoved in a corner only accessible to hotel guests.

The City Council, in approving early plans for the hotel, called for a good faith effort to include a historical marker to the Coast Inn's significance to the gay community. The council reaffirmed its approval of the plans Tuesday night but now called for a wine bar over part of the old Boom.

The council vote was preceded by stories from members of the community about the site's importance to gays, including a videotaped presentation from Bob Gentry, a Laguna Beach mayor in the 1990s and Orange County's first openly gay elected official.

All agreed the rundown site needs renovation, and property owner and former
AIG executive Steven Udvar-Hazy was thanked for taking on the project.

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