Security personnel for Miramar Resort explain where Montecito elementary students may recreate on the beach.

When you reopened, we were happy to hear the community-friendly message you expressed. This community showed considerable flexibility in allowing the size and scale of your operation on our public beach. The one thing we all have been very clear about from the start is that the beach belongs to the community. We are happy to share Miramar Beach with you and your guests. It is, and has always been, our intention to be excellent neighbors.

In fact, yesterday, a group of parents took our kids down to the beach after the Montecito Union School sixth-grade graduation. We wanted to start the summer right with a swim and hopefully a delicious snack from the new hotel on the beach. But when the men in dark suits came out to greet us, they did not want to take our order. They wanted to order us off of our own beach.

Honestly, this really surprised us, and many of the parents were simply dumbfounded. I am sure this was some kind of mistake.

To be clear, we were below the mean high tide line with credit cards and hungry graduates. We were ready to support the Miramar Hotel by bringing our families and buying food and beverages. At that moment there were exactly zero Miramar guests on that beach. That means we were the only potential commerce opportunity on that beach at the time.

How about we try this again? People make mistakes. Let’s have a redo.

We want to play nice and share this lovely beach with everyone. When you moved in, you said you did, too. To demonstrate good faith, I have the following suggestion:

Please take down that weird black rope that says “Guests Only.” It is on public property. We will stay on the public side of the mean high tide line and smile and wave at employees and tourists alike. You can sell us food and tasty beverages and maybe make some money, and your staff can earn some tips. Maybe we could even have a locals’ night at the Miramar once a month? That would be good for business and the community.

Bottom line: It was wrong for the Miramar to ask us to leave our own beach yesterday, and it definitely upset our kids. They want to know that this beach is still for everyone. We need to show our entire community that it is and will remain so.

I am reaching out to you as a friend and neighbor and asking you to make this right.

Abe Powell


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