Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Alyssa Erdley
Observer Staff 

Catalina Island Wants You to Come to THIS Reopening for the Summer of 2021

The island is struggling to regain its popularity after closing for a month last year and under county travel and leisure restrictions

 

Catalina Express

The city of Avalon on Catalina Island

Catalina Island, 26 miles off the California coast, is still struggling to attract visitors with yet another "reopening" announcement. The island shut down in March 2020 until mid-June of that year in an attempt to stop the spread there of Covid-19. But its June 2020 reopening to tourism was hampered by the public health guidelines set in place by Los Angeles County and the State of California. Out-of-county visitors were supposed to quarantine upon arrival, restaurants could only offer outdoor dining, masks and social distancing were required everywhere - including on transportation to the island.

Over the July 4th weekend last year, Catalina closed its beaches and cancelled all fireworks shows.

Since the June "reopening" fizzled, Catalina launched another "reopening" announcement in February, 2021. Visitors were invited to come celebrate President's Day weekend, Valentine's Day, and Spring Break. The Catalina Express ferry resumed daily service to the island. However, the same restrictions that were hampering mainland businesses in Los Angeles County prevented Catalina from providing much of a vacation experience.

Now, Catalina's publicity corps is attempting to launch yet another "reopening." The ferry there will still require masks and social distancing and limits passenger capacity. However, there are now 30 daily departures of the Catalina Express from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. To celebrate the company's 40th anniversary, the Bombard family owners are giving away 40 trips in 40 days.

This reopening may also not provide the comeback Catalina would like to see as travel-starved Californians seek to use their newfound freedom to visit locations further afield. But for those financially impacted by the pandemic lockdowns or for travellers who like outdoor adventure (or indoor pampering), some of the events offered are outdoor movies on the beach, First Friday films at Catalina Island Museum, live music at the Metropole Market Place and the beloved return of the Catalina Wine Mixer at Descanso Beach Club.

Advertised new and sought-after accommodations are:

Bellanca Hotel

• Newly renovated boutique hotel accommodations with a choice of guestrooms

• Round-trip travel for two aboard Catalina Express

• On-site restaurant, Naughty Fox

• Ocean view rooftop deck

• Round-trip taxi transfer from boat landing to hotel

• Rates start at $275 plus tax, based on availability and double occupancy

Catalina Island Inn

• Newly renovated hotel accommodations

• Round-trip travel for two aboard Catalina Express

• Rates starting at $399, offered Sunday – Thursday, based on double occupancy and availability

• Rates may vary by date and room type. Call 310.510.1623 to book.

Hotel Atwater

• Accommodations at the newly renovated Hotel Atwater

• Round-trip travel for two aboard Catalina Express

• Two splits of sparkling wine on arrival day

• 15% off Catalina Island Company activities and tours

Catalina Express

Ferry approaches Avalon on Catalina Island

• 15% off spa treatments and day passes at Island Spa Catalina

• $20 credit per day for Catalina Island Company restaurants

• Rates starting at $482, excluding taxes and fees, based on double occupancy and availability

Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel

• Accommodations at the newly renovated and historic Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel

• Round-trip travel for two aboard Catalina Express

• Complimentary shuttle to and from Ferry and Hotel

• Shuttle to city drop-off point on availability

• Valid through December 31, 2021. Rates starting at $440; based on double occupancy and availability, may vary by dates and room type

 

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