Sign will point way to Balboa Bay Club

The Balboa Bay Club and Resort may be an iconic spot in Newport Beach, but directing people there has always been a little tricky.

True, the beige complex at 1221 W. Coast Hwy. is across from The Car Spa, a little past the fancy cars parked outside Phillips Auto and just before the Ferrari dealership if one is heading south.

But now hotel staff will have a new way to direct visitors: Simply turn at Balboa Bay Way.

City Council members cleared the way Tuesday for the previously unmarked streetlight outside the resort to bear a sign with the new name.

The update comes after resort concierge Patrick Hynes suggested to council members in March that getting people to the location — which has been unchanged since 1948 — would be much easier with a sign.

"It's been a long frustration for me," he said in an interview the day after he made his remarks. "Any sign would result in a smoother, less-dangerous traffic flow and less lost or befuddled visitors."

He offered ideas such as Balboa Bay Way, Balboa Bay Drive and Club Drive. In a letter, club General Manager Malcolm Smith suggested a preference for the first.

"Adding this name to a street sign at the traffic signal will significantly improve wayfinding," Smith wrote.

The California Department of Transportation, which operates that section of the highway, will install the illuminated sign panels, spokesman David Richardson said when discussing the process in March. The cost to the city is expected to be about $7,635.

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