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William Collins
On Balboa Island, vacationers live large
On Balboa Island, vacationers live large

The red-and-white ferry boats shuttling between Balboa Island and the Balboa Peninsula are still jammed with cars, shirtless teens and tourists on bicycles. Luxury yachts -- many bigger than most motor homes -- still crowd the blue waters off the shores of the 128-acre island in Newport Bay. And the rental rates for the island's multimillion-dollar vacation homes -- up to $5,000 a week -- have barely dipped from last year's prices. Still, even this affluent vacation island, home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country, is feeling the sting of the economic maelstrom that has engulfed the nation. While wealthy visitors keep paying top dollar to soak up the sun...

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