I object to the misleading attack by Seymour Morrow on plans for a youth hostel in Santa Monica. I speak as one who has had very satisfactory experiences with hostels in Europe, Australia, Canada and, in the U.S., both in Colorado and in California.
Santa Monica is a logical entry point to the Los Angeles area for persons of adventurous energy and curiosity about our own and other cultures. It’s no accident that this was the local entry point for the Olympic Torch as well.
The American Youth Hostel Federation does not run “derelict care centers.” Mr. Morrow is altogether mistaken on this point. Stays in any hostel are always limited to a few nights at the outside, patrons may not remain in the building during the day, a significant annual membership fee is required, and troublemakers lose their membership cards. Parking availability is a non-issue, since most will get there by public transportation.
Indeed, Santa Monica residents should be delighted at the international friendships and understanding which the hostel will make possible. The shelter-sharing arrangements free up lots of tourist dollars for restaurants, shops, etc. Beyond this, the proposed Rapp Saloon location would be a memorable, distinctive place for tourists to stay. Believe me, word of Santa Monica’s history and attractiveness would go far and wide to educated and moneyed families and friends in every corner of the nation and world. Isn’t that, after all, what every chamber of commerce and tourism promotion bureau wants to see happen?