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Firm Floats a Plan to Dock a Hotel at Avalon

A Canadian developer has begun discussions with Avalon city officials about bringing a cruise-ship hotel to Avalon Bay in an arrangement similar to the one the Queen Mary has with Long Beach.

Robert Taylor of Maritime Resort in Bellingham, Wash., is seeking approval to permanently dock the Prince George on the seaward side of the Cabrillo Mole, the pier used by commercial cross-channel carriers. The carriers dock on the bay side of the pier.

In addition to the city, Taylor will also need approval from the state Coastal Commission, the State Lands Commission, the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Still, Taylor hopes that all approvals can be obtained by next summer. “If everything falls in place, we may even be able to open next spring,” Taylor said.

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Council to Discuss It

The Avalon Harbor Committee and the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce have endorsed the idea. The City Council agreed last month to discuss it.

Avalon has nearly 900 hotel rooms. During the summer, according to chamber officials, nearly 300,000 people visit the island. A shortage of water and a sewage treatment plant already at capacity have held up development of new hotels, city officials said.

The 350-foot-long Prince George has 103 guest rooms, a 60-foot swimming pool, meeting rooms and a restaurant. By comparison, the Queen Mary is 1,019 feet long and has nearly 400 rooms. Last year, Taylor temporarily docked the 39-year-old Prince George in Vancouver for Expo ’86.

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The Queen Mary has been permanently docked in Long Beach since 1967, but it has been only in the last four years that it has made money as a tourist attraction and hotel. The ship, owned by the Long Beach Harbor Department, is managed by the Wrather Corp. of Beverly Hills.


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