Rival for ‘Surf City’ Designation Backs Down

From a Times Staff Writer

A Northern California lawmaker won’t pursue a state Senate vote to designate Santa Cruz “Surf City USA.”

Assemblyman Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) had asked Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) to table his bill, which Harman said undermined pending applications by the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau to trademark the name “Surf City USA.”

The two California coastal cities have sparred for years over bragging rights to the “Surf City” moniker, though the rivalry heated up last November when Huntington Beach submitted its trademark application. Simitian’s bill was approved by the Senate Rules Committee on a party-line 3-2 vote.


The two lawmakers said they were hopeful that the cities could set aside their differences.

“My view is that if this gives the two cities time to see if they can find common ground, that’s a good thing,” Simitian said.

Huntington Beach’s trademark application had spooked Santa Cruz businesses that incorporated “Surf City” into their names. If the legal issues aren’t resolved, Simitian can reactivate the bill next year.