I drove to the site of the Newport Dunes Resort and saw the balloons that
outlined the building of the postponed new hotel ("Debate over Dunes
height growing," March 4). I think the proposed structure will fit nicely
on the site and blend well with the neighboring property, without unduly
obstructing anyone's views.
This project is good for the entire community of Newport Beach. It
provides needed accommodations, additional revenue to the city and added
beauty to the Back Bay lagoon. This has all been done in a way that
appears to be considerate to its neighbors and within the traffic limits
that are already approved for the site.
The city and all the residents will benefit from this hotel. It is time
to approve the new plan and quit spending everyone's -- in particular,
the city's -- time and money on the approval of this hotel.
THOMAS G. CLARK
For months I have heard about the Dunes project and, after seeing the
balloons on East Coast Highway this weekend, I am not sure what all the
fuss is about. It does not appear the new building will block any views,
at least as far as I could tell.
Yes, the new hotel will be big, but not as big as what was originally
proposed. For this we can thank the concerned residents and nearby
homeowners for helping to have the project scaled down more than 25% from
what was originally proposed for the site.
But, while I believe the activists have done an excellent job, I also
believe it would be a huge loss to the city not to have this project go
forward. Newport Beach and all of us residents will benefit from it.
Let's move on with the Dunes expansion in a responsible way that won't
further divide this wonderful city.
I have been a resident of Newport Beach for almost 30 years. I am a
mechanical engineer, consultant and have been associated with the Evans
Hotel group for many years, first working on the upgrades at the
Catamaran hotel in Pacific Beach, San Diego.
Also our firm, Toft Wolff Farrow Inc., was involved with the design of
the recreational vehicle park, also owned by the Evans Hotel Group.
We have found that the Evans family has always developed and built a
"first-class" project, as seen by their successful projects: the RV park,
Catamaran hotel and the Bahia Corinthian, also in San Diego, on West
As you know, the company's recently submitted revised plan has scaled
back the size of both the hotel and the time shares.
Most important, has been the reduction of the project's expected traffic
-- from 4,800 daily trips to less than 3,630 trips. This comes to a 25%
reduction, which is not only less than the original proposal but less
than the previously approved project (more than 10 years ago), which was
based on 4,000 trips per day.
Also, I believe the Evans' architect has redesigned the building as an
ORLANDO C. LUDOVISE
I have spent more than 25 years in the hospitality and tourism-related
fields and am very well acquainted with the current Newport Dunes resort
management and operations.
The concept of a destination resort hotel on this property is a very
The location is ideal because it is already a family recreational center
with an upscale marina, boat-launching facility, restaurant, highly
regarded recreational vehicle park and a beach recreation center. It is
also an integral part of a biking and walking trail system.
A resort hotel and time shares will complete the master plan of the
property in an ideal way.
In addition, the Evans family has a long and respected history of
operating first-class hotel properties. They are highly regarded in the
tourism industry. We can be assured that this will be a well planned and
exceptionally well managed hotel.
Anyone in the tourism business in Southern California will assure you
that this hotel will be a major asset to the city of Newport Beach
The article "Debate over Dunes height growing," March 4, states as a
matter of "fact" that the recent small reductions in the proposed Evans
Hotel at The Dunes has "significantly reduced traffic" estimates.
That statement is inaccurate.
The effect of the proposed reductions in the number of vehicles is
unclear and disputed.
Secondly, the statements attributed to Commissioner Ed Selich does a
disservice to Bert Ohlig and the public by characterizing Ohlig's work as
The recent effort of elevating balloons to various heights is marginally
useful only in establishing a point of reference to height. It confirms
the earlier contentions of Susan Caustin and others that the hotel
reaches the height of the Castaways Bluffs.
The balloons, however, do not provide any perspective with respect to the
volume and density of this immense project. There is no place in the Back
Bay for this oversize, ill-conceived, nonconforming, moneymaking venture.
Evans Hotels should be required to adhere to the agreement the company
made in 1989 with all concerned parties and limit construction to the
project that was previously approved.
STEVEN E. BRIGGS