'Tis approaching the season to be jolly around Tustin, which will be renting out Santa suits for the seventh straight year.
The outfits--complete with suit, beard, belt and fake boots--rent for $7 an hour, $20 overnight and $35 for weekends. Last year, 15-20 people rented the suits, generating about $450 for the city, recreation supervisor Eileen Harter said.
The city got into the rental suit business because of requests from the public, Harter said.
"It's actually quite a headache, to be honest," she said. "We get suits coming in and out, bright and early in the morning, when half our people aren't even awake yet. A lot of times we have to call the person who rented and say they forgot to bring the suit back, and we have another person coming in in 10 minutes. Administratively, it works, but it's not the easiest thing to control. But it's worth the trouble, because we know people like to use them."
At least one Orange County costume shop owner isn't thrilled with the city's program.
"I'm totally against city government delving into private business, competing with me," said Tom Johnston, owner of Style Leader in Orange. "If they want to buy the suits and donate them to worthy organizations, that's a different situation, but to rent for profit, I'm against that."