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Some Possible Reasons for Catalina's Decline

August 22, 1993

In reference to "Catalina's Ship Hasn't Come In" by Deborah Schoch (Aug. 1):

I sympathize with Avalon shopkeeper Norbert Reyes whose business is down 20% from last year. But I'd like Mr. Reyes to consider the following among the reasons for his reduced income: My wife and I were over on the island for a few days recently. To park at the Catalina Terminal in San Pedro now costs $6.50 per day. If you park there from a Sunday about noon to the following Wednesday at about 2 p.m., as we did, you are two hours into another day, so it costs you $26 just for parking. Round trip on the express boat costs about $32 each for senior citizens. Hotels are mostly older facilities and we met a couple who paid $140 a night for a place without a pool. (Beware of the word "quaint" when you travel; that means you can expect inadequate plumbing.)

Our daughter paid about $200 a day to rent a condominium, so we shared the place and the expense. Although it had three bedrooms, it only had one shower. The pool was closed on Mondays. Small wood-frame houses inches apart cost about the same as condominiums to rent. Everything on the island from soup to nuts (literally) costs more than on the mainland. The number of restaurants is few. We went to one on a Tuesday evening. The overpriced food may have started off warm but it was cooling off by the time it was served. We had trouble attracting the waitress and she never did bring me more coffee as I requested.

If the costs to visit Catalina keep going up and service doesn't improve, it should be no wonder why revenue is down.

ANDREW BAIRDEN

Torrance

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