GUADALUPE – The City of Guadalupe is known as "The Gateway to the Dunes," but sometime later this year, the city may be known as something else. Mayor Lupe Alvarez has proposed changing the name of the city to, "Guadalupe Beach."
"I think it's a smart way to increase our profile as a city," said Alvarez.
The Mayor proposed the move with one thought in particular, which was to increase the tourism into the city in northwest Santa Barbara County that includes just over 7000 residents.
"The idea is, we need to do something to attract tourism, to attract more people to stop by and hopefully increase our coffers for the city so we can have public safety," said Alvarez.
Even though that actual beach is nearly 5 miles to the west down Clarence Minetti Memorial Road, the Mayor believes the new name is appropriate and a good fit for the city.
"I know it's a little bit of a stretch, but at the same time, it's Guadalupe Beach," said Alvarez. If the beach was called Point Sal Beach I think it would be a little bit of a harder sell."
Local businesses stand to gain from a name change and would likely sell more of their products and services should tourism increase.
"It would be a benefit for the community and it will help sales tax, people would stop and have lunch or buy gas or something," said John Perry, owner of J. Perry Auto Supply, Inc..
Perry, who grew up in the tight-knit community has owned his auto parts store on Guadalupe Street for more than 40 years. He thinks that even old-timers may embraces the change should be it approved.
"It will still be Guadalupe, the name Guadalupe will still be in it so the locals will still call it Guadalupe and the newcomers will say 'we're going to go to Guadalupe Beach,'" said Perry.
Adding the word "beach" to a city's name would not be unprecedented here on the Central Coast. In 1992, Grover City voters approved the move that was decided by less than 100 votes.
"I'm sure if you ask Grover Beach they'll say it's helping them and I think it's a positive thing that they did," said Alvarez.
City Council will discuss the matter on Tuesday, June 26th. Should the decided to proceed, the proposal would be placed on the November 6, 2012 ballot. To earn approval, the proposal would need 50 percent of the vote, plus one.
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