Imperial Beach to have a new look and feel this summer: New hotel, new cameras to make beach better

Long-awaited Pier South Hotel to open Wednesday

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. - The beach in Imperial Beach will have a new look and new feel this summer.

On Wednesday, the long-awaited Pier South Hotel will open along the coast. It is only the second hotel built on the sand in San Diego County and is only the sixth in the state.

When full, the 78-room luxury hotel will help populate a beach that is already manned by a small lifeguard staff of nine full-time lifeguards and a handful of part-timers.

"If people come down with families and children, they're going to come to the beach," said Imperial Beach Public Safety Director Tom Clark.

That means more work for lifeguards, which is why the city is installing a new high-tech video camera system to help them out. Four cameras will watch the beach when lifeguards cannot.

"We'll have a 180-degree view," said Clark.

The Imperial Beach City Council is expected to approve the new cameras during its Wednesday night meeting. A Homeland Security grant is funding the $125,000 project.

When installed, the cameras will allow lifeguards to react quicker in their trucks and even see at night.

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