OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Oceanside is debuting two new hotels just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
The Mission Pacific Hotel opened last week, and the Seabird Resort opens May 27. The hotels are directly across from the Oceanside Pier.
"It's going to be a real catalyst for Oceanside, a real game-changer, really enhance the community," said Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside.
It's the largest beach development in San Diego County in 50 years, but Gaul said it's been 30 years in the making.
"A labor of love for sure," said Gaul.
The resorts are expected to generate at least three hundred jobs and roughly a million a year in hotel tax revenue. The tourism industry was hit especially hard during the pandemic.
"Oceanside visitor spending is down 28% whereas the rest of California is down 55%, so we fared relatively well. I think that's because we are a smaller beach community. We have lots of outdoor recreation available, and that's what people were seeking," said Gaul.
The city has long been thought of as a military town, but Gaul said it's seeing a renaissance of sorts.
"The military is a really important part of our heritage, but I think people have discovered we're much more than that as well," said Gaul.
The famous "Top Gun house" sits directly between the two new hotels. It's recently been painted blue. It's scheduled to open as a high-end dessert shop in July.
"It's really quite phenomenal how popular it still is to this day, from an international standpoint too," said Gaul.
Residents like Liz Wolff, say they'll miss the beach parking that was available at the site before the development was built, but overall, she thinks it'll be a boost to the city.
"Oceanside for many, many years ago hadn't had the best reputation, but it's very clean, it's very beautiful here. People will like it," said Wolf.
Local leaders plan to celebrate the opening of the hotels at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 27.