IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - A new event venue is honoring the history of the South Bay, while giving people a gorgeous view for their parties and meetings.
Salt Drift Pointe, at 536 13th Street, has 13,000 square feet of space. It includes a main room, a bar, patio, pier and more.
"It's a huge blank space," says Co-Owner Richard Inunza of the venue. "We've got a great atmosphere and great views."
Inzunza and his co-owner Terry Snyder designed the venue specifically to try and pay homage to the South Bay. The "rustic wall" in the event space is painted to reflect the colors of the bay. And the name, Salt Drift Pointe, refers to the industrial history of the region.
"When Rich and I thought about the name for this place, we wanted to grab the natural landscapes," says Snyder. "As you can see from the beautiful views we have of the salt ponds and the old salt mines, we wanted to include the salt."
Salt played a big part in the South Bay story. According to San Diego History Center Historian Andy Strathman, it was the first industry that helped the region shift away from a farm-based economy during the late 1800s.
"You could build very large settling basins to bring the saltwater in and allow it to evaporate over time," says Strathman. "You would get the water increasingly saline, and eventually, you could harvest the salt."
In the 21st century, the South Bay has shifted its economy again, trying to attract more tourists. The new Chula Vista Bayfront project is expected to bring in more than $2 billion every year once it's completed.
Inzunza and Snyder say it's fitting that a new business like theirs, which will tap into the hospitality industry, honors the past.
"We hope families can come and enjoy this place for years," says Snyder.
To celebrate, Salt Drift Pointe is hosting a free grand opening party on Oct. 30. The public is welcome to stop by and take a look at the new venue from 5 - 8 p.m.