CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) - It’s been a disappointing week for a man who’s become well known on one of San Diego’s most iconic beaches.
He’s known as the Sand Castle Man because of the masterpieces he builds out of sand. Bill Pavlacka is an award winning artist who does most of his work in front of Hotel Del Coronado.
“He's very good at what he does and you can tell he loves it a lot,” said visitor Libbie Young.
Pavlacka is on the beach almost every week from Thursday through Monday. Most sand castles can last three days to a week. But recently, vandals targeted him multiple times.
"I've had as many as six castles on the beach at one time,” said Pavlacka. "Five sand castles in five days, so a very bad week."
That struck a nerve with people admiring his work.
"Oh that's sad to hear,” said visitor Kayla Logan.
Another visitor, said visitor, Mikayla Koles, said, "Everyone should respect it because I think he puts in a lot of time into doing this."
Typically, it takes him six to 12 hours to build a sand castle.
"And there's a few of them that take much longer if I work on them for 3 or four days,” added Pavlacka.
He used to be a plasterer but when the construction industry got hit hard during the recession, work became scarce. Sand castles became his livelihood.
“Before I knew it, I made enough building sand castles that I could quit my job plastering job,” said Pavlacka.
He now builds castles for weddings, engagements, parties, corporate events, and commercials, including Gerber - one of his favorites.
And while he knows they're all built on a public beach, Pavlacka says as disappointing as it is, the support from the community, Hotel Del and Lifeguards keeps him doing what he loves to do.
“It doesn't mean you should impact everybody,” said Pavlacka. “You don’t go playing baseball in the middle of someone’s picnic blanket.”