‘45’ in the 92037: How would a Romney presidency change La Jolla?

When Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spent Easter and Memorial Day weekends at his seaside La Jolla home, he joined fellow beach-goers enjoying the surf, sun and sand. Photo by Phyllis Pfeifferg
When Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spent Easter and Memorial Day weekends at his seaside La Jolla home, he joined fellow beach-goers enjoying the surf, sun and sand. Photo by Phyllis Pfeifferg
photo
When Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spent Easter and Memorial Day weekends at his seaside La Jolla home, he joined fellow beach-goers enjoying the surf, sun and sand.                     Photo by Phyllis Pfeiffer

By Pat Sherman

Should Mitt Romney be elected the 45th U.S. president — and his beachfront home on Dunemere Drive become a de facto “White House West” — La Jollans would undoubtedly feel the impact of his presence.

Would the nation’s first Mormon president use some of his copious capital gains to plate the Village streets with gold (or at least repair its crumbing

sidewalks

)? Or would the POTUS scoop up property around UTC’s Mormon temple to develop a Romneyland-style theme park?

Though calls and e-mails to the Romney campaign went unanswered, La Jollan Renata Turquand said she feels having a president residing even part-time in La Jolla would bring great exposure to San Diego’s “Jewel.”

“The national press is now going to talk about La Jolla as a vacation spot — what the community’s about and how beautiful it is,” she said. “ It’s going to obviously bring extra traffic, but I think it’s going to be a positive thing because he’s going to highlight how beautiful La Jolla is and why somebody with his taste would choose to live here.”

La Jolla Village Merchants Association board President Phil Coller said he believes Romney’s presence could only benefit local merchants.

photo
Former president George W. Bush made Crawford, Texas his White House retreat, marked by this larger-than-life bilboard. Would La Jollans permit a similar sign at the entry to the Village?

“Anything that brings people into La Jolla for any reason is good for business and one would imagine —if he spends any time here — there will a lot of people coming in just to keep an eye on things,” Coller said. “Things will happen around him. The whole infrastructure of people develops around someone who is president.”

Marilyn Judy, president of the chamber of commerce in Crawford, Texas said life changed dramatically in Crawford when George W. Bush purchased Prairie Chapel Ranch, just north of her rural farming town. Bush’s frequent stays brought everything from international news crews and visiting foreign dignitaries to new businesses and people protesting the United States’ presence in Iraq.

“You probably wouldn’t know when extra people came to La Jolla,” Judy said, “but they stick out like a sore thumb in a little bitty town of 700 people. We would have cars with all different kinds of license plates. If they were tourists they were asking, ‘How do you get to the president’s ranch?’ Whether he was there or not, they wanted to go.”

Judy said a highlight of Bush’s years in office included the time he and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to students in the auditorium of Crawford High School.

“We had the whole world there watching that conference,” she said. “We told our kids, ‘You will read about this in your history books, and you’re a part of it.’”

Judy said the only problem Crawford experienced was the protestors (which included former San Diego news anchor Bree Walker).

“When you have thousands of people come to a little town, that’s overwhelming,” she said. “But the businesses loved them. We had about four little gift shops that opened — and those were Crawford people who opened those up.”

Page:
   
-

Comments

Be relevant, respectful, honest, discreet and responsible. Commenting Rules