The homeless who have embraced San Francisco’s luxury hotel

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The homeless who have embraced San Francisco's luxury hotel

Written by by H, a, n, n, a, h, , e, y, e, s, , r, a, l, e, s, , M, o, r, a, l, e, s, , y, e, s, , to d: Morgan Timpone, Skype original, Media reporter, CNN, Oakland, California

A luxury resort is faced with a stark dilemma, writes Media reporter Morgan Timpone.

Sitting at the mouth of the Las Lomas Canal is The Lighthouse Resort, a luxury residential community in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

“We want to be a beacon for San Francisco,” says Director of Sales and Development Jack Sullivan.

The building, designed by a renowned architect, designed the resort. But the resort is at a crossroads and the world is about to experience one of its strangest bedfellows: Tourists drowning in the blackness of the San Francisco Bay to get a glimpse of the world’s most exclusive surfing haven.

The Lighthouse Resort

“Seemingly homeless huddled with each other,” says Sullivan of the hippie fringe visitors. “But I’m thinking of her as some sort of hybrid between Jesus and Santa Claus.”

Tourists have been flooding in for almost a year and are staying at four of the 72 rooms. The fear in the resort is the number of visitors are not just to stay. It’s a population that has to stay there and not take any boats or leave.

“We have no water. You know, we were really afraid of that,” says Sullivan. “We don’t have roads.”

Shelters are made out of tarps and are lit up at night.

“There are probably a lot of restaurants that are furious about us leaving,” says Sullivan. “They like when people come in. They eat their food.”

The town is, however, profiting.

The city has even opened a free spa inside the hotel that pamper visitors. Sometimes they are just referred to as surfers. The residents call them “Jaws.”

The local businesses have a new hope: This is California. Tourists can hop on their boats and do the same thing just steps away. And the city has plans to change the rules so the crowd doesn’t wash out the town as well.

“With so many people being here it’s just hard to handle,” says one resident. “So it’s kind of time we stop losing fishermen, be wilder and jump in.”

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