An entire parking lot at a North County beach closed recently for almost three days, for a private party. Some beach goers wonder: are we losing our public lands to private events?
Surfers who buy yearly passes to park at Tamarack beach in Carlsbad were told for almost three days last week that the parking lot was off-limits to the public.
An out-of-town company rented the lot, and a space on the beach, for a huge party tent.
The state parks department says it was the first time this North Carlsbad beach and its parking lot were rented for a private function.
And the parks department says it might not happen again.
But expect to see more private events at other state beaches from Carlsbad, south to the Coronado.
The company that rented at Tamarack beach paid about $7200 for the tent space. It paid another, separate fee to the private company that runs the parking lot.
"I mean I see where they're trying to make money for the state but it doesn't seem quite right that they charge us, too," said Carlsbad surfer Pat McCasland.