Does it appear as if a plan to make Chula Vista’s marina area into a bigger and better destination for boaters and convention center visitors has been going on decades?

A book published in the early 1960s looked at Chula Vista’s 50-year history between 1911 and 1961 and explained growth of the city just south of San Diego would be driven by shipbuilding, boat manufacturing, recreational activity and a large convention center.

“A major industry will be shipbuilding, with its supplementary supplying industries. Small boat manufacture may also be a large contributing factor,” the book, titled “Chula Vista: 50 Years (1911-1961),” stated.

“The possibility of a marina, boatels, motels, restaurants, etc., on the north end of the tidelands is exciting great interest. This could be a showplace attracting visitors and tourists in great numbers. Boating and other water sports would provide the principal attraction,” another entry of the history book continued.

Building a large convention center and establishing Chula Vista as a player in the deep-sea fishing realm were also boasted as major draws to the city’s economic and cultural growth.

“If – or perhaps when – Chula Vista builds a 5,000-seat auditorium, the city could become a convention center of great importance. The ‘Shelter Island’ type of development, the proximity to Mexico, the possibility of deep sea fishing, the uncrowded conditions yet nearness to Naval institutions, the San Diego Zoo, and innumerable other attractions would add to the city’s ideal climatic conditions as a perfect convention site,” city officials stated in the history book.

About 55 years later the Port of San Diego identified the Chula Vista Bayfront as an underutilized area and has been in discussions with RIDA Development (since 2014) to build a large hotel and convention center adjacent to the marina area.

Change can certainly be slow.

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