"Do you have a reservation?" is a question you would expect to hear at a downtown fancy-schmancy restaurant, but now beach goers will be asked the same thing and required to purchase an hourly permit at a Manhattan Beach sand dune.
The towering sand dune in an otherwise-quiet Manhattan Beach neighborhood has been closed since last summer for restoration and repair. On Monday, the exercising hotspot reopened under strict regulations.
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Sand Dune Park had become overrun with fitness buffs, partiers and noise, and the City of Manhattan Beach fenced it off and closed it last summer to satisfy disturbed neighbors.
Usage will be throttled back by 80 percent starting Monday, reports The Daily Breeze, when people with advance reservations will be admitted. The permits cost $3.50 per entry, and allow one hour of dune use.
The 300-foot-high sand dune on Bell Avenue offers a vigorous workout for those trudging to the top, as well as sea breezes and a view of downtown Los Angeles and the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains on some days.
"That sand dune motivates people like no other place in the South Bay," Bill Hory, a founding member of CORE - Citizens for Outdoor Recreation and Exercise, told the Breeze. "It's popular for a reason."
CORE was founded as part of an effort to keep the dune open. Hory called the reservation system "overkill."
Mayor Mitch Ward said it's "not a perfect situation."
"No one knows if there is a perfect situation to anything," he told the Breeze. "We're trying to move forward and we think the new reservation system will work well."
And, then there's Orcutt's yellow pincushion. The rare flower was discovered in May, and a fence was put up along the north ridge of the dune for protection.
Reservations can be made at the city's website, but questions remain to whether the average joe can climb the sand dune within the allotted time.