The City will honor the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Coronado Cays with a daylong celebration on Saturday, September 28, at Coronado Cays Park. The celebration is free and open to the public.
The Coronado Cays community turns 50 this month and the City is partnering with the Coronado Cays Homeowners Association and volunteer Cays residents to plan a community party that will officially begin with a special commemoration and conclude with a family friendly outdoor movie.
“The Cays is a unique part of the Coronado community and we intend to honor the important relationship we have with a great celebration for the whole family,” said City Manager Blair King. “All of Coronado is encouraged to attend.”
The community event will run from 2 to 9:30 pm and include a special program to mark the anniversary with comments and special speakers at 3 pm. An aerial photo capturing the residents spelling out “50” will be taken by drone to memorialize this day at 3:25 pm. Bands play at 3:30 and 5 pm. The movie, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, begins at 7 pm. Cays residents are encouraged to walk, bike or share a ride to the event. A ride-hailing station will be available for easy pick-up and drop-off near the Fire Station.
Programming also will include four hours of music by two popular local bands; kids’ activities including face-painting, obstacle courses, carnival games and a dunk tank; local food vendors; and a beer, wine and spirits garden.
Before it was the Cays, the property was a hog farm, a brick-making yard for the Hotel del Coronado’s construction and a trash dump. John D. Spreckels and heirs owned the property for many years. The City purchased the land, about 236 acres, in 1948 for $175,000 and annexed it. The City rezoned the property in 1954 for public use and recreation. In 1967, the land was sold to the Atlantic-Richfield Oil Company for $4 million then one year later it was sold to Signal Oil Company which teamed up with a developer.
By 1968, parcels of large homes, many with private docks, were marketed for sale. The official opening was celebrated on September 13, 1969, about a month after the San Diego-Coronado Bridge opened. Prices ranged from $30,000 to $75,000.
Today, the Cays is made up of 10 “villages,” 1,198 residential units, open space and the Coronado Cays Yacht Club. Some of the most valuable residential property in Coronado is in the Cays.