Most people who live in the South Bay today, and even many Redondo Beach residents do not realize the role that the City of Redondo Beach played in local history and the contributions made to the economy of Southern California in the state’s early days. In 1890, when the ‘Hotel Redondo’ opened, the city was on its way to becoming the “in place” for tourists from all over the world.
Thousands of people were brought to the city by the railroads and large steamships. Redondo was the first port in Los Angeles, bringing lumber and oil in by large quatities along with the tourists. Steamers stopped at Redondo 3-4 times a week at the three piers as part of the regular runs that existed from San Francisco to San Diego. The Redondo Railway headed out for Redondo Beach from Los Angeles daily. Even the Red Electric Transit Cars started serving the city on a regular basis.
The Redondo Hotel was pure class with an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts and 225 luxurious suites of rooms making this resort a favorite destination for thousands who would come to spend the holidays and many would come to spend the winters here. There were many upscale beaches, sports fishing, games, rides and a huge swimming pool nearby available for the tourists pleasure.
It all started to go downhill when the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro started its development in 1899. The Steamship Company halted their stops, but lumber continued to come in until around 1926 when the railroad pulled out. A little later, prohibition caused the quarter million dollar ‘Hotel Redondo’ to close it doors and in 1925 the hotel was torn down and all the lumber sold for scrap. (for $300.00)
Today, still known as a tourist and resort town, Redondo Beach can boast of its beautiful piers, sports fishing and amusements, a Saltwater Lagoon reminiscent of the old swimming plunge, many upscale restaurants, luxury hotels, and a beautiful harbor.