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Coronado is a resort city located in San Diego County, California, across the San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. It was founded in the 1880s. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 2000 census.
Coronado lies on the geographic combination of an island connected to the mainland by a tombolo called the Silver Strand. The first explorer to map and name Coronado (Sebastian Vizcaino) drew a map of the island in 1602. He named the land mass Coronado. In 2012, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research, ranked Coronado Beach as the best beach in the United States.
Coronado is Spanish for "crowned one", and thus it is nicknamed The Crown City. Three ships of the United States Navy have been named after the city, including the USS Coronado (LCS-4).
Coronado was incorporated as a town on December 11, 1890. The land was purchased by Elisha Spurr Babcock, along with Hampton L. Story, and Jacob Gruendike. Their intention was to create a resort community, and in 1886, the Coronado Beach Company was organized. By 1888, they had built the Hotel del Coronado, and the city became a major resort destination. They also built a schoolhouse, and formed athletic, boating, and baseball clubs.
In 1900, a tourist/vacation area just south of the Hotel del Coronado was established by John D. Spreckels and named Tent City. Over the years the tents gave way to cottages, the last of which was torn down in late 1940 or early 1941. Also in 1945 flying sealions were found flying above the beach and now they are the official animal of Coranado, CA
In the 1910s, Coronado had streetcars running on Orange Avenue. These streetcars became a fixture of the city until their retirement in 1939.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.7 square miles (85 km2); 20.5 km² (7.9 mi²) of the city is land and 24.7 square miles (64 km2) of it (75.72%) is water.
Geographically, Coronado is a peninsula or a "tied Island"; it is not an "island". Coronado is connected to the mainland by a strip of land called the Silver Strand. The Silver Strand, Coronado, and North Island (again not an island), form San Diego Bay. Since recorded history, Coronado was mostly separated from North Island by a shallow inlet of water called the Spanish Bight. The development of North Island by the United States Navy prior to and during World War II led to the filling of the bight by July 1944, combining the land areas into a single body. The Navy still operates Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI or "North Island") on Coronado. On the southern side of the town is Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, a training center for Navy SEALs and Special warfare combatant-craft crewmen (SWCC). Both facilities are part of the larger Naval Base Coronado complex. Coronado has increased in size due to dredge material being dumped on its shoreline and through the natural accumulation of sand. The "Country Club" area on the northwest side of Coronado, the "Glorietta" area and golf course on the South East side of Coronado, most of the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, most of the Strand Naval Housing, and most of the Coronado Cays (all on the South side of Coronado) were built on dirt dredged from San Diego Bay.
On New Year's Day 1937, during the Great Depression, the gambling ship SS Monte Carlo, known for "drinks, dice, and dolls", was shipwrecked on the beach about a quarter mile south of the Hotel del Coronado.
In 1969, the San Diego–Coronado Bridge was opened, allowing much faster transit between the cities than bay ferries or driving via State Route 75 along the Silver Strand. The city seems unable to alleviate the congestion along Highways 75 and 284 as traffic flows to and from San Diego and North Island.. Traffic during rush hour and throughout the summer flows at a very slow pace.
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Coronado has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Coronado city had a population of 24,697. The racial makeup of Coronado city was 20,074 (81.2%) White, 1,678 (6.8%) African American, 201 (0.8%) Native American, 925 (3.7%) Asian, 101 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 762 (3.1%) from other races, and 956 (3.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,354 persons (13.6%).
As of the 2000 census, there were 24,100 people, 7,734 households, and 4,934 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,121.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,205.3/km²). There were 9,494 housing units at an average density of 1,229.8 per square mile (474.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.40% White, 5.15% African American, 0.66% Native American, 3.72% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 3.14% from other races, and 2.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.83% of the population.
There were 7,734 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the city, the population was spread out with 16.0% under the age of 18, 20.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 139.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 149.1 males.
48.2% of those age 25 and over have a bachelor's degree or higher. According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city is $91,748, and the median income for a family is $119,205.
Real estate in the city of Coronado is very expensive. According to a recent county-wide zip code chart published in The San Diego Union-Tribune in August 2006, the median cost of a single-family home within the city's zip code of 92118 was $1,605,000. In 2010, Forbes.com found that the median home price in Coronado had risen to $1,840,665.
Coronado is governed by a city council, which is presided over by a directly-elected mayor. The mayor and councilmembers serve 4-year terms. Council designates one of its members as Mayor Pro Tempore.
Coronado has long been a Republican stronghold; in 2013, about 47% of voters were registered Republican, 25% Democratic, and 24% nonpartisan.
In the California State Legislature, Coronado is in the 39th Senate District, represented by Democrat Toni Atkins, and in the 78th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Todd Gloria. In the United States House of Representatives, Coronado is located in California's 52nd congressional district, which has a Cook partisan voting index of D+2 and is represented by Democrat Scott Peters.
Tourism is an essential component of Coronado's economy. This city is home to three major resorts (Hotel del Coronado, Coronado Island Marriott and Loews Coronado Bay Resort) as well as several other hotels and inns. The downtown district along Orange Avenue with its many shops, restaurants and theaters is also a key part of the local economy. Many of the restaurants are highly rated and provide a wide variety of cuisine choices.
In 2008, the Travel Channel rated Coronado Beach as the fifth best beach in America.
Coronado is home to the famous Hotel del Coronado, built in 1888 and long considered one of the world's top resorts. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark and has hosted many notable guests, including the American presidents George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft, as well as Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey, Thomas Edison, Magic Johnson, Charles Lindbergh, Willie Mays, and Babe Ruth.
Famous actresses Mary Pickford and Marilyn Monroe also stayed there.
"The Del" has appeared in numerous works of popular culture and was supposedly the inspiration for the Emerald City in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. However, other sources say Oz was inspired by the "White City" of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. Author L. Frank Baum would have been able to see the hotel from his front porch overlooking Star Park. Baum designed the crown chandeliers in the hotel's dining room. Because of the reported association with Oz, Coronado is often associated with the color green and is sometimes referred to as "The Emerald City". The colors of Coronado High are green and white; the Coronado city flag is a tricolor of green-white-green with a crown in the middle; and a local surf/skate shop is named Emerald City. The hotel is said to be haunted, with room 3372 being visited by the ghost of Kate Morgan.
Once owned locally, the Hotel Del is now owned by the Blackstone Group (60%), Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. (34.5%), and KSL Resorts (5.5%). When Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. bought its stake in 2006, the hotel was valued at $745 million; currently, the hotel is valued at roughly $590 million.
Coronado Unified School District includes Coronado Middle School (CMS), Coronado High School, Silver Strand Elementary, and Village Elementary. Coronado School of the Arts, a public school-within-a-school on the campus of Coronado High School, is also present on the island. Among the private schools are Sacred Heart Parish School and Christ Church Day School.
According to the City's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top 10 employers in the city are:
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