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Celebrations as Pismo Pier reopens to the public ahead of schedule

Posted at 6:41 PM, Oct 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-20 22:01:01-04

The iconic Pismo Pier reopened Saturday ahead of schedule and under budget following the completion of over 18 months worth of renovations.

“It’s a great feeling, it’s part of our home, part of the Central Coast,” Joseph Holmes, who works at Splash Cafe in Pismo, said.

Renovations began on the pier in 2017 after it was determined the pier was in need of over $8 million in structural repairs.

“I’m so glad they decided to rebuild it and not let it fall into the ocean,” Darwin Waite, a Grover Beach resident, said.

According to the Pismo Beach City website, the original Pismo Wharf, which opened back in 1881, did fall into the ocean during a heavy storm in 1905.

A new pier was built in 1924 and rebuilt in 1984, following another damaging storm.

Pismo City leaders hope this newly renovated pier – which now features drinking fountains, light poles and utilities running the length of the pier to facilitate events – is built to stand the test of time.

“The pier is the symbol of our community, it’s on our logo, it’s our heart and soul,” City Manager Jim Lewis said. “It’s where people have first dates, first kisses – and we’re so proud for the community to be able to enjoy her again today and the next 100 years.”

Waite has walked the pier for the past six years as a resident, but the stroll he made Saturday hand in hand with his girlfriend, Laura, was extra special.

“It’s the first time I’ve made it to the end of the pier so it makes our 4-mile walk a 5-mile walk,” Laura Ruth said.

Pismo Pier is the 16th longest pier in California, according to the Pismo Beach City website, coming in at just over 1,200 feet long.

A shiny new plaque commemorates the pier and a painting by a local artist on an electrical box at the pier pays homage to what is, for many, a point of pride.

“It’s a really important place not just for people in Pismo, but all over the central coast,” Holmes said.