Live event, new location to highlight return of Encinitas State of City event

The new clifftop Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

A beautiful beachfront spot and a crowd that hasn’t had the chance to gather in person since the start of the coronavirus pandemic are expected to give the Tuesday, Oct. 12, State of the City event a celebratory air.

Several elements of Tuesday’s event will be new this year, including the fact that the State of the City status report will be broadcast live on the city’s website during the event, and the in-person gathering will take place at the new Alila Marea Beach Resort in Leucadia, Mayor Catherine Blakespear wrote Friday in a text.

Traditionally, the annual Encinitas Chamber of Commerce event has been held at the city’s Community & Senior Center, a low-slung, concrete cinder-block structure in the city’s mid-section that’s used for everything from preschool dance classes to a senior nutrition program. Over the years, organizers and city officials have lamented the contrast between the low-key nature of the municipal building and the dressy, business-focused nature of the State of the City event. The Alila Marea, which opened last spring, is a luxury coastal bluff-top hotel complex with multiple restaurants and a sweeping ocean view.

“I asked if we could move the speech to that location and was grateful to the city and the Chamber of Commerce and the hotel for making that possible,” Blakespear wrote.

Both she and Chamber of Commerce CEO Sherry Yardley mentioned that the new location has the added benefit of providing extra space to spread out the crowd of attendees as well as better ventilation, because the event site is partially outdoors. The “networking” portion of the gathering will be held in a covered outdoor patio area and the dinner that follows will occur in an adjacent meeting room, which has large sliding glass doors that can remain open, Yardley said.

“They’re taking really good care of us,” she said.

This is the first in-person State of the City event since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020. Typically, the event is held in the spring, but due to the pandemic, the 2020 event was canceled, rescheduled and ultimately was broadcast online last year.

Tuesday’s event at the Alila Marea Beach Resort, which is at the northern end of Leucadia on Coast Highway 101, starts at 5:30 p.m. with the networking gathering. Dinner follows at 7 p.m. and the mayor will give her State of the City address during that portion of the event.

Blakespear said she plans to focus on the themes of “inclusiveness and resiliency” during her city status report. Among other things, an advance copy of her speech indicates that she’ll be highlighting:

  • The city’s Safe Parking Lot, which provides temporary overnight parking for homeless people who are living in their vehicles
  • A permit-ready program that helps homeowners who wish to add small “accessory dwelling” units onto their properties
  • The city’s global warming-reduction initiatives, including its climate action plan and its participation in a community power group
  • Several major construction projects, including the Leucadia Streetscape roadway improvement project and the El Portal Undercrossing.

Tickets, which can be purchased at, cost $55 and onsite parking is $10. As of Oct. 7, chamber officials had sold just over 200 tickets and thought they might have space for about 20 more people, depending on how they configured the room.