PCH — If you’d rather gaze at the Pacific Ocean than stare at a television screen as you plod away on a treadmill, the Annenberg Community Beach House may soon have what you’re looking for.

The space with the best view at the facility — the second-story Sand & Sea Room — is slated to become a makeshift gym this summer, complete with cardio and weight machines, thanks to an additional grant from the philanthropist behind the facility’s construction, Wallis Annenberg.

After visiting regularly last summer, Annenberg decided a gym was exactly what the new community center needed and cut a $125,000 check to make it a reality, said Barbara Stinchfield, City Hall’s director of community and cultural services. Annenberg provided the original $27.5 million grant that made the public beach house possible.

Located at 415 Pacific Coast Hwy., the Beach House features a pool, public recreation facilities and a renovated guest house that dates to the 1920s, when magnate William Randolph Hearst constructed an elaborate mansion at the site for his mistress, silent film star Marion Davies.

Officials are planning to open the gym from June 19 until Sept. 6 each year, at which point the workout equipment will be transported to a gym at Memorial Park, located at Olympic Boulevard and 14th Street, where the machines will be available to the public. The Sand & Sea Room will be available for private events during months that the gym is not up and running.

The City Council will have to approve funds for the gym in the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, Stinchfield said, but the gift from Annenberg is more than enough to cover its cost. Officials are also seeking to hire a private trainer to conduct sessions at the facility.

The plan to use space at the beach house as a gym fits in with the goal of offering the amenities of a private beach club to the general public without a membership fee, Stinchfield said.

“Imagine being on your treadmill with that amazing view, looking down at the pool and looking out to the ocean. We think it’s going to be very popular,” she said.

Use of the gym will cost $7 per day or $5 if you also buy a pool pass. Season passes and half-season passes will be available for $130 and $65, respectively.


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