The Surfliner Inn’s Goal to Revitalize Downtown and Advance the Historic Vision of Carpinteria

2 min readMar 12, 2021
Modest 40-room hotel will breathe fresh life into area businesses and a visitor-friendly concept established over 100 years ago

CARPINTERIA, California(March 12th, 2021): Carpinteria’s proposed Surfliner Inn represents both the “historic roots” and “bright future” of this beloved seaside community, breathing fresh life into its downtown corridor. Planned and supervised by four local area families operating under the name “499 Linden Managers, LLC,” The Surfliner Inn carries forward a modern vision of the Carpinteria first established by its previous residents more than a century ago. Looking to the promising economic future of Carpinteria, the Inn builds on its storied past, preserving in its design and construction the city’s rich history.

“In 1887, local resident Russel Heath aimed to establish a train depot on Pear St (near Delgado’s), designating that the main entry point to the area,” explains Jim Compos, lifelong Carpinterian and unofficial city historian. However, during Heath’s negotiations with the Railroad to sell them the land, resident H.J. Laughlin cleverly decided to GIFT the railroad his plot of land (now downtown parking lot #3) so that location would become the city’s downtown and main entry. His goal: usher arriving tourists to his nearby White Sulphur Well Hotel, which is now the Palms Hotel & Restaurant — the city’s oldest running business.

Laughlin’s determination changed the entire course of Carpinteria’s history. Now, the Surfliner Inn further restores this historic downtown strip, re-establishing a modest, two-story accommodation to welcome area visitors in similar fashion to Laughlin’s original vision. This location — once the central train depot and now an underutilized parking lot — is an ideal spot for a small hotel. Visitors and guests can arrive by train, be welcomed by a great entrance to the downtown corridor, and support area small businesses, all while significantly increasing revenue for our city’s deferred and pending projects.

Uplifting the ambiance of the downtown area with an understated coastal architectural design, The Surfliner Inn advances a smart, long-term city goal to grow wisely in preparation for future demands, while upholding the communal integrity for which the area is best known. Carpinteria has always made a living from agriculture and tourism — the two most valuable resources keeping the local economy running. The Inn will help revitalize Linden Avenue, bringing an increase in foot traffic to local small businesses who have been hit particularly difficult economic season. It will concurrently promote a lively downtown atmosphere and celebrate the culture of Carpinteria, its citizens and history.

Learn more about the Surfliner Inn and its valuable place within Carpinteria’s “bright future” at, including final project renderings. For more in-depth details, a site tour, or to get your questions answered, please reach out to:

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