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Pelican Point Inn hatches from Blue Bird

July 26, 2005

The following is an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pelican Point Inn hatches from Blue Bird New owners breathe life into motel with renovations, new identity By CAROLYN LEAL Sentinel correspondent The former Blue Bird Motel in Live Oak has undergone an extreme makeover. Werner and Antrinh Stamm, the new owners of the East Cliff Drive motel, used to cross to the other side of the street when they walked past. The Blue Bird had a reputation to match its rundown appearance. But the Stamms hope to change all that with a new name, Pelican Point Inn, and an inviting new look. General contractor John Campiglia has gutted the motel rooms and installed new walls, plumbing and electricity, windows and doors, flooring and paint. "Everything’s new," he said. "We took it down to the bare studs and renovated it." The Stamms bought the rundown motel in April from John Wasserburger for $1.2 million and immediately began a $350,000 remodeling project. "There were holes in the walls. Mice were running around and the smell was horrendous," Antrinh Stamm said. "Originally, we were going to remodel part of the motel while keeping some rooms open, but we quickly decided no one could live here." Advertisement The Pelican Point Inn is closed during the makeover, but the Stamms hope to reopen at the end of August. The units, which include a living room, bedroom, bath and kitchen, have new hardwood floors, granite counter tops and showers and birch cabinets. There are 10 units including the manager’s unit. Antrinh’s sister Theresa Vo, who is also a partner, will serve as manager of the motel, which is a few blocks from the ocean. The new inn will be wired for DSL and will have parking lot cameras to deter illegal activity. "It was a well-known place for drug deals," Antrinh Stamm said. "That’s not something we’re going to allow." Sgt. Fred Plageman of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies were well-acquainted with the Bluebird, often dealing with drug deals, stolen property and prostitution problems there. "It was one of the best fishing holes for the Sheriff’s Office," he said. Wasserburger said he had "no knowledge what the sheriff is talking about." Other than to say that he owned the Blue Bird for "many years," Wasserburger declined further comment. The Blue Bird is the second makeover project for the Stamms and contractor Campiglia. They remodeled the building Little Caesars occupies on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, turning a rundown building into a business asset. Antrinh Stamm, originally from Vietnam, moved to San Jose in 1976 and to Santa Cruz eight years ago. She has a background in property management. Her husband, a longtime local resident, is a pathologist. "This is a fun project for everybody," Stamm said. "There’s no architect because we kept the same floor plan. Everyone had their own idea about how to improve things." For her part, Stamm is on the site overseeing the project every day and salvaging unused materials. She hopes to make benches out of leftover granite countertops. When the Stamms first toured the Blue Bird as prospective buyers, they were shocked at the condition of the motel. "The stoves were so greasy; they had not been touched for years," Antrinh said. "The cabinets contained half-eaten food. The carpets were filthy and the smell was terrible." One of the first things the Stamms did was change the name and post a new sign. "We didn’t want to retain the Blue Bird name, and my husband said he liked the pelicans we see fishing in the ocean," she said. Jim Krueger, a metal sculptor who lives in the neighborhood, made the new sign which features a pelican. "It’s great what they’ve done," Krueger said. "It was a terrible deal before. There were years and years of problems that boiled over into our place. "The Stamms seem like quality people, and they do quality restoration." Santa Cruz County Bank financed the purchase and renovation. "We’re excited to be able to do something for the neighborhood," loan officer Fred Caiocca said. "It’s local money going into a local project and back into the community." Pelican Point Inn WHAT: Former Blue Bird Motel. Ten remodeled rooms equipped with DSL and parking lot cameras to deter illegal activity. WHERE: 2-1345 E. Cliff Drive. OWNERS: Werner and Antrinh Stamm. ROOMS: Will be rented for $90 to $140 a night with weekly rates available. INFORMATION: 475-3381. Contact Carolyn Leal at jcopeland@santacruzsentinel.com.

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