New owners of Dillon Beach Resort in Marin County aim for ‘business as usual'

Dillon Beach Resort, mecca for dog owners with a mile-long canine-friendly ocean beach in Marin County, has been sold to new owners who intend to maintain “business as usual.”

The resort, which dates back to the late 19th century, includes a general store, cafe and three rental cottages with ocean views that take in the Point Reyes Peninsula to the south and Bodega Head to the north.

Fred and Nancy Cline, the Sonoma Valley winery owners who purchased the 55-acre resort in 2001 for $2.7 million, announced the sale in a notice posted on the store’s door. The property was reportedly listed at $7 million but the sale price was unknown.

“Much care was taken throughout the sale process to ensure the new owners are capable of continuing our tradition of success,” the notice said.

The new owners “intend to keep the business running uninterrupted - ‘business as usual,’” it said.

The Marin County Recorders Office on Monday did not have any record of a transaction under the names of either the buyer or seller.

The Clines, who operate Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in Sonoma Valley, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Their winery website identifies Dillon Beach as “one of the last privately-owned beaches in Northern California,” adding it “welcomes non-aggressive dogs off-leash.”

The buyer reportedly is Mike Goebel of San Anselmo, a San Francisco restaurant and bar owner who opened Brewsters Beer Garden in Petaluma in 2016. Goebel, who could not be reached for comment Monday, reportedly told a group of Dillon Beach property owners last month that he and his partners intend to “breathe new life into the resort. It has a lot of potential and it’s an amazing piece of property.”

The Clines’ notice described the new ownership team as “a group who were born and raised in Marin County” and operate several real estate ventures and “successful food and beverage operations.”

In the meeting with residents, Goebel reportedly said he hopes to renovate the cabins, close the store briefly to get rid of termites and “upgrade inventory,” and redo the cafe menu and decor, establishing the resort as a “community hub.”

Dillon Beach, settled by George Dillon in 1858, had a population of 283 in the 2010 census. The community consists of modern homes built on the hillsides overlooking the modest cottages closer to the ocean.

The resort charges $10 for visitors using the parking lot near the north end of the broad, sandy beach that extends south to the mouth of Tomales Bay, giving free-roaming dogs and their owners plenty of room for hikes alongside mild surf. The beach, located about 24 miles southwest of Santa Rosa, is also popular with picnickers, surfers and kite surfers, with a consistent breeze or brisk wind.

The Clines said in their notice they have “enjoyed owning this special piece of California’s coast” and that it is time to turn it over to owners “with more time and passion than we can devote to the resort at this time.” The resort is adjacent to Lawson’s Landing, a fishing and boating resort and campground established in 1929 at the mouth of Tomales Bay, across from what is now the Point Reyes National Seashore.

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