The Hotel That Banned Apple For Skinny-Dipping In Its Pool Has Had A Change Of Heart

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Back in 1983, Apple took a retreat to La Playa Carmel, a popular Californian resort. During that retreat, Apple’s employees rioted, skinny dipping and drinking and throwing what was later called a “college beer bash.” As a result, Steve Jobs and co. were banned from La Playa Carmel forever. But La Playa Carmel has new owners now… and they’re ready to welcome Cupertino back with open arms.

La Playa Carmel is a 75-room North Californian hotel that was originally built back in 1905 by California landscape artist Christian Jorgenson as a gift for his wife. It was converted into a hotel a decade later, and became a favorite spot for Apple during the company’s earlier, “Pirates of Silicon Valley” phase.

The famous incident at La Playa Carmel happened right after the Lisa has been introduced, and apparently was enough to completely scandalize all of the hotel’s favorite guests. Consider this description of the skinny-dipping incident, as related by Frank Rose, author of West Of Eden: The End Of Innocence Of Apple Computer:

When [former Apple vice president JElliot] was eating dinner in the La Playa’s primly starched dining room and saw a dozen Macintosh people swimming nude in the lighted pool outside, he chuckled softly and went on with this meal, oblivious to the polite strangling sounds of the blue-haired ladies all around. He was, after all, the official guardian of Apple’s corporate culture, and if this was what he was supposed to guard, he was ready for the task.

It didn’t end there: the police were eventually called on Apple, which seems to have been the last straw for La Playa Carmel’s management:

They all ran down to the beach and lit a bonfire, which was really fun until the police came and made them put it out. The next day they were invited gently but firmly never to return to the La Playa Hotel — whether because of the bonfire or the skinny-dipping they never knew for sure.

But La Playa Carmel now has new owners, Classic Hotels & Resorts. And they have apparently been more than happy to sign Apple up for a corporate retreat to be held this year, effectively ending the 30-year ban against Apple events at the famed hotel.

Are pictures of Tim Cook and Jonny Ive skinny-dipping in the pool soon to come?

  • joewaylo

    “welcome Cupertino back” to go skinny dipping and throw a wild party again?

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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