Looking Back


45 years ago

In August 1973, new lodge manager Bill Beck announced a number of improvements and staff additions, including a full-time youth counselor and two new lifeguards. Improvements included upgrading the lodge air-conditioning system, pool and beach, as well as adding games and crafts for the youth. According to Bill, the new lifeguards had already helped to upgrade the pool and beach areas by making them cleaner and safer. “The whole reason for our being here is to serve you, the membership,” Bill said.

New homeowners Marilyn and Bill Cozard donated a wheelchair ramp to the lodge. The new ramp would enable those with walkers and in wheelchairs to safely board boats.

The Canyon Lake Association of Men (CLAMS) held its first annual Clam Bake at Indian Beach. More than 100 people turned out for the event. Following a meal of hamburgers, baked beans and watermelon, some tried their hand at volleyball and horseshoes.

40 years ago

In August 1978, illegal gate entries had become a problem. It was determined that people were looking up names in the phone book and/or Canyon Lake Directory and calling into the gates saying they were the property owner and they had guests coming in. At the Aug. 13 POA meeting, a new resolution was passed which required property owners to call the POA office with guest names and which gate they would be entering through.

At a special board meeting held on Aug. 10, a cable television committee presented two proposals to bring cable service to Canyon Lake residents. The board of directors subsequently voted to have the POA’s attorney to begin negotiations and draw up a contract for services with King Videocable Company of Lake Elsinore.

Canyon Lake residents were treated to hot air balloon rides provided by Hot Air Balloonist Rudi Thurau. Rudi spent two weekends in Canyon Lake offering residents tethered balloon rides in his seven-story hot air balloon “Condor.” Three to four residents at a time went up approximately 150 feet into the air and each rider was then given a certificate signed by Mr. Thurau as proof of their ride.

CB radios were the prelude to cell phones and many Canyon Lakers who traveled long distance to Orange County and Los Angeles utilized them for discussing things such as road conditions, weather, political and social issues and meet-ups. Canyon Lakers would turn their CB channels to 21 to connect with each other. On Wednesdays, some people in the group would meet at Glen Ivy Resort from 5 to 7 p.m. for a drink, earning them the name “Valley of the Drunks Fun Club” or the V.D. Club from fellow CBers.

35 years ago

In August 1983, the lodge was undergoing a remodel and was expected to reopen the first week of September. Improvements to the lodge included expanded facilities, new restrooms, refurbished kitchen and renovated bar. The color scheme of dove gray and burgundy was said to create an atmosphere of country elegance. Among the additions were a poolside meeting room and an 1800 sq. ft. covered poolside patio with lighting added for outside evening activities and dancing.

The POA Board of Directors entered into a contract with Hans Klos to operate the lodge and supervise the dining room and bar. The contract would remove the building from the loss column as the POA would receive five percent out of every dollar generated.

The POA was in negotiations with the city of Lake Elsinore to repair sections of Greenwald Avenue that were damaged by winter storms and created potholes in the road.

Following a traffic study conducted by Centennial Engineering Inc. of Sun City, the POA Board of Directors voted to keep the speed limit on the main roads at 35 miles per hour. The 35 miles per hour speed limit applied to Canyon Lake Drive North and South, Continental Drive, Vacation Drive and Longhorn Drive. All other streets were to maintain the 25 miles per hour speed limit. Construction trucks were limited to 15 miles per hour.

The POA Board of Directors authorized president John Giardinelli and general manager Bill Stewart to negotiate with Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District on a long-term contract to supply effluent water to 83 percent of the golf course. If the contract was approved it would result in an estimated savings of $30,000 annually.

30 years ago

In August 1988, an estimated 1,000 Canyon Lakers attended the seventh annual concert by the March Air Force Band of the Goldenwest at Indian Beach. The audience participated in sing-alongs and enjoyed a mix of Sousa military marches, semi-classical music and popular tunes. Teens Against Boredom sold soft drinks at the Home Owner Club sponsored event.

The POA Board of Directors was in the process of interviewing five candidates to fill two board positions left vacant when Jerry Taube and Ed Walker resigned in July. The candidates vying for positions on the board were Hal Shaw, Don Wicen, Kal Friis, Dr. Stephen Segall and Grant Olewiler.

The POA Board of Directors authorized an addition to the CC&R’s regarding the cutting of trees. The new rule prohibited the removal of any tree three inches in diameter and 12 inches above ground without first obtaining approval. Non-compliance would result in a $50 fine per tree.

Six businesses were destroyed in a fire in the Canyon Lake Village Center, now Canyon Lake Towne Center. The affected businesses quickly found temporary spaces or new offices until the building was reconstructed.

Chuck Golding, resident and publisher of three Southwest Riverside County newspapers, announced that the “Community News” would receive a new look and be issued twice-monthly beginning with the Sept. 8 issue. An additional change would be the size of the paper. Rather than a five-column tabloid size, it would now be the standard newspaper size publication.

In an effort to reduce costs to property owners and reduce liability exposure, the POA Board of Directors accepted a recommendation by the Security Committee to hire and outside security company. The board authorized General Manager Don Drake to execute a one-year security service contract with an outside firm.

25 years ago

In August 1993, POA President Lori Ziegler announced the POA canceled its contracts with Corona Commercial Printing and News Coordinator Gary Lendennie and would no longer publish “The Canyon Laker.”

Following months of legal back and forths, a settlement was reached between the POA and Chuck Golding of Golding Publications. Both parties agreed to drop all current and future lawsuits against one another in exchange for Golding obtaining ownership of The Friday Flyer. The masthead of the publication which had been reduced to “The Flyer” in May 1993 would once again read “The Friday Flyer.” As part of the agreement, the POA would purchase space in The Friday Flyer at the lowest commercial rate which would save the POA the larger expense of creating its own publication. “Perhaps the biggest victor of this resolution will be the community of Canyon Lake,” said Chuck.”

New storage bins were purchased by the POA for use by community organizations. The storage units were placed at the tract maintenance yard near the north gate and were available in a variety of sizes. Clubs could rent a unit for approximately 35 cents per sq. ft. on a monthly basis.

Since a non-smoking policy had been put in place at the lodge restaurant and bar, revenues had dwindled. Upon recommendations of restaurant managers, the POA Board of Directors voted in August 4-0 to allow smoking in the bar lounge on Wednesday evenings. If revenues did not improve the POA would reconsider its position.

A truck backed up a little too far at the boat launch ramp on Village Way Dr. and ended up slipping into the lake along with boat and trailer.

A freshly remodeled three bedroom waterfront home was listed at $315,000 or best offer. A three bedroom, three bath home with a golf course view was offered at $207,000.

20 years ago

In August 1998, the POA Board of Directors authorized General Manager Clint Warrell to enter an agreement with Geese Police Academy of Franklinville, North Carolina, for the purchase of a Border Collie to manage the coot population in Canyon Lake. The pesky birds invaded Canyon Lake parks and golf course which posed a variety of problems. Previously, the POA would obtain an annual permit in March and schedule a “Coot shoot.” At a meeting with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the POA agreed a Border Collie would be a more humane alternative to managing the coot population.

Two-hundred-sixteen youngsters participated in the Bassmasters Club annual Kids Fishing Derby held at Indian Beach.

The 4th annual Lake Elsinore Animal Friends Golf Tournament held at Canyon Lake Country Club raised $11,000 to go toward the building of a new animal shelter.

A public opinion survey was sent to 485 residents by the city’s Public Safety Committee regarding the Canyon Lake Police Department. Of the 166 surveys that were returned, it was reported that residents were overwhelmingly satisfied with public safety dispatchers and responding law enforcement personnel. Only five people responding to the survey indicated any dissatisfaction.

The Jr. Women’s Club held a Casino Night Fundraiser in the Fireside Room at the lodge. The tropical-themed event was dubbed “Maui Mula.” Partygoers could try their hand at blackjack, war and wheel of fortune using “Lucky Bucks.” Door prizes were given every half-hour and included two tickets to Disneyland, a weekend stay at La Mancha Village Resort in Palm Springs and admission for two on the Grand Canyon Railway.

15 years ago

In August 2003, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the $2 million upgrade to the Canyon Lake Water Filtration Plant. More than 60 guests from Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake attended the event. The upgrades made it possible for six million gallons a day to be treated.

The Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce was offering a luxury cruise to Ensenada aboard the Royal Caribbean’s largest and newest ship for Canyon Lake residents and their families. The Chamber offered a special deal at half-off the regular price with rates as low as $317 per person. The sailing date was Dec. 5, 2003.

Lou Elliano replaced Bob Greenhalph as Canyon Lake’s resident weatherman when Bob announced he was moving out of the area. Lou purchased Bob’s “Davis Instruments” weather station and picked up where Bob left off, reporting the weather in the weekly weather column in The Friday Flyer. The equipment Lou purchased measured inside and outside temperatures, humidity, wind speed and precipitation. Lake level and temperature had to be obtained from Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.

The final “Rock the Lake” concert of the summer was held in the Canyon Lake City Hall multi-purpose room. The fundraising concerts featured local bands and catered primarily to teens. The money raised from the concerts went to the JWC-4-Teens scholarship fund, a scholarship program started by the Jr. Women’s Club. Since many of the band members knew Brennan DiMaggio, a teen killed in a crash outside the main gate in July, they dedicated their music sets in his memory.

A 3,577 sq. ft. waterfront home with four bedrooms and four bathrooms was being offered at $849,000 and a three bedroom, two bath home with a three car garage was being offered at $289,000.

10 years ago

In August 2008, Canyon Lake’s Farmers Market July 27 debut in Canyon Lake Towne Center was reported to be a success according to organizers. The market featured fruits and vegetables from local growers. Other vendors offered handcrafted items, art and freshly prepared food.

Occasionally, Taco Tuesdays would offer more than just tacos, sometimes they offered a special menu. The Aug. 5 menu featured barbecued ribs for $5 in addition to the a la carte menu of tacos with the trimmings.

City Manager Lori Moss announced that plans for a new animal shelter that would service Southwest Riverside County cities, including Canyon Lake, were approved by the Southwest Communities Financing Authority Board of Directors. The new shelter would be 32,000 sq. ft. with a budget not to exceed $17.5 million. Groundbreaking at the corner of Mission Trail Road and Corydon Street was expected to begin in November 2008.

Riverside County officials were looking into options to complete the realignment of Newport Road after the developer of Audie Murphy Ranch pulled out of the project for financial reasons. While the project was 80 percent complete, it was not able to be opened. Riverside County Transportation Director Juan Perez said, “It will cost $4 to $8 million to complete Newport Road and another $2 to $4 million to construct the bridge on Goetz Road.”

A bank owned home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, new cabinets, hardwood floors and crown moulding was being offered at $189,000 and a waterfront home on San Joaquin featuring three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms was being offered at $799,000.

5 years ago

In August 2013, Canyon Lake City Council voted to put a fire and safety special tax measure on the November ballot. Under the proposed special tax, property owners would pay a flat rate of $260.25 per year for five years. Mayor Mary Carton said in an editorial in The Friday Flyer, “Because of the economic recession and increased fire costs, the city no longer has enough revenue to cover fire expenses without using all of our reserves. Public safety takes 75 percent of our budget.”

The fire tax was not the only measure the city voted to put on the November ballot. The City Council voted to put an advisory vote on the ballot regarding the grading of Goetz Hill for retail development. The measure was not a vote on approving the development, rather it was to gauge the feelings of Canyon Lake citizens.

The Equestrian Club hosted a “Pet Reading” with animal communicator Lydia Hiby at the equestrian center. Residents paid $50 to have Lydia read their horses, dogs and cats, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Equestrian Club.

The Triathlon and Fitness Club’s annual Paddle and Pedal Regatta drew a crowd of 110 paddle boarders, kayakers and pedal boaters. A potluck picnic followed. The picnic donations raised $371, which were donated to the local chapter of Relay for Life.

Canyon Lake Ski Club Board of Directors voted in favor of sanctioning as a Show Ski Club through USA Waterski, making Canyon Lake Ski Club the first Show Ski Club in California.

A 2,754 sq. ft., four bedroom waterfront home in Catfish Cove was being offered at $595,000 and a 1,252 sq. ft. two bedroom condo on Treasure Island was being offered at $368,000.