Congrats, Jim!

Jim Watkins. Photo by Tina Nomura.

After a two-year break due to COVID, the San Diego County Fair will return to the fairgrounds with the theme, “Heroes, Re-Unite!”  Heroes from all over the County will be honored during the opening ceremony on Wednesday, June 8.  One of our very own Del Mar residents, Jim Watkins, will be among those honored.


Jim was nominated based upon his sixty years of work to enhance our downtown.  As an example, Jim attended dozens of meetings in our planning for the Civic Center.  When the costs of Streetscape seemed too high, he reminded council of the importance of making Del Mar a viable downtown and an alternative to other beach cities.


 This will not be the first time Jim has received accolades for his work. The list of awards is long.  It is interesting to note that Jim’s service was not only to City of Del Mar and the Chamber of Commerce, but also from The Rotary Club, the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA Youth Award.  The City of Del Mar has recognized Jim three times with resolutions and commendation stretching from the first one in 1973, 1981 (Man of the Year) and in 2006.  


When asked Jim will tell you his greatest accomplishment for Del Mar’s future was to lead a campaign to stop condominiums being built on the North Bluff in the 1960s.  Does this sound familiar?  He thinks the most important financial contribution is the L’Auberge and in his heart he notes his pride in his kids: Kit Leeger who recently served as architect to the remodeled St Peter’s Church and KC Vafiadis who manages the property at the heart of the city.  KC has also been instrumental in the Business Advisory Committee and many projects sponsored by the Del Mar Village Association. 


We are proud to have Jim Watkins recognized at the local San Diego County Fair.  There is no doubt he is viewed by us as a ‘founding father’ to Del Mar.  Please introduce yourself if you see Jim after a game of tennis at the Pacifica’s Breeze.  He’s the guy with the twinkle in his eyes and a big smile on his face.