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Bombay Beach

Population: 366

Elevation: -225 feet

Land area: 1 square mile

Half flooded, the rest of Bombay Beach is kept dry with the help of a huge dike that surrounds the town. Made up of a square mile grid of paved streets, the majority of the residents live in eclectic mobile homes. There is a small corner market, 2 bars, bait shop, volunteer fire station, an unmarked motel, and the flooded ruins of a once prosperous fishing mecca.

Without a gas station, and the nearest one 20 miles away, most people rely on electrical golf carts to get around town. For many years, the community was primarily made up of White retirees, but in recent years, a younger, African-American population has moved to Bombay Beach from more urban areas of California.

The community was founded as a private development in 1929 by R.E. Gilliagan and quickly grew in popularity with weekend visitors and retirees. The town was flooded in 1976 and again in 1977, when tropical storms, Hurricane Kathleen and Doreen hit the area, resulting in the Salton Sea rising dramatically. The famous shoreline bar, "The Waterfront", owned by the late Hunky Frank, was washed away in the floods, along with a popular mobile home park.

Today, Bombay serves as the fishing headquarters for the Sea, as you can buy minnows and mudsuckers galore. It is also adjacent to one of the campgrounds of the Salton Sea Recreation Area, which offers some ideal fishing, as well fantastic windsurfing in the spring and early summer. Ever since the Trade Winds bar mysteriously burned down several years ago, the town now congregates at the Ski Inn, located at the entrance to town, for morning cocktails at the bar and afternoon beers around the pool table.

Bombay is home to former Hungarian Revolution freedom fighter Hunky Daddy and young mother, Lechon Rainey.

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