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    What do I need to know about hosting experiences in parks and recreational areas of Los Angeles?

    These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.

    Please understand that this is not legal advice; if you are unsure how local laws or this information applies to your experience, we encourage you to check with your city or a lawyer.

    Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.

    I’m hosting an experience at a beach or a park in Los Angeles, do I need a reservation or a permit?

    You may need a reservation or a permit for certain types of experiences and for certain places where you’re hosting.

    Follow these steps to figure out whether you’ll need to get a permit or make a reservation for your experience:

    Step 1: Choose your location. Start by figuring out which department manages the park, beach or facility you have in mind for your experience. If your experience is at a park outside Los Angeles, see our note about Southern California parks.

    Step 2: Figure out if you’re hosting an event that requires a permit. Once you’ve found the perfect location, ask whether you’re hosting the type of experience that requires a permit for that location.

    For example, an experience involving a fitness activity or instruction (like yoga or tennis lessons) at a park or beach managed by L.A. County, like Hermosa beach, would be considered an event that requires a special permit.

    Fitness: In addition, please check out the article on other factors you should consider when hosting a fitness activity.

    Step 3: If you need a permit, complete the application process. Once you’ve determined that you’re hosting an event that requires a permit, you’ll need to complete the permit application process before hosting your experience.

    Step 4: Figure out if you need to reserve your location, and complete the reservation process. If you don’t need a special events permit, you may still need to reserve your park area, beach, or facility. Figure out whether your location requires a reservation and, if it does, complete the reservation process.

    Step 1: Choose your Location.

    I’ve chosen the park, beach, or recreational area where I want to host my experience. Who do I need to talk to in that park, beach, or facility?

    Many of L.A.’s most popular parks, like Griffith Park, as well as Venice Beach, are managed by Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks. [Any applicable permits or reservations will need to be made] (https://goldengatepark.com/map.html) with the County if you plan to host your experience at a L.A. City park.

    In addition, the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation manages 180 parks and facilities around L.A. Any applicable permits or reservations will need to be made with the County if you plan to host your experience at a L.A. County park.

    Many of L.A.’s beaches are managed by the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors. The California Department of Parks and Recreation manages several other beaches in the L.A. area, including the Santa Monica State beach and the Malibu Lagoon State beach.

    You’ll need to contact the National Parks Service if you plan to host your experience in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Areaand any of the following areas:

    A note about Southern California parks: Los Angeles County is made of 88 cities, many of which manage their own parks, beaches and facilities. Also, in addition to the many one-of-a-kind parks and beaches in the L.A. area, there are several must-see state and national parks in striking distance from the L.A.

    If you plan to host an experience in one of these parks or beaches, we encourage you to visit the website for that particular park or beach to see whether a permit or reservation is necessary. While far from a complete list, below are links to several of these parks:

    City parks:

    State Parks

    National parks:

    Step 2: How can I tell if my experience requires a permit?

    Whether your experience requires a permit depends on where you plan to host it - check out the list of parks and beaches below to see what the park or beach where you’re hosting considers an activity that requires a permit.

    I. For parks managed by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks

    As of the date when we posted this help article, there are no resources on the City’s website describing when a special permit is required. However, Park staff indicate that a special permit is generally not required for experiences hosted at a park managed by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks.

    The same holds true for experiences that include a fitness activity or fitness instruction (like a boot camp, yoga class, surf lesson, or volleyball lesson); a special permit is not required to host such an experience in a park managed by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks.

    However, we encourage you to check with the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks to confirm park policies and any special requirements before hosting an experience that includes:

    • A fitness activity or fitness instruction;
    • A large number of guests who will be joining your experience (there is no guidance on what the Department considers to be a “large” group; we recommend you host experiences with 10 guests or less in a City park or beach);
    • Live or recorded music using amplified speakers (excluding battery-powered speakers);
    • Alcohol; or
    • Stages, canopies, tents, bleachers, barricades or other special set-up facilities.

    Venice Beach: At Venice beach, a special permit is required to reserve exclusive access to Muscle Beach Venice Gym and/or Stage Area, Paddle Tennis Courts, Gymnastic Area, Handball Courts, Basketball Courts, Windward Plaza, Graffiti Walls and Skate Plaza. Call the reservation office at (310) 396-6794 to complete the application process. You’ll need to have general liability insurance coverage of at least $1M that lists the City as an additional insured in order to complete the permitting process.

    II. For parks managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

    As of the date when we posted this help article, there are few resources on the County’s website describing when a special permit is required. However, park staff indicate that if you’re hosting your experience at a park managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, a special permit is required if:

    • Your experience involves a fitness activity or fitness instruction like a boot camp, yoga class, surf lesson, or volleyball lesson;
    • A large number of guests join your experience (there is no guidance on what the Department considers to be a “large” group; we recommend you host experiences with 10 guests or less in a City park or beach);
    • You play music (live or recorded) using amplified speakers (excluding battery-powered speakers);
    • Your experience includes alcohol; or
    • Your experience includes stages, canopies, tents, bleachers, barricades or other special set-up facilities.

    III. For beaches managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors

    If you’re hosting your experience at a beach managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, a Beach Use permit is required if:

    • Your experience involves a fitness activity or fitness instruction like a boot camp, yoga class, paddleboard or surf lesson, or volleyball lesson;
    • 50 or more guests join your experience;
    • You play music (live or recorded) using amplified speakers (excluding battery-powered speakers);
    • You require a power generator;
    • Your experience includes a catered service;
    • Your experience is open to the general public (not just your Airbnb guests) and you sell entry tickets to enter your location;
    • Your experience includes alcohol; or
    • Your experience includes stages, canopies, tents, bleachers, barricades or other special set-up facilities.

    IV. For Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area parks managed by the National Parks Service

    If you’re hosting your experience at a Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area parks managed by the National Parks Service, a Commercial Use Permit is required if:

    • You plan to film a movie or take photos as part of your experience; or
    • Your experience includes special set-up facilities, catering or other features that could be considered a special event.

    Step 3: How do I get a special event permit?

    I. If you’re hosting in a park managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

    As of the date when we posted this help article, there are few resources on the County’s website describing the permit application process or fees.

    Park staff indicate that any permitting steps will be completed during the facility reservation process. You can start this reservation process by going to the Department’s facility search page to select your park or facility. The search page will confirm whether your preferred date and time is available and provide the contact information for your park’s reservation office to start the reservation process.

    The park reservation office will describe any additional special permitting requirements, fees and timing. One of these special requirements is that you have general liability insurance coverage of at least $1M that lists the County as an additional insured.

    In addition, the County will require additional permits if you plan to serve alcohol or bring in a catering service.

    Fitness Activities: In addition to the insurance requirement and normal permitting fees, Park staff indicate that for fitness activities the County requires that you pay an additional fee equal to 10% of the amount you charge for each guest to participate in your activity. (For example, if you charge $20 per guest for the portion of your experience that is a fitness activity, and 6 guests attend your experience, you would need to pay the County an additional $12).

    In general, you should expect the reservation process to take at least 3 weeks.

    III. If you’re hosting at a beach managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors

    If you’re hosting an event at a beach managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors that requires a Beach Use permit, you’ll need to complete the online application and send it to the Department at least 3 weeks in advance of your experience date and pay the $250 application fee, as well as a nonrefundable security deposit (amount depends on the size and type of your event).

    An important note: to get a Beach Use permit, you’ll need to have general liability insurance coverage of at least $1M that lists the Department as an additional insured.

    Fitness Activities: In addition to the insurance requirement and normal permitting fees, Park staff indicate that for fitness activities the County requires that you pay an additional fee equal to 10% of the amount you charge for each guest to participate in your activity. (For example, if you charge $20 per guest for the portion of your experience that is a fitness activity, and 6 guests attend your experience, you would need to pay the County an additional $12).

    In general, you should expect the reservation process to take at least 3 weeks.

    IV. If you’re hosting at a Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area park managed by the National Parks Service

    If you’re hosting an event at a Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area park managed by the National Parks Service that requires a Commercial Use Permit, you’ll need to contact the permit office at (805) 370-2369 or jovanna_gonzalez@nps.gov. When you contact the office, the office will ask you to describe the date, times, number of guest and activities that will be part of your experience. You’ll need to pay a non-refundable application fee of $175.00 in order to secure your date on the permit calendar. In general, you should expect the reservation process to take at least 3 weeks.

    To get a special event permit, you’ll need to have general liability insurance coverage of at least $1M that lists the National Parks Service as an additional insured.

    Example 1: Anita and her band plan to play a live performance to their guests in Griffith park where she and her band will use amplified microphones and instruments. Since Anita is playing amplified music, she’ll need a Special Event permit from the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks. she’ll also need to get general liability insurance coverage of at least $1,000,000 and name the City an additional insured.

    Example 2: Andrew plans to give his guests surf lessons at Malibu beach a beach managed by the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors. Since Andrew will be hosting a fitness activity or physical lesson, he’ll need a Beach Use permit from the Department. To do so, he’ll need to get general liability insurance coverage of at least $1,000,000 and name the County an additional insured. Once he has insurance, Andrew can file his application and pay his $250 application fee.

    Step 4: Do I need to reserve my location and if so, how do I do it?

    In general, you don’t need a reservation to host an (non-fitness) experience at a L.A. City or County park area or beach. Likewise, most Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area parks don’t require a reservation. You can use most of these areas on a first-come, first-served basis.

    If you want to exclusive use of a particular area, to be certain that you’ll have the L.A. City or County park area when you want it, or if you want to reserve an indoor facility, you’ll need to reserve your location.

    If you need to make a reservation, plan ahead and leave yourself plenty of time to complete the reservation process; most reservations must be completed over the phone or in person with the appropriate park reservation office.

    I. If you’re hosting at a park managed by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks

    To make a reservation, you’ll need to go to the City’s facility search page to select your park. The search page will confirm whether your preferred date and time is available and provide the contact information for your park’s reservation office to start the reservation process.

    Since each park operates on its own, you’ll need to call the park you’re interested in and ask them about reservation costs and park policies. In many cases, you’ll then need to go to the park, complete the park’s permit request form, and pay the fee; the park will issue your permit that day. (The Department’s website reports that the reservation fee for picnic areas for 1-50 guests for most parks is $75 per day, per site.)

    In general, you should expect the reservation process to take at least 2 weeks.

    II. If you’re hosting at a park managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

    To make a reservation, you’ll need to go to the County’s reservation system to select your park. The search page will confirm whether your preferred date and time is available and provide the contact information for your park’s reservation office to start the reservation process.

    Since each reservation office operates on their own, you’ll need to call the office that manages the park you’re interested in and ask them about reservation costs and park policies. You’ll then need to complete the park’s permit request form, and pay the fee. (Park staff report that the reservation fee for picnic areas range from $184.28-$219.28 per day, per site.)

    Be sure to choose the right dates and location for your reservation. Any changes or cancellations to your reservation will cost you at least a $50 fee.

    In general, you should expect the reservation process to take at least 3 weeks.

    Do I need any other type of license or permit to host a fitness activity or provide fitness instruction?

    You don’t need a state or city license or permit in order to provide fitness instruction to your guests.

    If you want, you can get a training certification from a reputable accredited program through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. In all cases, you should ensure that you have adequate insurance to cover you in case a guest is injured or there’s any property damage. Also consider completing an adult CPR course, like the one offered by the American Red Cross, in case there’s an emergency.

    Is there anything else I should be thinking about before hosting a fitness activity?

    Yes. First and foremost, your guest’s health and safety should always come first. How you handle your experience and listing is up to you, but we encourage you to:

    • Spell out in your listing the minimum fitness level guests should have to participate in your experience;
    • Explain what guests should expect from your fitness activity, including the duration and intensity of any cardiovascular activity and types of strength-training;
    • Make sure that your guests participate in exercises that are appropriate for their level of fitness;
    • Consider starting your fitness activity at a slower pace to evaluate your guest’s fitness level;
    • Take appropriate precautions with equipment, facilities and environmental factors;
    • If medical attention is needed, direct your guest to a hospital or reputable doctor. Do not attempt to provide physical therapy advice or attempt to make a medical diagnosis yourself unless you are qualified to do so; and
    • Keep your Guest’s health information confidential.

    Example 1: Ali, who has just received her accreditation from the American Council on Exercise, is leading a boot camp in Grand Park. Her listing makes clear that guests should be properly fit and conditioned to handle a 2 hour workout that starts slowly with dynamic flexibility exercises but goes on to running, resistance bands, body weight and partner exercises. Ali has thoroughly scouted the area for hazards and will bring an emergency first aid kit. Ali can consider the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks or she decide to show up early to make sure she has the space she needs. In either case, Ali is taking the right steps to keep her guests safe.

    Example 2: Bob, who has just completed his teacher training course, is leading an Ashtanga yoga class on Santa Monica beach. His listing makes clear that guests should be properly fit and conditioned to handle a 1 hour workout that picks up quickly with several fast-paced sequences of linked poses. Bob has thoroughly scouted the area for hazards and will bring an emergency first aid kit. Bob is taking the right steps to keep his guests safe. Because Bob is hosting a fitness activity or physical lesson, he’ll need a Beach Use permit from the Department. To do so, he’ll need to get general liability insurance coverage of at least $1,000,000 and name the County an additional insured. Once he has insurance, Andrew can file his application and pay his $250 application fee.