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Embarcadero Inn marks 25 years

You’re invited to Harold and Karen Biaggini’s 25th anniversary celebration today at 2 p.m. at 456 Embarcadero. Their Embarcadero Inn is 25 today, and the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce will lead the congratulations.

If truth be told — and Harold Biaggini is well known for his candid comments — he never intended to be an innkeeper.

Biaggini was born in Cayucos in the house next to the fire station. He comes from a line of cattle ranchers, contractors, entrepreneurs and adventurers. For example, his grandfather Ercole built the former Pacific Hospital in San Luis Obispo to persuade Harold’s sister to stay home rather than go to war. She went anyway.

“I always worked with my dad (Ed Biaggini Sr.) in the family cattle business, especially during (World War II),” he said. “I didn’t like working registered show cattle because Dad wouldn’t let me cheat like the others, so he gave me the wild herd out in San Miguel.”

The business was too slow for Harold Biaggini, so he worked simultaneous careers.

“Rudy Ruda was always interested in rocks, talking about chromites,” Biaggini said.

The friends lost and made their fortunes mining for manganese, mercury and cinnabar.

Biaggini bought perfect cattle grazing land in Costa Rica, then he got lucky when someone else endured the volcano eruption there after offering him a bundle to sell. In Chile, he helped develop a mercury mine. It was good business.

He started his own insurance company when he couldn’t afford to buy it. His son Kenny had spina bifida. With 2,500 food-industry workers as clients, someone from Las Vegas bought him out. That’s another story.

Meanwhile, brother Ed Jr. was a chip off the Biaggini block. Ed’s business expertise allowed Harold Biaggini to enjoy traveling and ranching.

Ed Sr. and Ed Jr. worked well together, building several projects, including their ranch, 43 homes in Atascadero and the Embarcadero Inn.

“I was walking in SLO and ran into a couple that wanted to sell the Morro Bay property,” Harold Biaggini said. “I gave them a price, and we walked to the title company. They asked the title officer if I was for real. The answer was, ‘His word is his bond.’ Then it took eight years to get the City Council to give us a building permit.”

Their next challenge was hiring managers, but they struck gold when they hired Ken and Cindy Skonie 17 years ago.

Reach Judy Salamacha at 801-1422 or