It has a population of about 14,300 people (2011 census), of whom about 25% were born overseas, mostly in the United Kingdom, and has a landmark high-rise hotel, the Rendezvous Observation City, originally built in 1986 for Alan Bond whose intention was to profit from anticipated accommodation demand when the 1987 America's Cup challenge was held at nearby Fremantle. Scarborough beach was the venue for the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships for the years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2014.
Scarborough Beach is an entertainment precinct with restaurants, bars and a nightclub. Since 1999, the local council has developed a strategy for issues including traffic, parking, zoning, coastal landscape and recreation. One of the issues was whether or not to allow further high-rise development on Scarborough Beach. The 24-level Observation City hotel development (now Rendezvous) had been very controversial in the 1980s and proceeded despite a long and intense public campaign against high-rise beachfront development.:p176 Perth businessman Alan Bond, who built Observation City, had ambitious plans to convert the entire Scarborough Beach "strip". After securing most of the real estate his plans failed to proceed due to an inability to purchase the family owned fast food restaurant Peter's by the Sea. The restaurant, still present today, refused to sell despite Bond making inflated offers on the property, and has taken on historical significance with the locals ever since. Subsequent amendments by the City of Stirling have specified a height limit of eight storeys.
Scarborough is located roughly 14 kilometers from the Perth city centre. Air travellers need to travel through State Route 4, Orong road, State route 8, Powis street and State route 75 to reach Scarborough. The suburb is located approximately 24 kilometers from the airport and costs close to AUD 77 by taxi.