The Weakly takes a look at the perceived state of the city’s business. Mentions this website and the bulletin board at pacificgrove.com! But only talks about the sleepy downtown and it’s struggling storefronts. Does anyone acknowledge the existence of all the businesses that are on Forest Hill or Sunset Drive? They are the ones that are there for the residents or other businesses, tourists don’t matter there. The parking lots are filled. The stores for the most part have been there for more than a year. How do they all stay in business with no Chamber Of Commerce ads or traffic shaping signs?
Push for a business that locals will like, and visitors will want to be a part of it. Focus on tourists and the locals will avoid you.
But while the mayor dreams of using that water for affordable housing, Ammar is gung-ho for new hotels. Twice a week, he and his staff call each of PG’s 30 inns and log their occupancy rates. The state-run Asilomar Conference Center, with a third of the city’s rooms, keeps about 83 percent of them filled. The rest average a respectable 61 percent occupancy, Ammar says. As a whole, PG’s hotels sell out 42 weekends per year.
Attracted by the town’s quaint beauty and slow pace, King moved her business to PG a decade ago. But in recent years she’s found city planners to be “difficult” and the Chamber of Commerce too focused on tourism – a sentiment she says her neighboring business owners share. “I think they all have the same concerns and are disgruntled by the same issues,” she says. “We don’t feel supported by the city or the chamber at all.”
Critics are assailing city leaders for proposing new taxes, discussing parking meters, laying off staff, thinning the library and museum budgets, and moving to consolidate the public safety departments. (For a sampling of emotions, check out PG blogs lighthouseavenue.com and pacificgrove.com.)