California Firestorms Good For P.G. Tourism

Don’t give Moe any ideas.

Moe Dont Buy American

The conditions caused by the California wildfires that have affected a number of tourists visiting popular summer destinations like Wine Country and Yosemite have conversely led to a surge in visitors to Pacific Grove.

That’s according to Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce President Moe Ammar who said that in particular, the number of foreign visitors to America’s Last Hometown has nearly doubled this summer, according to statistics gathered from the town’s tourist information center.

“It’s very unfortunate what’s happened there but the fact that we don’t have any fires on the Monterey Peninsula is good for us,” said Ammar, who noted the cancellation of his own family’s upcoming trip to Yosemite.

California Firestorms Good For P.G. Tourism

Pacific Grove’s Uncontrolled Intersections Are Problems For Tourists

After two cars collide at 1:30 AM. Oh how could we have ever survived these past 100 years with uncontrolled intersections, mostly in the residential areas?

Roundabouts Woody Buzz

“Never assume other drivers will give you the right of way,” the DMV contends. “Yield your right of way when it helps to prevent collisions.” Pacific Grove Police Cmdr. Rory Lakind agreed. “Everyone has to be cautious whenever they’re approaching an intersection,” he said.

Pacific Grove’s Uncontrolled Intersections Are Problems For Tourists

Tourist MisInformation Center’s 5th Anniversary

5 years at one end of the Lighthouse Avenue traffic jam. Pushed a longtime business out to the lonely ATC that faces a dead end.

Tourist Misinformation

Who do you take advice on Pacific Grove hospitality? People that have spent time and $$ in the locations or a self serving “Information Center”?

Ed Flatley, who owns Pacific Grove’s Victorian bed and breakfast the Seven Gables Inn with his sister Susan, proposed creating the center as a way to generate business for the city during the economic downturn. Since it opened its doors five years ago, the center has served over 550,000 visitors from 120 countries, according to Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce President Moe Ammar.

“The internet is great to get people to the area but once you’re here it’s a great way for visitors to get local information,” said Flatley, noting that hospitality is the number one money generator in Pacific Grove. “It actually saves time to stop in here. Visitors can find out where to eat, stay, etc. in a matter of minutes.”

Tourist MisInformation Center’s 5th Anniversary

Tourists – Good For What?

From Hawaii. I’ve felt their pain for a long time.

People sometimes forget how important tourism is and start lamenting there are too many people around, particularly when business is good, she said.

“It’s just a tendency for people to start complaining,” Dance said. “And so the thing is, let’s remind everybody again.”

But not everyone in Hawaii is on board.

Critics say the industry offers poorly paid jobs and exploits Hawaiian culture. But many complaints are about increased traffic and congestion

Rena Risso, a 30-year-old who was born and raised in Kailua, understands the positive aspects of tourism, but she believes they’re outweighed by the negatives.

“I think, as far as the local’s point of view, it’s humbug,” she said after an early morning walk. “I can’t even take my kids to the beach on a weekend because it’s so crazy.”

Tourists – Good For What?

KRON 4

Mayor Repeats The Old Substainable Song

Build more hotels, attract more visitors. Do you really like waking up to weekend neighbors that arrived late Friday and packing up early? How about the slow moving traffic from hospitality workers that cannot afford to live here?

“My wife and I still wake up each morning and think how wonderful it is to live in this amazing community,” Kampe said. “It continues to be this special place because so many work so hard to make it this way.”

“Taken together, current deferred spending plus looming cost increases tell us we need increased revenue,” said Kampe. “We now need to ask if we, as a community, are prepared to support essential and desired services that make our city such a privileged place to live.”

Kampe referred to Carmel, which has three times the revenue per capita, and Monterey, with double the revenue per capita, as references to just how well the city has managed with its limited finances.

Mayor Repeats The Old Substainable Song

Moe Says More Tourists Will Solve Everything

Nevermind the minimum wage workers and predators that follow.

The Holman renovation will include four ocean-view penthouses, eight new stores, and 25 2,000-square-foot luxury condos.

The condos are expected to cost between $550 and $700 per square foot.

“We have never had condos built in this price range on the Monterey Peninsula with the exception of the Inn at Spanish Bay,” Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce President Moe Ammar said.

Ammar said he believes even though it’s a first for Pacific Grove, the development will be successful.

“We know it’s going to work because the demand is there,” Ammar said. “Everybody wants to live on the Central Coast. Everybody wants an ocean view. And ocean view development just doesn’t exist anymore.”

At the Tin Cannery, a 160-room hotel is being planned across the street from the aquarium.

Still in the early stages of the project, the development needs approval by the Coastal Commission. But first, the city’s voters will have to approve zoning changes that allow for a hotel.

The Chamber of Commerce predicts the hotel could bring in $30 million a year, or 25 percent of the city’s budget.

Moe Says More Tourists Will Solve Everything

Developers Want To Transform ATC To A Luxury Hotel

This
Parking meters at ATC

To this
Project Bella overhead view

Built in 1927 for use in the sardine heyday, the Tin Cannery has been home to outlet shopping since 1988 and never seemed to take off, despite the thousands of visitors exiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium across the street.

When the outlet mall had stores it was pretty good. One could get a variety of things without having to deal with the traffic. Ardan’s, Rebock, Corning and more.

If this deal fizzels, remember these names people.

“Project Bella aims to be the leading luxury hotel in the United States,” said a news release.

The project is a partnership between Domaine Hospitality Partners and the Cannery Row Co., which owns the cannery building.

Wednesday’s press conference will include Julie Packard, executive director of the aquarium, developer Ted Balestreri, Pacific Grove mayor Bill Kampe and Domaine CEO Ronald Meer.

Developers Want To Transform ATC To A Luxury Hotel

Tourist Gets Dinghy, Spends Cold Night In Bay

T-Shirts showcasing this dingy act should be available soon at Walmart.

The 45-year-old tourist from San Diego was visiting Pacific Grove when she decided she wanted to watch Tuesday’s sunset from a dinghy in the middle of the Monterey Bay.

She was one and a half miles offshore when her dinghy’s motor failed at 6:30 p.m., and the dinghy began losing air.

The woman spent the night partially submerged in the ocean as frigid water temperatures dropped to the low 50s.

A fisherman found her alive at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and alerted the Coast Guard.

Tourist Gets Dinghy, Spends Night In Bay

Moe Ammar Hates The Rain & The Olympics

Moe says the weather dampened the grabs for tourist dollars. IMO it was the normal high prices and lack of major celebrities at Pebble Beach. Traffic outbound in the evenings at 156 & 1 was heavier than usual.

Early signs are attendance and possibly ticket sales fell at this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Rain at the PGA Tour event did more than occasionally stop play — it kept many guests in their hotel rooms or, worse, at home.

“I totally attribute it to the weather,” said Moe Ammar, president of the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce.

Ammar said he heard from locals who decided to watch the tournament at home because of the weather and guessed the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics also kept people indoors.

Moe Ammar Hates The Rain & The Olympics

Visitors Want Milkweed And Gift Shops

huge gift shop

Maria Rodale visits the monarch sanctuary, searches real hard to blame something that’s not organic for the decline. Besides, isn’t it the caterpillars someplace else that munch the milkweed?

I arrived around 10 a.m. and saw…nothing. OK, I saw one tiny monarch flitting about like it was a bit drunk. The sanctuary itself is also kind of…sad. Its entrance is between a motel and some garbage cans. It’s very small, and surprisingly, there was no gift shop! I thought back to when I researched the place on the Web and recalled that it was very hard to find. Hmmm…

Undaunted, I drove downtown to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, where I asked what was going on. “Oh, they are there. If you go back at noon there is a docent who will show them to you. They can be hard to see.” But, I asked, was the population declining? “Absolutely,” she said. The current population was only a quarter of what it was just 10 years ago, she added. I asked what she attributed it to and she said “urban growth, habitat loss, lack of milkweed.” What about agricultural chemicals? I asked. “Oh, that’s more of an East Coast problem,” she said.

Visitors Want Milkweed And Gift Shops

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