The Great Recession has cast a long shadow over the Capital Region. The economy has been static. Recovery has been slow. But in the hard-hit hospitality business, the pause has spurred opportunity for reinvention.
Forget books, exams and professors. The campus buzz at Stockton’s University of the Pacific is about the hottest new idea in off-campus housing: Lofts at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel.
“I arrived in the City of Saloons,” wrote Mark Twain upon arriving here in 1866. “You can shut your eyes and march into the first door you come to and call for a drink, and the chances are that you will get it.”
State trade groups generate nearly $90 billion in annual spending nationwide through education and training programs, meeting products and services, and local, state and federal taxes, according to the California Society of Association Executives. Roughly 15 percent of that is spent right here in California, and much of it winds up in the till of the hospitality industry.
Spring weather has graced area ski resorts with abundance, dumping generous volumes of snow on the slopes for giddy guests.
What to give? What to give? Faced with that nagging question at birthdays, weddings or other celebratory occasions, tides of consumers are turning to the ubiquitous gift card.
Fifty years after the VIII Olympic Winter Games in 1960 brought the world to the slopes of Squaw Valley USA, and after years of toil and dashed hopes, a two-state effort aimed at bringing the games back to the Reno-Tahoe region in 2022 is gathering steam.
When Meg Whitman arrives in Sacramento to campaign for the gubernatorial race, she stays at the Citizen Hotel. “It’s her home away from home,” says Mark Mathews, the hotel’s general manager.
With jet fuel going for $5.83 per gallon for full service at Sacramento Executive Airport and $5.75 per gallon for full service at Mather Airport, the $4.99 price tag for the product at Davis Flight Support serves as the initial draw for pilots looking to fill up their corporate jets and chill out near Napa or Sacramento.
Several new doors have opened in the Tahoe area the past five years, but few are as grand as those at the $300 million Ritz-Carlton at Northstar.
Northern California manufacturers and distributors of everything from barrels to bottles to pesticides for the region’s wine industry are using the same juxtaposition to sum up the wine market: “up and down.”
City planners and private developers in Sacramento envision a downtown shopping and entertainment hub pulsing with revenue and pedestrians. The mind’s eye replaces vagrants with decorative park benches and rundown storefronts with shiny new facades. And rather than dispersing at sundown, restaurant patrons and theatergoers would linger into the wee hours.
Forty years ago, pedestrian malls became the rage across America. As cities tried to revitalize their downtowns to compete with fancy new suburban shopping malls, more than 200 cities and towns — including Sacramento — closed streets to traffic and parking, planted trees and installed fountains and benches to create pedestrian-friendly retail areas.
Work has stopped on a 40,000-square-foot conference center planned for Roseville. The city-funded project was supposed to serve as a springboard from which Placer Valley would dive into branding itself as a premier business and sports tourism destination. Now, city planners are in a holding pattern, waiting for timing, funding and manpower to realign, so the region can move forward with its plan to compete in California’s massive tourism market, which, in 2007, accounted for $96.7 billion in consumer spending.
If Napa County is wine country and Calaveras County is frog-jumping territory, where does that leave a place like Solano? Trying to catch up, perhaps.Thirty years ago Napa County was where Solano is today, says Solano County Supervisor Mike Reagan. In 1992, Napa brought in $361 million in tourism revenue, and with $319 million, Solano wasn’t far behind. Fast-forward to 2006: Napa brought in almost $890 million, but Solano’s revenue only rose to $554 million.