PASO ROBLES, Calif- - The city of Paso Robles is projecting $700,000 in additional bed tax revenue to spend on bringing in more tourists.
"When the economy was going down I thought business travel would slow down but it didn't," said Mike Jackson, owner of the Melody Ranch Motel.
In Paso Robles hoteliers have seen their tax revenues grow by five times."It just kept increasing, they tell their friends and the wine industry is just bringing in a lot of new business, it just has blown up," said Jackson.
Five years ago a Tourism Business Improvement District or TBID was formed, which allowed hoteliers to add an additional 2 percent tax to guests stays. The tax then goes into a marketing poolm which trickles down to the other businesses.
With more people visiting the area it has attracted new business, like the General Store that opened in May. "In this economy we had to really think long and hard about what we wanted to offer people," said co-owner Joeli Yaguda of the General Store. "When we decided to do local products not all local but mostly local we did it knowing that that's one of the reasons people come to the central coast."
The additional $700,000 for tourism will be used in a marketing campaign both online and through advertisements.
More exposure keeps people like Yaguda, hopeful they will continue to see new customers. "Over the Christmas, New Year's break almost everyone who came in on one given day was from out of state, another country, it was really amazing they were coming all over to visit Paso," said Yaguda.
The yearly marketing plan is run by the local hoteliers and approved by the city.