Stop Advertising to Day Trippers
The first few years of CTID proved that promoting Coronado "over the bridge" locally, in an effort to attract "day trippers", was not in the Coronado residents best interest. The town and infrastructure was noticeably over burdened. The decision was made to stop all local and over the bridge advertising and promotion. It seems CTID is returning to that ill fated focus once more. I am asking the City Council to refrain from repeating that mistake.
Since the inception of CTID, Coronado has changed exponentially. The trickle down has been caustic. Our neighborhoods are now 50% second homes, and or income producing rentals, thus impacting availability of affordable homes for military families, our school enrollment, the funding received from the Govt for every military child. The Orange Ave commercial district has seen a revolving door of businesses unable to survive rents driven by out of town investors in pursuit of the tourist dollars. Entire blocks of Coronado are being bought up, rebuilt and occupied by investor placed businesses. Local resident businesses have been displaced along with the homegrown, small town ambiance we so loved, supported and invested in . Traffic has become unmanageable, sidewalks nearly impassable for most of the Summer, restaurants, even ice cream, are unavailable without long lines. Orange ave becomes a "Disnyesque" circus. An array of businesses and an untenable number of restaurants have sprung up catering to the volume of tourism. How do we sustain these now local businesses? The "support our local businesses" mantra has been chanted and taken up, but it isn't feasible. We have half the "population" of Coronado not living here and the numbers weren't meant to accommodate the residents.. they grew with tourism.
Dear, long time, Coronado residents leave for months of the year because "Coronado has just gotten out of control." These are our friends, we raised our families together, and they no longer want to be in Coronado year round.
Perhaps now is an opportunity to take a second look at the path promoting Coronado with millions of dollars, has put us on.
Perhaps like so many of us are doing during this Virus shut down, it's an opportunity to evaluate what matters. Yes, the TOT is second to property taxes for our city income. When is enough , enough? When does the desire for more destroy what we already have? Is this an opportunity to reset? I believe it is.
Oddly, The Director of CTID is talking about "low hanging fruit" marketing Coronado to those that will drive over for the day.. what will that do to Coronado? Think back to what happened 10 years ago when this "promotion" started. When we started inviting people by the thousands to "Come play a bridge away."
Could some of our store fronts go dark after this shut down? Unfortunately, yes... and that may happen no matter how many dinners we all take out. What will that do to Coronado? Will the now astronomic commercial rents come down? Would that allow residents to get back in the local commercial market? Could we reclaim Coronado? Is this a time to find the equilibrium we've lost and so desperately want? Change is often painful, and not always swift. Managing change with an eye to the future, the goal, requires sacrifices. Are you as managers strong enough to weather a storm like that? Are you willing to take a stand for the future of Coronado? Some of you will someday move on to other towns, districts, political challenges, but some of you have called this "home" for a good part of your lives and will continue to live here, to raise your families and see grandchildren enjoy Coronado. NOW is perhaps the only opportunity we will ever get to take another path... that yellow brick road that seems to be so much of our past.
Coronado sells itself.. it always has and always will. I ask Council to courageously explore using the assessment now allocated to tourism in a more creative way to serve our business district and residents.
Let's NOT repeat the mistakes of the past.. Isn't there something about the definition of stupidity by Einstein that applies here?
Stupidity is repeating the same mistake and anticipating a different result.
Respectfully submitted... Dot Harms
Resident letters submitted to Coronado Electorate News & Commentary (CEN&C) are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CEN&C. Submit letters to CoronadoElectorate@gmail.com