My Turn Column: Let’s adopt
Let’s go Pacifica! We have a world class event on our door-step but we do not participate.
Every year the Mavericks Surfing Festival brings tens of thousands of visitors to the coast. The visitors pass through Pacifica and head down Highway 1. On the way, they spend a lot of money on food at restaurants, room nights at hotels and other services south of Pacifica — in Montara, Half Moon Bay, Moss Beach, El Granada and Princeton. Many, including myself have wondered, “How can Pacifica capture the excitement and spending power that Mavericks attracts?”
Our hotels and restaurants could coordinate with each other to advertise in surfing publications and websites to make the surfing community inside and outside of California who might travel here to witness the event more aware of Pacifica as a surfing destination. Let’s tie in our art galleries and history museum. Surf-related shows could be assembled and quality artwork is always of interest to visitors. Could a surfing film festival be held at Terra Nova Theater, showing the many great surfing films, such as “Men who Ride Giants.” or “Chasing Mavericks”? Could the Mavericks event be televised to Terra Nova Theater on a big high definition screen for a viewing event? I can think of at least a dozen restaurants and bars who could host viewing events on short notices.A simple banner sign on one of our Highway 1 bridges that says, “Welcome Mavericks Fans to Scenic Pacifica, Stop here for a bite” would not hurt.
Since visitors can no longer access the Mavericks’ site because of safety concerns, all public participation has been off site in south coast hotels and bars. All the media reports showed the celebration kicking off at 7:30 a.m. and running all day. Bands, dining, watching the heats, shopping. Tents were set up, and patios expanded. All the media reports said folks had a blast and mentioned all the venues. But Pacifica was not mentioned. The waves will return in 2015. Pacifica has to step up to become a partner in this ideal tourist and coastside focused event.
Victor Spano is the former chair of the Pacifica Economic Development Committee and is currently a member of the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce, Fog Fest Organizing Group and Rotary Club. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org