Stay & Play – Carlsbad Journal – Carlsbad California
Carlsbad Business Journal
Stay & Play – Carlsbad, Ah, vacation! Carlsbad Summer has us thinking of exotic and far away destinations. The truth is that a traditional vacation is not always in store for some of us. Travel costs, health emergencies or work obligations can prevent us from leaving town. But that doesn’t mean when summer rolls around and the kids are home from school that you can’t still have a great time! This summer, why not plan a vacation in your own backyard? Stay & Play Ah, vacation – Carlsbad has been recognized as one of America’s Best Places to Live, one of the top 10 Best Beaches for Families, Golf’s Ultimate Playground and the list goes on. We’ve made it easy for you to enjoy our luxurious accommodations, world class golf facilities, and family attractions in this special issue of the Carlsbad Business Journal. We invite you to Stay & Play – Carlsbad.
Come for a meeting and stay for the vacation – Stay & Play – Carlsbad
Tourism is a huge economic engine in Carlsbad, fueling prosperity and growth in the city. The opening of LEGOLAND California Resort in 1999 positioned Carlsbad as a prime destination for families with children. But the city is more than just a family summer destination. “Carlsbad is a mecca for all things active,” said Sam Ross, executive director of Visit Carlsbad. “It offers adventure, both in nature and with food and drink.”
While Carlsbad scores high on innovation, it doesn’t do so at the expense of fun. The city has a multitude of attractions and entertainment for visitors coming to the area as reflected in recent articles by TripAdvisor which ranked Carlsbad State Beach among the top 25 beaches in America, Sunset Magazine which named Carlsbad Village as one of the West’s best main streets, and Expedia which featured Carlsbad as a top spring destination.
During the summer hotel rooms are booked, restaurants are full and the beaches are packed. But it’s a different story when locals go back to school and work, and vacation travel slows down. The city’s marketing efforts shift from families to more affluent travelers who are looking to relax during the off-peak season. This strategy took off after the city completed a report in 2016 to determine the state of Carlsbad tourism. “We’re using this study as our roadmap to get where we want to go.
LEGOLAND does a great job at marketing their resort and amusement park and bringing families here,” said Cheryl Gerhardt, manager for the Carlsbad Tourism Business Improvement District. “What we need to do is bring more people to the city during the shoulder season which is September through March. That’s the time when our hotels aren’t full, we have plenty of rooms available, and the weather is still nice.” Our strong travel industry is fueled by the more than 15,000 people working at hotels, restaurants, attractions and other businesses who rely on visitors to pay their bills. What sets Carlsbad apart from other major meeting cities are the diverse hotels and conference space available.
With 41 hotels ranging from boutique to luxury options and more than 300,000 square feet of conference space, it’s little wonder Carlsbad attracts more guests than any city in the county outside San Diego. “Carlsbad also offers a host of pre-and post-meeting activities attendees can take advantage of,” said Ross. “Come for the meeting, stay for the vacation.” Last year, Visit Carlsbad appointed Tamara McGiboney as their sales director. In her role, she’s been building a strong foundation to market Carlsbad as a meetings destination. City officials say she’s attended 13 trade shows and events to promote Carlsbad in the offseason, and she helped book 2171 room nights from January through March of this year.
Visit Carlsbad officials say occupancy rates increased last month compared to the previous year and Carlsbad’s inventory will gain 1000 rooms in the next five years. The most notable examples are LEGOLAND which broke ground on their Castle-themed 250-room Hotel in January and the 71-room Westin. “Carlsbad has it all, from the booming craft beer scene to the hyper-creative food scene, to world-class resorts, sandy beaches and more.” said Ted Owen, president and CEO at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. “Our region is made for tourism. This is a golden opportunity to solidify Carlsbad’s identity as a destination for meetings in SoCal year round.” Stay & Play – Carlsbad!