Tourist Tuesday, 3/27/18

On Friday, 3/23/18, the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau made a presentation to BSMAAC on the concept of sustainable tourism. They are willing to be the lead organization on this, IF the county is willing to provide/find/arrange the necessary funding. The presentation included the following, which they so kindly sent me. Since I was NOT at this meeting, I would appreciate feedback from community members who WERE present. If you wish to remain anonymous, send it to me privately, and I will post under my name. Email to:


~ by bigsurkate on March 27, 2018.

14 Responses to “Tourist Tuesday, 3/27/18”

  1. The more interesting document was the US News Benchmark Trends from US New Travel. This was an insert in the document referenced above. Big Sur is shown as the most trending domestic destination. I had a hard time reconciling the county economics with the increase in tourism. My take away is that while tourism is increasing and depleting our resources, not much of that income is staying here in the community and certainly not benefiting Big Sur. There was also a discussion of TOT. Perhaps Martha can weigh in on this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Lisa. My questions revolve around similar issues. Enforcement is a HUGE problem, and the county, the State, and the USFS is constantly telling us there is no $$ for it. Really? If that is the case, where are the tourist dollars going?

    Last weekend, there was a techno music party at Prewitt that blared out loud alarm clock types noises all day and all night that was heard miles away. That is not sustainable. Fortunately, for once, the USFS Law Enforcement did arrive and ticket the party goers and seize all illicit drugs after some rather thorough searches, I am informed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A couple more interesting takeaways from the meeting.

    A man, not from our community, complained about not having access to the Little Sur trail and asked why it was blocked. The response from Tim Short took my breath away. Instead of leading with “we have no easement and anyone on that trail is trespassing”, he led with “the trail is in bad shape” . He mentioned the easement challenge almost under his breath and never mentioned that trespassing is illegal.

    Regarding enforcement, Marcus Foster and a few other locals brought up example after example of problems we are facing from people camping in the turnouts. Marcus asked for signs to be posted. No action was offered or taken on his request.

    Up here in North Big Sur, I see at least 7 to 10 vehicles each night camped out between Garrapata Beach and the Highlands during the week and more on the weekends. Trash and toilet paper are the markers they leave behind in most cases. And I see a few “regulars”. One in a company vehicle (non-Big Sur). If there was any ticketing going on, I doubt the “regulars” would be returning night after night.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Lisa. This was one of the meetings I so wanted to attend, so it really helps me to get your input.

    I am saddened to hear of Tim Short’s response. JJ Hill will be quite taken with his position, I am sure. My impression of all the people who have filled the position Tim Short occupies is that they are either simply fulfilling their time requirements until retirement OR they truly care and are heading for advancement, like Sherry Tune. I certainly miss her!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I appreciate the effort by the Visitors Bureau to acknowledge we have an overuse problem. I am however skeptical that an education program to show how to be a good tourist is going to solve the problem. How many of the five million visitors are really going to read their recommendations or stop by their Visitors Center. Having an agency in charge of solving the problems we face who, in my opinion, have been one of the contributors factors by overpromoting this entire area throughout the world. Their job is to bring in more and more tourists since that is a main source of the agencies funding. More people more money!!! The only sustainable solution is less visitors! We need the right balance that works for the infrastructure we have or more like don’t have.
    As far as the roadside camping issue. I have watched this problem worsen year after year and have been talking to County officials about this for past couple years with absolutely no actions taken. Perhaps when we get resident CHP’s here that will change? Could still be years away since they haven’t even broken ground on their housing project.
    If yesterday’s traffic(Tuesday) even with a closer on south end is any indication of what’s to come, it’s going to be an interesting and frustrating summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I meant “closure” on south end – Oops!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know what you meant. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. the term everyone should know is: ‘regulatory capture’ and Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau should not be allowed controlling interest.
    We are not incorporated (corporation) for profit business.
    We do not need police (corporate security) operating in the interest of the corporation.
    We are people that just want to share the beauty of our land responsible and expect our gift to be respected, the dream is free the hustle is sold separately so funding needs to stay with the dream.

    The state of california has the second largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, the state will do fine with our needs, the county will do fine on their own, this 90 mile of coast produces over 50% of the counties tax income, do they need more… should they be allowed to capture the regulations?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks, John. Good info.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thirsty Thursdays, hot and dry, keep hydrated – CentralCoast. Tourists plenty.

    Last couple of days Cal-Fire have been doing helicopter water portable hydrant fill up exercises on the Central Coast reported by local TV media..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I grew up spending my childhood in Big Sur as a kid, since the early 80’s. What I experienced yesterday was one of the saddest, most somber experiences I have ever had in Big Sur. I have never seen that amount of cars, and people down the coast. Worst ever! People on top of every peak, cars stopping in the highway, people walking in the middle of the highway, irregular and absolutely horrible driving. It has gotten worse over the years, but never to this magnitude! After spending time with local friends and family for half of the day, we left early to avoid traffic. Instead, after driving north, we sat in stand-still traffic for 2 hours in the highlands due to tourists wrecking in front of Point Lobos. And with that volume of people, its no surprise! It can’t be healthy for Point Lobos either when every trail is getting crushed to hell. It was a real sad thing to see Big Sur getting treated like that. I was raised to be low key and respect Big Sur. I am hearing about tv and magazine ads down in LA encouraging people to drive here. The situation they have created is damaging to the environment and endangering peoples lives. Between fires, falls and traffic accidents, I’m not sure where this tourist apocalypse will go if left unchecked. Really upsetting!!! Down with the sales pitch of Big Sur. We need a campaign of our own!


  12. Yesterday it was impossible to get out of our driveway, so I abandoned the idea of going to the market and leveraged our freezer bounty. It was as if a marathon (of cars) was going by in both directions, not just in the morning, but the entire day. I can only imagine how that car volume translated into parked cars and pedestrians. Regarding cars that stop on the road on blind turns, this is a weekly problem at Soberanes. A solution would be to shut down the pull outs on the blind turn. And in fact, close all turnouts that present a safety hazard to traffic.


  13. This weekend was ridiculous! Thank you Wayne for sharing your experience. Locals have been complaining about the degradation of the environment and quality of life due to the unsustainable amount of visitors now to Big Sur. Equally important is how the quality of the visitors experience is being negatively impacted. I believe the decision makers for our County will actually listen to that more than the residents since we are so few in numbers compared to tourists.
    I ask you Wayne, when you have the time, to submit your letter to the Carmel Pine Cone as it may reach a different demographics that may not follow Kate’s Blog. We need help to expand this conversation and save Big Sur!


  14. Marcus, I did forward Wayne’s comment to Tammy Blount of MCCVB, Kate Daniels, Kathleen Lee, and Lisa K. But, I agree, letter to the editor of Pine Cone, and maybe Herald as well as MCWeekly might be good. I’ll ask him.


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