The economic impact of Oceano Dunes on SLO County is less than some would like us to believe | Comments | San Luis Obispo

It’s time to think clearly about the Oceano Dunes. Recent contributor to the new era He cited a countywide economic study regarding the positive impacts of tourism on the SLO County economy (“Is It Time We All Change Our Minds About Oceano Dunes?” August 3). This author claims that tourism contributes half a billion dollars to the SLO County economy.

Hearst Castle is the most popular spot in the state parks system. More visitors go there than to any other state parks unit. These visitors purchase tchotchkes from the gift shop. They also go to Cambria and San Simeon, buy more tchotchkes, eat at restaurants, stay overnight and pay money to do so, and then buy gas before they leave.

Pismo Beach attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year. The transient occupancy tax (motel tax) generated $14.5 million for the city in fiscal year 2022-23. More are expected next year. This translates to about $130 million spent on overnight accommodations alone in Pismo Beach. These people come to Pismo to enjoy the wide, sandy beach without vehicles. They also eat, drink, dance, sleep, and buy all kinds of things – beach toys, fine jewelry, wet suits, pizza, tattoos, clothes, ice cream, and souvenirs. You name it, they buy it. So, maybe $200 million of the $500 million comes from Pismo Beach alone.

There, there are wine lovers who come to our province to taste and buy our fine wines by case. In addition to buying a lot of wine, they also buy a lot of other things, eat at our fine dining restaurants, stay a few days in hotels, inns, and B&Bs, and buy gas before they leave our county.

We have many great entertainment places. Out-of-towners come for the shows, have a few drinks, have a great meal, and stay for an evening of entertainment. Then, they eat a great breakfast, enjoy more of what our county has to offer, and buy gas before they head home.

The Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles attracts thousands at the end of July each year.

Some people come just for the peace and quiet, and to stroll on the beaches. Avila Beach, Caicos, and Morro Bay are all viable tourist destinations. They contribute significantly to the tourism dollars earned in SLO County. And don’t forget those who come to Lakes Lopez, Nacimiento and Santa Margarita to boat, fish, bathe and generally have fun. Zip lining, anyone?

There is currently a push to portray off-road vehicle (OHV) riding in the dunes as a valuable economic asset to our county. It can be an expensive hobby for those involved. However, dune buggy OHVs are not sold in SLO County. These visitors buy them in their home provinces and drive them.

Back in the 1980s, State Parks began allowing OHV riders to use Pier Avenue in Oceano and Grand Avenue in Grover Beach as temporary entrances to the southernmost OHV riding area. In pleading to use these entrances temporarily, State Parks promised to limit the number of OHVs using the area and monitor their activity to ensure a safe and convenient situation for other beach users.

Well, we all know how that happened.

Chaos, chaos, underage drivers, drinking, rollover accidents, serious injuries and even deaths happen on the beach. Noise, 24 hours a day. Do they spend a lot of money here? Not as much as I thought. They bring their stuff, their OHVs, travel trailers, campers, and even their food and supplies. Sometimes I see them in a few supermarkets, maybe buying ice. I realize there are some options for spending money at licensed State Parks concessionaires.

However, I am never See them at our local restaurants, evening spots or local stores to pick up clothes, toys or souvenirs.

They tear apart delicate habitats, endangering rare species of plants, animals and marine life. They stir up loose sand, causing air pollution, endangering the lives of people who live and work downwind. Worst of all, they turn away tourists and locals who want to enjoy the wide sandy beach near Ossiano Beach and Grover Beach.

OHV users at the beach contribute little to the economy, and are ruining the beach for everyone. Δ

Evelyn Delaney is a longtime resident of Pismo Beach. Write a response to the post and email it to (email protected).

(tags for translation) New Times

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