Tourism rebounding, spring melt finally on
By Suzi Brakken, Plumas County Visitors Bureau
June 15, 2011 – There’s good news coming from several fronts that the hospitality industry is a “silver lining” in the otherwise slow-to-recover economy.
Economists say that families are beginning to take trips postponed during the recession, which is boosting tourism revenues in several markets, including California, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.
Here in Plumas County, hospitality businesses are reporting increases and indeed transient occupancy levels were up a bit in 2010. However, the winter-like spring and snowpack we’ve experienced have delayed road and campground openings — so how this quarter will fare is yet to be determined.
Despite the late spring, the Bloom Blog has been active on the visitors bureau website, with several photographers and bloggers reporting on wildflowers throughout the county. Sunset Magazine has a new “Sunset Summer Trips” out on the stands this month that promotes the blog in an article on Lakes Basin Recreation Area and neighboring Sierra City. The Sacramento Bee is also planning some area wildflower coverage. With still 10 feet of snow covering the trails, it’ll be awhile before we’re blogging about blooms in the higher elevations! (If you’re on Facebook, check out the photo at facebook.com/plumascounty.)
Twenty golf media attending the Golf the High Sierra Media Tour were in Plumas County last week and managed to avoid the rain enough to play two rounds and enjoy a meal at the Lodge at Whitehawk Ranch. Helping to host and show off a new tourism product was Indian Peak Vineyards, which has opened a new wine tasting room in Graeagle. The tasting room, the new Spa at Plumas Pines in Blairsden, and a new website for packaging golf and lodging (graeaglegolftrail.com) are among new offerings for visitors this year.
There’s lots of other new tourism developments to report: A new fishing/hunting lodge opening at Canyon Dam (Quail Lodge), new Wednesday summer concerts at Chester Park (Rocking on the River, check plumascountyevents.com) and the self-guided tours of barn quilts that are popping up on barns and buildings throughout Quincy and Indian Valley. Also check out the fresh flowers on Quincy’s Main Street and a new birding platform and signage on Feather River Land Trust’s free public-access Maddalena property in the Sierra Valley!
The new Plumas County Visitors Guide and the Dining Guide, which we produce yearly with Feather Publishing, is a great resource on what’s new, and our daily-updated website is also a well-used resource for travelers planning their trips. Over the summer, we’ll be updating the countywide tour itineraries on the site, as well as reprinting several popular brochures in an effort to keep up on the county’s ever-changing and growing tourism product. If the rush of visitor inquiries we’ve had this month is any indication, it should be a very busy summer!