Plumas County residents must welcome their guests
They’re coming. Our guests are on their way. There are many ways that people mark the beginning of summer — Memorial Day Weekend, the last day of school and the official first day of summer June 21 — but in Plumas it really gets started with the Fourth of July weekend.
There is a host of events throughout the county from the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, to the three-day Mohawk Valley Independence Day celebration, the Silver Buckle Rodeo in Taylorsville and the daylong Fourth festivities in Chester, from a fun run to fireworks. Each of these events draws thousands of tourists, easily more than doubling the population of Plumas County.
Yes, the roads will be crowded. The store aisles will be filled. There might be delays being seated at our favorite restaurants. But it’s important for all of us to realize how important these visitors are to our county, our local businesses and to the way of life that we enjoy long after they return home.
It’s these visitors that allow merchants to remain open because of the influx of the dollars that augment local business. Some of these visitors will come for a particular event, but then return because they have discovered that Plumas is a great vacation destination or even a place to call home.
There was a time when the High Sierra Music Fest didn’t receive the warm embrace from some within the county that it does now. Robert Meacher is now the city manager of Portola, but was the Board of Supervisors’ chairman during some of the early outcry. “These people are our guests,” he said at the time. Thinking of their presence in that way raises the bar on how we think of our visitors.
Another county official recently recalled a program presented on NPR that focused on the difference between service and hospitality. The former is providing what one would expect — such as clean utensils at a restaurant and a meal that represents what is advertised on a menu; whereas the latter is going a step further and making people feel welcome as if they were special guests. And these people really are our guests. We are hosting events and we have invited the public to attend.
Those of us who live in Plumas County should practice hospitality during this busy holiday week and beyond. We don’t have to be a direct service provider to be welcoming. For example, if someone is driving a little slowly down Main Street, exercise patience. If the checkout lines are backed up at our local market, chat with the person behind you. Someone looks lost or in need of help, stop and assist.
Our guests are coming, so let’s all be good hosts.