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Pinnacles’ National Park Status Brings Huge Boost to Soledad’s Local Economy

May 3, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

More than a year after the Pinnacles was upgraded from a national monument, businesses in the neighboring city of Soledad are continuing to see huge increases in customers flocking to visit the country’s newest national park.

Brosseau Vineyard at the Inn at the Pinnacles lies at the base of Pinnacles National Park just outside Soledad, California. (PRNewsFoto/Inn at the Pinnacles)

Thousands of visitors from the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California, as well as far-flung places, such as Europe andAustralia, have descended upon the growing Salinas Valley city, all eager to experience the park’s natural beauty and majestic rock formations. Lying just 12 miles west of Pinnacles National Park, Soledad has become a destination point for park visitors looking for food, supplies and lodging during their visit to the park, generating increased sales for local businesses and increased sales tax revenue for the City of Soledad.

“With the Pinnacles right in our backyard, we have had the privilege of sharing this natural wonder with thousands of visitors from throughout the state and throughout the world,” said Soledad Mayor Fred Ledesma. “We have taken a number of steps to draw in tourists to experience all our region has to offer, including Pinnacles National Park, which lies just in our backyard, as well as our local wineries which offer some of the best wine in the country. We are proud to share the Pinnacles with the world and introduce park visitors to the people and businesses that make Soledad such a great place to live.”

The Inn at the Pinnacles, a bed and breakfast located near the park’s western edge, is one of many local businesses to benefit from the influx of park visitors. Since the Pinnacles was named a national park in January 2013, the inn has almost doubled its occupancy rate, and rooms are booked solid for weeks in advance. Its owners, Jon and Jan Brosseau, have had to hire extra staff to accommodate the demand, as well as increase the amount they spend in Soledad’s local markets and laundromats to service the inn’s additional guests.

“The Pinnacles’ national park status has been a huge boost to our business, and we want to ensure that the benefits are felt throughout the community of Soledad, in all the small, local businesses that help support us in servicing our guests,” said ownerJan Brosseau. “We are seeing guests from all over the world, eager to check the Pinnacles off their list of national parks. It has exposed our region to a whole new customer base for local businesses to welcome and show why Soledad is a great place to escape for a few days and experience all of the surrounding beauty.”

The Brosseaus, Bay Area residents who purchased a 160-acre parcel at the foot of the Pinnacles in 1978, opened the Inn at the Pinnacles in 2002 as a quiet, inviting place for park visitors to stay and experience the beautiful and bountiful setting in the southern Salinas Valley. The two planted a vineyard on the property in the early 1980s, and subsequently expanded its vines to include Syrah, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet, which they now serve guests at the inn’s nightly wine social hour. Just down the road, Chalone Winery will reopen its tasting room this week after a five-year remodeling and expansion, providing Inn at the Pinnacles visitors another opportunity to sample some of the burgeoning wine region’s extraordinary offerings.

The Inn at the Pinnacles is far from the only business in Soledad to have felt the benefits from having a national park in their backyard. Restaurants, gas stations, and local markets have all seen demand jump amidst a steady flow of park visitors passing through Soledad on their way to or from the park. City leaders in Soledad have also invested heavily in the opportunity to grow the local economy, promoting the area and its amenities through a number of channels, earning Soledad featured coverage in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, all in an effort to draw in additional customers for its local small businesses.

“Soledad has never experienced the type of opportunity we have before us, and we are looking for every available way to take full advantage for our businesses and residents by promoting the city and the unique experiences we can offer visitors from throughout California and the world,” said Soledad Mayor Fred Ledesma. “As our local tourism industry grows, so will our local businesses in order to accommodate the increased demand, and that has already begun to translate into more local jobs and greater opportunities for prospective entrepreneurs and investors. We are at the precipice of something great here in Soledad. Our future has never been brighter.”

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