Arcata Chamber of Commerce
ARCATA – If you live in Humboldt County you likely pity those living in traffic, surrounded by concrete and crowded by people. You probably value open space, the color green and moderate temperatures. As much as we may want to keep it all for ourselves, sharing it with others is part of the joy and plays an important role in our community’s economic health.
#youhavearrived is Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals’ favorite hashtag; they use their Instagram to advertise, inform and inspire potential visitors about this area. According to Mike Reinman, its owner and general manager, their 14-year-old business brings in $2.6 million in annual revenue – that’s from guests that are staying at the Arcata properties alone.
Marketing Manager Dawn Guyer adds that “Guests who have a reservation can log into our free app where they have access to tons of local recommendations regarding points of interests and restaurants. We partner with businesses and give promo discount codes for guests.” They also provided housing to 18 evacuee families of the Camp Fire.
Meanwhile, Humboldt Cannabis Tours, which was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle this summer is working to build a successful cannabis tourism industry in Humboldt County.
What does that look like? Founder Matt Kurth says it revolves around boutique and higher end cannabis; “cannabis spas, tours, classes, cooking lessons. Blend in cannabis with all the amazing stuff we have here. It’s already there for locals, but making it more accessible for visitors is important.” He says that many of his guests arrive via the airport and many stay at vacation rentals and that “a lot of the restaurants I recommend are in Arcata – people love Salt. I also send people to the farmers market. Nothing is more Humboldt than the market on the Plaza.”
“The Sequoia Park Zoo draws visitors because of its unique animals and interactive exhibits which visitors may not have the opportunity to see elsewhere,” says Ashley Mobley, interim executive director. “The next phase of the Zoo Master Plan includes the Redwood Canopy Walk and Native Predators exhibits. These additions will increase visitation to the area tremendously as it will be the only Redwood Canopy Walk in the northern hemisphere. With our upcoming projects, a Zoo visit will extend the stay time long enough to spill over to restaurants and places to stay in the county.”
The topic of tourism often comes up in conversations amongst local stakeholders. Reinman and Kurth both talked about the county’s need for cohesive digital marketing campaigns outside of the area. Reinman added that the bike paths are great for the economy and tourism, as is the development of the Creamery District, but that we need to continue to work on the transient challenge.
Another commonly held view is that to compete with other destinations the county needs to be able to connect all of the area’s fantastic experiences. “We can work together to combine unique packages showcasing local businesses that will make travel planning easier,” says Mobley.
This is the second of a series on the three nominees in each of six categories of Arcata’s Annual Business Leadership Awards. In January, members of the Arcata Chamber of Commerce who made the nominations will vote. Winners will be announced at the awards event on Feb. 23 at the Arcata Community Center. Tickets can be bought at the Arcata Chamber or on Brown Paper Tickets online.