Edit ModuleShow Tags

Front Pages


Published:

(page 1 of 6)

sights along the San Diego bay boardwalkThe Bay Gets Bigger

After the firestorm surrounding Port Commissioner David Malcolm’s resignation amid conflict-of-interest charges, there couldn’t be a better time to revamp the general image of local water. In January, the Port of San Diego, to better support its 600 business tenants that occupy the waterfront, launched a major new marketing campaign to promote the bay as a unified destination for locals and tourists.

A half-million dollars has gone into the promotion—spent on radio, TV and print ads, a Web site, informational telephone line, press kits, brochures, posters and special events. The Port is raising the profile of the bay, with its 27 miles of waterfront, 16 bayside parks, 16 marinas, 69 restaurants, 14 hotels and a veritable cornucopia of other businesses.

The initiative has two goals, according to Rita Vandergaw, senior director of marketing and communications for the Port. “The first is to get visitors and local residents to come down and enjoy the waterfront,” she says. “The heart of the city—the reason we exist—is this bay. This is what really brought the first settlements here. The second is to get more people to spend money, which allows us to generate revenue we can put back into infrastructure [for things like] public art and parks.

“One reason we’ve advanced this now is that the timing is critical. It’s the ‘soft season’ after Christmas and before summer, when people are just staying at home.”

But why, one might reasonably ask, does the bay need its profile raised? Isn’t it already prominent enough? After all, it’s the only landmark in San Diego County that’s visible from outer space.

“Unfortunately, since September 11, tourism across the U.S. has certainly decreased,” says Steve Cushman, chairman of the Port Commission. “And what we are trying to do because of that is get San Diegans to realize that they have a tremendous asset. We’ve never promoted the ‘big bay.’ We all know Mission Bay and the zoo and SeaWorld and Harbor Excursions ... but we don’t think of the big bay. It’s probably the city’s best-kept secret. Our merchants could use the additional business, and we’re trying to be a good landlord and say, ‘Come down and see our merchants.’”

This onslaught of P.R.—well timed as it may be—isn’t related to the Malcolm drama or recent appointment of two new port commissioners, according to Cushman. “I never even thought about that,” he says. “That’s between David Malcolm and his city, quite frankly. We started talking about [the promotion] last summer, even way before September 11. That day caused us to turn up the heat on it.

“There’s a tremendous number of free events going on all the time, and we’re going to try to publicize those,” Cushman says, mentioning the Imperial Beach sandcastle-building contest. “I don’t think we’ve done a very good job of publicizing them in the past. There’s always stuff going on, and we don’t talk about it. We’re going to try to acquaint San Diegans with the opportunities there are 365 days a year.”

In short: For the same amount of money it spent on Malcolm’s legal fees, the Port now intends to remind locals that, yes, San Diego, we have a bay.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego New Year’s Eve Guide

Ring in 2015 at these parties, concerts, dining, and family-friendly events

Behind the Scenes Video: Making the December issue

This month we take you inside the San Diego Magazine offices where our editors debate cover options

On Raising the Next Generation of Activists

Invisible Children’s Danica Russell pens a kids’ book on activism
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Baja Moment
    In eight short years, Baja’s gone from a virtual dead zone to one of the globe’s top food and drink destinations. Now what?
  2. 10 Best New Restaurants in San Diego
    Our food critic picks the top 10 new restaurants of 2014. Time to add these hotspots to your must-try list.
  3. San Diego Thanksgiving Guide 2014
    Where to dine out, order catering, buy pies, and turkey-trot your way through the holiday
  4. Wake Up And Smell the Coffee
    As American coffee culture moves past the nonfat vanilla lattes toward a more elevated brew, San Diego is right on trend
  5. Top Docs 2014: The Doctors
    Our annual list celebrating the best of the best in the healthcare field
  6. FIRST LOOK: Stella Public House & Halcyon
    Stella Public House and Halcyon open in East Village near Downtown San Diego. Part coffeehouse, part Neapolitan pizza joint, park cocktails and craft beer, part tableside s'mores.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags