Sea World, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Petco Park, Hotel Del Coronado, craft beer, gorgeous beaches, and the list goes on. All of these places come to mind when I think about San Diego, but if you had to pick one word to sum up our awesomeness, what would it be? That’s a tough question! We’re not the “Live Music Capital of the World” (Austin) or “The City of Lights” (Paris). We are “America’s Finest City!”…but why? This was the topic of the latest BizNow Event at the Westin Gaslamp in Downtown San Diego. What does the future of tourism look like for San Diego?
Panelist Doug Manchester, President of Manchester Financial Group, stated, “This is a critical time for San Diego to create a lasting identity. How do we [as builders] engage the street scape?” With the cost of labor increasing as much as 33% in some parts of the state, developers and builders need to know exactly what to build and who they are building it for. Michael Fuerstman, Co-Founder and Creative Director for Pendry Hotels, agreed that consumers are looking for “more stimulating environments with multiple uses within a single space.” People want flexibility and entertainment options. Hotel owners are seeing an increase in people who fall into what Michael called the ‘luxury lifestyle customer’. Designers historically focused on consumers in the 50-65 age range, but the industry is now seeing equal demand from 35-45 year-olds.
Art, architecture and cultural elements are becoming essential fixtures in fine dining establishments and nightclubs. Parks atop parking lots, shared ride service drop-offs, and communal areas for work, play and sports viewing fostering increased interaction are some of the newest trends in hospitality spaces. So while San Diego may not have a single identifying characteristic, our city is recognizable for our unbeatable weather and amazing array of parks, restaurants, golf, entertainment, museums and sports that continue to draw record-breaking numbers of tourists year after year.
And as long as the tourism boom continues, Reno Contracting, one of the region’s leading general contractors, will continue to build state-of-the-art hospitality spaces for our visitors to call home, even for a short time.