Inclement weather didn’t rain on Village merchants’ parade during the Farmers Insurance Open. The event still brought heavy traffic to the business district from Jan. 21-27.
“In spite of unbelievably bad weather, there was a 44 percent increase in traffic during the golf tournament,” said LJVMA’s executive director Sheila Fortune at the association’s Feb. 13 meeting. “It was an incredible opportunity to get our name out there. It had a dynamic to it I haven’t seen in a few years.”
Fortune said tournament guests were shuttled to and from Torrey Pines Gliderport adjoining the golf course without incident, despite on-and-off rains.
“This is the best promotion La Jolla will ever have,” said LJVMA president Phil Coller. “It’s one of the few events in the whole year of the PGA community where the hosting city has an infrastructure the quality of La Jolla’s.”
Pointing out most stops on the PGA tour are far from quality hotels or other guest amenities, Coller estimated 190,000 people came to La Jolla for the event with “tens of millions” watching worldwide on TV.
“We need to start early to think of ideas of how to handle it next year,” he said.
“This is one of our signature events,” she said. “This is our event for us to make significant money.”
Board member Claudette Berwin said plans are forging ahead for the ninth annual Concours d’Elegance classic car show at the Cove on Sunday, April 7 despite withdrawal of Wells Fargo Bank as an event sponsor, which she described as “a devastating loss.”
Berwin will take over for Fortune in spearheading this year’s event.
“We want to make it more of a partnership with Village merchants,” she said, adding the event will be advertised and promoted with a display window at the LJVMA’s new information center and at a table at the event.
“We need more cars, we’re a little bit low this year,” said Berwin, imploring anyone with antique vehicles who would be willing to exhibit them to contact LJVMA. She said this year’s event will also have 75 to 100 antique motorcycles.
Fortune said finishing touches are being put on remodeling for the new La Jolla Information Center at 1162 Prospect next to We Olive.
“I’ve got all the 20 flat-screen TVs and we’re waiting for a proposal to mount them,” Fortune said, adding that the group needs to decide how it will allow people to advertise on the screens.
“It’s very important to figure out what we’re going to charge for advertising in this space,” said board member Robert Lane.
In other action:
Coller reported public officials continue to work through the conundrum of eradicating the ongoing stench from bird waste at La Jolla Cove, which is complicated by environmental considerations.
“The most likely method approved by various federal, state and other agencies is likely to be vacuuming up from the corners where most of the smell comes from, though that hasn’t yet been approved,” he said.
LJVMA’s next meeting will be March 13 at 8:30 a.m. at the Cuvier Club, 7776 Eads Ave.
For more information, visit www.lajollabythesea.com.