Downtown Ambassador Reports
The Paso Robles Downtown Main Street Association (Main Street) provides Downtown Ambassador Karyl Lammers as a host to residents and visitors to our downtown.
Karyl offers information on the downtown including directions, recommendations, event information and information on relocating to Paso Robles.
Karyl was the host of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center from 1999-2017 and has been our Downtown Ambassador since 2017.
MAY 16, 2020 thru JUNE 30, 2020
• 21 Conversations
• 5 Restaurant comments
• 21 Questions and comments
• 19 Conversations
• 19 Questions and comments
The number of RESIDENTS returning to Downtown for dining and shopping is increasing. They are happy to be out of the house and in town. The additional tables the city put in the park have helped bring people for meetings, coffee among friends and lunch. The fenced area in front of The Carnegie, middle of the park, is set up for outdoor evening dinners Thursday thru Sunday starting at 5:30. This alfresco style dining comes with a concierge and wait staff to serve dinner and alcohol beverages. Come see friends and neighbors you haven’t see for awhile. It’s the place to be!
Most of the VISITORS live within a 200 mile radius.
They are glad to be back on the road and away from home, even if just for the day. Hotels are picking up because people need a get-a-way for a few days, a break in routine they tell me. Many people are just passing through but stop in town to check on our recovery. They express excitement at our progress, and tell me “we will come back and spend time soon”.
There is a different attitude with people on the street, but everyone is pleased with Paso’s recovery from everything WE have been through. These have been very impassioned times for people everywhere, we need to remember: “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have!!”
APRIL 2, 2020 thru MAY 15, 2020
• 15 Conversations with locals
• 8 Restaurant inquiries
• 15 General questions
• 8 Conversations with travelers
• 8 General conversations
Visitors I met around town were all from the Central Valley getting away from the heat and coming to Paso because they love it, needed wine and food from favorite restaurants.
Downtown Paso Robles, and the world, is beginning to re-set after over two months of “Shelter at Home” orders to keep us healthy and safe from Covid-19. This historic event has had an effect on everyone.
I am not officially working as Ambassador, but I’m talking to people in town a couple of times a week while running essential errands. There is so much pride and positivity among those I meet. It’s inspiring how so many businesses have created ways to keep working and adding some normalcy to our lives. This confirms how strong Paso is and how we will get back to normal and be better than ever!
Over the weeks I have heard things like: “ I can make a left-hand turn onto Spring from any block downtown, I haven’t been able to do that for years”.
“There is no traffic on 101, and no traffic jams on the off-ramps”. “I can choose any picnic table in the downtown park”. One lady told me she named her new puppy “six miles” so she could tell her friends she was walking six miles everyday!!
Getting back to business is not like turning on a light switch, it’s a long slow process. This town will survive and as always we will be back on top and once again one of the world’s favorite destinations. I will see you then!
FEBRUARY 15, 2020 thru APRIL 1, 2020
- 40 Conversations with locals
- 8 Restaurant Inquiries
- 16 Questions about town
- 32 Conversations with travelers
- 15 Questions and Comments
Early February thru early March we thought we were in the middle of Spring bypassing winter. The temperatures reached the 90’s, the streets were full of people, the shops and restaurants around town were beginning to recover from the slow after holiday slump.
Locals were asking about restaurants coming to town to replace the ones we lost, about shops opening and closing and still miscellaneous questions about parking. Visitors were mostly people who come yearly because they like staying close to downtown, eating, enjoying shops and the local tasting rooms without driving. A lot of visitors are here with family and walking town while hosts are at work.
In early March life started to change, and on March 19th our Downtown shut down and everyone was asked to shelter at home, to self quarantine, and use precautions like we have never known. Downtown City Park is so quiet, there are a very people strolling through just enjoying the fresh air, some are walking their dogs, saying hello and moving on. The birds are singing up a storm, enjoying the lack of people.
The Main Street Association office is closed, but employees are working from home to provide up to date information on what is happening Downtown, which restaurants are providing take-out food and which shops are open. Go to our website www.pasoroblesdowntown.org or call 805-238-4103 for information.
Stay positive, we will get thru this. Show “kindness” and “compassion”, remember “love” conquers all and.... THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
JANUARY 16, 2020 thru FEBRUARY 15, 2020
• 36 Conversations with Locals
• 3 Questions
Downtown is very quiet right now. People are home resting from the busy Holidays, revamping, and preparing for the busy calendar ahead. If you think this is a lazy, out-of-the-way, boring little town, think again!!
We’re starting a new decade filled with great things for Paso Robles. In the past month I have met 6 couples who have moved to Paso Robles from all over California. Their excitement and enthusiasm for our town is infectious. If they are a sign of things to come, we’re in for a big boom! So look-out locals, we have to continue to share our “best kept secret”.
• 42 Conversations with Visitors
• 3 Restaurant inquiries
• 5 Directions given
• 4 Relocation requests
So many travelers this past month have been from Northern and Southern California. They are just passing thru, some stop to browse but most come for a late breakfast or lunch. Many have found new restaurants and shops they had not seen before. I am told “ It’s hard to go through Paso without stopping to see what is going on”. They appreciate the Downtown Calendar of Events so they know when to come back.
Palm Springs, Temecula, Redlands, Santa Cruz, Carmel, Salinas, Cambria and SLO along with New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska and New York are a few regions the people I met call home. I have not met many out of the country tourists lately. When I ask what brings travelers here it is usually recommendations from friends and family. They love the beautiful drives around our wine country, the wineries, and everyone seems to favor the Downtown experience.
So many people travel frequently, both near and far, it really is a way of life. I am convinced that people travel so much because they hate having their lives disrupted by routine. So, get out of your routine and come to the downtown (your downtown) that everyone loves ......I will see you there!
DECEMBER 16, 2019 thru JANUARY 15, 2020
- 57 conversations with residents
- 3 Restaurant inquiries
- 10 Direction requests
- 11 Questions
Downtown was hustling and bustling all season long.
There are so many holiday events, great sales and hungry people all over town. Most of my conversations were with young people who have moved away for one reason or another and can’t believe how Downtown has changed. They remember when there was nothing here and they had to go away to find anything. There was no town clown, everybody had to take a turn. The City Limit signs we’re on the same post. Paso really has grown!
Many questions were about the food at restaurants people had not tried yet. Most of the questions I got were about “events”. Starting with Elegant Evening in November and ending with The Teddy Bear Tea in late December: The festivities are non-stop. Fortunately our Directory has the up-to-date Event Listing for easy reference. The crowds included many locals with visiting friends and relatives, it’s fun to show off our town!!
- 91 Conversations with Visitors
- 20 Restaurant inquiries
- 12 Direction requests
- 5 Relocation questions
Conversations with Visitors always end the same:
“We will definitely be back”. I have yet to meet people who do not fall in love with Downtown Paso.
They come because of the wine, Sensorio, olive oil, and because friends have recommended us. So many are unaware of our beautiful Downtown. We remind them of other cities around the world, they have found a new favorite vacation spot.
I am asked over and over “how do you do it?, the town is so clean, safe and beautiful. The people are happy and friendly. We noticed the homeless have not taken over so we feel at home, and welcome here.”
There are many Restaurants that it is hard to recommend any one in particular, so I list several, answer questions and let them decide. Direction requests are mainly for wineries or event venues. I carry several maps so I can easily show them. Relocation questions have mostly been about residential areas and things to do for either children or retired couples. Visitors also tell me they love talking with a person face to face. This is the most common comment I get. It is unusual in today’s world of devices and another special piece of Paso’s Downtown experience.
I will see YOU in and around Downtown!!
NOVEMBER 16 - DECEMBER 15, 2019
- 69 Conversations with locals
- 6 Restaurant inquiries
- 10 Questions about events
Residents in and around town are entertaining visitors by shopping, eating, seeing a movie, enjoying Studios on the Park and our Carnegie Library. More locals come to town in the evenings for dinner and wine tasting.
During the week locals are here to shop at their favorite stores and grab lunch. I meet many who come to town everyday for lunch, they have favorite spots and have been coming for years. Must be the weather, but I am getting so many requests for good soup and chili. Multiple requests have come my way to get a good Italian restaurant with spaghetti and ravioli’s on the menu (like I can make that happen), but when I get more than one request I like to mention it.
- 98 Conversations with visitors
- 15 Restaurant inquiries
- 10 Directions given
- 9 Relocation questions
This month I have talked with Travelers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Arkansas, Ohio, Florida and all over California. Our 90 degree days in early November did not seem right to most people, but the 60 degree temperatures between night and day were unheard of and a big topic of conversation everywhere I went.
The streets seem empty, but the shops are crowded. Elegant evening was one of the best yet. People dressed up, not only in the shops, but customers as well. This hasn’t been done for years, it was so much fun. Everyone was shopping too!
There are so many visitors here to see Sensorio Light Show. While waiting for evening, a couple from Fallbrook wandered Downtown. The lady told me,” This is just like Mayberry, I expect to see Andy Taylor, Aunt Bea and Opie. I had no idea a town like this still exists in America today, we will be back.” Similar comments are made daily from first time visitors.
On one corner I encountered a large group of women who gathered here, for the first time, for their annual girl’s week-end away. They came from all over the USA. They were asking many questions, I provided them with written information, directions and suggestions. While in conversation the train went thru town and then the noon whistle reminded us of the hour. They were like little girls, laughing and giggling and saying “ is there anything this town doesn’t have?” They were so thrilled and glad I came along when they first arrived.
Someone called me from behind to ask me about relocating to Paso Robles. I answered a few visitor questions and sent them to the Chamber for the Relocation Guide. A couple from Shasta stopped me to tell me how often they visit here, how much they love it and ended by saying, “Thank you, your town is doing a great job, keep up the good work, don’t change a thing.”
So many visitors here for the Main Street Holiday Events. Elegant Evening, Light up the Downtown, Christmas Parade and 33rd Vine Street Walk. I spoke with so many visitors and locals who make these events a MUST for themselves, families and friends. The children are the most fun of all!! Don’t forget we still have the 29th Annual Teddy Bear Tea on Saturday, Dec. 21st,
2-4 PM at the Park Ballroom. Call Main Street office (805)-238-4103 for details and to sign up, it sells out! Santa is in The House in the park from December 15th thru 24th 11am to 3pm daily, so bring the kids. Heard there is a new app that counts down the days to Christmas, we had something like that when I was a kid, we called it a calendar.
Enjoy your Holidays!! Remember, Christmas will always be as long as we stand “heart to heart and hand in hand”. I wish you Peace, Joy and Love.
See you Downtown!
SEPTEMBER 16 - NOVEMBER 15, 2019
- 85 Conversations with locals
- 3 Restaurant inquiries
- 10 Directions given
Residents are mostly in town for lunch. Either meeting friends or escorting family and friends from out of town. Restaurant questions include, as usual, cuisine recommendations as well as why some are out of business and what’s new. Still complaints about parking.
Direction inquiries are for wineries, events and places of interest to take guests, including hours of operation. Sensorio is at the top of everyone’s list.
- 110 Conversations with visitors
- 36 Restaurant inquiries
- 17 Directions given
- 2 Business Relocation questions
- 3 Relocation inquiries
Visitors enjoy every minute they spend downtown. The past two months have brought travelers from everywhere. I met a young family from New Jersey. They had just driven 10 hours from the Grand Canyon, were walking around the park and couldn’t believe what they were experiencing. Excited for a few days here. I met a couple from England who come often for our wine and downtown shops and restaurants. Two couples, one from Martinez and another from Temecula meet here annually for a few days of visiting and enjoying downtown and surrounding areas. I talked with three groups having family reunions here. Some first-timers, others from points around California and a few out-of-state. Everyone tells me how much they enjoy our town. It is clean, friendly, and feels safe day and night.
Many visitors tell me they have come to Paso Robles on the recommendation of friends. Some traveling in California were guided our way by Yelp. Unfortunately some found us as the result of fires in Napa and Sonoma. People tell me they can’t get over how we have everything, especially the “small town” feel that seems to be missing everywhere they go. When I give people our Main Street Directory they start making plans for our holiday events, they know that we are the perfect place to get into the spirit with family and friends!
Everyone is getting used to Daylight Savings Time change. Reminds me of a friend telling me that if it weren’t for “spring forward and fall back”, she’d get no exercise at all. Another said the only up side to Daylight Saving Time, is that now the clock in his car is finally right!
Enjoy the next few weeks all around town. We’re rolling into the busiest time of year, streets and shops are dressing up for the holidays!! It is so magical, and I look forward to seeing everyone downtown !!
AUGUST 16- SEPTEMBER 15, 2019
- 61 Conversations with Residents
- 6 Restaurant inquiries
- 3 Direction requests
Quiet streets all over town this month. School starting and Parking are what I hear.
Parking, Parking, Parking!! For the past month I have been busy assisting locals with kiosks and answering questions. I have saved so many people by just informing them of the need to register their car, going to the kiosk with them, and explaining the app for future use. I suggest to businesses in the parking area to remind customers that they now have to register their vehicles, even for the 2 free hours. There is a lot of confusion, frustration and anger combined with the available parking around town. The one comment I get the most, and have noticed myself is the need for “more signs”, which I know are coming.
Most locals want to know about new restaurants in and around town. They have favorites, but want to try something different. It is fun discussing food with people.
Directions are mostly for events outside of town, many for Sensorio, because company is coming.
There are a lot of locals who come to town daily for lunch and often for a movie. I enjoy talking with fellow residents about “everything” Paso! At the end of the day “WE LOVE” this town!!
- 42 Conversations with Visitors
- 15 Restaurant inquiries
- 7 Direction requests
Downtown has really been quiet, not only are there fewer visitors, but most are from around California and surrounding states with a small number from outside the USA.
Visitors are not bothered by paid parking, they are used to paying wherever they go! They are thrilled with the 2 free hours, and find the kiosks user friendly.
Restaurant inquiries are mostly by cuisine, but some are for clean food, child friendly & fun, fish, and outside seating where the dog can go.
I am proud to offer what we have, something for everyone, and outstanding!!
Directions requested by visitors are mostly around town these days. They are in local vacation rentals and want to know where the entertainment is in town. Want to walk, not drive.
Today was good, today was fun, tomorrow is another one and I will see you Downtown!
JULY 16- AUGUST 16, 2019
- 92 Conversations with Locals
- 20 Restaurant Conversations
Locals enjoy telling me their favorite restaurants for breakfast and dinner. I do get asked about closed restaurants and what is coming next.
One week there were an unusually large number of moms, grandparents and kids of all ages walking through town. Just about every conversation was about “The Lion King”, I met several “stuffed” versions.
The 27th Annual Pancake Breakfast served over 1000 plates. I spoke with so many long time residents who enjoy meeting friends and family for this event. This event is sponsored by The California Mid-State Fair in conjunction with The Downtown Main Street Association. Free tickets are provided by the downtown merchants so they get a little extra traffic during fair-time. It is a way of giving back by The Fair to the community for any inconveniences experienced during the 12 day event.
- 68 Conversations with travelers
- 29 Restaurant inquiries
- 15 Direction questions
People looking for restaurants by cuisine, kids and groups. Many have a pocketful of recommendations, most know what the want, all just need help finding it.
Directions going anywhere from wineries which have been recommended, winery events going on and parings being offered. Sensorio questions and directions everyday. Several asking for grocery stores, will be fun when I can refer them to “The Paso Market Walk”.
I met a group of nine siblings from all over the USA. They are a family of 15 kids raised on a farm in South Dakota. Only nine could make it here (one of the siblings had been here before and loves it). In the group there were 3 birthday celebrations, 2 college graduations, 1 job promotion and 3 supporters. Two days in Paso, two in Santa Barbara and home! Having so much fun!! Loved our Downtown and found shops in the Main Street directory to visit, along with a “concert in the park”.
Many downtown shoppers had attended a Fair concert the prior night, but love coming to town for shopping, breakfast or lunch before heading home. Everyone has their favorite shops & come through Paso just to patronize them on a regular basis.
The streets were slow during the triple-digit days. Restaurants were full, but outside seating was empty. People were going from shop to shop, no lingering on the streets. Mornings were busy, many shops stayed open a little later because the sidewalks were really crowded. Result: Sales were up!!! Paso is known for the HEAT!!! It’s when laziness becomes respectable!
Remember Downtown Parking is now in place. It is simple, don’t be intimidated. Go to the kiosk when you park. Save time and have your license plate number and credit card information ready. You can also register with the app. It is easy and convenient , once registered for the first time you’re in! The kiosk explains everything to you. Feel free to contact the City and a representative will be happy to provide guidance: firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 227-7486
I’ll see you downtown!!
JULY 1-15, 2019
32 Conversations with Locals
• 4 Restaurant inquiries - by cuisines
• Most frequently asked questions are about parking downtown, they want to know where and how it is going to work. I ask if they are aware of a problem and then confirm that this is one solution. I explain what is happening and assure them that it will be better, just different. Reminds me of quotes on change:
“I welcome change as long as nothing is altered or different from before.” Funny how day by day nothing really changes, but when you look back, everything is different.
29 Conversations with Visitors
• 12 Restaurant inquiries
• 3 Looking for Directions to specific Wineries
• 2 considering Relocation one from north and one from west of here. I sent them to the Chamber of Commerce for their guide.
I met mostly couples from so many states Vermont, Illinois, Alaska, Colorado, South Dakota, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona. Taking an early vacation and using the July 4th week for extra time. Everyone loved Paso Pops, Avila Beach and Cayucos.
There were families from different states and many more from California who enjoy Paso Robles because we are not a big city and represent a true “getaway”. “Traffic is so much better than the cities, it’s clean and quiet here, We will be back.”
Many travelers get into the history of the areas they visit. They want to know our age: I tell them we are 130 years old, the same age as the Eiffel Tower and that the Carnegie Library, Pioneer Museum, Camp Roberts Museum and the Rios-Caledonia Adobe in San Miguel are the museums that best tell the story of El Paso de Robles.
What is a Main Street Association? It focuses on the downtown area of a city and is important because downtown is one of the oldest areas of a community and contains important historic structures. It represents a substantial public and private investment, and, finally, it is a primary source of the community’s identity and pride. We were established in 1988 as a demo city with the California Main Street Program (coordinated by the California Dept. of Trade & Commerce) and the National Main Street Program (coordinated under The National Trust for Historic Preservation).
This is a brief description of our Association. We are involved in everything Paso Robles and strive to keep our town a place with something for everyone. We are always looking for volunteers who are as proud of Paso as we are. It’s a fun and beneficial way to share some of your spare time. Give us a call or stop by the office in the alley between Park & Pine, 12th & 13th.
I will see you Downtown!
MAY AND JUNE 2019
90 Conversations with Locals
- 5 Restaurant inquiries
- 2 Direction requests
- 4 Love Paso, unhappy with California, moving out of state.
I ask the questions and get the answers. Locals enjoy telling me about their favorite shops and restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seems the majority enjoy our antiques and original shops like those on Pine and Park Streets between 13th and 14th Streets. Lots of comments about “Sixteen Twenty” on 13th Street and “Vintages” on 10th and Pine Streets.
Direction requests are usually about new businesses, or some speciality shop like a seamstress for clothing repairs, ear piercing, and often bookstore requests. Our Library is busy, but so is “Spare Time Used Books” on 12th Street near Railroad Street. It is like a beehive during the week, nice to see so many readers. I get asked for a magazine or newspaper store, so don’t forget Pioneer Gas Station on 12th & Spring!
110 Conversations with Visitors
- 32 Restaurant inquiries
- 9 Direction requests
- 4 Exploring business opportunities
- 10 Considering relocation
I make sure all questions are answered and the best information is provided to satisfy requests. We have a wealth of information available throughout town.
Visitors are here by referral of friends as a must place to visit, enjoy our wines, and spend time in Downtown. Everyone has a different restaurant favorite, and they also comment on our olive oil, cheese, wine and cookie tastings. There are Visitors from all over the USA and the world. I have met people who come regularly from Santa Barbara for our SUN when they are fogged in. People from the Midwest come to get a break from all the bad weather they have had, they tell me Paso makes them feel so good because everyone is so warm and friendly here!! It is the perfect getaway!
Many visitors tell me they are staying “in a house just up the street”. They can walk to town day or night, and they do. They have been able to take the time to explore town.
Everyone enjoys the Concerts in the Park on Thursday evenings. Locals look forward to seeing each other, visitors are so glad they were here! There are many events going on throughout all of Paso Robles the next few weeks. The Paso Pops on July 4th at the Fairgrounds is a great event for everyone. Downtown Main Street is hosting the 11th Annual Lavender Festival in the Park on Saturday, July 6th from 10 until 5. Be sure to check the calendars so you don’t miss any events.
It is always fun how locals and visitors enjoy having an Ambassador greet them as they stroll around our downtown. I met people visiting from Monterey who were associated with the Monterey Downtown Main Street Association. They were so excited when I approached them as the Downtown Paso Robles Ambassador, they asked if I would move up there, if not, and they get an Ambassador will I come and train for them. Now, that was a first!
I will see you Downtown soon.
APRIL 26 TO MAY 10, 2019
21 Conversations with locals
- 3 Restaurant requests
- No directions needed
- No street complaints
Locals are downtown enjoying the warm weather (between cloudy days), beautiful green park, flowers (have you seen the flowers in the planter in front of the Carnegie? I catch people taking pictures everyday, so beautiful....Thanks to Johnny Bertoni and his handy shovel).
There are 2 gentlemen and 1 lady I meet regularly in downtown. They walk from home, get coffee and sit on a bench on 12th Street and in the park. They come to relax and people-watch. One has been here a lifetime, others several years, and all are proud of downtown and so happy to live here!!
I catch people scurrying through town to pick up something, but most are taking their time. We have grown so much that I cannot tell the locals from visitors, they are so relaxed and happy.
33 Conversations with visitors
- 4 Restaurant requests
- 2 direction requests
There have been so many weddings these past few weeks, bringing new people downtown. There are rehearsal dinners all over town, salon appointments, last minute shopping sprees, and need for food. Most have been referred by their hotels and have discovered downtown for the first time. I don’t need to tell you how much they fall in love with our beauty, charm, friendly people, and leisure atmosphere.....no need to hurry!
8 Ladies rent a van & driver from San Diego every year at this time. They shop, eat and go home. One of them lived here 30 years ago. She is amazed at how we have grown and managed to stay “small-town”.
The Vintage Sidecar Rendezvous and Recycled Treasures always brings out the crowds. Attendees love coming to visit with each other, re-visiting favorite shops and restaurants, looking forward to their next visit.
The Olive Festival fills the park with all kinds of delicious olive creations as well as vendor’s wares. The crowds come by the hundreds. At times it’s hard to pass on the sidewalks. A few local restaurants have a special item on their menu for that day featuring olive oil. People come from all over the USA, most stay and eat and shop downtown.
Many visitors just happen to find downtown, most for a meal, and can’t believe what they just discovered! I hear this every day!
Nothing compares with our Downtown! The only complaints I get are about the number of dogs in the park downtown daily, and why?? Oh, and I do hear how travelers wish they had more time here!
I remind them that we aren’t going any where, so come back!!! I love our Downtown and the businesses that make it so special!! See you there!
APRIL 4, 2019 TO APRIL 25, 2019
- 20 Conversations with locals
- 5 Restaurant Requests
- 2 Direction requests
Comments from locals about street repair on 13th Street, Park, Railroad and Pine Streets. Messy, loud and very inconvenient. I let them know how nice it will be when completed.
Restaurant requests are really more comments. The locals have their favorites, occasionally try something new, but go back to favorites. Everyone appreciates the variety of food and comfort, inside or out.
Nice to be able to have such great choices without leaving town.
Locals are always asking me what is new, what is being built on Spring Street, where are the huge rocks going headed east on 24th Street crossing Spring Street? I am proud to be able to update them on current projects.
- 42 Conversations with Visitors
- 6 Restaurant requests
- 3 Direction requests
There were so many visitors looking for food, men’s shops, coffee houses, romantic restaurants and places to take kids. I had people complain about a shortage of men’s shops, I remind them about Kahuna’s, Alliance Board Shop, The Boot Barn, Gatherings, and Vintages Funky World.
Most visitors were here with friends or family, but there have been a lot of weddings, equestrian events and wine pick-up parties in the area. Art in the Park brought people from all over the USA. Main Street had the perfect Easter Bunny in the holiday house (Park & 12th Streets). Kids and parents were lined up from Park Street to Spring Street to have kids from 2 weeks old to 12 years old along with mom & dad, grandma & grandpa for the perfect photo. There were toys, face painters and balloon figures for the kids. I took pictures all day of families with Mr. Bunny (Thank you, Dwayne) on their cell phones. Another Paso event enjoyed by so many families, visitors and locals.
On Easter Sunday our downtown City Park was blessed with services, music and prayer from three churches. There was an awesome choir of 60 voices heard throughout all of downtown. It was a very moving sight to see hundreds of people gathered in the morning, in the park, enjoying downtown.
There are not many towns in America that can entertain families on the level we can here in Paso. Don’t ya just love it!!!
Be sure to pick up your Downtown Directory for a list of Events in the Park through September (in the kiosk at Park & 12th). There is something for everyone!! I’ll see you there!
MARCH 6, 2019 TO APRIL 3, 2019
- 26 Conversations with Locals
- 3 Restaurant requests
- 3 Direction request
Locals were out enjoying Restaurants all over town. There is such a variety, definitely something for everyone. Busiest time is evenings.
There were a lot of direction requests to wineries which have restaurants, and the types of food served.
In March there were many locals with visitors from all over the USA. They always include a day downtown, shop, eat, walk thru the park, The Carnegie and Studios on the Park. Then one evening of wine and dining. Residents are so proud to live here, their guests are excited to be here.
- 28 Conversations with visitors
- 5 Restaurant inquiries
- 4 Directions given
There were several weddings in March, Spring Break (for some schools), and the Cattleman’s Western Art Show that accounted for a lot of visitors.
There were more visitors from all over the USA. Most come every year in March, no matter what our weather is, theirs is worse. It was unusual to meet so many repeat visitors, there are usually more “first-timers”, it’s definitely a seasonal thing.
People are asking for certain cuisines, when inquiring about restaurants. I give directions to places like thrift stores, antiques, gift shops and garden shops.
Several days, downtown was so crowded you had to wait to pass on 11th, 12th and Pine around the park. The shops were full, the benches were full, everyone was enjoying the sun, the park and each other. So many Visitors comment on the friendliness of our town. They tell me they find themselves smiling and greeting people they don’t even know, something they can’t do in their own town.
FEBRUARY 20, 2019 TO MARCH 5, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 17 Conversations with Paso, Templeton, Atascadero and Santa Margarita people in town. Everyone claims to be a local when I ask them if they are locals or visitors. They all tell me they come to Paso often for shopping, dining and events so they feel like locals.
- I met three couples, on three separate occasions, who have moved to Paso Robles within the past few months. They have all retired and are thrilled to be here. They can’t wait to share Paso with family and friends!
- I made about 5 referrals for Restaurants. Most were for new restaurants by cuisine, but one couple just wanted good food and privacy.
- Most of the Locals mentioned enjoying having the town all to themselves the past few weeks. I did get a few complaints about the poor quality of residential roads throughout town, lots of mud, dirt and debris during this rainy season. They think I am the complaint department too.
- Visited with 15 people from Bakersfield, Buttonwillow, Fresno, Visalia, Ventura, Temecula, but most were from San Jose. Funny how there were no international visitors, and no one from out of state.
- Guess the weather is keeping most people grounded.
- Gave directions to the San Miguel Mission and a local grocery store.
- Spoke with a couple from Redlands who have fallen in love with Paso Robles and want to move their business here. They have an interior design store. I gave them the Mainstreet booklet, “A Guide to Locating Your Business in Downtown Paso Robles”. I then referred them to Josh at the Chamber of Commerce if they needed additional information.
- Many comments about how beautiful it is now in Paso. People are enjoying the water in the river, I did have to remind some of them to look at it. Wild flowers are of interest to a lot of Visitors. Some have seen them, some have read or heard about them, all are looking forward to experiencing the rare beauty in and around Paso in the spring.
I enjoy meeting people visiting here. They remind me of how special this town and this area really are. It is like looking through a child’s eyes, so much we take for granted.
Enjoy the season, I look forward to seeing you Downtown!
FEBRUARY 2, 2019 to FEBRUARY 19, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 12 conversations
- No restaurant recommendations or travel inquiries were made.
Rain-Rain-Rain........ I can honestly say The Downtown Ambassador was nearly “rained out”. I meet and greet people on the streets several days a week: They were running from their cars into restaurants and shops, no lingering! The theater and library were the busiest.
- 15 conversations
- 2 Restaurant referrals
- 3 direction inquiries
Valentine’s Day combined with President’s Day brought the most Visitors to town, because trips were planned well in advance, and the weather did provide some breaks. A family reunion of 18 people from Seattle to San Diego with 5 generations from 18 months to 85 years were here to enjoy Downtown for the holiday weekend. People were visiting from Toronto, Alberta, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Texas, enjoying all our food and wine.
There were a large number of travelers who came to enjoy the Elephant Seals at San Simeon, and came through Paso because Highway 1 is closed for the season.
The mention of green hills, water running in the Salinas River, blue skies between rains along with the starry sky and full moon over Paso at night, seem to impress everyone. The very cold nights and mornings were the thing most commented on along with the love for all Paso has to offer.
Look out, they WILL be back!!
And we are ready for them, the busier the better!
JANUARY 23, 2019 TO FEBRUARY 5, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 25 Approached
- 10 Restaurant conversations
Locals were filling me in on their favorite places to eat downtown. Some do just breakfast, some meet friends for lunch while others come to town for a special dinner once a week. No complaints about the food choices in town. Everyone enjoys bringing friends and family downtown to see and share what we have.
Where is everyone? The streets have been empty just about everyday. Town begins to pick up for lunch. Business has been very slow. Theories range from people paying off holiday debts, government shut down, weather and everyone re-grouping for the new year.
- 20 Approached
- 7 Restaurant inquiries for specific cuisines like Italian, Mexican, Seafood, American Fresh and Thai Food.
People were mostly visiting from the Valley (Visalia, Bakersfield, Fresno & Tulare) for a day away. They enjoy the drive and just spending a few hours downtown. I received a few requests for Thrift Stores in the downtown area.
A few people came Downtown for the first time again because of the Highway One closure. It’s heart- warming to hear how people enjoy Downtown for its beauty, the fact that everything is situated around the Park impresses everyone!
Hotels have been slow during this time. People are not traveling during these storms, with closed roads and not too many events scheduled. Highway 101 is quiet too.
The one thing I have noticed through all the clear days, is the Downtown city park playground is full of kids having fun. There is so much laughter, shouts, bells and whistles you can hear the excitement across the park. It really is fun to watch kids communicating with each other: Future leaders are evident.
We’re going to have a beautiful Spring. Don’t be a stranger Downtown, restaurants and shops are always open and most are offering discounts during these slow times. I’ll see you there!
JANUARY 9, 2019 TO JANUARY 22, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 39 Approached
- 2 Restaurant recommendations
Heard about new tasting rooms and restaurants downtown. Most are not in our Current Directory, but with the information and our always up-to-date Restaurant Listings Brochure and Sip & Savor Brochure (which I carry) I have no trouble showing people where to find exactly what they are looking for.
The Speakeasy is a popular request. Many residents have family and friends visiting and are having fun showing off our downtown.
KPRL Radio is s great source for announcing new businesses downtown, and I have the honor of giving those directions.
- 59 Approached
- 9 Restaurants referred
- 8 direction requests
I met so many people here for the first time. Due to the closure of Highway 1 North we get a lot of visitors. They are surprised at how charming and fun our Downtown is. I am reminded of the year Highway 1 was closed and the fires at Napa in October of 2017 which brought many visitors to Paso as an alternative and everyone was telling me how much they love our town, the area and the wines, everyone said they would be back to their new favorite.
I enjoy talking with people who have just discovered us. They are happy and excited to come back because you can’t see everything in one visit. So, where have we been all this time?
Downtown seems slow in the mornings and during the rainy days, it just means everyone is in the Restaurants, shops, theater, art galleries, coffee shops and tasting rooms.
Enjoy this winter weather. It is going to be an ahsome spring.
I will see you on the streets of Downtown Paso Robles!
DECEMBER 26, 2018 TO JANUARY 8, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 45 approached
- 6 given restaurant info
Residents are usually in town to eat, shop or go to the theater. They enjoy our Main Street Directory. It updates them on our events and gives them a good reference for Downtown shopping.
I am always asked “What’s new?” I Let them know about the new businesses and ask what they want to do in town or what they are looking for.
I actually had several requests for a Downtown Pharmacy. I was able to refer “Brookline Oaks” located at 597 12th Street.
The reasons were the same: they don’t like the big-box stores If they can come Downtown.
Many locals tell me they will not go to Walmart or some of the other big discount stores because it ruins the shopping experience. I think we’re spoiled. In a good way.
- 70 approached
- 16 Restaurants referred
- 10 people wanted directions
I spoke with two different couples about moving to Paso Robles. They asked me questions about population, weather and crime. I answered their questions and sent them to the Visitor Center for the Official Relocation Packet they provide.
Over the holidays I received many questions about the area Wineries. Like who has food? I mark the map for them. Who waives the tasting fees? I again mark the map for them. Where can we get coupons? I show them how to get them on their phone. I received more wine requests during this time period than any other.
Downtown was bustling throughout the holidays. The streets were so crowded with shoppers and their bags that in many areas you had to step out in the street or inside a shop to let people pass. Their were lines at the registers inside the shops and restaurants, people were visiting, laughing, enjoying themselves and each other. It felt so special and festive everywhere you went. All the comments I received were positive, everyone was finding that special gift, enjoying a good meal and talking about how glad they were that they decided on Paso Robles for their Holiday Shopping.
I discovered that for many families coming to Paso is an annual event. They meet here from all over California as well as all over the USA (weather helps) stay in a hotel or Vacation Rental and enjoy all there is to see and do in this charming town. Many bring children to enjoy our museums, art galleries and to visit the surrounding areas.
I am reminded how close to everything we are.
Talking with Downtown Businesses, Visitors, and Locals (who bring family and friends to town all year long) is proof of just how special this town really is. Tourism is a big part of town and businesses tell me they will do what they can to keep it that way. Their customers are strong and loyal and happy to have discovered our treasure.
December 12, 2018 TO DECEMBER 25, 2018 ACTIVITY
- 32 Approached
- 9 Restaurant recommended
- 2 Specific directions given for specialty shops (books and sewing).
I am always asked about the newest shops downtown. Locals know there are new places to check out but need help with names and locations.
I have received a few questions about why we do not have a nice night club for dinner and dancing. They know what is here, but are looking for something a little more upscale.
- 60 Approached
- 12 Restaurant inquiries - By cuisine, name and location. Often asked about my favorites, (answer: all of them, depends what I am hungry for.)
- 8 Direction requests - Looking for a grocery store, service station, a lot of people want to see local art and local history. Most people are in town or on way to hotel or RV Park. There are a large number of RV Visitors.
Several people over the Holidays were visiting, shopping, staying at Hotels in the area and had just discovered Downtown. They will be looking at us closer for consideration of moving here in the next few years.
I always hear how special our Downtown is because it is situated around the Park and our Library, shops, restaurants and Theatre are in pleasant walking distance. They like that they can park and spend the day in town!
Happy New Year Everyone!
2019 will be busier than ever with more and more people discovering our beautiful town. Remember it’s our town so come in and enjoy everything we have. When I talk to people from all over the world and they tell me how much they love this town and and are planning their return visit, I can’t help but feel proud to be a part of this special Downtown, you should too!
NOVEMBER 21, 2018 TO DECEMBER 11, 2018 ACTIVITY
- 30 approached
- 5 given restaurant info
Looking for Paso Robles memorabilia as gifts. I mention all the shops I have seen (including the Visitor Center) and how each of them have something different.
Where are new shops located. I use the Directory Map to assist them.
More specific like where are the Mexican Restaurants? Seafood? Italian? Again I use the Directory to answer their questions.
I have received many Thank You’s for the available parking throughout downtown without meters.
- 56 approached
- 15 Restaurants referred
- 10 people wanted directions
I received a couple of inquiries about empty spaces in downtown for possible future businesses. I give them the Main Street Brochure for available Downtown Rentals.
One couple with three children want to move down from King City but will need work. I referred them to the Hispanic Business Association since only the kids spoke English.
Met a mother from San Francisco and three daughters from three cities in the LA area. They contemplated meeting in Santa Barbara or Cambria, but decided instead on Paso, and were having a blast shopping downtown, eating and visiting Downtown tasting rooms. They had lots of shopping bags, were headed to the Inn for a drop off before going any further. They said this is their new Christmas gathering place. They were here for Vine Street Walk, so I know for sure they will be back!
There were a lot of weddings going on the past two weeks. Most were at wineries surrounding downtown. Some rehearsal dinners and luncheons were held downtown.
The 57th Annual Christmas Light Parade was a great success! The streets were crowded with families from all over the county, many visitors were in town and able to join the fun. Over 60 floats! Kids, Kids, Kids!
31st Annual Vine Street Victorian Showcase was no disappointment. Approximately 10,000 people lined Vine Street for hours. The kids and adults enjoyed themselves every step of the way!! So much food, music, laughter and the infamous Scrooge to top it all off.
There is no way you can live here and not feel the joy and friendliness of this community. There are no strangers here!
Happy Holidays Everyone!!!
May the blessings of the season be with you and yours!! I’ll see you on the streets of Downtown.
NOVEMBER 14-20, 2018 ACTIVITY
- 26 Approached
- 6 Restaurants referred
- 1 Directions to Tin City
- Where can we park? We see the signs in parking lots. I Let them know those go into affect 12/1/2018. Contact The City for details, prcity.com.
- What are holiday events in town? I give them the Downtown Directory where events thru February are listed.
Weirdest Question: Where do I get my hats? (Answer: Everywhere, I am always on the prowl.)
- 59 Approached
- 29 Restaurants referred
- 20 Directions given. From where is a certain Winery to where are the Art Studios and Museums. I give them Downtown Directory, Wine Maps, and introduce them to our Kiosk at the corner of 12th and Park, where they can find all the information they need. I mark the maps and explain directions to them to make it easier.
- 5 mentions of people coming for the first time. Totally unaware of how charming this town really is. They may consider moving here, will be back to inquire.
- No business inquiries.
On Saturday Mornings I have discovered it is Father/Daughter time in Downtown for Breakfast. One Saturday I met three pairs either coming or going. They all told me it is their special time together, and Downtown makes it even more special. They often visit a local shop for her!
I also want to mention how many Visitors and Residents are in town to see a movie and have lunch or dinner. Visitors laugh and say, how funny it is we come here when we live in LA or SF, but we love this town and come for several days, so a movie is just part of our plans.
Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony was a wonderful gift to the community from Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association. Supported by The Cancer Support Community, and Sponsored by Rabobank and Adelaide Inn. This special event took place on Friday the 23rd. The lights, candlelight, speeches, caroling, free hot chocolate (thanks to Vic’s) our MC, Mrs. Claus, Grinch, the Elves and all the Main Street Volunteers make this a special old-fashioned way to start the holiday season. Still full of Turkey, Hundreds of people, over half children, were present. They laughed, played, sang Christmas Carols and were touched with the Joy of Christmas.
Play Black-Out Bingo until Friday December 7th for the Drawing on December 9th at 3pm at Santa’s House in the Park. 1st Prize is $450 Shopping Spree in Downtown, 2nd is $225 and 3rd is $100. Songbooks (with Black Out Bingo cards) are still available throughout town and at the Main Street Office.
I love working with our Downtown Main Street Association where it is truly about giving to the Community and not about making money!
On Saturday, November 10th from 5pm until 8pm, 43 shops in downtown Paso Robles opened their doors to the public with refreshments of all kinds, discounts, entertainment, and beautifully dressed staff to greet the hundreds of people for our Annual Elegant Evening.
There were so many people on the streets and in the shops that evening. I overheard friends laughing and hugging, so excited to be reunited at this event. Shop owners were excited to see so many familiar faces. The thing I was most excited about was the number of people I met who were from out of town, but have been coming to this event for years.
Most of these people make reservations in town and make a week-end stay to start their holiday off right. I met many people from the valley: Visalia, Fresno, Bakersfield, as well as north from San Jose and San Francisco, south from Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, west from Cambria and Cayucos.
Everyone saying the same thing “where else but Paso Robles will you find old-fashioned neighborhood gatherings that are warm, safe and fun for all ages.”
NOVEMBER 3-10, 2018 ACTIVITY
- 26 spoken with
- 12 wanted restaurant recommendations
- 5 wanted specific directions
- 3 residential questions from people considering Paso as a future home.
- Directions to freeway
- Difference in wineries on the east side and west side
- How do you keep homeless from taking over your city?
Most common comments are about our clean, friendly town with that small-town feel which is missing all over California, and beyond. First time Visitors will be back, others come at least twice a year, always happy to see it hasn’t changed.
- 15 spoken with
- 3 Restaurant referrals
- 0 Direction requests
- Parking updates, when does ticketing start? (Answer: tickets will only be given to those who park in permit-only spots without a permit. Enforcement begins December 1.)
- Why fix Railroad Street when our town residential streets are so bad?
- Why so many downtown tasting rooms?