Once sleepy Paso Robles coming into its own as world-class tourism destination | Bakersfield Life

Paso Robles utilized to be a location tourists from the valley handed through to get to the blue waters and sandy shorelines of the Central Coastline.

Now Paso, located miles inland from the shoreline, has become a place in its personal ideal. The tourism sector here is just about exploding with advancement and investment decision, as raising quantities of restaurants, wine-tasting rooms, craft beer and wine bars, and even a craft distillery trail compete for a increasing tourism industry.

“I have experienced a tasting area in downtown Paso for six a long time and have witnessed a great deal of modify, but the speed appears to have picked up a whole lot in the previous 12 months or so,” says Glenna Thompson, owner and winemaker at Symbiosis Wines.

“When I moved in, we had 13 tasting rooms downtown, and the newest map demonstrates 29,” Thompson says. “Numerous of these are new, a lot of the outdated kinds are absent, and now wine bars are incorporated as properly.”

Journey Paso, which expenditures alone as the city’s major location advertising and marketing corporation, confirms that a thing thrilling is occurring in the town of near to 32,000 people. In fiscal calendar year 2021, Paso’s transient occupancy tax — the neighborhood tax travelers pay when they stay in motels, RV resorts or shorter-expression rentals — produced a record $7 million in revenue from readers to Paso.

In fiscal calendar year 2019, the most the latest pre-pandemic year, whole TOT achieved $6 million nearly on the dot, says Mike Dawson, media strategist for Travel Paso.

And raising customer need appears to be spurring progress in the lodging sector. Indeed, in accordance to Dawson, there ended up 1,453 resort rooms in 2019. At the moment, Paso Robles has 1,748 resort rooms.

Stacie Jacob, Journey Paso’s govt director, also cited the city’s cultural situations, marquee concert events (Jason Mraz performs at Vina Robles on July 5) and artwork exhibits this kind of as the Field of Light-weight at Sensorio.

“Thanks to its globe-course wineries, its award-successful dining establishments and lodging selections, its proximity to the beach, and a huge array of ordeals from Sensorio to e-bike tours in the winery to our craft distillery trail, Paso Robles has turn out to be a should-check out vacation spot,” Jacob says. “Even though we have turn out to be a national and even intercontinental desired destination, just one of our essential core audiences stays to be our travel-market place, including of system Bakersfield and the Central Valley, as well as the Bay Region, L.A. and San Diego.”

Thompson at Symbiosis Wines says competing in Paso’s new actuality is not all wine and roses for a “one-woman show” like hers. The visual appeal of large-cash investors is a double-edged sword.

“I am seeing celebration buses daily on the avenue now, which has never transpired in advance of,” she says. “Viewing how many persons in this group are producing their 1st vacation to Paso really highlights how items are booming.”

It can be effortless for the “tiny men” to resent travelers flocking to corporate-run wineries, she states.

“Their countrywide advertising and marketing and substantial budgets have seriously introduced Paso into the limelight, and I’m sure the phenomenon we are witnessing has a lot to do with that.”