Mountain tourism striving for comeback

     Mountain businesses are still feeling the brutal effects of the Slide and Grass Valley fires that scorched communities last October and reaked economic havoc on retail shops, hotels and cozy bed-and-breakfast lodgings.
     But with Wednesday’s 2nd annual Mountain Lakes Economic Summit coming up, hope floats for better times.
     The event will be held at Northwoods Resort in Big Bear Lake.
     “Various retailers are off 30 percent,” said David Stuart, executive director of Rebuilding Mountain Hearts and Lives, which has offices in Blue Jay and Running Springs. “They’re saying business is still sluggish, and lodging is down.”
     Various retailers, real-estate associations and service clubs are supporting the second event, but Lake Arrowhead businesses opted not to join this year. They had participated in last year’s event when it was held in Lake Arrowhead.
     “There’s two schools of thought,” Stuart said. “One is that various areas should stand alone and market themselves, and the other one is to do a mountainwide concept and let (tourists) make their choices.”
     Only time will tell whether businesses from all over the San Bernardino mountains jump on one concept versus the other, but steam is gaining for the latter of the two ideas, Stuart said.
     “We’re one community with a lot of post offices,” he said. “We have a strong element up here that would like to see a mountainwide economic program.”

One thought on “Mountain tourism striving for comeback

  1. My husband and I have spent two weekends in Big Bear in the last many years. One night we got a room that was a tiny wedge that might have been a closet at one time in a hotel. It would have been okay, but it was summer and there was no air conditioning and we roasted all night.

    The second try was renting a cabin through a referral service. Yes, it had a queen sized bed, kitchen and hot tub, but they were all contained in a space the size of a small bedroom. No, it wasn’t pleasant. We didn’t even try the hot tub. And it was very pricey…much more expensive than many places we’ve stayed in resort areas.

    And then, there is the issue of the incredible amount of traffic–bumper to bumper to bumper which made us just want to hole up in our tiny cabin and cook dinner on the stove there instead of going out.

    We did take a nice walk and saw some bald eagles, but for the most part up there looked a lot like down here and we haven’t wanted to go back.

    Lake Arrowhead is a bit more pleasant, I think although we’ve never gone there except for day trips.

    Good luck marketing typical so Cal traffic, businesses, strip malls and such in an atmosphere of dying pine trees. Big Bear is really more of a regular suburb than a resort destination, IMO.

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