San Diego’s tourism economy is slowly getting back to normal.
The San Diego convention Center was closed to conventions for the past year and a half due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A spokeswoman for the cavernous meeting facility said more than 150 important events were cancelled, postponed or went “virtual” during that long closure.
And she noted that as a result, the shutdown resulted in a $2.1 billion loss to the region’s economy, accounting for more than $48 million in uncollected tax revenues.
Well, that’s all about to change.
The center will soon open its doors to a number of gatherings, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in late August, the American Association of Realtors in mid-November and a special edition of the ever-popular Comic Con over the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
The first event to launch is SPIE Optics + Photonics on Aug. 1-5. The group said it expects 3,000 attendees, mostly a mix of onsite and virtual attendees. The second event on the new schedule is the American Kennel Club show, “Meet the Breeds” set for Aug. 14-15. This event will be open to the public.
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Bank of America recently gave more than $700,000 to 30 local nonprofits. Most of the money will be used to boost development of the workforce, with the rest targeting nonprofits in health, shelters and free food distribution. These are areas all impacted by the pandemic.
Rick Bregman, president the BofA’s San Diego region, says the grants were made in the wake of a SANDAG study that found that 40% of jobs paying at least $35 an hour have disappeared due to the coronavirus.
The crisis has had an undue impact racial and ethnic groups–64% of Latinos and 60% of African Americans say members of their household have suffered.
A number of agencies focused on underrepresented groups received BofA grants, including San Diego Foundation’s Black Community Investment Fund.
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The Canadians are coming, and Southwest is returning to an old haunt.
Canadian air carrier Swoop has announced it plans to offer nonstop service from Edmonton to San Diego from Oct. 31 to the end of April 2022. The service begins with twice a week flights, then increase to three times a week in December.
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines said it will re-launch New Orleans service on Nov. 7. The resumption comes after Southwest suspended service in May 2020 due to the pandemic. The airline also announced that it will start nonstop service to Bozeman, MT on Nov. 23.
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Bob Rauch, who heads the high-profile hospitality management firm R. A. Rauch Associates, says long-time employee Dallas King has been promoted to area general manager.
King will manage the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott San Diego-San Marcos, Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego-Del Ma,r and Hilton Garden Inn San Diego-Del Mar.
King joined the Rauch organization in 2013 as a task force general manager for more than 20 boutique and branded properties in the Rauch hotel portfolio.
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Cristo Rey San Diego High School is seeking 20 corporate partners to underwrite its second class of 80 students. Current work-study partners include notable businesses and institutions such as Rady Children’s Hospital, CBRE and Precision Diagnostics.
The school’s work-study program gives students a college-prep education while gaining on-the-job experience in a business setting. Students spend five days a month at work to help pay for their tuition.
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Software Maker Deckard Technologies, which helps government agencies track properties that owe taxes and other fees on short-term rentals, is beginning to expand beyond California.
The 3-year-old startup says it has signed Swain County, North Carolina, located next to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The county will use Deckard’s platform to make sure property owners comply with local short-term rentals regulations.
The ship is now under construction at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in Barrio Logan.
The six new fleet oilers, including the Earl Warren, are designed to transfer fuel to the Navy’s carrier strike groups while operating at sea.
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North County News…Hillcrest’s Trust Restaurant Group says it is opening a second The Wise Ox Butcher & Eatery in the Beacon shopping center near the famed Omni La Costa Resort.
TRG Chef Brad Wise, who once lived close to the center, says he wanted to introduce the restaurant brand to his old neighborhood. Meanwhile, TRG says it is going to open a second Rare Society restaurant in Solana Beach later this summer.
Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to [email protected].