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Filed under: Media Releases — admin @ 11:45 pm

Contact:  Christina Glynn | 831.427.4405 ext.112  |

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA— As the Santa Cruz County lodging industry gears up for a new year, local hotels and inns are upgrading their properties.  The Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council (CVC) announces that nine Santa Cruz area properties are under construction or are in the process of being renovated, with the majority completing their projects in 2016.   

“New construction and the renovations taking place at hotels countywide show how property owners are willing to make capital investments in Santa Cruz County.  It’s a win-win situation for the local lodging industry and for visitors coming to Santa Cruz County,” said Kenn Clark, General Manager of the Mission Inn and CVC board member.  “It’s our desire as a whole to constantly improve and enhance the numerous choices visitor have.”

In the San Lorenzo Valley, a $3 million renovation will restored the historic Brookdale Lodge in the Santa Cruz Mountains to its former glory.  Expected to re-open in early 2016, this 60-room property – once a renown Hollywood celebrity getaway – will receive a facelift of the most iconic setting on property:   the Brook Room — a Bavarian-style hall with stained glass windows, expansive chandelier and a real creek running through it.  According to some historians, a visiting President Hoover would catch a fish, bring it back to the kitchen and have staff cook it for him.

A Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is scheduled to open in late 2015, just in time to welcome visitors for the holiday season.  This 82-room, four-floor property includes suites, an exterior patio area with a fire pit, outdoor swimming pool, free parking and wi-fi, and complimentary hot breakfast.  Located off Mission Street on Santa Cruz’s westside, the Fairfield Inn & Suites is one of the first hotels visitors coming into town southbound from Highway 1 will find.  Within walking distance to Natural Bridges State Beach, scenic West Cliff Drive, and Surf City Vintners wine tasting rooms, this property also boasts 900 square feet of meeting room space, a contemporary design and elegant glass walls with exterior views.

Hyatt Place will be located within walking distance to Downtown Santa Cruz, the beach, and Kaiser Permanente Arena.  With 106 rooms including suites, the property includes a fitness center, Wi-Fi, partial breakfast and ocean views from the 3rd and 4th floors.  This 100,000-square foot mid-service property will offer underground valet parking, a pool, hot tub, business center, lounge, and over 1500 square feet of conference space divisible into two conference spaces.  A breakout exterior patio will add an additional 1,000 square feet of meeting space.

Six properties throughout Santa Cruz County are undergoing renovations as well.

In Capitola, the former Harbor Lights Motel – now called the Capitola Beach Suites – overlooking Capitola Beach – will receive a $1 million remodel, including a rooftop patio for social gatherings.  The rooftop space will feature an outdoor fireplace, lounge chairs and a glass wall, providing unobstructed views of the Monterey Bay.  This 10-room boutique motel will also receive a new façade and sport terra cotta and marine blue Mediterranean-rich colors, complete with balconies.  Each room will feature a full kitchen with granite counters and updated bathrooms.

In Santa Cruz, the 156-room Chaminade Resort and Spa began a $10 million renovation in the fall of 2015 including remodeling, renovations, and upgrades to the property.

Working on 50 rooms at a time, the Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley is renovating all 174 guestroom and suites and converted three breakout rooms into additional lodging, increasing the room count to 178 guestrooms and suites.  The contemporary design will be incorporated into the complete overhaul of the restaurant, lounge, lobby, guest hallways, and pre-function spaces.  The pool area was also improved.  This multi-million dollar project will debut in February of 2016.

Located on Mission Street/Highway 1 on the Westside of Santa Cruz, the Mission Inn is renovating all 53 guest rooms to include high-end bedding, and new paint, curtains and furnishings.  An accent wall will be featured in each room, and renovations are expected to be completed by March 2016.  Over the past two years, new drought-resistant landscaping and new exterior paint were also added to the property.

At the Santa Cruz Dream Inn, the city’s only full-service seaside hotel, the property’s pool – overlooking Cowell Beach – will be renovated beginning next year.  The upgrade will accompany a hotel-wide renovation of guest rooms, and public spaces.

The Seascape Beach Resort in Aptos is undergoing a three-part renovation.  Beginning in fall 2015, 90 two-bedroom, two-bath villas will receive bathroom upgrades to include new shower and tub enclosures, tile floors and walls; vanities, sinks, faucets, mirrors, light fixtures, towel racks, and paint.  This $2.2 million refurbishment will bring a natural, clean look to the décor.  In the fall of 2016, 52 two-bedroom villas will undergo living and dining room renovations including new barstools, dining tables and chairs, end tables, sitting chairs, light fixtures, cocktail tables, and art work. The second phase of this $750,000 refurbishment will continue the organic, natural, yet sophisticated modern beach style the resort is known for.  Additionally, 84 studio and one bedroom suites will undergo kitchen and bathroom remodels with new kitchen cabinets and counter tops, refrigerators, stove tops, microwave ovens, dish washers, and ceiling lights.  Bathrooms will receive new tub enclosures, tile walls, vanity counter tops, faucets, mirrors, lights, towel racks, and artwork, a $1.2 million improvement.


For more information, please call the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council, 831.425.1234 or visit


A private, non-profit corporation, the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council (CVC) exists to enhance tourism and the economy by positioning Santa Cruz County as a visitor, conference and film destination. For more information, contact the CVC at 831-425-1234 or 800-833-3494.  Or visit the CVC’s web site at




Filed under: Media Releases — admin @ 3:48 pm

Contact:  Christina Glynn, Communications Director/Film Commissioner Phone: 831.425.1234 ext.112, email:

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA – The fall season is the best-kept secret among locals. Although barbecue grills and bathing suits have been put into storage until next season, summer continues for visitors in-the-know. Citing fewer crowds, amazing hotel deals and some of the year’s best weather, the autumn months are packed full of things to do for locals and visitors. And this fall, the Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Council (CVC) encourages visitors to take a peek at the fall festivals that are lined up this season:

September 11 -13, 2015
Santa Cruz Greek Food and Cultural Festival
The 35th annual, award-winning street festival is jam-packed with delicious Greek dishes, yummy desserts, Kafenio, Greek wine & spirits. Live bouzouki band and dancing makes for a fun, family friendly event in downtown Santa Cruz. Admission- free. Fri. 5-10 pm, Sat. 11 am-10 pm, Sun. 12 pm-8 pm.
Location: 223 Church St., between Cedar & Center, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.429.6500

September 16 – 20, 2015
Santa Cruz County Fair
Six days of fun and festivities, including a large carnival. Safe, fun and affordable. Wed. – Fri. noon – 11pm; Sat. 10am – 11pm; Sun. 10am – 10pm.
Location: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds (2601 East Lake Ave., off Hwy. 152), Watsonville
Phone: 831.724.5671

September 12 – 13, 2015
33rd Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival
22 Wineries, gourmet food, fine art, entertainment, children’s art area. Admission free in Capitola Village By The Sea. Free. 10am – 6pm.
Location: Capitola Village, Capitola
Phone: 831.475.6522

September 13, 2015
Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz Triathlon
The IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz triathlon features a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. The race starts on the Santa Cruz Main Beach east of the wharf. Athletes will then begin the bike course at Depot Park as they head out on a scenic tour of the California coastline. From there, athletes will take on a scenic out and back run course that passes around the Natural Bridges State Park and Wilder Ranch State Park with the turnaround on the ocean bluffs before returning to finish in front of the main stage at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Location: Santa Cruz Main Beach
Phone: 303.444.4316

September 19, 2015
Mole & Mariachi Festival
Come and enjoy outdoor festival with local artists, food, wine and activities for kids! FREE. 11am – 5pm.
Location: Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, 144 School Street, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.429.1840

September 24 – 26, 2015
Monterey Bay Birding Festival
Come see 200 species of birds in one of the world’s most picturesque areas of California on the Monterey Bay. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, various locations. 6am – 9pm.
Location: 275 Main St., Watsonville

October 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 2015
Open Studios Art Tour
Explore the hidden world of art! Visit artists in their studios, learn about their processes, purchase original works of art. Mobile app and printed guide have artist information and maps. 11am – 5pm.
Location: Various locations, Santa Cruz County
Phone: 831.475.9600

September 5, 2015
Wings Over Watsonville

Fun, family-friendly and FREE! Friday night kids movie – Friday and Saturday fly-in arrivals. Discounted AVGAS, food vendors, historic and antique aircraft, aerial demonstrations and much, much more! 8am – 6pm.
Location: Watsonville Airport, 100 Aviation Way, Watsonville, CA
Phone: 831.763.5600

October 11, 2015 

Monte Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza
A wonderful family event featuring entertainment and a fireworks display. Check website for time.
Location: Capitola Wharf, Capitola
Phone: 831.685.3317

October 10 – 11, October 17 – 18, October 24 – 25, October 31, November 1, 2015
Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party™
Announcing the tour’s most exciting year ever as hit entertainment debuts talking Thomas the Tank Engine and Thomas’ best friend Percy! Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas and Percy, for a 20 minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities for the entire family. Activities include: Temporary Tattoos, Face Painting, Story Telling, Videos, Train Play Tables, Pick a Pumpkin (small pumpkins for little ones), Cookie decorating, photos with Sir Topham Hatt, Thomas store and entertainment. Check website for specific times.
Location: Roaring Camp Railroads, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton
Phone: 831.335.4484

October 24, 2015
Chili Cook-Off at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Bring your appetite & join the fun as both professional & amateur chefs compete! 10-4pm, Tasting starts at 1pm.
Location: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.423.5590

October 24, 2015
The Missing Arm of William Waddell
History takes a tall tale twist as the saga of this early pioneer unfolds. The silly, slightly haunting tours around the redwood loop trail. Featuring music,storytelling and “Ranger Apples” around the campfire. All participants must register at Park Headquarters (registration opens at 6:30 pm). FREE 7pm.
Location: Big Basin Redwoods State Park, 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek
Phone: 831.338.8883

November 7 -8, 2015
Santa Cruz Sea Glass & Ocean Art Festival
Featuring genuine sea glass and artist-made creations while benefiting our local marine environment. Held in the historic Cocoanut Grove Ballroom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 10am – 5pm each day. The festival features over 40 artists, a free raffle, great food, full cash bar and a $1000 prize piece contest.
Location: Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.332.7188

November 21, 2015
Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport Program
Your chance to visit wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains not normally open to the public. Taste wine & have a great time. Check website for time.

Location: Various Wineries, Santa Cruz Mountains
Phone: 831.685.VINE (8463)

November 28, 2015
Capitola’s Surfin’ Santa
Santa & his reindeer surf into Capitola Beach. Bring your Christmas list to review with Santa. Candy Canes for everyone! Free. Noon .
Location: Capitola Beach, Capitola Village
Phone: 831.475.6522

For more information about events taking place during fall, visit or call 800.833.3494.

About the CVC: A private, non-profit corporation, the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council (CVC) exists to enhance tourism and the economy by positioning Santa Cruz County as a visitor, conference and film destination. For more information, contact the CVC at 831.425.1234 . Or visit the CVC’s web site at


Filed under: Fall/Winter 2014,What's New — admin @ 2:56 pm

Take one part museum, add one part lounge, and mix it with a tribute to the man who brought surfing to the world stage, and you have the new Jack O’Neill Lounge at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Monterey Bay, a prototype O’Neill wetsuit under plexiglass, and vintage photos, a new signature drink menu highlights Jack’s favorite libation, a Ketel One Martini. Other drinks include the “Grom Report” (sassafras, Bacardi rum, and vermouth), “Steamer’s Lane” (cocoanut shavings, Grey Goose vodka, and lemonade) and more reflecting other points of interest in town, garnished with surf lingo. Repainted and lit to showcase nostalgic photos from the O’Neill vault, the lounge has taken on a lighter, fresher feel, reflecting the overall “vibe” of Santa Cruz. Just below the lounge and near the entrance to the wharf sits a permanent mural adjacent to the site of Jack O’Neill’s Original Surf Shop, a State of California Point of Historical Interest. The mural boasts a collage of historic photos of Jack complete with a bronze plaque. Over half a century ago, the first wetsuit was created by Jack O’Neill by experimenting with neoprene from the carpeting of a DC-3 airplane and his Santa Cruz surf shop was first opened in 1959.


Filed under: Fall/Winter 2014,What's New — admin @ 2:55 pm

The Santa Cruz Harbor was first constructed in 1964, expanded in 1973, and provides over 800 permanent slips for recreational, commercial, and research opportunities. The harbor serves as Santa Cruz County’s main gateway to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and offers sailing, kayaking, whale watching tours, stand up paddle boarding, a free water taxi and other recreational activities. Half a dozen restaurants line the harbor, and seasonal Wednesday Night Sailboat Races, beach parties hosted by the Crow’s Nest Restaurant and a lighted boat parade during the holidays are all part of the excitement of this maritime gem.


Filed under: Fall/Winter 2014,What's New — admin @ 2:55 pm

It all began in 1864, when President Lincoln signed a bill granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees to the State of California “upon the express condition that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation, and shall be inalienable for all time.”  Since then, California State Parks have been visited by millions of outdoor enthusiasts – including California’s oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods  in Boulder Creek near Santa Cruz.  Big Basin is the oldest state park thanks to California painter and photographer Andrew Putnam Hill and his photos of the coast redwoods spurring the sequence of events that led to the preservation of “California Redwood Park” as it was called in the early days Big Basin opened to the public in 1902.

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303 Water Street, Suite 100
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
800.833.3494 or 831.425.1234