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June 13, 2017

Visit Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz Says Goodbye to True Californian Jack O’Neill

The local community is mourning the loss of Jack O’Neill, surfer, ocean lover, boating enthusiast, wet-suit pioneer, balloonist, and founder of the iconic worldwide surf company O’Neill, when he passed away at his Santa Cruz home of natural causes at the age of 94 on Friday, June 2nd.

The surfing icon was nominated by Visit Santa Cruz County (VSCC) when Visit California put out the call to destinations around the state to recommend locals for the True Californians campaign. The campaign, part of a brand advertising program from the state, showcased the California lifestyle and our unique attitude toward life through the people and places that make the state truly one-of-a-kind. Joining the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Beckham, Jay Leno, Vanessa Williams and other ‘local’ celebrities, the ad featured Jack O’Neill sporting his signature wet-suit posing with a surfboard and the iconic surf of Pleasure Point in the background. The ad was shot on location at his home in the fall of 2010. Local and state tourism officials were on hand to oversee the production, including VSCC Vice President and CEO Maggie Ivy and Visit California Vice President of Marketing Lynn Carpenter.

A true pioneer of ocean ecology and education, Jack established O’Neill Sea Odyssey in 1996, a marine and environmental education program using his personal Team O’Neill catamaran, taking over 30 children at a time into the newly designated Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, along with the dedication of a coast-side classroom and laboratory building in the Santa Cruz Harbor, which he built in 1965. Jack played an instrumental role in the development of the harbor. Now over 20 years old, the O’Neill Sea Odyssey program is one of the largest of its kind in the world, having hosted nearly 100,000 school-aged children. Remarking on OSO, Jack said, “The ocean is alive and we’ve got to take care of it. There’s no doubt in my mind that the O’Neill Sea Odyssey is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Memorial contributions in support of Jack’s love of the oceans may be sent to the O’Neill Sea Odyssey.

Visit Santa Cruz County

VSCC Participates in San Francisco Media Reception

VSCC staff recently attended Visit California’s San Francisco Media Reception and Marketplace. Nearly 50 destination marketing organizations from throughout the state welcomed over 107 qualified consumer, lifestyle and travel media to network with California destinations and tourism businesses.

VSCC distributed press information to staff and freelance writers from publications such as AFAR, Sunset, Via Magazine, Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle, Red Tricycle, and contributors to Diablo, 7x7 and many more. This year Visit California’s international offices helped identify some key international media based in San Francisco to attend the event. These international journalists write for publications in the UK, Italy, Japan and Brazil among others, who learned about new attractions like the Martinelli’s tasting room in Watsonville, craft cocktails using Venus Spirits at Soif and Assembly restaurants, two new thrill rides and a main entrance renovation at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and new hotel openings and renovations. The evening reception format fostered a casual atmosphere where attendees were encouraged to mingle with delegates.

Partnering with Visit California-sponsored media events provides VSCC with a cost-effective way to stretch its public relations budget to reach major metropolitan-area consumer, lifestyle, and travel media outlets. Increasing visitor awareness of Santa Cruz County through media exposure results in increased revenues to the county in the long-run. Read more about the Visit California San Francisco Media Reception here.

Kidfornia Debut

It’s Easy Being a Green Business!

Interested in becoming a green business? Find out how to reduce waste through green business practices that will reduce pollution and promote recycling and reusing. The Green Business Academy is part of the Green Business Program of Santa Cruz County. This season, you can enroll in the academy’s modular workshops which provide businesses with the tools, training and resources they need to “green-up” their operations and get recognized as a Certified Green Business.

The three-month long program includes one workshop per month beginning in July. Kicking things off at the Chaminade Resort and Spa, Workshop #1 will be held on Friday, July 14th from 10AM – Noon and will cover pollution prevention and recycling and waste reduction. On Friday, Friday, August 11th, Workshop #2 will include information on energy, alternative transportation, and water conservation and will be held at the Capitola City Hall from 10AM – Noon. The last workshop on Wednesday, September 27th from 3PM – 5PM will cover employee engagement and transportation at New Bohemia Brewing Company, followed by a celebration mixer. To register for the program, click here. Space is limited. For more information, contact Josephine Fleming at 831.706.7384.

Arrivals and Departures

Welcome Julie Baylor, General Manager and Nikki Foster, Director of Sales and Marketing for the soon-to-open Hyatt Place in Santa Cruz! The property is expected to open this summer.

Mark Your Calendars for Outlook Forum 2018

Do you like to plan in advance? Early Bird Registration is now open for Visit California’s 2018 Outlook Forum to be held Wednesday, February 14 – Thursday, February 15th at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa in Anaheim. The early bird rate is good through December 15, 2017 and will save you $400!

UK Travelers Unfazed by Proposed Laptop Ban

Despite plans to ban laptops from cabins on flights to the US from UK and Europe, a recent survey from Skift indicated that UK travelers are undeterred. Only 17.5 percent of respondents said that the threat of a laptop ban would lead them to reconsider their plans to travel.

Partner Kudos + News

Martinelli’s has debuted a new website – check it out! And the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau is turning 100 years old in 2017! The Farm Bureau will celebrate this historic milestone at its annual meeting on June 22nd with special guest Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture. Click here to purchase a ticket!

Did You Know…

that curated customers, not highly stylized design is the new trend in hoteliers, according to industry experts? Moving toward a curation approach - attracting the right guests to the right hotel – is based on socio-geographic behavior changes and other factors. Read more about it here.