The Travel Forecast

September 9, 2020

Santa Cruz County Moves to Red Tier in Re-Opening Plan

Governor Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that Santa Cruz County has been moved to the Red Tier in terms of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy Reopening Plan for California. This loosens some previous restrictions on certain businesses’ indoor operations.  Restaurants are now able to open at 25 percent indoor capacity or 100 patrons – whichever is fewer, for example. Beginning yesterday, personal care services such as waxing, nails and massage, places of worship, movie theaters, gyms, and fitness centers, along with museums, zoos, and aquariums will be able to open indoors with modifications to protect the health and safety of staff and the public. Although moving to the Red Tier will allow more businesses to re-open and some to expand their operations, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency reminds the community that another surge in COVID cases is anticipated.

According to the Governor’s blueprint plan, businesses like bookstores, retailers, and shopping malls can open at 50 percent capacity. Should Santa Cruz County’s case rate increase, Santa Cruz County could return to the Purple Tier, the most restrictive, in two weeks.  There have been a total of 1,931 active cases of COVID-19 locally, with 198 active cases currently. During the height of the CZU August Lightning Complex Fire, many evacuees mixed with people outside their household due to necessity, either staying at shelters or with extended family and friends.

 

Local Hotels Encourages to Access CHLA Membership Resources

According to the Governor’s blueprint plan, businesses like bookstores, retailers, and shopping malls can open at 50 percent capacity. Should Santa Cruz County’s case rate increase, Santa Cruz County could return to the Purple Tier, the most restrictive, in two weeks.  There have been a total of 1,931 active cases of COVID-19 locally, with 198 active cases currently. During the height of the CZU August Lightning Complex Fire, many evacuees mixed with people outside their household due to necessity, either staying at shelters or with extended family and friends.

In April, CHLA released the “Clean & Safe” program in response to COVID. This program introduced a way to standardize the best sanitation, cleanliness, and health practices for the industry. Clean + Safe Guidance for the Hotel Industry – available in both English and Spanish – outlines protocols focusing on three areas:  Guest Considerations, Employee Considerations, and Cleaning Protocols. To ensure properties are following these recommended guidelines and to receive certification from CHLA, owners and operators who are members of CHLA are being asked to complete a checklist, sign the document, and return it to CHLA. A Clean + Safe window decal will then be sent for posting with images for website and promotional use indicating compliance with the CHLA Clean + Safe standards. CHLA members who are Clean + Safe Certified are published here.

Approximately 40% of CHLA member properties are independent, non-branded hotels, so this program is critical for smaller properties who may not have the benefits of a branded sanitation program. An important feature of the Clean + Safe program is that it is proactive, and can be applied to large and small properties across all price points without compromising rate integrity, and throughout communities which are experiencing varying health restrictions relating to COVID-19.

Thousands of Restaurant Close Throughout California as Economic Downtown Due to COVID Continues

In late August, the California Restaurant Association issued a statement estimating that 30 percent of restaurants within the state would permanently close due to capacity limits from COVID-19. Locally, as economic fallout from COVID continues Paradise Beach Grille, 99 Bottles, and most recently Bistro One Twelve at the Tannery have all shuttered, in addition to many others. With the Governor’s announcement on Tuesday that with Santa Cruz County now moving into a Tier 2 (Red) Phase and eateries are now allowed to operate at 25 percent indoor capacity, will this be enough to sustain the restaurant industry?

Jot Condi, President of the California Restaurant Association, called on the Governor to hold a special session of the Legislature to work on an aid package. The association estimates as many as 1 million restaurant workers have been furloughed or laid off during the pandemic and these strict rules in place for reopening will shutter as many as one-third of the state’s 90,000 restaurants for good unless the California legislature takes decisive, pro-restaurant steps to save them.

Help for State Parks Staff

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks has established the “Friends Fire Fund” to provide direct, short-term assistance to State Parks and Friends staff most affected by the fire, followed by investments to be made in long-term recovery work for parks that have been damaged including Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the Rancho del Oso Unit and Butano State Park. Click here to donate.  

Arts Grants Available

Arts Council Santa Cruz County gives over $200,000 each year in local grants to fund artists, arts organizations, and creative projects in our community. Three types of funding are available: Cultivate, Support, and Community Relief Grants.  Click here to learn more, and to apply. The application deadline is October 2, 2020.

Wineries Update

Most wineries in Santa Cruz County and the surrounding areas have not been directly impacted or suffered losses from the wildfires, and are now open as normal. Some wineries are closed due to damages. As California Wine Month begins, the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association recommends calling the winery or checking their website and/or social media sites to verify their status before visiting. 

Lights, Camera, Stay in Your Car!

Getting creative with outdoor – and personal – space, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is now offering summertime drive-in movies Fridays and Saturdays through October 10th. Movies will be shown in the River Parking Lot, on the corner of Beach and Third Street near the San Lorenzo River. A portion of tickets are available for pre-sale. A group fee of $25 per car gets you in!

Did you know……

that you can send a thank-you note, drawing, or picture to the #CZULightningComplex firefighters? Mail your message of gratitude to: CAL FIRE CZU Headquarters, 6059 Highway 9, Felton, CA 95018

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