LJVMA chair James Niebling praised the merchant group’s recent effort by block captains going out on the street and physically connecting with Village merchants.
“We’re looking to reach out to businesses and help them do better in terms of revenues,” said Niebling. “We need to keep our topics focused. It’s really critical to let everyone know we value their ideas and input, and that we will incorporate that in the decisions we make.”
Niebling noted block captains employ a boots-on-the-ground strategy to survey merchants as to their business needs, answering questions they have about how the LJVMA can best serve them.
“We need to keep the needle moving in terms of this initiative, and that we see things through to the finish line,” he said.
Regarding a redo of LJVMA's website, Niebling said they've been reviewing applications from web designers noting, “We have two candidates who are really solid right now.”Niebling added he felt LJVMA needs to focus on marketing and promotions.
“We need to create some synergy around our tasks,” he said. “I really want to leverage everyone else's (board's) talents as much as possible. Get them involved in our marketing initiatives. We need your help. Step up.”
LJVMA executive director Sheila Fortune noted the group’s intent to participate once again in “La Jolla Day” at Petco Park, once a suitable date can be found. “The most people we had there on La Jolla day was about 200,” noted Fortune, adding last year about 100 La Jollans participated.
Brad Dwight, of the Padres, said La Jolla is being offered a better deal for less cost this year in the ball park's T-Mobile section. Dwight pointed out La Jolla Day is helping develop a “symbiotic relationship” between the team and the community.
“It’s just trying to build more community in a different place,” agreed Fortune.
In other action:
• Marshall Spevak of Infoboard, a company specializing in improving the visitor travel experience, gave a slideshow presentation detailing technology used by the Visitor Information Center in downtown San Diego's Embarcadero that he said could be used to promote tourism in La Jolla. “We had 275,000 visitors come to the information center in 2015,” said Spevak, noting Infoboard has helped promote tourism in Little Italy, Old Town and Seaport Village.
“I’d love to see something you guys put together for La Jolla,” said LJVMA board member Ike Fazzio who expressed reservations that many downtown San Diego information center visitors “may not be a La Jolla crowd.”
The board supported a request by diver John Leek to send a letter supporting Leek’s efforts to get a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official to come to La Jolla to review the situation at Children’s Pool. Animal activists and ocean users there continue to spar over regulations requiring safe distances being kept between humans and harbor seals to prevent harassment of the marine mammals. The diver and activists disagree over what constitutes a “safe distance” between the species.
With Council District 2 La Jolla rep Mauricio Medina present, a rep from Karl Strauss Brewery in La Jolla complained that lighting on Wall Street has been mostly out the past couple of months. Fortune said she’s contacted the city and was told they only have one truck available to deal with lighting issues, a situation she characterized as “unacceptable.”