By Gary Sherwin, President and CEO, Newport Beach and Company
As we come to terms with home stays and staying healthy during this turbulent time, it is gratifying to see so many people looking out for others, bringing compassion and a sense of service to our community.
People like restauranteur Mario Marovic of Malarky’s Irish Pub whose gesture of donating toilet paper to Oasis Senior Center and selling rolls at cost to neighbors delighted so many of us.
But make no mistake. Restaurateurs like Mario and all others in our city are going to need our help in the coming weeks and months. So will all of our hotels, attractions, retail establishments and all small businesses who depend on our visitors to stay open for business.
With nearly all of our hotels facing single digit occupancy right now, this is obviously a huge crisis. The people who stay in these hotels shop and eat and generate significant tax revenue for the city. But now most of these people are home, just like you are, instead of spending money.
Tax revenue aside, our hospitality community contributes mightily to Newport Beach’s quality of life. Without our visitors, many of these restaurants and retail operations would cease to exist. And if they aren’t there, they not only don’t service our visitors, they also aren’t there to support all of us who work and live here.
They need our help. And they need it now. Here’s what you can do:
- At least once a week, try and support a Newport Beach restaurant with a take-out or delivery order. You can find a complete list at VisitNewportBeach.com. Many of our residents are doing this already at many popular establishments, but more support across the board is needed. Go online and find your next favorite restaurant.
- If you have a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion coming up, please consider buying from a retailer online a gift card if your favorite restaurant is selling them. Buy buying a gift card, you are giving our restaurants capital when they need it most and that is now.
- The same rule applies to retail and attractions too, especially locally owned boutiques and other small businesses.
- Right now, people are rightly staying at home and maintaining safe distances. But if there is a need to have family members nearby and you can’t accommodate them at home, consider one of our hotels. Many of them are still open although with reduced services.
- Wherever you go, remember that our front-line hospitality workers are fighting to keep their jobs. If you take out, please tip generously.
- Finally, we don’t know what the economy will look like when this crisis is over, but we know the after effects will linger for a while with the tourism industry. When it is safe to do so, please go out and act like a visitor in our wonderful city and patronize our businesses who will need every ounce of support they can get.
Tourism is very much the heart of Newport Beach’s economic fabric. For years visitors have provided sustenance for our local businesses to keep them alive and healthy. Now it is up to all of us who live and work here to step up and help fill this void. What’s at stake is our very quality of life.