Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Addresses Coronado Roundtable - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Addresses Coronado Roundtable

Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 11:25 am

Sue Gillingham, Executive Director of the Coronado Chamber of Commerce, provided a superb presentation on activity impacting Coronado and Coronado’s business community. While Coronado and its businesses are fortunate in many respects, she also highlighted the importance of ensuring readiness for the future, which may already be sending cautionary signals in terms of economic trends.

Hospitality is Coronado’s only industry and, according to Gillingham, it accounts for 25-30% of Coronado’s tax receipts. She indicated most Coronado businesses make all of their profits during the nine weeks of summer, a reminder that the summer crowds are what enable Coronado to have year-round businesses that enhance resident’s quality of life.

Gillingham discussed a Wall Street Journal prediction that a travel recession is looming, with 49% believing it would hit this year and 25% believing it would hit in 2020. This, coupled with the challenge of finding employees in a full-employment economy and the competition posed by internet shopping, makes running a profitable business in Coronado even harder.

When addressing some significant changes in Coronado, Gillingham was optimistic on the changes in businesses, restaurants, and lodging along Orange Avenue; guarded on the Ferry Landing Redevelopment as work to date is a proposal by the current leaseholder to comply with a request from the Port of San Diego to update their Master Plan; and waiting to see if a proposal emerges for the Smart and Final block near the Ferry Landing.

There are four organizations that support local businesses including the Coronado Visitors Center catering to the visitor already here, the Chamber of Commerce which serves its members, Coronado Main Street which is responsible for its events, and Discover Coronado. Gillingham indicated that Discover Coronado is pivoting its focus, in light of the projected downturn in travel, to high-end leisure travelers who will stay and spend in Coronado for several days at a time.

In closing, Gillingham stressed she is looking to balance the desires of Coronado residents with ensuring local businesses can succeed and provide an appreciable portion of Coronado’s revenue as a resort town. She also indicated she is very willing to visit with local organizations to discuss how to best achieve that balance.

Next up for the Coronado Roundtable is RADM (ret) Mac McLaughlin, Director of the USS Midway Museum, at 10:00 a.m. on July 26 in the Winn Room of the Coronado Library.