In 1988 Coronado MainStreet Ltd. was founded with the unwavering goal to strengthen the economic vitality and community of Coronado’s downtown hub. Rita Sarich, who has been involved with MainStreet for a number of years as the organization’s director, recently passed the reigns to Karla Robles as the community begins to celebrate annual events once again.
Sarich introduced Robles as the new director at the last city council meeting where Robles began by thanking Sarich, the council and mayor, and the community. “I’m honored to be a part of Coronado MainStreet, a wonderful organization that has contributed a lot to the city and that Rita and other team members, board members, have worked through the years with love, passion, and dedication to Coronado,” Robles stated at the meeting. “I am also blessed to live here.”
Robles moved to Coronado with her family five years ago and has always been a big believer in community engagement. “I’ve never not been involved with my community,” she told me. Robles has a background in marketing and is also a board member of an organization that supports children with heart defects. “I’m also familiar with non-profits, and given this opportunity I was really excited to be able to merge both my interests and help MainStreet become a more well-known organization,” Robles added. “It gives me a chance to work within the community and get to know the community better. My family is very happy to be here and we’d love to contribute in any way.”
As director of MainStreet Robles takes on the responsibility of planning how the non-profit can positively impact the community in the future; a future she foresees as being vibrant and sustainable for Coronado. “[I’d like to see] the community and the commercial part of Coronado grow and compromise to work better alongside each other to be the best town there is,” she mentioned. “I think Coronado does have that potential to do that.”
First and foremost, however, Robles is interested in learning as she steps into the role. “I need to learn and meet a lot of people; I’m eager to do that,” she commented. “I want to start getting more involved with each one of the businesses downtown and promote our mission which is to have the best main street and build community for all.” The organization faced some setbacks last year as the pandemic limited economic and community activities, such as the annual MotorCars on MainStreet and MainStreet’s Downtown Goes Ghostly events.
Even so, Robles is eager to lead MainStreet to being a stronger part of the community than ever. “Director Rita, who was the director for 20 plus years, retired and for me it’s also an honor to be able to work within her work scope and build back from that,” said Robles, whose goals for MainStreet include building a strong and great community in Coronado that the city is known for across the bridge.
The first step towards reaching that goal for Robles is reinstating MainStreet’s annual events beginning with Halloween. “Halloween is a big thing for us – MainStreet’s Downtown Goes Ghostly – and then we’re preparing for the motor show, which is the biggest event for us and everyone is excited about that,” she explained, citing the modified versions that had to be held last year. Some events like the Garden Party have had to be cancelled altogether in the past couple of years but Robles says, “This time we’re all back, and stronger than ever.” Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Coronadans can look forward to the return of all of MainStreet’s regular events in the next year.
As normal activities get back up and running, Robles hopes to introduce some new events in the future as well. “We want to brainstorm some ideas of events and what’s needed here in the community so that we can contribute better,” she mentioned. “We’ll get the Board together along with any volunteers that want to help out and see what we can do and what we can contribute.” Robles’ door is always open and she welcomes any ideas any community members would like to bring forward and wish to discuss. “I’m more than open to hearing new ideas. Call me, drop by – I want to get to know people and how they see Coronado’s future.”
And that’s one of Robles’ favorite things about her new involvement with Coronado MainStreet – really getting in touch with the community. “It’s such a nice way to be able to get back and connect and also relate to everyone else who lives here, I just love that opportunity,” she told me of getting to know the city and people of Coronado better. “It’s the best city I think that we could have, we just have to take care of it.”
Residents can learn more about the Coronado MainStreet, upcoming events, or how to volunteer for events at https://www.coronadomainstreet.com/, or via Facebook or Instagram @CoronadoMainStreet. Robles can be contacted directly via phone or email at 619-437-0254 or email@example.com, or community members are welcome to stop by the MainStreet office at 1001 B Avenue #216.
For families looking to participate in the upcoming MainStreet’s Downtown Goes Ghostly, festivities will take place along Orange Avenue and Rotary Plaza from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. For residents looking to donate to the event (candy or cash for Ghostly Goodies to be handed out by merchants and at Rotary Plaza), donations can be made to MainStreet at 1001 B Avenue #216 or picked up by MainStreet staff.