La Jolla being enjoya-ed, merchants say

Level 10 Construction workers expand the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s La Jolla campus on Prospect Street.
Level 10 Construction workers expand the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s La Jolla campus on Prospect Street.

At the June 12 meeting of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA), executive director Jodi Rudick reported that consumer participation was “high” during the first two Enjoya La Jolla sip, shop and stroll events, jumping 30 percent from May to June. However, responses to a survey indicated that the merchants need to create more “micro-activities.”

“Participants are saying that it’s nice to have music, but some retailers were not providing any kind of special experience beyond a 10-percent discount,” Rudick said, adding that Enjoya La Jolla would continue its monthly schedule of every second Saturday.

“We’re going to be using the Concours d’Elegance playbook to teach merchants how to capitalize on all these people being in The Village,” Rudick said, pointing out that more volunteers were needed.

Construction reconstruction

Representatives from Level 10 Construction updated the board on the ongoing expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego’s La Jolla campus. (Construction is proceeding according to schedule, they reported.) In addition, reps from Crown Castle Fiber spoke about pending projects, including one on Prospect Street.

LJVMA president Brett Murphy moved that Rudick be given authority to work on behalf of LJVMA with these and other construction crews on any situations that come up and can’t wait until the next LJVMA meeting for a solution. The motion passed 11-1, with Merrill Lynch’s Frank Bellavia opposing.

Bottom line

Murphy reported that the May financials balanced with a net positive income of $8,000. Rudick added that $162,000 was received from the assessments this year and $200,000 had been budgeted. Rudick reported that the City approved the budget with a letter and contract coming next month.

“We can’t really carry forward,” Rudick explained, “so we have to spend down everything given to us by the City based on the assessments for our businesses. It’s not as much as we hoped, but we’re going to be using it on marketing expenditures. For instance, if the budget allows, new banners will be designed for Girard Avenue, costing approximately $7,000.

Also at Village Merchants …

New board member: Lauren Johnston, owner of Patronus Wellness, was elected by eight of 11 board members to fill the board seat vacated by Laurnie Durisoe, who recently sold the Pantai Inn and is therefore no longer a business owner in the Business Improvement District. (See related News Nugget, A24) Johnston will be sworn by the board at July’s meeting.

Bourbon delay: A previously announced July 11 bourbon-tasting event will take place sometime in October, tentatively retitled Spirit Stroll. (“Get it?” Rudick asked.)

Business tutoring: LJVMA members are invited to schedule a one-on-one appointment with experts on various topics at the LJVMA office, 7590 Fay Ave., Suite 404, on Tuesday, July 16, on Tuesday, Aug. 20 or by special arrangement. The program is modeled after a similar one at the San Diego Tourism Authority.

Upcoming deal: An incentive program called the La Jollalty Card — conceived as part of the Strategic Plan — will be rolled out in the coming weeks. In addition, LJVMA’s interns are working with Synergy World to tie the card into geofencing offers, meaning that locals would be offered specific discounts on their smartphones as they walk near participating merchants. The LJVMA is recruiting a marketing task force for this and is seeking merchants with strong marketing skills to kick it off. The goal is 30 merchant participants.

Restaurant walk: LJVMA will co-present the Taste of La Jolla, taking place Monday, Oct. 28.

— La Jolla Village Merchants Association next meets 3 p.m. July 10 at the Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.