La Jolla merchants to debut La Jollalty card to boost business

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association (shown: Jodi Rudick, Brett Murphy, Jessica Wiley and Benoit Roux) meets 3 p.m. second Wednesdays in the Community Room at La Jolla Library.
The La Jolla Village Merchants Association (shown: Jodi Rudick, Brett Murphy, Jessica Wiley and Benoit Roux) meets 3 p.m. second Wednesdays in the Community Room at La Jolla Library.

At the Aug. 14 La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) meeting, the board voted unanimously to accept Jonathan Schwartz of Partner in Aging senior services as an associate member. It was also announced that Frank Ballavia resigned from his LJVMA board seat because he is no longer with Merrill Lynch. The company’s new delegate, Melissa Snook, submitted a self-nomination to take his place, which was unanimously approved.

LJMVA executive director Jodi Rudick explained that self-nomination forms for six open board seats are due by Sept. 11, when a candidate forum will take place during the regular board meeting (followed by an election scheduled for the Oct. 9 LJVMA meeting).

“I’m here forever, just so you know,” Rudick joked. “I’m not leaving. There’s no term limit on the redheadedness.”

New lease on Life Time

Life Time Fitness — which will open in late 2019 in the former Brooks Brothers building, 1055 Wall St. — offered to fund LJVMA’s banner printing, display and installation for three years. (New banners are scheduled to go up in September.)

Brian Gaeta, area director of the national fitness chain, introduced himself to the board and audience, stating that his company was “excited to be part of the community.”

LJVMA president Brett Murphy, with whom Life Time will directly compete for members, thanked Gaeta for the contribution and welcomed Life Time Fitness to La Jolla with a smile.

La Jollalty for Art & Wine

LJVMA granted the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival letters of support for street closures along Girard Avenue on Oct. 12-13. Merchants will be encouraged to increase their footprint during that weekend to take advantage of the increased sidewalk traffic.

LJVMA will be provided a booth at the event, which it will use the to debut its La Jollalty Card, a locals discount program for which 55 merchants have signed on so far.

Joining the program costs nothing for a merchant now, Rudick said, although there may be a small charge in the future.

No vending in sight?

Mauricio Medina, representative for District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry, updated the group on the new sidewalk vending ordinance the City is drafting. Under Senate Bill 946, street vendors have been allowed to operate in the City, but the ordinance also gives local municipalities a say on where to allow them.

On September’s LJMVA agenda will be a vote about writing a letter to Bry and the Mayor’s office reflecting its recommendation to make Girard Avenue and Prospect Street off limits to street vendors.

Illegal businesses reported

Rudick reported that a summer intern conducted a complete audit of The Village and found approximately 200 businesses not showing up on the City’s tax rolls. The businesses were reported to the City Treasurer’s office.

“We do not by any means want to be the police,” Rudick said, “but we want to help them be legal and operating in a manner that is keeping with our goals. Any business that does not have a current tax certificate is not paying to be part of our business district.”

Also at LJVMA ...

  • Financials good: For July, LJVMA reported total income of $18,443 and expenses of $18,801, yielding a loss of $358. (“Not a big issue,” Murphy said.) Assets and liabilities were balanced at $73,189.
  • Staycation campaign: The first meeting of the LJVMA hospitality group took place July 30 at the Empress Hotel, where the goal was to assemble Staycation bundles to be promoted to guests. “We think La Jolla can be branded as the best staycation destination in Southern California,” Rudick said, “and the friendliest place to shop. “We have some room to grow, but it’s very exciting.”

— La Jolla Village Merchants Association next meets 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 at La Jolla Library, 7555 Draper Ave.