Merchants Association pins plans on three Village events


Three special events — Concours D’Elegance (March 31-April 1), San Diego Film Festival (Sept. 28-Oct. 2) and La Jolla Art and Wine Festival (Oct. 13-14) — won unanimous backing from the La Jolla Village Merchants Association at its Jan. 11 meeting.

LJVMA hopes the event trio will become the promotion cornerstone of its $350,000 annual budget.

“This budget, which starts July 1, we have to submit to the city by Feb. 1,” said LJVMA President Phil Coller. He noted that all three events, “have a proven record of success,” prior to the board’s unanimous approval of the 2012-13 budget at the meeting.

“Now we have three events spread throughout the year supporting each other,” said Michael Dorvillier of the Concours D’Elegance, which he promotes for sponsor/presenter La Jolla

Historical Society.

“It’s a way to make this more than just a car show. Plans are to expand Concours (formerly the Motor Car Classic, a fundraiser for La Jolla Historical Society begun seven years ago on the lawn at the Cove’s Scripps Park) to be more business- and guest-friendly.

“The car show is the key attraction, but you have a no-cost element — a car corral, music vendors, and lots of positive energy bringing people into the Village.”

For the event, Prospect Street will be closed from Jose’s down to the Cove for a free festival area with 50 to 75 cars and vendors.

The partnership with La Jolla Art and Wine Festival came as a result of founder Sherry Ahern telling the LJVMA that the event has outgrown its current site on Upper Girard.

In 2011, she said, the art and wine festival, which is a benefit for La Jolla, Bird Rock and Torrey Pines Elementary Schools, drew 105 artists, 35 wineries and eight microbreweries for the two-day event.

“Festivals like ours will bring people in from all over San Diego County and expose them to the Village, while they stay in the hotels and eat in the restaurants, and it will bring them back again,” she said after the meeting.

Ahern added that this year, a fourth school, Muirlands Middle, will be added to the list of those benefiting from the festival.

“It’s got the potential to be huge, to, at minimum, double the number of participating artists to 200-plus,” Ahern said. “There’s also discussion of getting enough sponsorship to eventually make the art and wine festival free, with a suggested donation.”

LJVMA is also negotiating to get the San Diego Film Festival to move the event to the Village. Its 10th anniversary was held last year in San Diego’s Gaslamp District.

“At this point, moving SDFF to La Jolla is an idea on the table ... whether we move from downtown has yet to be determined,” e-mailed spokeswoman Jennifer Chidester of Limelight Public Relations.

She said film festival founder Robin Laatz is “weighing all the options for 2012 right now.”