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PLJ considers event planning

Faced with a financial report that shows the organization $8,300 below its estimated budget for the first 10 months of the year, directors of Promote La Jolla last week addressed the future of several of its key activities.

The Village business district board also learned that during a meeting with the city’s small-business office officials, the group borrowed $23,000 in 2008 from anticipated revenues for 2009 because expenses had exceeded reimbursements from the city.

Treasurer Daisy Fitzgerald told the board the result is that during the final months of this year, reimbursements will be reduced to make up that amount.

As a result of the financial situation, the board:

-Agreed to sell an electric car that had been bought late last year for $2,500 and used primarily during the La Jolla Motor Car Classic.
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-Agreed to seek ways to renegotiate contracts with McFarlane Productions, which was seeking higher fees for providing marketing assistance for the Motor Car Classic and Gallery & Wine Walk.

-Plans for the 2010 car show call for expanding it to two days, with the first day being a tour throughout the area.

The board approved spending $1,500 as the first payment on the $4,200 rental of the Bridge Club, acknowledging that it could be forfeited if they can’t come up with sponsors to support the show.

When it was suggested that they should skip the show for a year, Neil Wichard, a car enthusiast and member of the show committee, cautioned, “If you stop the event, you might as well kiss it goodbye.”

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When members urged looking at having the “car people” take over the show with PLJ remaining a partner, Wichard agreed to spearhead discussions at the committee’s next meeting.

-Got an update on the “92037" advertising publication that is partially funded by a $10,000 grant from Pam Slater-Price’s office.

PLJ signed a five-year contract and is committed to pay $80,000 over the next four years to Peter Gottfredson’s La Jolla Coast Marketing, which has the ability to opt out if sales don’t meet targeted goals.

The pocket-sized book is similar to the Light’s annual visitor guide, which is distributed to hotels and visitors centers from Coronado to Carlsbad.

Peter Wagener, owner of Hotel Parisi, was surprised to see the recently completed second edition, which is supposed to be distributed to advertisers, Village merchants and hotels around the region. He said he never received any at his hotel, which he said was part of why he paid for the ad.

Fitzgerald told him there were “boxes and boxes” available at the PLJ office and invited him to pick some up.

The group’s president, Rick Wildman, said there “was no distribution plan. Tiffany (Sherer, the former executive director, did it all.”

-Debated whether to continue the Gallery & Wine Walk, which is tentatively set for Sept. 24.

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Terry Underwood, general manager of the Grand Colonial hotel, suggested that they approach the La Jolla High School Foundation, which holds its own Taste of La Jolla a couple of weeks later.

Shannon Turner and Jennifer Clark agreed to explore the possibility of combining the two events.