The Central Coast may not always have the warmest or sunniest weather this time of year but the city of San Luis Obispo still wants people to vacation, or staycation, here. So much so, the city's tourism board will pay you plan a weekend of R&R.
The first months of the year are considered the Central Coast's off-season. Cooler weather and fewer tourists results in more vacant hotel rooms.
"Typically, January through March is a little bit of softer season for us," said Bruce Skidmore, area director of sales & marketing for Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo.
However, Molly Cano, tourism manager for the City of San Luis Obispo, says her office is working to change that.
"Anyone who chooses to stay in a San Luis Obispo hotel for two nights or more can take advantage of this campaign," Cano said.
The campaign is called "Money For a Rainy Day."
"The city of San Luis Obispo's Tourism Business Improvement District is offering guests that come to San Luis Obispo from January through March, if they book a two-night stay here in one of our great lodging properties here in SLO, they'll get $100 cash that they can use anyhow they would like when they are here in town," said Cano.
To enter, email your hotel reservation details to the SLO tourism board at firstname.lastname@example.org. Then, pick up your $100 cash at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center downtown SLO on the corner of Monterey and Morro Streets.
Cano says the funds for the promotion come from a two-percent tax hotel guests pay to the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID).
"The taxes we collect through the TBID then go back into the community through this program," Skidmore said.
Winter months mean lower rates at many hotels.
"It's a great value for [guests] besides the $100 credit," said Skidmore.
Visitor Dennis Smith stumbled upon the deal when it launched five years ago.
"I now put it on my calendar and make sure I look each Jan. 1 to see if they are running it again and every year they seem to be doing that," Smith said as he picked up his $100 cash envelope at the visitor center.
Smith, visiting from Vista, CA, snagged one of the 750 campaign entries.
Cano says there are still plenty of entries left but if you are interested, you should act quickly.
"This campaign always sells out so we're really excited and we're on track to sell out for another year," Cano said.
Whether you are a local looking to book a staycation or entice friends and family to visit you here, Smith says it's a great way to enjoy the Central Coast.
"It's a wonderful deal," Smith said. "We would come up here anyway so the $100 is just icing on the cake. I think anyone should take advantage of this."
There are some exclusions. The deal cannot be applied to Valentine's Day weekend bookings, Feb. 15-16.
Money for Rainy Day also lines up with SLO Restaurant Month.
For more details on how to enter,click here.