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Guadalupe looks to attract more visitors to its downtown

Posted at 6:36 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 22:33:03-04

The City of Guadalupe is looking to revitalize its downtown and update several of its parks.

This comes as the city is in a budget deficit and the mayor says attracting more people to downtown could be a way out of it.

The city is now hoping members of the community will partner together to help put this plan in motion.

The history of downtown Guadalupe is one thing many people who live there say makes it unique.

“Everybody knows each other, people are very supportive here, very open, very kind and I would love to see the town grow,” said Mayra Betancourt, co-owner of Flapper’s Flip Vintage Marketplace.

Many people in the Guadalupe community say its small-town charm, however, isn’t drawing as many people downtown as it could.

“I just haven’t heard of many events or about anything, in particular, to visit Guadalupe for,” said Emily McBride, who was visiting Guadalupe for the first time.

The mayor of Guadalupe says he hopes to create a committee of local businesses and city council members to work on a plan to attract more people to the area.

“We’ve also been talking with the Santa Maria Chamber (of Commerce) to actually come to our assistance and aid us in how do we establish that,” said Mayor Aristan Julian.

The Dunes Center is looking forward to getting to teach more people about the area’s history.

“It’s a really exciting time to be in Guadalupe. Millions of people travel down Highway 1 every year and it would be incredible if we could get those people to stop and support businesses and components of the community you can’t find elsewhere,” said Doug Jenzen, Executive Director of The Dunes Center.

While changes have been proposed several times, local business owners say they’re hoping the momentum continues.

“If we move forward and just start doing things like events down on the streets or something that promotes the city, I believe more people would come and be more interested to come,” Betancourt said.

Revitalizing the parks in Guadalupe is a major goal for the city, as well. The mayor says almost all youth sports have to be played in Orcutt or Santa Maria as there are no facilities there but he says he hopes to partner with those communities to change that.

Mayor Julian adds they will be receiving money from Prop. 68 and other grants to help update its parks. They also are relying on money from new homes in Pasadera to generate more property taxes.