Cambria businesses say they are being positively impacted by the re-opening of Hearst Castle.
The historic estate re-opened last Wednesday, May 11.
According to State Parks, from Wednesday through Sunday, Hearst Castle reached nearly 70 percent of its total capacity for daily tours, meaning tourists are also back out and about in Cambria and local businesses say they are noticing the difference.
“There is definitely an influx of people, a lot more activity, and a lot more tourism for sure,” said Cambria Mimosas Assistant Manager Christian Figueroa.
The re-opening of Hearst Castle has brought more new faces to Cambria.
“I've had multiple people come in and say they’re here because Hearst Castle is open now,” Figueroa said. “A lot of people are definitely coming through because of Hearst Castle.”
“That's a huge thing that tourists love to see and it's just a huge attraction for most of the businesses to have it open as well,” said New Moon and Half Moon Sales Associate Samm Lillard.
“A lot of people now are saying Hearst Castle opened back up, so they wanted to come back and see the castle,” said Artifacts Gallery General Manager Shelley Woeste.
Local businesses say they aren’t only seeing Californians come into the area.
“I've seen a lot more people from around the country,” Figueroa said. “It's definitely not just in California. It used to be mainly from Fresno and Bakersfield. Nowadays we’ve gotten Michigan, Wisconsin, whatever it may be.”
“I've seen a lot of people coming from colder areas,” Lillard said. “Some people I had last week came from the Dakotas which was really interesting to me. They were really enjoying the weather here, so I think that we'll probably see a lot more of that.”
“We are starting to see more foreign travelers again, which is nice because we haven't seen them in a couple of years, and I think the castle is drawing those people back to Cambria,” Woeste said.
With the early success of the castle's re-opening, nearby businesses are reaping the benefits.
“It's great to see more people come in again, and I know that the hotels and bed and breakfasts have all been full,” Woeste said.
“We're super excited to see more people coming through,” Lillard said. “Last week it just opened, and I can see more people coming through.”
“It's not just people from the 805, it's people from all over California, all over the world, so we're grateful for Hearst Castle,” Figueroa said.
There were more than 2,000 visitors at Hearst Castle on Saturday alone.
One of the positive signs for Hearst Castle’s re-opening was the sellout of the new Julia Morgan Tour for the majority of days the castle has been open.