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Ongoing winter storms impacting beachside businesses

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 22, 2023

The Spring Break travel season is just around the corner and local businesses in Pismo Beach say they have high hopes that by then, they'll be seeing more days of sunshine.

They say the endless storms have put a damper on customer turnout at their storefronts, while tourists say when they booked their trips to Pismo, they didn’t anticipate a vacation filled with rainfall.

“I stopped the bike mid-riding, checked the alert and it said, 'Occasional flooding may happen,' and I just immediately thought, ‘Wow, just great! I am going to be stuck in this storm with my family,' bearer of bad luck, you know," said Keeleiy Decker, who was just wrapping up a trip to the Central Coast from Oregon.

She said she was looking forward to catching some waves, getting some sunshine, and enjoying the outdoors during her trip, but this week’s weather had other plans.

“The last two days it has been pretty stormy, gloomy, but we have been trying to make the best out of it with some of these wonderful businesses. The people are just so friendly,” she added.

However, since heavy storms began barreling down on the Central Coast earlier this year, staff members at local businesses along Pomeroy Avenue in Pismo Beach say they have seen roughly five times less foot traffic than they normally do this time of year.

“With the rain comes a lack of tourism, a lot of people are afraid to come out,” said Victoria Thompson, who works at the Point Break Surf & Shop store.

“Probably with that first big storm back in January, when that one hit, it got real, real slow here. Then, with all the rain that has come after that, I think people are being a lot more precautionary and staying home for it,” saidd Kira Castellanos, general manager of the Splash Cafe. “Anytime those storm warnings come in, we know it is going to be a bit slower.”

Both businesses say that as a result of the decreased crowds, they have had to reduce staffing, shorten shifts and even close up early on especially slow days.

And though Wednesday saw a brief break in the downpour, Castellanos says her team is eagerly awaiting the Spring Break influx of tourists.

“Now, with the rain, it is a lot more locals on weekends. We are getting into that tourist season, so we are curious to see how many people come out. It is really exciting,” Castellanos told KSBY.

On Wednesday morning, we also checked in on how local businesses on Pier Avenue in Oceano have been impacted by recent storms, but multiple ATV rental companies we spoke with say the inclement weather has kept them closed for weeks, and that they too are ready for the warmer months.