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Travelers changing plans due to Highway 1 closure

Posted at 9:45 PM, Jan 30, 2023

The Central Coast is still feeling the effects of the big storms that happened in early January.

The Elephant Seal viewing area in San Simeon is still open, and it’s staying busy, however cars cannot get past that point, affecting local businesses and travel plans.

Significant landslides forced Caltrans to close parts of highway one to make repairs, leading to some visitors changing their plans.

“I was planning on taking the 1 all the way up to, you know, as far as I could to San Francisco. I was going to also camp in Big Sur, and that's not happening right now. So I'm just going to go back around to the 101 and then cut back down to the 1 maybe after Santa Cruz,” said visitor Mo McGarry.

The Ragged Point inn is closed altogether, a post on its Facebook page reads:

“Unfortunately we have to close the resort for the first time any of us can remember. We are sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this has caused.”

With fewer people able to make it through Highway 1, businesses that are still open are seeing few customers like at Cambria Café.

“That's actually slowing down a lot since the storm happened. And it got like a lot of phone calls from people about like we'd like to be in Cambria. But since at this close it's like maybe 60% down was sale,” said Cambria Cafe owner, Rofaeel Karam.

Caltrans officials said many large-scale landslides do not release until months after the storms, so they continue to monitor places like the Paul’s Slide area.

According to Caltrans the estimated reopening time for Highway 1 through Polar Star and Mill Creek is three weeks.