Coronado’s official destination marketing organization, Discover Coronado (DC) partners with the local hospitality industry to enrich and enhance Coronado as a destination so it spurs spending by overnight guests – ultimately improving quality of life in the area.
What is Discover Coronado?
Focused on group quality instead of guest quantity, DC has a goal of attracting meetings, conventions, and groups to Hotel del Coronado, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado Island Marriott Resort, and the Glorietta Bay Inn – as well as increasing the customer base for businesses throughout Coronado Island.
Since its inception in 2010, DC has been self-sufficient and solely funded by a one percent assessment paid by overnight guests at Coronado resorts. The City of Coronado does not provide funding or grants to Discover Coronado, a non-profit entity.
By concentrating on group business, DC aims to be highly strategic with Coronado’s recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic – with a goal of rebounding quickly, generating jobs, supporting local business, and strengthening the city’s overall economic health.
Why is it Important?
By supporting and funding community programs as well as local safety efforts, DC’s work truly enriches the community – at no cost to the City of Coronado, residents, businesses, or property owners.
Discover Coronado encourages hotel guests to venture out and discover the city’s vast array of shops, stores, restaurants, and services – further fueling job growth and the economy.
For DC to best promote Coronado as a destination, the community must be clean, safe, and welcoming with no empty storefronts. To support this, Discover Coronado also allocates annual funds for community benefits, such as the free summer shuttle, street banners, destination safety, and more.
Community beautification is key to DC’s mission – benefitting visitors and residents alike. The organization has funded and is working on a plan to beautify Orange Avenue – Coronado’s gateway. Short term improvements include unifying mismatched items like signage, bike racks, trash cans; and adding additional furniture, tree grates, and planters. Potential long-term enhancements include upgraded traffic signals, bulb outs, lighting, improved retail quality/tenant recruitment, median improvements and more.
Improving the desirability of Coronado as a destination is also a core mission of DC. Enhancing the safety here is critical, with important funding provided for tools and training that strengthen local police, fire dept. and lifeguards.
The Importance of TOTs
The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) is charged to transient guests in hotels/motels. Overnight guests in Coronado pay the TOT tax as well as a separate assessment to help fund Discover Coronado, which works to increase that financial support by promoting group travel here. DC uses only the assessment for its scope of work and has no access to (or need for) the collected TOT. That fund is used solely by the City of Coronado.
In the City of Coronado, TOTs fund a multitude of programs/infrastructure to enrich, beautify and protect the community including critical community services such as the local police and fire departments, libraries, trash collection, park and recreation programs and grants for local organizations.
COVID-19 has negatively impacted the City of Coronado’s collection of TOTs, which plummeted by $4.7 million in 2020. Group guests virtually disappeared. Without leisure guests during the pandemic, the local economy and labor force would have been severely impacted.
Discover Coronado (DC) is keenly focused on reviving Coronado’s economy, driving TOT collections for the City – a vital economic engine for services provided to local residents – by concentrating on bolstering group meetings.
Coronado would not be the charming destination it is today without visiting groups and hotel guests – they are a vital source of economic support for all stakeholders, large and small.
Why the Focus on Group Business?
Coronado’s livelihood relies on a robust, but carefully managed group travel sector. A growing visitor economy and our city’s unique small-town vibe are not mutually exclusive.
Group meetings, by nature, have minimal impact on the city, due to the fly-in tendency of group visitors – minimizing traffic – and most typically occur off season, on weekdays between Labor Day to Memorial Day.
New research indicates that group meetings delivered $113.5 million in economic impact in 2022, shared between the resorts, local businesses, employee wages, vendors, the City of Coronado, and other stakeholders across the country. (In comparison, meetings in Coronado during 2021 delivered just $ 54 million in revenue).
$113.5 million in revenue during 2022 is equal to $450,000 being spent every day by visiting groups in Coronado.
Group business alone supports 11% of all jobs in Coronado. A total of 950 jobs were directly supported by business travelers to Coronado in 2022.
Over $8.2 million in local taxes and assessments were generated by groups in 2022. Each household in Coronado would need to pay $1,150 to replace taxes generated by group meetings!
The $425 million master plan renovation of the Hotel Del Coronado further elevated the appeal of Coronado as a group meeting destination, with new meeting spaces and renovated hotel rooms. This renovation will further cement DC’s commitment to meetings for all four of the resorts, including the Hotel del Coronado.