SOLEDAD, Calif. -- The City of Soledad is rebranding itself as the "Gateway to the Pinnacles" after the monument was named a national park, and is looking at the City of Paso Robles as an example as a wine destination.
Soledad Mayor Fred Ledesma said with Pinnacles being about ten miles away, now is the perfect time to showcase some of the city's hidden treasures to people passing through.
And, 70 miles away, he said Paso Robles has had success marketing itself as a wine destination using videos as part of an online campaign.
The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance uses online videos to market the state's third largest wine region, focusing on a different wine grape variety each month. Ledesma said it's working.
"Paso Robles has been the envy in a lot of us in the fact that they were a sleepy little cow town 20 years ago," he said. "And Paso Robles in several years has become a several-billion-dollar economy and a real place to stop."
Now Ledesma wants Soledad to be that place to stop for visitors coming through on their way to the Pinnacles National Park. He envisions a city with several bread and breakfasts, hotels, and new eateries.
Last year, Santa Cruz took some pointers from San Luis Obispo, looking at everything from businesses to schools. Ledesma said similar communities can learn from each other.
"I'm not going to say it too loud, but I think our wine is better than Paso Robles. Maybe the ambiance hasn't been as good, but I think our wine is, so guys on River Road, don't let me down," he said.
Last week, Soledad city leaders announced two new monument signs with the slogan "Gateway to the Pinnacles" will go up in the city for visitors to see.
The city also partnered up with a Bay Area marketing firm to launch a social media campaign.
It also plans to work with the City of Hollister on a joint marketing effort, since Hollister also has an entrance to the Pinnacles.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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