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Tourism—County’s hotel taxes are generating more revenues



ConVis’ Aging Restaurant Booth Gets Upgraded

San Diego County’s hotel tax revenues saw a 7 percent increase between July 1999 and June 2000, according to the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The bureau, whose fiscal year runs through the July-June span, recently reported the transient occupancy tax , ranging from 10.5 percent in the city of San Diego to 6 percent in Lemon Grove , generated $125.2 million.

Reint Reinders, ConVis president and CEO, attributed the local industry’s strong performance to healthy occupancy rates and continued growth in average room rates.

Hotels and motels in the city of San Diego collected $96.6 million, up from $91.2 million in the previous year.

In second place for the first time was Carlsbad, which saw an 18.6 percent increase in hotel taxes, generating $8.28 million.

Coronado ranked third with $7.28 million, up from $7.20 million last year.

Other standouts were Encinitas, where the hotel tax total increased 39.6 percent to $974,365, and Del Mar, where the TOT increased from $1.3 million to $1.49 million. Chula Vista collected $1.99 million.

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Tekkie Tourism: A new $80,000 renovation to ConVis’ restaurant booth was unveiled earlier this month at the San Diego Convention Center.

The original restaurant booth, which doubles as a visitors information center, opened in 1989 with the waterfront convention center.

Convention Services Director Bill Pattison said the booth had a waiting list of restaurants that wanted to advertise on the booth’s lighted panels.

The bureau also wanted the booth’s updates to be more compatible with the convention center’s expansion and redesign.

Along with the renovation, a new mobile unit was built that will suit a larger convention center, ConVis said. The new display has two moveable kiosks, multiple advertising panels, and a 55-inch screen television.

The structures are not the only change. Staff at the center have shed their red jackets for black bib aprons that are emblazoned with the ConVis “sun” logo.

Latest Dish: Look for La Jolla restaurateur Sami Ladeki’s newer-than-new enterprise in November: Ladeki’s twist on steakhouse fare, to be called Prime X. “X” refers to the Roman numeral 10.

Prime X’s first location will cost $1.5 million. The menu will include Colorado lamb chops, Venison Steak Diane and Special Angus Argentinean steaks.

Last week, Ladeki unveiled Tamarindo, a “nuevo Latino” restaurant with dishes such as the arepas de camarones entr & #233;e which consists of Colombian corn cakes with shrimp and jalapeno mayonnaise. The restaurant cost $1.3 million to build, a representative said.

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Checking In: Baskets of fresh bread at the table, mini-muffins on each plate at breakfast, fresh ground pepper service. They’re among the changes for the recently remodeled Lemon Grove Coco’s Bakery Restaurant location. The changes, which are being instituted at the 180 Coco’s locations, also includes adding an option to pay the bill at the table, instead of the register. Southwest Airlines recently named Al Stephens as station manager for the company’s operations in Lindbergh Field. Stephens’ previous position with Southwest was station manager for operations at John Wayne Airport in Orange County and Ontario International Airport.

Rodrigues can be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 107, or via E-mail at trodrigues @sdbj.com.

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