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Friday, Feb 3, 2023
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Frontline Workers Receive Tourism Industry’s Thanks

To say frontline workers will need a day or two of relaxation when COVID-19 is all said and done is an understatement.

That’s why a couple of San Diego-based tourism and hospitality companies have stepped up to offer local health care workers a well-deserved, complimentary break, ranging from one-night hotel stays to two-day Jeep and camper rental adventures, once the pandemic allows for it.

Buy One, Give One

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, along with other members of the local hospitality community, recently helped launch the “Buy One, Give One” program. With every future $500 travel voucher bought from the hotel brand, Estancia will gift one complimentary room night to UC San Diego Heath, as well as gift cards or loyalty points, as a thank-you to a local health care worker.

For Estancia, the initiative benefits the local economy as well as fuels its philanthropic efforts. Not only does the purchase provide immediate funds for the hotel industry, which was forced to shutter in mid-March due to the pandemic, but it also allows the individual hotels to make a significant donation to those that currently need it the most.

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“We have always been a big part of our local community and have worked closely with organizations like UC San Diego Health and Scripps Memorial,” said Paul Maddison, general manager of Estancia. “It felt like the right thing to do to continue to support our tight-knit community.”

Similarly, Rancho Bernardo Inn, founded in 1963, said with every spa and resort gift card purchased at $25 or more, they will be donating rooms nights equivalent to the total value of gift cards purchased.

“Our health care professionals are keeping us through this crisis and putting their health on the line to help those in need,” said Jaime Lemon, general manager at Rancho Bernardo. “We are proud to be able to give them a future vacation stay to look forward to, once safe to travel again.”

Road Trips for the Rock Stars

Frank Cassidy, director of business development at Carmel Valley’s Funki Adventures, an off-road camping 4X4 jeep rental company, recently teamed up with Oregon-based GoCamp camping vacation business and created “Road Trips for the Rock Stars.” Through the program, Cassidy said Funki Adventures has helped donate over 500 nights of road trips for those on frontlines.

In March, after his business came to a halt due to the lockdown, Cassidy said he was contacted by GoCamp about the initiative, which would donate two-night Jeep and camper vacations to members of the medical industry. He said, rather than sit around and sulk about the lack of activity, he opted to work together and reward those in the health care community and beyond.

“Being a local San Diego business, we want to see pretty much every San Diego-based frontline worker — from doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation crews, public health officials, people who sewed masks, grocers delivering to the elderly, school catering managers ensuring local kids are fed — we want them all to be rewarded for their selfless work,” said Cassidy.

Ultimately, his goal is that not only every local frontline participant is gifted with a retreat, but that the San Diego community comes together to continue to pay-it-forward.

“While 500 (and counting) donated nights will not be enough for all the heroes, we are asking individuals and businesses to donate funds to support the program,” he said. “Our Heroes/Rock Star program could make two free nights available, but we can offer another one to two nights via donations from the public. Or, the dollar donations could go toward fuel for the heroes, allowing them to extend their trip.”

Every bit counts, he said.

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