Manteca’s Convention & Visitors Bureau is going where the tourists go – The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley.
The CVB is inking a deal with Craig Realty Group to secure 1,800 square feet near the heart of the complex to serve as a visitor’s center and a mall information and promotions office.
“It’s going to be great to be where the visitors to Manteca go,” Manteca CVB Executive Director Linda Abeldt said, noting the site is also easily accessible from the Highway 120 Bypass and just a mile from the Big League Dreams sports complex.
Bass Pro Shops – Orchard Valley’s anchor tenant – has drawn a million visitors in five months. Abeldt said being close to Bass Pro Shop as well as the upscale outlets when they open will give the CVB an excellent forum to offer visitors information on Manteca and the greater Northern San Joaquin Valley.
Craig Realty Group has partnered with the developer of Orchard Valley – Poag & McEwen – to convert existing in-line space to an upscale outlet mall as well as add additional space for more outlet stores.
The CVB has been giving representatives of various tenants’ tours of Manteca and the general area.
Indications are most of the firms that Craig Realty Group is meeting with are leaning toward moving forward in the early part of 2010.
“They are really impressed with Bass Pro Shop’s drawing power,” Abeldt said of the various outlet representatives.
The CVB expects to have the vacant space improved and ready to move into by late fall.
They will ultimately have the information center open seven days a week including most major holidays with hours expected to range from 10 a.m. to either 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.
The plan is to use volunteers to staff the office much of the time paid staff is not present. The CVB has only three employees.
Abeldt said the CVB docents are already starting training on how to not just man the visitor’s center and learn more about information that tourists and visitors would be interested in ranging from what is around Manteca to Yosemite, Sacramento, and even Lake Tahoe. Additional volunteers will be recruited.
The CVB will also run promotions for the outlet mall. Among them could be what is called a “long table event” that may take place once all the restaurants are finished. You’d buy a spot at the table and then go to the various participating restaurants to obtain food.
Other promotions could include free movies in the parking lot and similar events.
The CVB is currently located inside the Manteca Bowl & Family Fun Center.
The CVB is about to enter its 13th year. The organization’s mission is to promote visitors and tourist trade. They do that through staging a variety of events, working with BLD, as well as providing information to individuals and helping organize gatherings in Manteca.
Craig Realty Group has 11 upscale outlet centers with excess of 3.5 million square feet of retail. They are leasing the next 225,000 square feet of retail center at Highway 120 and Union Road that is not occupied by Bass Shops, Kerasotes Showplace, Best Buy, and JC Penney.
The firm also had a hand in the designing and marketing of the outlet malls in Napa and St. Helena. The principals are impressed with the drawing power of Bass Pro Shops with customers traveling from a 100-mile radius making it a perfect fit to upscale malls that have the same drawing range. Making Manteca even more appealing for Craig is the fact it is the center of thee third largest 100-mile radius market in the country. Manteca has 17 million consumers within 100 miles topped only by New York and Los Angeles.
Craig, though, has indicated the growing economic muscle and demographics of the Northern San Joaquin Valley with its 1.2 million consumers was reason enough to partner with Poag & McEwen on the Manteca retail project.
Craig believes Manteca will be the perfect shopping destination for families. The husbands can hit Bass Pro Shops and the wives can shop the outlets plus JC Penney and Best Buy and they can then all meet at Red Robin or another restaurant for dinner or lunch. The Hampton Inn is now under construction.
It is the next level beyond better run outlet malls such as Gilroy and Vacaville where hotels and restaurants have been built adjacent on site to accommodate those shoppers who travel from farther away and stay overnight.
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