If you’re from out-of-town and you’re at northbound Main Street at Yosemite Avenue and are trying to figure out how to reach the Manteca Historical Museum there may soon be a sign to point you in the right direction.
A dozen years after PG&E forked over a $9,200 economic development grant for the community to hire the services of destination guru Roger Brooks who told the city one of the biggest holes in their strive to snag out-of-town visitors was the lack of basic directional signs, the City Council may be ready to move forward with such signs.
The council on Tuesday will consider spending $51,910 to produce and install 46 wayfinding signs at 46 key intersection locations throughout Manteca.
Brooks came up with a list of recommended suggestions but he said among smaller issues that were easy to tackle none was more pressing than installing directional signs.
Rogers dispatched his assistants around Manteca to stop in service stations and other places such as restaurants to ask for specific directions to Manteca attractions such as the golf course and discovered hardly anyone dealing with the public knew how to reach them. Worst yet, in Brooks’ eyes, during the few days in 2007 he spent visiting the sights and stores in Manteca, he came across a young lady pushing a baby stroller. He struck up a conversation and found out she had lived in Manteca for a year at that point of time. He also found out she couldn’t tell him where downtown was.
“Locals first, visitors second,” Brooks told 60 community, business and civic leaders that had gathered to hear his observations and listen to his recommendations.
Brooks framed wayfinding signs as a basic element in getting not just visitors to spend dollars in Manteca but new residents as well.
Given that Manteca now has 81,450 residents and has been adding between 1,400 and 2,000 new residents annually during the past decade there are a number of Manteca residents that may not be well versed in finding local attractions.
The city — working with the Manteca Chamber of Commerce and the now defunct Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau — tried to move forward with wayfinding signs in 2010. But squabbling between the two groups over colors and whose logo should appear on the signs — the chamber wanted red, white, and blue while the CVB wanted blue, gold, and red — ultimately caused elected leaders at the time to ditch the project although a staff report submitted to the current council for Tuesday’s meeting blamed the failure to proceed on a lack of funds at the time.
The front of the proposed sign could employ white lettering against a dark blue background with a small red ribbon of color above a bit larger segment of yellow on the bottom. The backside of the sign would be split in half with “iconic images depicting a day in the life of a Manteca citizen on one half and the winning entry of the new city logo contest along with the municipal slogan “Manteca: The Family City” on the other employing the same basic color design used on the front side.
The points of interest that will appear on various signs are downtown, the Civic Center, library, golf and tennis facilities, the BMX track, Big League Dreams, the courthouse, the Chamber of Commerce, post office, cemetery. museum, shopping areas, ACE train, Great Wolf Lodge, Woodward Park, Highway 120, Delicato winery, skate park, and hospitals.
Conspicuously missing is Bass Pro Shops that based on social media postings and the number of people from out-of-town taking photos inside while they are shopping is arguably the top attraction in Manteca that visitors take photos of when they are here. At one point the city shared information that Bass Pro Shops attracted 2.1 million visitors a year from a 100-mile radius.
Great Wolf plans on attracting 500,000 guests a year.
Both Great Wolf and Bass Pro Shops will have — or has — a high profile presence along the 120 Bypass.
The Manteca City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org