Downtown Ambassador Reports
The Paso Robles Downtown Main Street Association (Main Street) provides Downtown Ambassador Karyl Lammers as a host to residents and visitors to our downtown.
Karyl offers information on the downtown including directions, recommendations, event information and information on relocating to Paso Robles.
Karyl was the host of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center from 1999-2017 and has been our Downtown Ambassador since 2017.
APRIL 4, 2019 TO APRIL 25, 2019
- 20 Conversations with locals
- 5 Restaurant Requests
- 2 Direction requests
Comments from locals about street repair on 13th Street, Park, Railroad and Pine Streets. Messy, loud and very inconvenient. I let them know how nice it will be when completed.
Restaurant requests are really more comments. The locals have their favorites, occasionally try something new, but go back to favorites. Everyone appreciates the variety of food and comfort, inside or out.
Nice to be able to have such great choices without leaving town.
Locals are always asking me what is new, what is being built on Spring Street, where are the huge rocks going headed east on 24th Street crossing Spring Street? I am proud to be able to update them on current projects.
- 42 Conversations with Visitors
- 6 Restaurant requests
- 3 Direction requests
There were so many visitors looking for food, men’s shops, coffee houses, romantic restaurants and places to take kids. I had people complain about a shortage of men’s shops, I remind them about Kahuna’s, Alliance Board Shop, The Boot Barn, Gatherings, and Vintages Funky World.
Most visitors were here with friends or family, but there have been a lot of weddings, equestrian events and wine pick-up parties in the area. Art in the Park brought people from all over the USA. Main Street had the perfect Easter Bunny in the holiday house (Park & 12th Streets). Kids and parents were lined up from Park Street to Spring Street to have kids from 2 weeks old to 12 years old along with mom & dad, grandma & grandpa for the perfect photo. There were toys, face painters and balloon figures for the kids. I took pictures all day of families with Mr. Bunny (Thank you, Dwayne) on their cell phones. Another Paso event enjoyed by so many families, visitors and locals.
On Easter Sunday our downtown City Park was blessed with services, music and prayer from three churches. There was an awesome choir of 60 voices heard throughout all of downtown. It was a very moving sight to see hundreds of people gathered in the morning, in the park, enjoying downtown.
There are not many towns in America that can entertain families on the level we can here in Paso. Don’t ya just love it!!!
Be sure to pick up your Downtown Directory for a list of Events in the Park through September (in the kiosk at Park & 12th). There is something for everyone!! I’ll see you there!
MARCH 6, 2019 TO APRIL 3, 2019
- 26 Conversations with Locals
- 3 Restaurant requests
- 3 Direction request
Locals were out enjoying Restaurants all over town. There is such a variety, definitely something for everyone. Busiest time is evenings.
There were a lot of direction requests to wineries which have restaurants, and the types of food served.
In March there were many locals with visitors from all over the USA. They always include a day downtown, shop, eat, walk thru the park, The Carnegie and Studios on the Park. Then one evening of wine and dining. Residents are so proud to live here, their guests are excited to be here.
- 28 Conversations with visitors
- 5 Restaurant inquiries
- 4 Directions given
There were several weddings in March, Spring Break (for some schools), and the Cattleman’s Western Art Show that accounted for a lot of visitors.
There were more visitors from all over the USA. Most come every year in March, no matter what our weather is, theirs is worse. It was unusual to meet so many repeat visitors, there are usually more “first-timers”, it’s definitely a seasonal thing.
People are asking for certain cuisines, when inquiring about restaurants. I give directions to places like thrift stores, antiques, gift shops and garden shops.
Several days, downtown was so crowded you had to wait to pass on 11th, 12th and Pine around the park. The shops were full, the benches were full, everyone was enjoying the sun, the park and each other. So many Visitors comment on the friendliness of our town. They tell me they find themselves smiling and greeting people they don’t even know, something they can’t do in their own town.
FEBRUARY 20, 2019 TO MARCH 5, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 17 Conversations with Paso, Templeton, Atascadero and Santa Margarita people in town. Everyone claims to be a local when I ask them if they are locals or visitors. They all tell me they come to Paso often for shopping, dining and events so they feel like locals.
- I met three couples, on three separate occasions, who have moved to Paso Robles within the past few months. They have all retired and are thrilled to be here. They can’t wait to share Paso with family and friends!
- I made about 5 referrals for Restaurants. Most were for new restaurants by cuisine, but one couple just wanted good food and privacy.
- Most of the Locals mentioned enjoying having the town all to themselves the past few weeks. I did get a few complaints about the poor quality of residential roads throughout town, lots of mud, dirt and debris during this rainy season. They think I am the complaint department too.
- Visited with 15 people from Bakersfield, Buttonwillow, Fresno, Visalia, Ventura, Temecula, but most were from San Jose. Funny how there were no international visitors, and no one from out of state.
- Guess the weather is keeping most people grounded.
- Gave directions to the San Miguel Mission and a local grocery store.
- Spoke with a couple from Redlands who have fallen in love with Paso Robles and want to move their business here. They have an interior design store. I gave them the Mainstreet booklet, “A Guide to Locating Your Business in Downtown Paso Robles”. I then referred them to Josh at the Chamber of Commerce if they needed additional information.
- Many comments about how beautiful it is now in Paso. People are enjoying the water in the river, I did have to remind some of them to look at it. Wild flowers are of interest to a lot of Visitors. Some have seen them, some have read or heard about them, all are looking forward to experiencing the rare beauty in and around Paso in the spring.
I enjoy meeting people visiting here. They remind me of how special this town and this area really are. It is like looking through a child’s eyes, so much we take for granted.
Enjoy the season, I look forward to seeing you Downtown!
FEBRUARY 2, 2019 to FEBRUARY 19, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 12 conversations
- No restaurant recommendations or travel inquiries were made.
Rain-Rain-Rain........ I can honestly say The Downtown Ambassador was nearly “rained out”. I meet and greet people on the streets several days a week: They were running from their cars into restaurants and shops, no lingering! The theater and library were the busiest.
- 15 conversations
- 2 Restaurant referrals
- 3 direction inquiries
Valentine’s Day combined with President’s Day brought the most Visitors to town, because trips were planned well in advance, and the weather did provide some breaks. A family reunion of 18 people from Seattle to San Diego with 5 generations from 18 months to 85 years were here to enjoy Downtown for the holiday weekend. People were visiting from Toronto, Alberta, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Texas, enjoying all our food and wine.
There were a large number of travelers who came to enjoy the Elephant Seals at San Simeon, and came through Paso because Highway 1 is closed for the season.
The mention of green hills, water running in the Salinas River, blue skies between rains along with the starry sky and full moon over Paso at night, seem to impress everyone. The very cold nights and mornings were the thing most commented on along with the love for all Paso has to offer.
Look out, they WILL be back!!
And we are ready for them, the busier the better!
JANUARY 23, 2019 TO FEBRUARY 5, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 25 Approached
- 10 Restaurant conversations
Locals were filling me in on their favorite places to eat downtown. Some do just breakfast, some meet friends for lunch while others come to town for a special dinner once a week. No complaints about the food choices in town. Everyone enjoys bringing friends and family downtown to see and share what we have.
Where is everyone? The streets have been empty just about everyday. Town begins to pick up for lunch. Business has been very slow. Theories range from people paying off holiday debts, government shut down, weather and everyone re-grouping for the new year.
- 20 Approached
- 7 Restaurant inquiries for specific cuisines like Italian, Mexican, Seafood, American Fresh and Thai Food.
People were mostly visiting from the Valley (Visalia, Bakersfield, Fresno & Tulare) for a day away. They enjoy the drive and just spending a few hours downtown. I received a few requests for Thrift Stores in the downtown area.
A few people came Downtown for the first time again because of the Highway One closure. It’s heart- warming to hear how people enjoy Downtown for its beauty, the fact that everything is situated around the Park impresses everyone!
Hotels have been slow during this time. People are not traveling during these storms, with closed roads and not too many events scheduled. Highway 101 is quiet too.
The one thing I have noticed through all the clear days, is the Downtown city park playground is full of kids having fun. There is so much laughter, shouts, bells and whistles you can hear the excitement across the park. It really is fun to watch kids communicating with each other: Future leaders are evident.
We’re going to have a beautiful Spring. Don’t be a stranger Downtown, restaurants and shops are always open and most are offering discounts during these slow times. I’ll see you there!
JANUARY 9, 2019 TO JANUARY 22, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 39 Approached
- 2 Restaurant recommendations
Heard about new tasting rooms and restaurants downtown. Most are not in our Current Directory, but with the information and our always up-to-date Restaurant Listings Brochure and Sip & Savor Brochure (which I carry) I have no trouble showing people where to find exactly what they are looking for.
The Speakeasy is a popular request. Many residents have family and friends visiting and are having fun showing off our downtown.
KPRL Radio is s great source for announcing new businesses downtown, and I have the honor of giving those directions.
- 59 Approached
- 9 Restaurants referred
- 8 direction requests
I met so many people here for the first time. Due to the closure of Highway 1 North we get a lot of visitors. They are surprised at how charming and fun our Downtown is. I am reminded of the year Highway 1 was closed and the fires at Napa in October of 2017 which brought many visitors to Paso as an alternative and everyone was telling me how much they love our town, the area and the wines, everyone said they would be back to their new favorite.
I enjoy talking with people who have just discovered us. They are happy and excited to come back because you can’t see everything in one visit. So, where have we been all this time?
Downtown seems slow in the mornings and during the rainy days, it just means everyone is in the Restaurants, shops, theater, art galleries, coffee shops and tasting rooms.
Enjoy this winter weather. It is going to be an ahsome spring.
I will see you on the streets of Downtown Paso Robles!
DECEMBER 26, 2018 TO JANUARY 8, 2019 ACTIVITY
- 45 approached
- 6 given restaurant info
Residents are usually in town to eat, shop or go to the theater. They enjoy our Main Street Directory. It updates them on our events and gives them a good reference for Downtown shopping.
I am always asked “What’s new?” I Let them know about the new businesses and ask what they want to do in town or what they are looking for.
I actually had several requests for a Downtown Pharmacy. I was able to refer “Brookline Oaks” located at 597 12th Street.
The reasons were the same: they don’t like the big-box stores If they can come Downtown.
Many locals tell me they will not go to Walmart or some of the other big discount stores because it ruins the shopping experience. I think we’re spoiled. In a good way.
- 70 approached
- 16 Restaurants referred
- 10 people wanted directions
I spoke with two different couples about moving to Paso Robles. They asked me questions about population, weather and crime. I answered their questions and sent them to the Visitor Center for the Official Relocation Packet they provide.
Over the holidays I received many questions about the area Wineries. Like who has food? I mark the map for them. Who waives the tasting fees? I again mark the map for them. Where can we get coupons? I show them how to get them on their phone. I received more wine requests during this time period than any other.
Downtown was bustling throughout the holidays. The streets were so crowded with shoppers and their bags that in many areas you had to step out in the street or inside a shop to let people pass. Their were lines at the registers inside the shops and restaurants, people were visiting, laughing, enjoying themselves and each other. It felt so special and festive everywhere you went. All the comments I received were positive, everyone was finding that special gift, enjoying a good meal and talking about how glad they were that they decided on Paso Robles for their Holiday Shopping.
I discovered that for many families coming to Paso is an annual event. They meet here from all over California as well as all over the USA (weather helps) stay in a hotel or Vacation Rental and enjoy all there is to see and do in this charming town. Many bring children to enjoy our museums, art galleries and to visit the surrounding areas.
I am reminded how close to everything we are.
Talking with Downtown Businesses, Visitors, and Locals (who bring family and friends to town all year long) is proof of just how special this town really is. Tourism is a big part of town and businesses tell me they will do what they can to keep it that way. Their customers are strong and loyal and happy to have discovered our treasure.
December 12, 2018 TO DECEMBER 25, 2018 ACTIVITY
- 32 Approached
- 9 Restaurant recommended
- 2 Specific directions given for specialty shops (books and sewing).
I am always asked about the newest shops downtown. Locals know there are new places to check out but need help with names and locations.
I have received a few questions about why we do not have a nice night club for dinner and dancing. They know what is here, but are looking for something a little more upscale.
- 60 Approached
- 12 Restaurant inquiries - By cuisine, name and location. Often asked about my favorites, (answer: all of them, depends what I am hungry for.)
- 8 Direction requests - Looking for a grocery store, service station, a lot of people want to see local art and local history. Most people are in town or on way to hotel or RV Park. There are a large number of RV Visitors.
Several people over the Holidays were visiting, shopping, staying at Hotels in the area and had just discovered Downtown. They will be looking at us closer for consideration of moving here in the next few years.
I always hear how special our Downtown is because it is situated around the Park and our Library, shops, restaurants and Theatre are in pleasant walking distance. They like that they can park and spend the day in town!
Happy New Year Everyone!
2019 will be busier than ever with more and more people discovering our beautiful town. Remember it’s our town so come in and enjoy everything we have. When I talk to people from all over the world and they tell me how much they love this town and and are planning their return visit, I can’t help but feel proud to be a part of this special Downtown, you should too!
NOVEMBER 21, 2018 TO DECEMBER 11, 2018 ACTIVITY
- 30 approached
- 5 given restaurant info
Looking for Paso Robles memorabilia as gifts. I mention all the shops I have seen (including the Visitor Center) and how each of them have something different.
Where are new shops located. I use the Directory Map to assist them.
More specific like where are the Mexican Restaurants? Seafood? Italian? Again I use the Directory to answer their questions.
I have received many Thank You’s for the available parking throughout downtown without meters.
- 56 approached
- 15 Restaurants referred
- 10 people wanted directions
I received a couple of inquiries about empty spaces in downtown for possible future businesses. I give them the Main Street Brochure for available Downtown Rentals.
One couple with three children want to move down from King City but will need work. I referred them to the Hispanic Business Association since only the kids spoke English.
Met a mother from San Francisco and three daughters from three cities in the LA area. They contemplated meeting in Santa Barbara or Cambria, but decided instead on Paso, and were having a blast shopping downtown, eating and visiting Downtown tasting rooms. They had lots of shopping bags, were headed to the Inn for a drop off before going any further. They said this is their new Christmas gathering place. They were here for Vine Street Walk, so I know for sure they will be back!
There were a lot of weddings going on the past two weeks. Most were at wineries surrounding downtown. Some rehearsal dinners and luncheons were held downtown.
The 57th Annual Christmas Light Parade was a great success! The streets were crowded with families from all over the county, many visitors were in town and able to join the fun. Over 60 floats! Kids, Kids, Kids!
31st Annual Vine Street Victorian Showcase was no disappointment. Approximately 10,000 people lined Vine Street for hours. The kids and adults enjoyed themselves every step of the way!! So much food, music, laughter and the infamous Scrooge to top it all off.
There is no way you can live here and not feel the joy and friendliness of this community. There are no strangers here!
Happy Holidays Everyone!!!
May the blessings of the season be with you and yours!! I’ll see you on the streets of Downtown.
NOVEMBER 14-20, 2018 ACTIVITY
- 26 Approached
- 6 Restaurants referred
- 1 Directions to Tin City
- Where can we park? We see the signs in parking lots. I Let them know those go into affect 12/1/2018. Contact The City for details, prcity.com.
- What are holiday events in town? I give them the Downtown Directory where events thru February are listed.
Weirdest Question: Where do I get my hats? (Answer: Everywhere, I am always on the prowl.)
- 59 Approached
- 29 Restaurants referred
- 20 Directions given. From where is a certain Winery to where are the Art Studios and Museums. I give them Downtown Directory, Wine Maps, and introduce them to our Kiosk at the corner of 12th and Park, where they can find all the information they need. I mark the maps and explain directions to them to make it easier.
- 5 mentions of people coming for the first time. Totally unaware of how charming this town really is. They may consider moving here, will be back to inquire.
- No business inquiries.
On Saturday Mornings I have discovered it is Father/Daughter time in Downtown for Breakfast. One Saturday I met three pairs either coming or going. They all told me it is their special time together, and Downtown makes it even more special. They often visit a local shop for her!
I also want to mention how many Visitors and Residents are in town to see a movie and have lunch or dinner. Visitors laugh and say, how funny it is we come here when we live in LA or SF, but we love this town and come for several days, so a movie is just part of our plans.
Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony was a wonderful gift to the community from Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association. Supported by The Cancer Support Community, and Sponsored by Rabobank and Adelaide Inn. This special event took place on Friday the 23rd. The lights, candlelight, speeches, caroling, free hot chocolate (thanks to Vic’s) our MC, Mrs. Claus, Grinch, the Elves and all the Main Street Volunteers make this a special old-fashioned way to start the holiday season. Still full of Turkey, Hundreds of people, over half children, were present. They laughed, played, sang Christmas Carols and were touched with the Joy of Christmas.
Play Black-Out Bingo until Friday December 7th for the Drawing on December 9th at 3pm at Santa’s House in the Park. 1st Prize is $450 Shopping Spree in Downtown, 2nd is $225 and 3rd is $100. Songbooks (with Black Out Bingo cards) are still available throughout town and at the Main Street Office.
I love working with our Downtown Main Street Association where it is truly about giving to the Community and not about making money!
On Saturday, November 10th from 5pm until 8pm, 43 shops in downtown Paso Robles opened their doors to the public with refreshments of all kinds, discounts, entertainment, and beautifully dressed staff to greet the hundreds of people for our Annual Elegant Evening.
There were so many people on the streets and in the shops that evening. I overheard friends laughing and hugging, so excited to be reunited at this event. Shop owners were excited to see so many familiar faces. The thing I was most excited about was the number of people I met who were from out of town, but have been coming to this event for years.
Most of these people make reservations in town and make a week-end stay to start their holiday off right. I met many people from the valley: Visalia, Fresno, Bakersfield, as well as north from San Jose and San Francisco, south from Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, west from Cambria and Cayucos.
Everyone saying the same thing “where else but Paso Robles will you find old-fashioned neighborhood gatherings that are warm, safe and fun for all ages.”
NOVEMBER 3-10, 2018 ACTIVITY
- 26 spoken with
- 12 wanted restaurant recommendations
- 5 wanted specific directions
- 3 residential questions from people considering Paso as a future home.
- Directions to freeway
- Difference in wineries on the east side and west side
- How do you keep homeless from taking over your city?
Most common comments are about our clean, friendly town with that small-town feel which is missing all over California, and beyond. First time Visitors will be back, others come at least twice a year, always happy to see it hasn’t changed.
- 15 spoken with
- 3 Restaurant referrals
- 0 Direction requests
- Parking updates, when does ticketing start? (Answer: tickets will only be given to those who park in permit-only spots without a permit. Enforcement begins December 1.)
- Why fix Railroad Street when our town residential streets are so bad?
- Why so many downtown tasting rooms?