Pinnacle partners

© 2017-Greenfield News

City supports park’s partnership with nearby gateway communities

GREENFIELD — The City of Greenfield is showing its support of Pinnacles National Park by joining the Pinnacles Gateway Partners, a partnership with neighboring cities to help protect the park’s resources and visitor experiences.

Greenfield City Council adopted a resolution at its Sept. 26 meeting to support the partnership, whose mission aims to strengthen visitor experiences both at the park and in its gateway communities, in addition to increasing recreation and healthy living opportunities for residents.

“This is a very good opportunity to partner up with our neighboring cities, King City and Soledad, and a good way of promoting what we have in our city,” said Mayor Jesus OlveraGarcia.

According to the partnership, efforts are underway to brand the region and expand tourism opportunities that celebrate the communities’ shared heritage and unique resources, while helping to protect Pinnacles National Park and assure a quality experience for visitors.

“One of the things that is to Greenfield’s benefit — that’s what I always look for — is the ability to market ourselves regionally and partner with other cities and entities, rather than in competition with, knowing that we’re all together,” said City Manager Jaime Fontes.

He said the partnership could tie in with the city’s own “hidden gems,” such as its proximity to River Road and local wineries, the future Yanks Air Museum and the Arroyo Seco recreation area, as well as a couple hotels that the city is hoping to bring to the area.

“Marketing Greenfield in conjunction with this group is a win-win for all of us,” Fontes said.

Other Gateway Partners include the cities of Hollister, King City, San Juan Bautista and Soledad, Monterey County and San Benito County.

Each partner is asked to provide monetary support of up to $2,500 for this effort. The funding will be used to jointly pay for part-time staff or a consultant to develop branding and marketing.

Greenfield City Council will decide on the city’s contribution at an upcoming meeting.

The Pinnacles transitioned from National Monument to National Park in 2013 with the vision of recognizing its resources while providing economic benefit to its local communities, according to park Superintendent Karen Beppler-Dorn.

A recent National Park Service report showed that 215,555 visitors to Pinnacles National Park in 2016 spent $12.6 million in nearby communities, supporting 172 jobs in the area with a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $15.5 million.

In a news release about the report, Beppler-Dorn said national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning more than $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.

“It’s a big factor in our local economy as well,” she said. “We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”