One of the questions being quietly debated in Nevada City this week — outside the glare of screeds in the newspaper — is whether the town could have supported a luxury B&B, like the one that was proposed at the Aaron Sargent House on Broad Street.
It’s may be a tough pill to swallow for some, but maybe Nevada City (pop. 3,000) isn’t ready for this yet.
It’s smaller, more remote and has fewer resources to market itself than many competing burgs — in the foothills, Tahoe/Truckee, Mendocino County, Sonoma County, San Luis Obisbo County, Monterey County and the like. Some similar lodging ventures in those towns, with greater visibility and easier assess, haven’t worked out.
“The city probably did them a favor,” said one long-timer, half jokingly referring to the city’s decision to table a B&B ordinance while escrow ran out for the would-be owner.
You’d need to generate significant cash flow to make a luxury lodging venture worthwhile, considering all the money needed for rehabilitation and year-round marketing efforts.
Though the town fills up for events such as Wild & Scenic, July 4th, Constitution Day, peak summer weekends and so on, it’s “hit or miss” other times of the year, as any innkeeper can tell you.
It’s worth pondering as the city’s tourism future comes into focus. What do we want to be when we grow up?
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