Pismo Beach Business

Pismo Beach Business


The founder of Pismo Beach realized early that the town site would appeal to tourists. John Price opened the Pismo Beach Hotel in the 1880’s and the seaside inn was inundated with so many visitors that it expanded to a beachside “Tent City,” renting out individual tents for $8 a week. The hotel’s overflow guests were housed in tents until the late 1920’s.

Today’s Pismo Beach still has an economy, which is geared to attracting tourists. The tent city is long gone but instead of only one or two hotels, numerous hotels and motels stand out on the cliffs from downtown Pismo Beach up the coast to Shell Beach. But besides the usual accommodations, visitors still have the option of camping on the beach. The New York Times said, “Pismo Beach is a throwback to endless summers gone by, a time when you could drive on the beach, build a fire in the sand and then camp beside it.”

An incredible one billion dollars was spent in San Luis Obispo County in travel spending in 2007, according to a county tourism study analysis. Pismo Beach and the south coast had the lion’s share of that figure, coming in at 33% of the total. Pismo’s tourism promotion spending, $270 per room, is the highest in the county, followed by entire county of San Luis Obispo which spends an average of $235 per hotel room to bring visitors and their dollars to the Central Coast.

Like one hundred years ago, the influx of tourists is brought on by the coastal views, unspoiled beaches, oceanfront restaurants, mild temperatures, frequent community festivals, and a myriad of attractions and activities in the area.





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