The Anatomy of a Tourism Destination – 1800’s Style

The Anatomy of a Tourism Destination – 1800’s Style.

via Paso Robles 125th Anniversary Celebration.


How Hot Mineral Springs Put Paso Robles on the Map

Tents near bathhouse_cropped

Tents near bath house, pre-amenities

One of the reasons to love Paso Robles is that everywhere you go, you meet friendly people. Locals, shop owners, waiters, tasting room attendants, bartenders and hotel front desk clerks all exude warmth and a welcoming attitude that is hard to find in other regions.

While it’s easy to believe that it’s sort of a happy accident, it turns out that Paso Robles has gone above and beyond regular “hospitality” since the mid 1800’s.

Long before Highways 101 and 46, or even the railroads, brought visitors here for our wine, Paso Robles was a visitor destination for our healing hot mineral springs and mud baths.

As far back as the 1850’s, visitors were arriving via stagecoach, buckboard, on horseback and even on foot to find cures for their ailments that the hot springs would reportedly cure. And to show their appreciation for visitors, the town rolled out the red carpet, Paso Robles style.

The Paso Robles Inn uncapped the old hot mineral springs wells in 1999 and now select guest rooms have spa tubs on their balconies

The Paso Robles Inn uncapped the old hot mineral springs wells in 1999 and now select guest rooms have spa tubs on their balconies

Right smack dab in the middle of town, where our Library and the Paso Robles Inn currently sit, was an underground hot spring (you may have heard of its resurgence, as it were, after our 2003 earthquake, but that’s another story for another day). In short order, guest cabins were built around the spring, as well as the first iteration of the soon-to-be-world-famous Paso Robles Hot Springs Hotel, which would eventually be replaced by a large, resplendent version that would attract the likes of Ignace Paderewski and The Pittsburgh Pirates, among others.

Streetcars were added to get people to the hot springs and mud baths more easily

Streetcars were added to get people to the hot springs and mud baths more easily

There was also a taxi service to get folks from their hotel to the hot springs and as demand increased, a horse-drawn trolley on rails was installed to get more people to the hot springs and mud baths more easily.

Pretty impressive, big-city service for a town of less than 500 people.

That spirit of hospitality is still alive and well today. Paso Robles residents are some of the warmest, most welcoming people you will ever meet, to friends and strangers alike. Our wineries, restaurants and hotels are happy to give visitors suggestions on making the most of their visit to Paso Robles, and there is a pretty good chance that if you walk around our downtown, more than one friendly stranger will give you a warm smile and greeting.

If you’d like to experience “taking the cure” in Paso Robles, there are three places to still experience hot mineral springs baths – the Paso Robles Inn, River Oaks Hot Springs Spa and Franklin Hot Springs.

And you don’t have to pitch a tent either, we have 20 hotels, numerous bed and breakfast inns and vacation rentals to choose from.

We’re good like that, our history is hospitality.

Logo Design Contest for the Paso Robles 125th Anniversary!

Design Our Logo2PASO ROBLES, CA – A handful of Paso Robles organizations met recently to begin planning ways to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the city in 2014, also known as the “Quasquicentennial.”

To kick off the celebrations, a contest is being organized to find a local company to design the logo to represent this milestone.

Local artists are invited to enter the Paso Robles 125th Anniversary Logo Design Contest. The 125th Anniversary Celebration will encompass a number of events throughout 2014 and marketing will focus on Paso Robles milestones since its incorporation as a city in 1889. The logo will be used in all Anniversary promotions and merchandising, including a website, printed materials, and possibly a calendar, commemorative coin, flag, etc.

The logo design competition is open to anyone who lives or works in the city of Paso Robles, or who attends school (public, private, parochial, home school, or college) in Paso Robles and its outlying areas. The winner will receive a $1,500 grand prize, sponsorship consideration, and recognition during the unveiling ceremony, in press releases, etc. Entries are due by 5pm on February 15, 2013.

The winning design will be announced as the official logo for the Paso Robles 125th Anniversary Celebration on March 1, 2013, and will be immediately included in all marketing and fundraising material, including a website, Facebook page, sponsorship packets and merchandise used to promote and fund the Anniversary.

A Call for Designs explaining the design contest can be found at and/or a copy can be obtained by calling Shonna Howenstine at 805.227.7236 or emailing

The top finalists’ designs will be featured on the city’s website for the public to vote on starting February 16, 2013. The final design will ultimately be chosen by a panel of local marketing experts.

The goal of the competition is to give local artists the opportunity to create a logo that all major event organizers in Paso Robles can incorporate into their own marketing for each of their events that take place in 2014. 

“We are looking forward to seeing what our local artists can do with this historic challenge,” states Julie Dahlen, interim chair of the celebration. “So many of our local tourism partners have agreed to incorporate the 125th Anniversary logo into their marketing, this brand is going to be seen far and wide. It’s a great opportunity for a local graphic design business, and a really fun way to kick off the announcement of the 125th Anniversary Celebration. We have a number of exciting things to announce in the coming months, so stay tuned.”

About the Paso Robles Quasquicentennial:The vision for the Paso Robles 125th Anniversary is to unite Paso Roblans in a year-long celebration of our history as a community and to captivate citizens and tourists alike with fascinating accounts of our past.  The planning committee will spend 2013 promoting the upcoming anniversary and fundraising for celebratory events to be held throughout 2014. Any proceeds left from the fundraising efforts of the 125th Anniversary will go to the Paso Robles Historical Society, the Pioneer Museum and Pioneer Day, so they may continue in their missions of preserving, honoring and celebrating the history of Paso Robles. For more information, call 805.227.7236.