SOLEDAD — Changes are coming to the Soledad Visitors Center, as the City of Soledad approved a management agreement for the operation of the facility with Salinas Valley Tourism and Visitors Bureau.
“Having the space used for public space is not an issue for us,” said Craig Kaufman, executive director of the Visitors Bureau. “In fact, we’ve had the last two board meetings by the Soledad Little League at the Visitors Center.”
Soledad Visitors Center held another event Dec. 23 for gingerbread making with some of the elementary students, spearheaded by Anthony Mallobox, who took over the Visitors Center’s day-to-day operations after Lisa Jo Duffy resigned.
“The Soledad Cemetery District training was also held at the Center,” Kaufman said. “It’s really just a question of resources. If I have to have somebody there at night, that cuts into our daylight hours, but there’s really not an issue.”
Due to the fact the Soledad Visitors Center does house some merchandise, it would need someone like Mallobox to oversee the property when the public holds events there. The use is free of charge currently to Soledad businesses and residents, but Kaufman says if someone from outside the community wanted to use the facilities they would charge the hourly fee.
Councilmember Anna Velazquez wanted to see some reporting back to the council for the operating budget and the strategic plan outcomes “so we’re aware of some of the activities taking place and how that facility, not just in terms of tourism, is being used for the community members,” she said.
Velazquez also wanted a process developed for renting out the Visitors Center, such as submitting an application, or how the process would work.