Highway 1 Reopens, State Parks Remain Closed

Tourism facilities report no damage following the Basin Complex Fire

 Big Sur Re Opens // (c) 2008, Tony Avelar, Associated Press
Big Sur
© Tony Avelar, Associated Press

As of July 15, tourism facilities along the 90 miles of California coastline linking Carmel and San Luis Obispo reported no damage following the Basin Complex Fire, which started June 21, and Highway 1 officially reopened in both directions on July 13. In addition, air quality in the Big Sur area is “moderate” with low particulate reading; and visibility is unrestricted according to Ed Kendig of the Monterey Bay Air Pollution Control District.

Just like its rugged coastline, Big Sur has weathered its share of adversity in the past, and reports are that businesses here are ready to come back once again. Area hotels, including some 250-plus guestrooms, readying to recoup the summer season noted occupancy rates rising above 90 percent as early as July 25.

“We have a strong following in the international market and an emotional pull that draws repeat visitors,” said Janet Lesniak, general manager at Big Sur River Inn, who credits the quick comeback to the region’s loyal clientele.

Other properties reporting in the 90th percentile as of July 25 include the Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur River Inn, Ripplewood Resort, Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, Big Sur Campground & Cabins, Riverside Campground & Cabins, Big Sur Lodge, Gorda Springs and Treebones Resort.

Deetjen’s Big Sur River Inn, a mainstay along Highway 1, planned to reopen on July 18, while at the other end of Big Sur, Ventana Inn & Spa planned to open Cielo restaurant on July 19. The Inn & Spa will open August 1, following a refreshing and revitalizing of surrounding landscaping (none of the inn buildings were harmed).

The Esalen Institute, perched on 27 acres of classic Big Sur coastline, also planned to reopen July 18 with a full roster of seminars.

State and National Parks on Hold

Garrapata State Park is open to visitors, however, the remaining California State and National parks in Big Sur remain closed. These include Soberanes State Park, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer-Big Sur State Park, Limekiln State Park and Ventana Wilderness.

Updates are available at www.parks.ga.gov.