Business building opportunities in the New Princeton

Oceano Hotel at Harbor Village, El Granada , CAAs you may already know, Harbor Village consists of the Oceano Hotel, the extended stay villas, a shopping area, a restaurant, and conference/special event facilities.  I met with Christian Diggs yesterday to get an update on the shops’ opening and other juicy tidbits since the last time I checked in.

The Oceano Hotel is now open – although you already know that if you’ve been reading my blog.  They’re already up to 30% capacity of the 95 suites with only a few weekends open under their belt.  The head chef is Bruce Mullins (locals will know him as the owner of 2 Fools Cafe when it was on Main).  Bruce manages the entire kitchen, catering, continental breakfasts, conference menus.

The restaurant will be separate and we still don’t know who will run it; it may offer a casual menu and feel on the first level and perhaps a more genteel dining experience on the upper level.

The Spa is still being built and will serve Hotel guests and day visitors as well.   I took a walk through the construction zone, it’s a pretty large space – plenty of room for all kinds of pampering.  Christian tells me that the spa consultants currently at work will incorporate the nautical theme into the design.

There are five meeting rooms, the Oceano Ballroom for up to 350 (see photo with chandeliers), the Montara for up to 110, the Mirada for up to 70, and the Princeton Boardroom for up to 14.  The ballroom dance floor just went in.  If they can get Pride & Joy for one of the kickoff events, I’m there!

Since my mind is always going…yes, a problem at times, I couldn’t help but think of the great opportunities for local business building here.  A few ideas… If their marketing plan included introducing locals to what is available right under our noses, I can see win-win opportunities here.  Don’t we have Google, Yahoo, Siemens, and many corporate heads living the counterbalance to a high stress and fast paced business life right here?

  • Invite your out-of-town networking group to an overnight or a “business” day on the Coast with business sharing ideas combined with some local fun.  Realtors, think referrals.  Offer a client appreciation event to include a spa package or a local outing such as kayaking or a charter boat for whale watching (or Mavericks watching).

  • Invite your employer to host a Holiday gathering or team-building event on the Coast.
  • Host a company think tank to hash out issues, or brainstorm new ideas away from your every day setting.
  • Host a 4th of July party in one of the rooms for private front row seats to our local fireworks show.

The shopping area tenants will get their keys in early April.  A grand opening is planned for some time in mid to late May.  What I know as of today is there will Toque Blanche, Savvy Skirts, a jewelry store, an oyster & wine bar, an ice cream shop, a hair & nail shop (separate from the spa), a novelty shop, a wine tasting room provided by a Sonoma County wine label, a deli, a juice bar, and a food shop (so far either sushi or panini-style sandwich shop).  Christian tells me that several business proposals are currently being reviewed for the final 4 spaces that remain.  I asked him what he’d like to see that is not currently in the proposal stack – he mentioned a kite/toy store, and a children’s clothing store.

I have to admit I’m looking forward to having wine tasting within walking distance!