Business / Economy

San Juan Bautista’s Welcome Center welcomes 1,000th visitor

Milestone is reached three months after the center opened inside the San Juan Bakery
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In the three months since the July 2015 opening of the San Juan Bautista Welcome Center, 1,000 people have been officially tallied as visitors at the new location inside the San Juan Bakery.

Oct. 23 was a lucky day for Nancy and Ted Fisher of Los Gatos, who were surprised to be recognized as the 999th and 1,000th visitors to the center. Following a round of applause and congratulations, the couple was awarded a $50 gift certificate to Dona Esther's Mexican Restaurant. Welcome Center volunteer Al Castaneda, owner of the San Juan Bautista restaurant, assisted the couple and presented the couple with their prize.

The Welcome Center is located inside the historic San Juan Bakery at 319 Third St., providing access to information, and a place to relax and review literature six days per week, during bakery hours. However, the actual tally of non-resident visitors and tourists coming to this site is taken only while volunteers are present, from noon to 4 p.m., Fridays through Sundays. In 12 hours per weekend, and inside 12 weeks of operation, 1,000 people have walked through the doors, signed the guest book, and enjoyed the specialized visitor service offered by San Juan Bautista Welcome Center volunteers.

The center is the latest accomplishment of the San Juan Committee, an all-volunteer group of business owners, community leaders and city event producers. Founded in May of 2011, the group organized to uphold their mission statement of promoting economic vitality while maintaining the charm and history of San Juan Bautista. Since then, it has disseminated city-specific promotional materials and held fund-raising events.

Soon to celebrate its fifth year of operation in May 2016, the San Juan Committee became the city's newest nonprofit organization in February of this year. News and information regarding shopping, dinning, tourism, special events, historic sites and recreation are available at the website, with ongoing submissions regarding new shops and events added by committee volunteers.

The  San Juan Bautista Welcome Center is a place to pick up seasonal calendar of events information and leave coupons and fliers promoting local, nonprofit and fundraising events, as well as business specials and promotions community wide.

Organizers ask that anyone seeking this sort of help or promotion coordinate this during the Friday through Sunday noon-4 hours, when volunteers can receive information and package up handouts. 

Jill Pagaran

San Juan Committee, established in 2011 to promote economic vitality while maintaining the charm and history of San Juan Bautista.