CARLSBAD — It’s been years in the making, but the Carlsbad Village Association launched its long-term sustainability plan.
On Jan. 16, the nonprofit organization, which focuses on promoting business and events in Carlsbad Village, unveiled its paid membership program, pricing levels and benefits as it became the last Main Street Association along the North County coast to do so. For years the CVA had been free to businesses in the Village.
CVA Executive Director Christine Davis said the new program has been years in the making, with her and Vice Chairman Mark Coulombe conducting outreach, creating the structure and executing the plan over the past 13 months.
“It’s the evolution of the association,” Davis said. “We’ve been working toward this very thoughtfully. We wanted to launch this at the very right time.”
The new program features four membership levels, including the Village program ($48) open to not only businesses, but residents as well. Davis said the resident option is a way for those who live inside or outside the Village to be part of the program at a reasonable cost.
For the businesses, though, the others — Rail Trail ($120), Coaster ($240) and Beach ($1,200) — provide specific benefits including placement on the CVA website, newsletter bulletins, sponsorship opportunities, social media, marketing opportunities and the ability to join the board or subcommittees The membership program also includes discounted prices for non-profits, Davis said.
Zac Markham, chairman of the CVA board and who owns Humble Olive Oils, said membership has been on their radar for years, and as CVA has grown, a paid program became more necessary. As such, the dues will allow CVA to hire a small staff and expand its events such as the Taste of Carlsbad, blood drives, Flicks at the Fountain and others, he said.
“The last two or three years we’ve really expanded the organization,” Markham said. “It’s pretty much been the next step for us to increase the organizational structure and increase the ability of the CVA has to give the Village.”
Markham and Davis said the pricing was constructed to keep it affordable while providing value to the members. Both also said the program has been well received, although Davis declined to disclose the number of new members.
“We’re trying to make Carlsbad Village the premier destination in North County,” Markham said. “We have the pulse of the Village down pretty good. If anything happens in the Village, Christine is the one who knew about it yesterday.”
Davis said CVA is in line with its projections and is also hopeful more businesses outside the Village will join and, in turn, visit and interact with their peers in the Village. Markham and Davis said the CVA has been conducting personalized outreach with as many businesses as possible to ease the transition and explain the programming.
“This has given us time to meet with the businesses to make sure that our programs meet their needs and they are, so we are very pleased we put the work into it in advance,” Davis said.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.