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Todd Shallan, president of the Coronado Chamber of Commerce and general manager of the Hotel Del, began a presentation to Coronado City Council on May 5 by saying, “Our economy is not going to get better anytime soon.” He spoke of the need to jumpstart tourism.

The proposed cost for the chamber to reel in more visitors: $350,000 in the form of a grant requested from the city.

Jeff Haack, associate principal at San Diego ad agency Carrier Johnson + Culture, then took over. “The reduction in visitors is especially hard on small businesses,” he told the audience. The proposed marketing pitch for Coronado will be “Mayberry Modernized.”

Some people at the meeting suggested that, despite the campaign’s stated intent to support “small business,” the promotional pie — specifically, the visitors such marketing would attract — might not be shared equally among businesses.

The campaign would allocate $24,000 for print and $36,000 for online advertising. Haack said ads would target San Diego’s wealthier “staycationers” and “daytrippers.”

A representative of the “Main Street” district listed several concerns, including a request that images of brick-and-mortar establishments be included in any printed material. There was a call for measures to monitor the program’s success as well.

Liz Forsyth-Lovell, who owns a Laundromat, called for a “cohesive approach,” noting that there are now three groups promoting the town’s businesses.

In an interview after the meeting, Shallan said, “The chamber has always been very up front that this program is designed to help tourism-related businesses in general.”

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