STOCKTON (CBS13) — Despite the crime and recent financial troubles Stockton has experienced, more people are visiting and doing business around the city than ever before.
New construction and new businesses opening up around Stockton are welcome sights for people who have called the city home for more than 30 years.
“I think its real good because Stockton needs that, I think they need to raise as much money as possible. I know they were having some problems with money, the city was, but I think it will be a real great thing,” said Stockton resident, Clementh Johnson.
The city has exited bankruptcy and earlier this year elected a new mayor. Leaders with visit Stockton, the city’s tourism bureau say it’s all part of the positive change taking place.
“Stockton is going through a renaissance. We have a lot going on for us right now, more people are hearing about Stockton and wanting to come and find out what’s going on,” said Robyn F. Cheshire, director of marketing and communications for Visit Stockton.
In 2016, the organization reports Stockton and San Joaquin County booked a record number of visitors. Hotel revenue in the city grew to an all-time high of more than $50 million, a close to 12 percent increase over 2015.
“Everywhere you go; there are cities that have challenges. Stockton has so many positives, we have things that people can be proud of, we have people that we can be proud of, we got great attractions, and we’ve got great restaurants, fantastic shopping, places to stay. So, we don’t pay attention to the negative. We focus on the positive,” she said.
Sporting events supported by Visit Stockton helped bring in close to $3 million. The organization hopes to continue the success with several more activities that are planned for families this year.
“No. 1, it’s affordable; No. 2, the weather here is just beautiful here, it’s very diverse and what’s most important is that there is opportunity here,” said Michael Harris, coordinator for Stockton Waterfront District.
Stockton is the first city in California to offer a texting concierge service allowing visitors to text the Visit Stockton organization to find out what’s going on in the area.