Sunset Savor seeking management company, new location

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Last year’s event reported first profit in six-year history

Attendees at the 2014 Main Event.

Attendees at the 2014 Main Event.

–Last week, Sunset Savor the Central Coast announced that it would go on the road for 2016, after The Visit San Luis Obispo County Board of Directors decided to temporarily put the event on hold.

Visit San Luis Obispo County is accepting proposals from event organizers interested in running the Main Event in subsequent years.

The partnership with Sunset magazine will also be placed on hold, and Fast Forward Events will be “moving in a new direction,” and no longer be managing the event. Visit San Luis Obispo County is currently accepting proposals from management companies interested in facilitating the event in San Luis Obispo County in the future.

The festival announced a 15-percent increase in ticket sales from out-of-county visitors for the 2015 event. In addition, the event, which has seen a deficit in previous years, has reported a first time $12,000 profit in its six-year history.

The event, “brings the pages of Sunset magazine to life,” and offers guests four-days of hands-on culinary activities in San Luis Obispo County. In 2016, the brand will go on the road to various food and wine festivals, showcasing the best of San Luis Obispo County’s food, wine and lifestyle, featuring winemakers, brew masters, local chefs, and artisan food purveyors.

“The 2015 Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast marks history in achieving major goals for the event and our organization,” said Chuck Davison, president & CEO, Visit San Luis Obispo County. “With Fast Forward as the 2015 production manager, we worked hard to accomplish an increase of out-of-county visitors, resulting in heightened awareness of San Luis Obispo County as a premier culinary, coastal and cultural destination. By taking Savor on the road in 2016, we now have the opportunity to really infiltrate our feeder markets throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.”

Throughout the 2015 event weekend, a total of 5,063 unique guests attended. This includes the 1,296 guests who attended the new opening night event, Strings at Sunset, held at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre.

A record 40.7-percent of attendees came from out of San Luis Obispo County, including Los Angeles, the Bay Area, the Central Valley, 24 different states and England, reflecting a 15-percent increase over 2014. The total economic impact from attendee spending in the region was $1.16 million, which is trending slightly higher from 2014.

For the first time in event history, the festival recorded a profit of $12,116, with a reduction in expenses of almost $100,000 under the direction of Fast Forward Events.

An Economic Impact Analysis for the 2015 festival was prepared by Ken Riener and Patrick Mayeda, of Productive Impact LLC in San Luis Obispo. They found that:

Total Unique Event Attendees: 5,063 (20.2 percent decrease from 2014, due to a change in reporting structure)

  • 40.7-percent from out of county / 59.3 percent San Luis Obispo County
  • 3.32-percent out of state (24 states represented, plus England)
  • 18.01-percent from Southern CA / LA area, almost an 8 percent increase from 2014
  • 17.38-percent from Northern CA/Bay Area, over 6 percent increase from 2014
  •  Attendee median household income is $100,000 – $150,000
  • Attendee median age is between 35 – 55 years of age


Total Economic Impact: $3.47 million

  • Total Economic Impact from attendee spending: $1.16 million
  • Economic Impact from operations/preparation: $1.91 million
  • Economic Impact from Local Leavers: $0.396 million
  • Total dollars spent by attendees (not including ticket sales): $0.779 million
  • Estimated local sales tax generated: $53,277
  • Average length of guest stay was 2.64 days (up 14.3 percent) with an average party size of 3.43 persons


“We are very pleased with the economic impact Savor continues to have on San Luis Obispo County,” said Davison. “The Savor event was created to drive tourism to San Luis Obispo County and we feel that this new structure of the event will exponentially increase this initiative.”



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