Bayfront response is a tepid reaction

I wanted to write: “Don’t get me wrong, I am not unhappy that it’s one step closer to a reality. And when open it will provide countless service-industry jobs—some that will probably provide slightly more than a livable wage to people who live in the city or nearby National City. But as with all good things I wonder how it will significantly change the day-to-day lives of people who live in Chula Vista and the South County, not to mention the surrounding environment. So much remains to be seen that it’s hard for me to jump up and down, do cartwheels and holler ‘Whoopee!’ ”

Certain that the person who sent me the text expressing elation over the recent ground-breaking on the Chula Vista bayfront for Gaylord’s planned Convention Center and Resort would respond with TL/DR I instead responded:

“Yay gentrification.”

It may be an unfair and even clumsy shorthand for expressing economic and social concern for a subset of the population, but it’s effective in getting the point across—all that is bright and shiny and new does not always benefit everyone, especially those who are most in need.

Maybe some of those estimated 3,580 construction workers will venture east of Interstate 5 to eateries on Broadway and Third Avenue during their lunch breaks and post-workweek libations, but experience tells me roach coaches and homemade meals are the orders of the day.
As for the 4,000 affiliated permanent jobs that will reportedly be created, I’m looking forward to learning how many of them will be full-time, with benefits and paychecks you can thrive on rather than survive.

(And, to add a current perspective, it’s important to note these are service industry jobs—and we saw how much of a massive hit the service sector took during the ongoing pandemic when people were furloughed, laid off or put on reduced hours because of a sudden halt to travel, as well as stay-at-home mandates)

That a resort and convention center is opening in an under utilized part of Chula Vista is a good thing. But I suspect it won’t cast as wide a net of prosperity and fulfillment as the cheerleaders are shouting it will.

Gaylord is coming. Neat.

We’ll see what happens.