Jay Jamison, the CEO/General Manager of Pismo Coast Village RV Resort in Pismo Beach has spent over 50 years in the outdoor hospitality industry. Feeling fortunate to grow up in the industry, he proudly modeled his hospitality philosophy after his parents. They were extremely hard working, resilient, creative, and wanted to connect with all the guests that visited. His family owned and operated a guest ranch that included camping, group facilities, riding stable, and resident summer camp until it was sold in 1983. It was a lifestyle for his family as well as a livelihood. Reflection comes easily now as Jay transitions into retirement after 25 years at Pismo Coast Village.
“I’ve had the privilege of managing a number of interesting properties throughout California, and worked with some amazing people. It’s been the people; staff, guests, vendors, and peers that have kept me motivated, challenged, and enjoying the job. Many of these folks have become lifelong friends to me and my wife Debbie.”
The years Jay spent at Pismo Coast Village represent many accomplishments. The resort originally built in 1972, has seen substantial renovations. All the underground and above-ground utilities for the 400 sites were replaced and upgraded between 2004 and 2013. All restrooms were demolished and rebuilt, services such as TV, Wi-Fi, and General Store were upgraded. RV storage went from 800 to 2200 units. Annual occupancy went from 69% to a consistent 82-85%. There is still work to do and goals to be met, and the staff will continue to take care of business.
Jay says “the staff has been involved in and motivated by all the improvements over the years. Our Board of Directors has been encouraging and supportive through funding these improvements. And, we all have enjoyed the feedback from our guests as they recognize the efforts made to provide a high-quality experience.”
During Jay’s tenure at Pismo Coast Village he had the opportunity to give back through numerous organizations. He served two terms on the ARVC Board, including three years on the Executive Committee as Treasurer. He also served two years on what was then the CTPA (California Travel Parks Association) board and is now CalOHA. Jay served eight years as a California Travel and Tourism Commissioner representing the Accommodation Sector. He also served on the Visit CA Audit Committee for sixteen years. Closer to home, Jay served as a Commissioner on the Pismo Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau for twelve years, ten of those as Chairman. And until recently he served on the San Luis Obispo County Visitors Bureau since 2014, with two years as Board Chair. Other volunteer organizations that were very fulfilling was being a board member of the San Luis Obispo County Chapter of the Red Cross, and serving as a member of the Advisory Council for Cal Poly’s Experience Industry Management Department.
Jay says, “It was an honor and an education being involved with these organizations. It gave me an opportunity to meet people from around the country or state in many different businesses. I learned a lot, and it benefited the company, and me personally. Locally it gave me access to community leaders and the opportunity to share information about our business and exchange ideas. I especially found our industry associations valuable through networking, advocacy, discounts, and marketing. If you have the time, I encourage everyone to get involved with these kind of organizations.”
As retirement becomes a reality Jay says, “I am very proud of staff and our accomplishments. I will miss our daily interactions and watching them go about their activity to serve our resort guests. Words can’t express what their support has meant to me. I always looked forward to coming to work and seeing what the day would bring. Filling this void may be challenging. The friendships developed over the years have been the biggest benefit. I will miss this part the most.”
Jay thanks his wife Debbie and daughters Taryn and Danielle for their support of his career over the years. In retirement he looks forward to working on projects on his property and traveling. This includes Jay and Debbie hitting the road with their Airstream and hopefully visiting many California parks. “I hope to see you down the road”
The California Travel Parks Association, California Outdoor Hospitality Association and Camp California thank Jay for his service to not only our organization but the entire industry. As a pioneer, Jay helped create the industry we serve today. Jay will be missed immensely but his passion for outdoor hospitality will continue to be felt by all for decades to come.
On a personal note, I will one hundred percent miss our “catch up calls” that always were longer than we anticipated. I hope they can continue but with less talk about work and more about his and Debbie’s adventures on the road.
Thank you Jay!
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