Downtown

SLO Downtown Association

1108 Garden Street, Suite 210
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone: (805) 541-0286
Fax: (805) 781-2647
E-mail: SLODA@DowntownSLO.com

DOWNTOWN SECURITY
805-458-5153

Great American Main Street Award Winner

San Luis Obispo, California was awarded The Great American Main Street Award in 1999 by the National Trust For Historic Preservation. Since 1995, this esteemed award has been presented to five US Cities each year, recognizing them for their successful preservation-based downtown revivals.

Old SLO Trolley

Trolley service is provided from both of the parking structures and at convenient locations within the Downtown core approximately every 15 minutes. The fare is 50 cents. Hours of operation are:

  • Thursdays - 5 to 9 p.m. - Year Round
  • Fridays - 5 to 9 p.m. - June-Labor Day
  • Saturday - 5 to 9 p.m. - April - October

Click here for the Trolley and City bus schedule.

Promotions

History of the San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market

In the late 70′s and early 80′s businesses would stay open late on Thursday nights to give people a chance to shop later than 5:00 p.m. Downtown was popular on Thursday nights so teens began cruising down Higuera Street, the “main drag.” This, in turn, deterred people from coming to shop on Thursday nights. The merchants wanted help from the Downtown Association to stop what was going on. The Downtown Association decided to barricade six blocks of Higuera on Thursday nights so people could still shop late. Now the trick was getting people to come back on Thursday nights!

On the late shopping night, the Downtown Association began arranging for special activities and entertainment on Higuera Street. Downtown restaurants came out to offer food and to barbecue ribs. This all began in early 1983. That summer the farmers were invited to sell their produce; hence the beginning of Farmers' Market. Because the event is sponsored by the Downtown Association, only Downtown Association members and non-profit organizations were eligible to participate. In July of 2006 the Market opened up to non members allowing them to participate at a cost of $80 per night. A committee meets the second Wednesday of each month (see TNP Committee page) to discuss all applications and to manage the event.

Thursday Night Promotions (also called Farmers' Market) are very popular. It is a year-round event, and the summer months draw large crowds to the Downtown Association district. From September through June the Downtown Association sponsors various special events at the market. Thursday nights are so successful and well run that cities from all over the country visit San Luis Obispo to see how it is done!

For more information about Thursday Night Promotions please call the Downtown Association office (805) 541-0286 and talk to the Farmers' Market Event Coordinator.

Mission Statement

To Foster an Economically Vibrant Downtown.

Duties of the SLO Downtown Association

The Downtown Association primarily serves its members in the areas of Parking, Promotions, Design, Economic Activities and Thursday Night Promotions. (See our Committee Page) Committees for these issues are comprised of business owners, employees and the public at large. The 11-member Board of Directors is comprised of business owners and managers.

One important fact about the Downtown Association operation is that it is entirely voluntary, with the exception of the staff, and that it is a member-run organization. The businesses are their own guide and determine the ultimate direction of the Downtown Association.

Read More

Strategic Business Plan & Annual Report

The Downtown Association's current Strategic Business Plan was updated in 2013 by retired Executive Director Deborah Cash.

 

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