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Business report to city shows drop in lease rates

Johnny Cash may have new trail named in his honor
By: Laura Newell Telegraph staff writer
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According to a recent report, Folsom has seen a severe drop in lease rates. At the Oct. 26 Folsom City Council meeting, presentations were given of the annual reports for the Folsom Economic Development Corporation and the Folsom Tourism Bureau Joe Gagliardi, Folsom Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, spoke on the Folsom Economic Development Corporation. In commercial trends for retail there were vacancy rates around 20 percent and a 50 percent drop in lease rates. In commercial trends for office, there were vacancy rates in total 16 percent and a 25 percent drop in lease rates. In commercial trends in hospitality, the hotel room tax was down 23 percent, reflecting a drop in occupancy and average daily rate. He said they have held personal meetings with 20 medium-to-large businesses and close to 200 small businesses were polled through business walks. According to Gagliardi, the top five small business challenges they found were access to capital, permit advice, time it takes to get a permit, signage and economic conditions. “The next steps are to support business retention, expansion and attraction,” Gagliardi said. “To increase access to capital … and to invest in future long range planning.” Mary Ann McAlea, Folsom Chamber of Commerce director of tourism bureau, presented the annual report to the city on the Folsom Tourism Bureau. She said the bureau budgeted conservatively and maintained focus on specific Folsom leisure markets including leveraging existing major events in Folsom and adding both room nights and economic impact in dining retail and entertainment segment. “In addition, we are looking into new events including sports, historical/cultural and the arts communities to improve the visibility of these events and to help them improve these events in Folsom,” McAlea said. “I think we have made a lot of progress.” In other council business, Robert Goss, with the city’s parks and recreational department, discussed the installation of the East Bidwell Bicycle/Pedestrian Overcrossing Bridge. There will be an opening dedication at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, Goss said. Also at the meeting, a resolution naming the bike trail segment through the properties of Folsom State Prison and California State Prison, Sacramento, was approved by council, subject to the approval of the Johnny Cash Family/Estate. The trail would be called “Johnny Cash Trail.” For more, visit ci.folsom.ca.us/default.asp.