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KNX ‘On Your Corner’ Visits Newport Beach

Mayor Keith Curry speaks about the state of Newport Beach during a radio interview Friday with KNX 1070.

KNX 1070 hit the airwaves Friday live from Newport Beach.

As part of “KNX On Your Corner,” some of the station’s news personalities spent the day at ExplorOcean, home of the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum. During the business-hour segment, Mayor Keith Curry talked to host Frank Mottek about the city’s economic profile.

“Things are well, corporations are strong and Newport is always a leader in financial services,” said Curry.

He emphasized that the city values new development with such examples as the new PIMCO site.

“The vertical construction is so unusual, there are very few places that you see this,” Curry explained.

On the topic of tourism, Curry stated that with a population of 86,000, there are at least 100,000 people who show up to go to the beach on any summer day. He added besides the property tax revenue, there is also hotel tax.

Curry attributed the neighborhood revitalization as part of the reason that the city is doing so well.

“The Balboa Theater development and ExplorOcean with the Nautical Museum are one of the most exciting things to happen in the city,” Curry said.

During the KNX news segment, hosted by Chris Sedens, Curry was asked about the quality of life in Newport Beach.

“The budget is in good shape, we live within our means, support the economy and invest in our community," Curry said.

He added that jobs were up, spending was down, and the underlying economy was strong. He used the revenue from Fashion Island and auto sales as examples of business revenue keeping the positive environment going.

During the interview, the new civic center was referred to as the Taj Mahal, but after ticking off the amenities, Curry stated, “Critics will be hard to find come May.”

Gary Sherwin, president and CEO of the Newport Visitor’s Bureau, was also interviewed about Newport Beach’s contribution to the billion-dollar tourism industry, and the push to be competitive as a destination. He illustrated Fashion Island and Pelican Hill as major investments that add to the vibrancy of Newport Beach.

Sherwin explained that Newport has vital visitor products such as shopping, beach, hotels and restaurants, but outreach is still needed to grow the market. He wants to see Newport Beach be more than a day trip and more of an overnight destination comparable to Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. Sherwin explained how success is measured.

“Revpar is what is known as the barometer of health in the visitor industry, beyond the average daily rate, it includes the additional services, such as spa, restaurants, golf,” Sherwin explained.

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