GTEDC celebrates 2023 successes at final meeting of the year
December 23, 2023
On Dec. 6, the Greater Tehachapi Economical Development Council (GTEDC) convened for its final meeting of the year, one that's been full of achievements in business, community and charity. The meeting began with a high-spirited, forum-style reflection on the many successes of 2023.
This year's success highlights included the 2023 Cheers to Charity event, which raised $65,000 for 24 local charities. Another celebrated success was Kern County's investment in parks across District 2, which has been wonderful for Tehachapi's public areas and parks. Rotary's Peace Pole installation in Centennial Park was also mentioned, which serves as both a touching display of Tehachapi's values and a tranquil public space for its people. Cerro Coso College was also happy to report a 117% increase in student enrollment since 2022, with more students now enrolled in the Tehachapi satellite than on Cerro Coso's main campus in Ridgecrest.
The three GTEDC commissions then gave their reports. The Wine Commission celebrated record harvests in 2023, with the addition of two new wineries to the commission and plans for a Valentine's themed wine walk in February 2024. The Tourism Commission, despite the continuing need for more volunteers, reported that the Visitor Center has managed to remain open on Thursdays-Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in an ongoing effort to promote Tehachapi tourism. The Arts Commission shared news about the 2024 Tehachapi Art Show, which has 52 confirmed artists so far and has garnered sponsorship from international art organizations.
The meeting concluded with reports from the city and county. In its 2024 SWOT analysis, the city recognized both strengths and potential challenges for Tehachapi in the coming year. While Tehachapi's prime location near rapidly growing industries like aerospace and mining has long stood out as a concrete advantage, challenges such as rising retail theft and the increasing cost of living were identified as ongoing problems for Tehachapi. Fortunately, the city's adept fiscal management, marked by a balanced budget and healthy savings, has allowed for increased resources directed toward public safety and infrastructure, giving Tehachapi a stable foundation for continued growth.
Kern County ended the meeting with an announcement of the ground-breaking date for the $1.3 billion Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Dec. 14, which has now officially commenced. Kern residents have been eagerly waiting for the casino since the project was first announced in 2019.