June 20th, 2014

Keep in Touch with The Greater Grass Valley Chamber!
Sponsored by Friends of the Chamber




Submitted by

Keith Davies, Co-CEO/Executive Director

Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce


As I walk around Grass Valley and Nevada City -- and drive around the unincorporated areas of Western Nevada County -- I am reminded of what it was like growing up here in the 1950's and '60's.

Visually, our main business streets -- Broad and Commercial in Nevada City and Mill and Main in Grass Valley -- are pretty much as they were when I was a kid living in Nevada City.  Most buildings are the same, but the signs over the doors have changed and what's sold inside the doors has changed as well.

In those days, it seemed that most families were middle-class, with a few living in poverty.  But  extreme wealth was rare.  And once you left either town and drove toward the other, there was very little in between.  No shopping centers, no fast-food joints, and no traffic congestion. 

When we graduated from NUHS in the '60s, most of our class left the county for college, the military, or work elsewhere.  Those few who stayed, found employment with NID, PG&E, SPD or Robinson Timber, or maybe took a job with the county.  But there was no solid job base here -- and few thought it would ever change.

In the 1970s, however, there was a renaissance of sorts as both the culture and commerce of this area slowly changed.  Many Bay Area people arrived here with big dreams and a desire to invest in a community.  Some were labeled Hippies, and they leased boarded-up storefronts. 

As the local renaissance blossomed, Grass Valley and Nevada City Chambers of Commerce began innovative marketing campaigns aimed at attracting more tourists.  Cornish Christmas began to get regional attention, and Nevada City's Victorian Christmas drew its share of publicity.  Also, what began as a casual Father's Day event in Nevada City for locals, grew into a world-class bicycle race that attracted the greatest cyclists in the nation and crowds of over 20,000.

Major entertainment acts began appearing at the county fairgrounds, several local night spots began featuring live music 3-4 nights a week, and a handful of local theater groups began staging productions at venues in both communities.  In addition, Hollywood discovered Western Nevada County and a half-dozen movies and television episodes were filmed here in the late '70s and early '80s.  It was a fun time to live and work here.

As more and more people grew aware of what was happening here -- and marveled at our natural beauty and climate -- high-tech firms began to establish themselves in the county, and from those first companies came spin-off high-tech firms offering hundreds of well-paying jobs.  Our employment base grew, as did our collective wealth, mostly through our retirement community relocating here.  Home prices soared as did new real estate offices.   

If you walked down Mill Street or Broad Street in the 1990s, you would have been hard pressed to find an empty storefront.  Life was good, and the future seemed limitless.  It was a time of local wealth and prosperity that drew comparisons to the county's founding during the Gold Rush.

Then came the first decade of the 21st century, and we are still recovering from those years.  This month, over 700 students graduated from local high schools, and an estimated 500 or more will leave for college or job opportunities and never return as permanent residents.  Many of those who decide to stay here will be looking for low-paying service jobs and/or jobs that will fill a void but not make a career.

The local Sierra College campus is a blessing, but it has not had a significant impact on local employment opportunities.  Also, Jon Gregory at the Economic Resource Council has some innovative plans to help the local employment market, but his concepts need time to percolate and grow and his focus is job creation or expansion of our business community, not tourism per se.

So where does that leave us in regards to tourism?  It leaves us late in the game -- and we need to find a way to get back in the game.  And soon!

The first thing we might do is look toward our neighbors to the East -- Truckee -- where tourism is a driving factor in their approach to economic growth.  Granted, they have advantages we don't have, including amazing lakes, beautiful mountains, first-rate ski resorts, five-star hotels and other amenities, but we have something they don't have:  A history that is the envy of other communities in California.

For us, however, it will take more than our history to match what has happened in Eastern Nevada County.  We need some "hooks" -- unique attractions that will bring guests here to enjoy the area, spend money with our merchants, fill our hotels and go home happy -- wanting to return.

Next month, we will explore some possible "hooks" that we believe will lead to another renaissance for Western Nevada County, this time resulting in more primary businesses, more support businesses, increased recognition, increased sales and bed tax for our cities and county, and -- perhaps most importantly -- job opportunities that will prevent the troubling exodus of young adults who would like to remain here and raise families.


Download the PDF here.

A wonderful opportunity to be of assistance to visitors and our community at the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce. We are looking for volunteers to staff our Visitor's Center Concierge Desk and to be a welcoming, smiling face representing our community, city and Nevada County.

Job Duties/Description: 

  • Support and staff the Concierge Desk of the Grass Valley Visitor's Center; providing information to visitors and community members about our area's events and businesses
  • Provide a welcoming and friendly customer experience
  • Offer a wide variety of assistance via brochures, historical reference, and directions to locations within our community
  • Act as a knowledgeable and courteous principal point of contact
  • Sincere desire to provide assistance as needed
  • Act as an ambassador of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce


Skills Required:


  • Ability to speak clearly and communicate effectively
  • Ability and enthusiasm for working with the public
  • Dependable, reliable and responsible
  • Works well with minimal supervision and structure
  • Ability to process information
  • Polite, poised, patient, friendly and even-tempered
  • Light computer skills to browse the internet
  • Sit or stand for several hours

Days needed: 7 days per week (split between several people)
Time of day: 10AM-3PM
Shift Length: 2.5 to 3 hours per day
Contact: Yolanda 530-273-4667 

4th of July Independence Day Celebration

Following the parade is a traditional family celebration under the pines at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.


Live music and entertainment, food and refreshments are offered. The fireworks spectacular blasts off at 9:30 p.m.


Fairgrounds gates open at 3 p.m. and entertainment begins at 4 p.m.


Admission rates: General Admission $10 advance/$15 gate; children 12 and under are FREE. Military Free with ID


Advance Tickets are available now at: The Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce at 128 East Main Street, Grass Valley (530) 273-4667


The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce at 132 Main Street, Nevada City (530) 265-2692.


No alcohol, glass, pets, barbecues or personal fireworks may be brought onto the fairgrounds.

Nevada City and Grass Valley are located at the 2,500-foot elevation, off state routes 49 and 20, a one-hour drive northeast of Sacramento.


Click here for more event details.


SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 06/21 & 06/22/14 
Come by and check out our new and improved wine bar, it's bigger and better than before.


Join us for an afternoon of painting "Sunflowers", Van Gogh style, while sipping award winning wine at Bent Metal Winery.

Leave your inhibitions at the door and take home your own masterpiece. Absolutely no painting experience required.

**Please reserve your easel on the Community canvas website clicking "Tickets" or by calling our office at 530-272-2213.

Cost: $40 per person
Time: 1pm - (+/-) 4pm 

Upcoming Events:
June 13 through August 9
Saturday, June 21st

 June 3 through 30




  Wine Chat - Today! June 20, 2014 5:30 PM


The Nevada County Republican Party will be holding a Wine Chat on Friday June 20th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at its campaign headquarters in the Fowler Center (near B&C Hardware).  Join fellow Republicans for an informal gathering and discuss the recent election results and learn about our upcoming activities for this summer. A $5 voluntary donation is suggested.


July 4th parade

July 17th Volunteer Appreciation Potluck

County Faire August 6-10

Summer Bar-B-Q August 17






NOTE: The Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce is a nongovernmental organization with no political affiliation; it is a Business Association with one central purpose - to support, in every manner both legal and practicable, the development of the local economy.
June 21st 2014 
Pilot Peak proudly PRESENTS 

This is not your typical "Blues". Some New Orleans R&B is traditional blues embellished by Dixieland Jazz, "LUSTY" Caribbean rhythms and some rug-cutting "Boogie-Woogie"! SWAMP DADDY brings an infectious groove and funky feel to the dance floor - through music by Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, Erma Thomas, Marc Broussaird, the Neveille Brothers, Marcia Ball, Delbert McClinton...and a whole lot more!

MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS EARLY so you can enjoy the evening dancing under the stars at the PEAK!


 Download the PDF flyer here.
Nevada County Concert Band presents Pioneer Park Picnic & Pops concert series 2014
Come to Nevada City's Pioneer Park to enjoy your picnic dinner on the grass, or treat yourself with goodies from the hot dog or ice cream vendors. The 80-member Nevada Concert Band always puts on a great show, often providing surprises at each performance. All concerts are family-oriented, dog-friendly, and FREE.

Sunday June 22, 2014
5:00 - 7:00pm at Pioneer Park
With the theme "I Get Around, " this family-friendly outdoor concert will take you to great places in the United States, such as "The Charleston," "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," Neil Diamond's "America," "Hawaiian War Chant," and "Washington Grays."

Join us at the Northstar House Saturday, June 21st from
8-12:30 for our Growers Market.

We are seeing the first tomatoes of the year, and it is Free Kids Metal Project day with Jerry next to Nana's Artisan Bakery on the lower path.
This week we are featuring James Ranch, selling grass fed lamb since 1981. This is a 200 acre historic homestead on the edge of Penn Valley. Their lamb has been featured at Chez Panisse for 27 years!!

The James Ranch has been selling at the Northstar House for 5 years. Their customers (us included!) rave about the flavor of their lamb.
New this year is an expanded artists area on the top level, anchored by Fried Green Pottery and our Master Gardeners. Also available are hats, birdhouses, jewelry, paper arts, decorated utensils and salt shakers, and much more. 


Information: 265-5551 or info@thegrowersmarket.com 


Download the PDF here

True West

Director: Paul MicsanSynthetic Unlimited Opera House
120 Joerschke Dr, Grass Valley

Synthetic Unlimited presents True West, a hilarious and riveting drama by Sam Shepard, in which two estranged, combative brothers are forced together and apart in the process of writing an original screenplay for a Hollywood film producer. Don't miss this fast-paced, violent play, in which real life brothers switch the challenging leading roles every other night. 



True West runs from Thursday, June 12th through Saturday, June 28th, at 8 pm at the new Synthetic Unlimited Opera House at 120 Joerschke Drive, Grass Valley. Tickets are $20, or $15 for SU members, and are available through Brown Paper Tickets, 1-888-95-SHOWS, or the Briar Patch in Grass Valley.

Nevada County Releases Interactive Recreation Web Map

 We have enhanced the previous Trail Web Map as a new Recreation Viewer Application. In addition to trails, the map can now be used to search for campgrounds, parks, and golf courses. We hope to add even more recreation opportunities in the future such as disc golf courses and off highway vehicle (OHV) trails. This web map can be accessed by any PC, tablet, or smartphone and is available here. 
The map allows a user to pan and zoom around a county map showing all known public trails, campgrounds, parks, and golf courses. You can search for a recreation resource by name by clicking on the magnifying glass, or simply click on one of the resources on the map to discover its name and other information. For many resources an additional link will take you to a website such as the Bear Yuba Land Trust Trail Map, a State Park Brochure, or a campground or golf course website. You can also click on the locate button on the left to zoom to your current location. If you would like to give feedback regarding missing or incorrect recreation resource locations, or additional recreation features you would like to see featured, please send an email here.
Special for Chamber Members


Local Organizations Step Up to Support ERC's New Direction


In early June the ERC announced its new annual membership and sponsorship model intended to substantially increase the value to the ERC's supporters by providing them with opportunities to "self select" initiatives, programs, or events they can align with and enhance their branding, influence, or visibility. According to ERC Executive Director Jon Gregory, "we carefully thought through this process in a manner to maximize the impact to our supporters." He continued, "early response has been fabulous."


ERC Chair, Lisa Swarthout, was pleased with the early interest that has followed. "In the first week, we received major commitments of support from Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Tri Counties Bank, Community 1st Bank, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, Plumas Bank, ZAP Manufacturing, NID, and word from several others that they are in the final process of determining what their contribution level with be." Swarthout further explained, "with this ongoing private sector support, along with the contributions from our local government partners, the ERC is poised to launch a series of initiatives like the Fab 5 and Royal Welcome that will help to create jobs and prosperity in Nevada County."




Visit their website for more information. 

 Click here for more information.

Program Advocate-Volunteer Coordinator
Full-time position responsible for providing direct crisis intervention services to victims/survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Position is also responsible to develop, coordinate, and implement the volunteer program. Must embrace principles of Trauma Informed Care. Candidate must be a team player, flexible, and able to work in a fast paced and sometimes demanding environment. DV/SA Certification is preferred (training may be provided). $14/hr initial, $15/hr after certified. Position requires a clean background check. EOE

Please apply through:

One-Stop Business & Career Center
715 Maltman Drive
Grass Valley, CA

Download the job description PDF here.

Hospitality House - Job Opportunity

Hospitality House is looking for a Program Supervisor. The major areas of responsibility include: Shelter Operations and Facilities Management; Personnel Management; Guest Life Management Classes, Fiscal Management; and Community Relations. The PS has overall responsibility for Hospitality House's emergency shelter daily workflow and for the supervision, development and motivation of staff. The PS is also responsible for enhancing opportunities for volunteers and fostering a collaborative relationship with other service providers.

Please click to see full Position Announcement

To apply click here Hospitality House Employment

For more information on Hospitality House visit HHShelter.org

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation 
Job Opportunity

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation seeks a bright and focused individual to join our fast-paced team and work with our Full Charge Bookkeeper. The part-time position handles routine financial cash and expense functions. Candidates need a minimum of three years experience with Excel, Business Works or similar accounting software.

Please click to see full Position Announcement

Send resume with cover letter to:

Kimberly Parker, Executive Director
Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation
PO Box 1810
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Resumes may be emailed to kparker@snmhf.com
Deadline: June 16 or until position is filled

No calls please 
Chamber News in the State




Top Story

Assembly Committee Nixes New Liability for Car Dealers

(June 19, 2014) A "job killer" bill imposing an extremely difficult standard on licensed car dealers in California regarding a manufacturer's "safety" recall was rejected by an Assembly committee this week.





Public Affairs / Politics
Electricity and natural gas rates for customers of PG&E are headed higher, if a powerful state agency adopts a proposal issued Wednesday evening by a state administrative law judge. San Jose Mercury News


Two U.S. senators on Wednesday said they want to raise the federal gasoline and diesel tax by 12 cents a gallon to prevent a fund that pays for about half of the country's transportation projects from running out of money in August. Reuters



Environmental / Agriculture

California Banning Burning on 31 Million Acres

Open burning is being banned on 31 million acres of land throughout California because of the threat wildfires due to the lengthening drought. San Diego Union-Tribune





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128 E. Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 530.273.4667