First there was the July fire with five days of evacuation, and then a February weather apocalypse that closed two of three major roads into Idyllwild. Even though January through March is normally a slower time for Idyllwild businesses, the two unforeseen events have significantly impacted local tourist traffic.
With spring weather, and little rain or snow on the horizon, weekends in town seem busy. With Highway 74 opening for fixed daily pilot car escort in several weeks, there is some optimism in the air. Business owners are hopeful.
Nevertheless, there are businesses that have closed, some location changes and some ownership changes to existing businesses that seem promising.
Kenny Gioeli has cashed out Four Seasons Nursery on Highway 243 and is opening Idyllwild Gardens on North Circle as a year-round nursery, with major offerings and structural upgrades. “It will be the only nursery in town,” said Gioeli. There will be a longer article on Gioeli’s plans for what promises to be a new and appealing business fixture in the town.
Christine Ziegenfuss-Holanda, formerly with Four Seasons Nursery, has opened Lily of the Valley, Floral and Event Planning in what had been the longstanding Florist in the Forest location. She plans to be open (for now) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. She will close on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Dr. Carol Ann Berg has moved her dentistry practice from Oakwood Village to a larger and beautifully remodeled location on North Circle Drive, corner of North Circle and Cedar Street.
Crazy Train Pub and Grill on Highway 243 across from Tacos Los Gorditos has folded, and the business location is for rent.
Manny Solis hopes to open Mamma Mia Crepes and Desserts on the second floor of the Fort in several weeks. The county has signed off on the opening but there remains an issue with an approval letter from the Idyllwild Fire Department that the county cannot locate, according to Solis. Mamma Mia, with state-of-the-art espresso machines, Lavazza Italian coffee, French crepes, bubble waffles, gelato and festive desserts will, like other Solis town eateries, serve a currently unoccupied cuisine niche.
We will continue to monitor the town’s business profile as weather improves and Highway 74 opens with a pilot car escort in several weeks.