One of four billboards Riverside County has created to promote Idyllwild to tourists. Photo courtesy RCEDA

Idyllwild businesses that rely heavily on tourism have suffered from first the Cranston Fire of July 2018 and now the Valentine’s Day flooding of this year, resulting in Highway 243 between Idyllwild and Banning, and Highway 74 between Mountain Center and Hemet, both being washed out.

Because of the long-term expected repairs on both highways, government authorities have joined forces to encourage tourists to visit Idyllwild through the accessible highways, including Highway 74 by escort from 6 a.m. to midnight Saturday to Monday Memorial Day weekend.

Riverside County Economic Development Agency created four billboards installed around Riverside County and several Twitter videos encouraging tourists to visit the arts and outdoor mountain community.

One video shows RC 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington talking about the art galleries and art shows coming up. Another tours some of those galleries.

TourIdyllwild and is a Twitter feed and is a website EDA created to promote the community to tourists.

And Wednesday, May 22, the county brought up 15 desert concierges to tour Idyllwild.

Stops will include Higher Grounds Coffee House; the Idyllwild Nature Center with a short talk from the ranger about the hiking trails; lunch at The Plant Food Supper Club; the Courtyard Gallery; The Fort and a visit to Sacred Soul gift shop; Wooley’s; a meet with Mayor Max; Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery for wine tasting and art viewing; and swag bags before returning to the desert.