Some restaurants welcome patrons back into their dining rooms

Some restaurants welcome patrons back into their dining rooms

Kristy’s waitress Lucy Vasquez serves lunch to Cathy Castillo and Dick Dickson on Monday. With approval from the governor and county last week, restaurants in the Indian Wells Valley began reopening their dining rooms late last week. Many restaurants remain open only for curb-side pick-up . . . Read Full Story >>

Shops, restaurants reopen Friday

Shops, restaurants reopen Friday

A groundswell of advocates from our community, county and state appear to have been successful in gaining approval from the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom to accelerate the next phase of “Stage 2” reopenings, which means that dine-in restaurants and small shops could be receiving . . . Read Full Story >>

Oasis complex breaks ground

Oasis complex breaks ground

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Developer G&L China Lake LLC continues to take steps forward with its 17-acre commercial development on South China Lake Boulevard, between Bowman Road and Rader Avenue, dubbed “Oasis at China Lake.” The Ridgecrest City Council approved a developmental . . . Read Full Story >>

Surviving the shutdown

Surviving the shutdown

Rebecca Neipp

While scores of businesses around town have shuttered their operations because of restrictions relating to COVID-19, some entrepreneurs have made significant modifications in order to maintain some level of service. Ryan Abbatoye of Rad Custom Graphics, specializing in everything from T-shirt printing and embroidery to . . . Read Full Story >>

Grocery Outlet, other stores coming to town

Grocery Outlet, other stores coming to town

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Despite an economic downturn due to COVID-19, new business prospects are still moving forward in Ridgecrest. In addition to a Holiday Inn Express breaking ground on North China Lake Boulevard, Grocery Outlet and Panda Express are moving forward . . . Read Full Story >>

Holiday Inn Express breaks ground

Holiday Inn Express breaks ground

The construction crew from Gilliam & Sons breaks ground on a Holiday Inn Express development across the street from Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. The Ridgecrest Planning Commission approved the project, which includes a four-story, 103-room hotel and a pad for additional retail development, in the summer . . . Read Full Story >>

Struggling cinemas still finds way to give back

Struggling cinemas still finds way to give back

“In my mind, it’s not a question of if we will still be here. I have to find a way to keep the theater going,” said Kelly Walden, general manager of Ridgecrest Cinemas. Scores of businesses in the Indian Wells Valley finished their second full . . . Read Full Story >>

Isolation strains small businesses

Isolation strains small businesses

Rebecca Neipp

As critical industries struggle to continue services during Gov. Newsom’s executive order for Californians to stay at home, those deemed “non-essential” battle for their very survival. Last week’s “shelter in place” directive (covid19.ca.gov) ordered Californians to stay in their homes, making allowances to leave only . . . Read Full Story >>

How will social distancing impact commerce?

How will social distancing impact commerce?

Rebecca Neipp

With unprecedented closures and directives to self-isolate to help slow a coronavirus outbreak, the community is bracing for the impact social distancing will have on stores, restaurants and other public spaces. Over the weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars, wineries and pubs to cease operations. . . . Read Full Story >>

How will social distancing impact commerce?

How will social distancing impact commerce?

Rebecca Neipp

With unprecedented school closures and directives to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing to help slow the spread of coronavirus, the community is bracing for the impact of what the reduction of traffic will have on stores, restaurants and other public spaces. Over the weekend, Gov. . . . Read Full Story >>

Elected officials weigh in at Outlook Conference

Rebecca Neipp

Among the leaders from defense, industry and community, attendees at the IWV Economic Outlook Conference heard elected officials give their take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Vince Fong each . . . Read Full Story >>

Is the economic boom over?

Is the economic boom over?

Rebecca Neipp

What a difference two weeks make. On Feb. 27, economist Mark Schniepp told a packed audience at the IWV Economic Outlook Conference that the economy was still booming — on the national scale as well as locally. But the biggest threat to that steady growth . . . Read Full Story >>

City braces for rebuild

City braces for rebuild

Rebecca Neipp

As Navy officials roll out plans to spend some $3 billion on an effort to provide earthquake recovery and modernization of China Lake, the city of Ridgecrest is partnering to provide the necessary support that will be required in our remote community. City Manager Ron . . . Read Full Story >>

China Lake thriving in recovery

China Lake thriving in recovery

Rebecca Neipp

Part 1 in a series: in keeping with our 2020 Vision theme, the News Review will present in-depth reports from IWV Economic Outlook Conference speakers in the coming weeks —————————— Between the launch of the recovery process and the report from the annual IWV Economic . . . Read Full Story >>

Death Valley traffic boosts IWV economy

Death Valley traffic boosts IWV economy

Rebecca Neipp

Another record-breaking year for visitors in Death Valley National Park translated to an uptick in traffic for local hospitality, as well. More than 1.7 million people visited the park last year — marking a consistent increase in traffic since 2016 and more than doubling the . . . Read Full Story >>

‘Where are we going?’

‘Where are we going?’

Rebecca Neipp

“I am particularly excited about this year’s Economic Outlook Conference,” said Scott O’Neil, who will be presenting a briefing this year on behalf of IWV Economic Development Corp. He also serves on the EOC steering committee. “The agenda is very future-focused. What I’m hoping for . . . Read Full Story >>

Conference offers updates, network opportunities

Conference offers updates, network opportunities

Rebecca Neipp

For more than two decades community leaders have gathered for the annual IWV Outlook Conference to hear updates on current economic trends and opportunities and mingle with some of the most engaged community leaders. The Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with its sponsors, will . . . Read Full Story >>

New geothermal opportunities explored

Rebecca Neipp

An article published last week in the Los Angeles Times highlighted an initiative of the Bureau of Land Management to release 22,000 acres for potential development of geothermal projects — bringing to light a local asset and renewing discussion on industrial development in the region . . . Read Full Story >>

Outlook Conf. tickets now on sale

Rebecca Neipp

Tickets, sponsorships and expo spaces are now on sale for the 33rd annual IWV Economic Outlook Conference, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kerr McGee Center. Each year the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce stages the event to give . . . Read Full Story >>

Forging our path

Forging our path

Rebecca Neipp

• WHERE ARE WE GOING? “Thinking about the future is difficult,” said Scott O’Neil, executive director of the IWV Economic Development Corp. To many, the prospect of peering into the unknowable path ahead prevents us from taking the first step. In pondering how to shape . . . Read Full Story >>