RACVB reaches to outside world telling of RC quailty of life

RACVB reaches to outside world telling of RC quailty of lifeBy LAURA QUEZADA

Staff Writer The News Review

There is no one size fits all answer when you engage people in conversations about Quality of Life in Ridgecrest. This was the consensus in speaking with Ridgecrest Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACV) Executive Director, Kari Crutcher and Film Commissioner, Doug Leuck. However, the role that RACVB plays in our Quality of Life is fairly clear as Crutcher explains, “We advertise Ridgecrest to the outside world for the purpose of visitors coming in and we want to assist visitors in having an outstanding experience. But the driver there is because of what it does for our economy and what it does for our small town folks and the small business owner, the restaurants, the shop owners.

Visitors coming means customers in their stores, guests in their restaurants and, ultimately, money in their pocket. The more effective our advertising and our reach, the more we bring to our neighbors. That is what drives our organization, that economic boost to our neighbors.”

From her viewpoint as a local resident, Crutcher says, “I like the idea that you are letting the definiton of Quality of Life evolve, because Quality of Life is different for every person’s perspective. I’ve had several people ask me over the years, ‘Why do you live in Ridgecrest?’ My answer is always, ‘Quality of Life.’ Until I spoke with someone who lives in LA who likes nightlife, fine dining, and shows and all off that. They said, ‘The Quality of Life in Ridgecrest is garbage because you don’t have these things.’

From my perspective, as a resident here, for ten years I was a stay at home mom. We had three kids in a single income family and to me that was Quality of Life. My kids are safe. The safety, the community that we have. For me, that is quality I am looking for. We don’t have the shopping, we don’t have the dining, but we have the other things that I am willing to trade off on.”

Leuck agrees, “You are 100% right. Quality of Life is how you see it. Quality of Life for me is safety. I feel very safe here. I feel like I could leave the keys in my car, not that I would do that, you can walk down the street and be 95% sure that you are safe. LA may have restaurants but you rush into the restaurant and have a quality experience, then you run back to your car because you might be accosted on the street.”

Ridgecrest is within reasonable proximity to just about anything that suits your interests. Crutcher says, “Within 3 hours you can get to a mountain, the ocean, Death Valley, the city. It is very easy. It is very obtainable to satisfy all of your interests.” She adds, “It isn’t that there isn’t anything to do, it is if what is available here suits your interest.

We have all of the outdoor – hiking, mountain biking. Activity is endless, you may have to drive a little bit. In the last two weeks I have been to Death Valley, Mammoth and Ventura.” Leuck interjects, “ Here we have opportunities to do all of these things because of where we are situated. I have made it from downtown LA to here in two hours and fifteen minutes, if the traffic is okay. In Ridgecrest you don’t even have to consider traffic.”

PICTURED: RACVB Film Commissioner, Doug Leuck, reaches out to bring visitors to Ridgecrest, a boost to the local economy. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2021-04-23