Community


SchoolCenter PictureWelcome to our community of 30,000+ nestled in the coastal mountain range of central California, where the values and riches of the past are interwoven with the future.  Located close to mountains, beaches, and deserts, it is home to one of the United States’  greatest wine growing areas and a growing number of hot springs resorts.

The City of Paso Robles (full name: El Paso de Robles) has a long history with both wine and healing waters. Situated midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it is also a gateway to thriving metropolitan areas north, south and east.

Paso Robles offers all the amenities of family life including attractive and available housing, ample City services, state-of-the-art recreation facilities, easy access retail shopping, excellent public schools, and safe neighborhoods.

The City understands the importance of business and works hard to attract commerce in a diverse array of industries. The local economy is remains healthy with a 2008 gross product of $2,000,000,000. Paso Robles' population growth continues to exceed much of the Central Coast. With just over 11% of San Luis Obispo County's population, the City has 19% of retail sales and 53% of manufacturing jobs. In 2008 alone, Paso Robles accounted for 14% of all the new homes built. Paso Robles has sustained strong, uninterrupted economic growth since 1993. Given Paso Robles’ diversified economy, the national economic recession will be felt in the City, but at a lesser degree than the remainder of the county. The regional economic outlook for San Luis Obispo County can be downloaded here: Paso Robles Economic Forecast

Paso Robles holds the charm of a rural community, but is developing into a center of industry, viticulture, recreation, commerce, and housing. It is truly a place with something for everyone.


Paso Robles is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. The population was 24,297 at the 2000 census. In 2007 the population is at 29,297. 2010 population estimate is around 32,000. Paso Robles is the fastest growing city w/ population in San Luis Obispo County. The population estimate for 2025 is 44,000. A resort city located on the Salinas River north of San Luis Obispo, California, it is known for its hot springs, and for playing host to the California Mid-State Fair.



History

This area of the Central Coast known as the City of El Paso de Robles or Paso Robles and “Paso” to locals, has always been renowned for thermal springs. The Salinan Indians—the most historical inhabitants of the area—were here thousands of years even before the mission era. They knew this area as the “Springs” or the “Hot Springs.” The Indians, and later the Mission Fathers and their congregations, found relief from various ailments in the therapeutic waters and soothing mud baths.

The area was originally part of a 25,000 acre (101 km²) Spanish land grant that was purchased by James and Daniel Blackburn in 1857. The land was a rest-stop for travelers of the Camino Real trail, and was known for its mineral hot springs. In fact, Franciscan priests from neighboring Mission San Miguel constructed the first mineral baths in the area. During this period, Paso Robles began to attract the pioneer settlers who would become the founding members of the community. They would later establish cattle ranches, apple and almond orchards, dairy farms, and vineyards.

In 1864, the first El Paso de Robles Hotel was constructed and featured a hot mineral springs bath house.

James and Daniel Blackburn donated two blocks to the city for a public park to be used for the pleasure of its citizens and visitors. By original deed, the land was to revert to the donors if used for any other purpose than a public park. The grounds were laid out by a Mr. Redington and a planting day was held when each citizen set out his own donation. Originally, the whole park was hedged in by a fence of cactus, and in 1890 a bandstand was built with money raised by private theatricals.

In 1886, after the coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad, work began on laying out a town site, with the resort as the nucleus. Two weeks after the first train arrived on October 31, 1886, a three-day celebration was held including a special train from San Francisco bringing prospective buyers, who toured the area and enjoyed the daily barbecues. On November 17th, the “Grand Auction” was held, resulting in the sale of 228 lots.

In 1889, the same year that Paso Robles incorporated as a city, construction began on a magnificent new hotel. The hotel required over one-million bricks and cost a princely $160,000. The new El Paso de Robles Hotel opened for business in 1891. The new hotel was three stories tall and built of solid masonry, set off by sandstone arches. This ensured the hotel was completely fireproof. The hotel also featured a seven acre (28,000 m²) garden and nine hole golf course. Inside there was a library, a beauty salon, a barber shop, and various billiard and lounging rooms. The new hotel also offered an improved hot springs plunge bath as well as 32 individual bath rooms. The 20 by 40 foot plunge bath was considered one of the finest and most complete of its time in the United States.

In 1913, the world's most well-known concert pianist and composer came to the hotel: Ignace Paderewski. After three months of treatments at the hotel's mineral hot springs for his arthritis, he resumed his concert tour. He later returned to live at the hotel and bought two beautiful ranches just west of Paso Robles.

During the next 30 years, the hotel was visited by other notables: Boxing champion Jack Dempsey, President Theodore Roosevelt, Adela Rogers - St. John, Phoebe Apperson Hearst (the mother of William Randolph Hearst), actors Douglas Fairbanks, Boris Karloff, Bob Hope, and Clark Gable all stayed at the El Paso de Robles Hotel. And when Major League baseball teams used Paso Robles as a spring training home, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox stayed at the hotel and soaked in the mineral hot springs to sooth tired muscles.

For a time, Paso Robles was known as the “Almond City” because the local almond growers created the largest concentration of almond orchards in the world. The ranchers in the outlying areas were very important to the Paso Robles area. On these ranches were cattle and horses, grain crops (primarily wheat and barley), garden produce and fruit and nut orchards. Many of these ranch lands and orchards have become vineyards for the many wineries which currently draw tourists to the area. To show their appreciation to the ranchers, the business people established Pioneer Day in October 1931, which is still a huge annual celebration.

In December of 1940, tragedy struck. A spectacular fire completely destroyed the "fire-proof" El Paso de Robles Hotel. Guests staying the night escaped unharmed. However, the night clerk who discovered the fire suffered a fatal heart attack immediately after sounding the alarm. Within months after the blaze, plans for a new hotel to be built on the site are drawn up. The design was an entirely new concept: A Garden Inn - Hotel, designed to accommodate motor vehicle travelers.  By February 1942 construction was complete and the new Paso Robles Inn opened for business.

Through the 1960's and 1970's, few changes occurred at the Paso Robles Inn. However, the City of Paso Robles experienced significant growth. The area's wine industry flourished, the California Mid-State Fair expanded into a regional attraction, local lakes, such as Lake Nacimiento, became family vacation destinations and Paso Robles' reputation as a charming and friendly community grew.



Sustainable Building

Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County are at the leading edge of sustainable building methods. Several companies in the area specialize in straw-bale construction, insulating concrete forms, rammed earth, and super insulated buildings. Within a 15 mile radius of downtown Paso Robles there are no fewer than 12 straw bale homes, http://www.pasostrawbale.com 6 insulated concrete homes, and several straw bale wineries/tasting rooms. http://www.semmesco.com



Wind farms

Situated in a pass with rather reliable winds from the West, Paso Robles hosts several wind farms which generate electric power with wind generators.

See http://www.awea.org/smallwind/success_stories/success_stories_008.html

or

http://www.awea.org/Graphics_Library/library_info4.htm

especially http://www.awea.org/Graphics_Library/images/image_87.jpg.



Wine and Vineyards

The Paso Robles Wine Country is one of the fastest growing premium vineyard and winery regions in California, with the number of bonded wineries and vineyard acreage in Paso Robles more than doubling between 1993 and 2002. It is the loction of the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area. More than 25 different varieties of grapes are grown in the Paso Robles Wine Country and there are over 100 wineries.

Paso Robles grape growers, wineries and wine tasting rooms united to form the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance in 1993. This non-profit trade organization is dedicated to the promotion and education of the Paso Robles premium wine country.

Every year in March, the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance hosts the Zinfandel Festival, during which California Zinfandel producers and enthusiasts come together for an evening of wine, food and celebration of California’s heritage varietal.

In addition, each year in May, the Paso Robles Wine Festival is held. The festival attracts visitors from all over the state, and features wines form nearly all of the local wineries as well as local cuisine.

Also, this year Cinema e Vino Paradiso will be bringing a series of evening events of wine tasting, dinner and a classic film all under the stars at selected Central Coast Wineries. These wineries include CASS, Villicana, Rio Seco and Maloy O'Neill.



Famous Residents

  • Haldon Chase is famous for being one of the Denver boys, sudinymed Chad King, in Jack Kerouac's classic novel "On The Road" (references in On the Road)

  • Elena Verdugo, born April 25, 1925, in Paso Robles, California, she has a star on Hollywoods walk of fame.

  • Hampton John "Hamp" Pool (March 11, 1915 - May 26, 2000) was a football player, coach and scout who was part of two National Football League championship teams during his playing career and served as head coach for three professional teams.