First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood is funding key economic development efforts aimed at drawing major retailers and other employers to High Desert cities.
The $75,000 allocation will enable representatives of Apple Valley, Adelanto, Barstow, Hesperia and Victorville to attend International Council of Shopping Centers conferences and to promote ongoing regional economic development. The effort is aimed at expanding beyond past efforts, which have centered on recruiting retailers. The new drive will also focus on industrial/office and target site selectors, the real estate industry and developers.
Lovingood said the effort underscores his goal of all cities and the county working together.
“From a business perspective, it makes sense to cooperate in marketing the area as a single region,” Lovingood said. “When corporate site locators learn that the High Desert is home to 442,000 people, it gets their attention.”
If the High Desert region were a city, it would be the eighth largest city in California.
“The effort for all the High Desert Cities/Town to come together has taken the commitment of City/Town Councils, City Managers and Staff. I am pleased to see Supervisor Lovingood’s commitment as well. Only as a cohesive group can we move forward for the betterment of all our residents,” said Dr. D. James Hart, Adelanto’s City Manager.
“The City of Hesperia appreciates Supervisor Lovingood’s continuing support of Opportunity High Desert,” said Hesperia Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith. “His commitment to advancing this regional economic development consortium has enabled the five cities to broadcast a uniform message that the High Desert offers a diverse economy in which to invest.”
Apple Valley Mayor Art Bishop said, “This grant is a great opportunity for all the cities of the High Desert and the county to work as one team to bring new business and jobs to our communities.”