When tourists pop into the Shore House Café near the Balboa Pier they're often confused. Are we on Balboa Island? Which way is San Diego?
Bartender Brianne Parmeter, 26, directs them, she says, and does her best to convert their inquiry into a dinner sale.
But tourism leaders and others in the business community think they can streamline the process. They want to install signs around the city that point to the big attractions and little neighborhoods, helping visitors get to their destinations faster. Now, 10 years after they started planning, the signs are ready to be built and installed, but city council members voted to delay funding.
"We're trying to help visitors to the community find their destination, so they're not wasting time driving around instead of enjoying lunch or a cocktail," said Richard Luehrs, president of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, who has helped plan the program. He's perturbed it was postponed. "Make budget cuts to things that don't have an impact on the local economy," he said.