COVID restrictions are over. So why is Hearst Castle still closed? – Times-Herald

When the biggest winter storm swept away part of Highway 1 and rained about 20 inches over part of the central California coast, it robbed another major route, the road to Hearst Castle.

Today, 2.25 miles of damaged pavement will continue to close landmarks until next year, as the Golden State welcomes the world to famous tourist destinations after a 15-month pandemic limit.

To adapt, Hearst Castle will look to Hollywood-themed virtual tours starting July 13, joining the dogs of Kris Jenner and Chernobyl on Airbnb’s online experience platform.

You can’t walk by the famous Neptune Pool, where Clark Gable and Cary Grant swam, but national park guides will guide visitors to the locations. Occasionally wear period costumes to recreate the experience of William Randolph Hearst’s time.

Hearst Castle tour guide Tracy Kosinsky points to gold-injected glass tiles in an indoor Roman swimming pool. (Credit: © Hearst Castle® / CA State Park)

The virtual tour could be the castle’s “new normal” by the end of the year. It’s a disappointment to crying prospects to see a monument that attracts 750,000 visitors each year before the pandemic.

Lorienne Schwenk, executive director of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, recalled a disappointed couple who traveled from New York only to find the castle was closed. They told Schwenck that the castle was the main reason for coming to the seaside village.

“Their feeling was that of course the castle would be open because everything else was open,” she said.

State park officials predict it will take six to nine months to repair part of the damaged Hearst Castle road, according to spokeswoman Gloria Sandval.

The timeline may come as a surprise to those who saw the reopening of Highway 1 in April. It resumed nearly two months earlier than expected after a storm system hit the area in late January, causing flooding and killing one person. But when it comes to Hearst Castle Road, repairs can be heavier. The 27 culverts need to be repaired or replaced to ensure that the roads that support the weight of the tourist bus are structurally sound.

“We recognize that road damage is a disgrace and that people’s patience is tested,” Sandval said. “Everyone involved understands the need to act quickly.

In the meantime, virtual services may satisfy some Hurst fans. Hearst Castle Development Director Tara Stevenson said he’s confident the virtual tour will find a market.

“Every day I get a phone call or email from the public asking when the castle will reopen. »How do I watch it, take a private tour, have a video, what do you do online? She said. “We already know there is a demand.

Airbnb spokesperson Liz De Bold Fusco said the virtual tour would open a castle for curious people who are still stuck in a limited COVID country, based in Argentina from their home in New Jersey through Airbnb. I’m going to talk about how to take a tango class.

“It allows people all over the world to participate in parts of history that they might not otherwise know or enjoy,” she said.

Smoke from a wildfire thief from a ridge behind the famous Hearst Castle facade on August 20, 2016 (Joe Johnston via AP / Tribune (from San Luis Obispo))

The castle starts with eight visits per month and costs $ 20 per person, with a limit of 10 people per visit. According to Stevenson, all ticket revenue goes directly to the Foundation to help support its protection and education efforts. “It is not to make up for the income lost during the closure of the castle,” she said.

Hearst Castle in this rugged area of ​​the California coast is at stake. Storms and wildfires are frequent hazards in the surrounding community. At the very least, businesses in the area aren’t mind blowing when it comes to road repairs and resuming castle tours.

COVID restrictions are over. So why is Hearst Castle still closed? – Times-Herald Source link COVID restrictions are over. So why is Hearst Castle still closed? – Times-Herald

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