The City of Big Bear Lake’s Improvement Agency, overseen by Redevelopment Director Lyle Haynes, hosted a community meeting to outline results of a study by the Buxton Company, detailing specifics of consumers within the Big Bear Valley. The October 28 meeting was attended by three dozen or more community members, who were provided an overview of consumers’ buying habits, preferences and lifestyles as compiled by Lisa Hill, Vice President of the Buxton Company’s Community ID program. Of the three primary consumer markets—full-time residents, second homeowners, and overnight lodgers and tourists—Hill pointed out that the psychographic analysis suggests that the Valley’s second homeowners and visitors are an extremely attractive consumer market with high incomes and education levels, and product preferences for high quality goods and services.
Wednesday’s presentation also included a broad-brush retail sales leakage analysis, identifying retail subcategories in which Big Bear is losing sales to “off the hill” markets. Those retail categories include computers and electronics, appliances, general merchandise and clothing, leather and soft goods, cosmetics and beauty supplies, optical products and jewelry. Haynes notes that these retail categories represent opportunity for local business owners and entrepreneurs to help meet those demands. And, per Hill of the Buxton Company, “Although Big Bear’s second homeowners and tourists represent opportunity, full-time residents represent the best sustainable opportunity because it is clear that all of their consumer needs are not being met by businesses in the Valley.”
Haynes tells KBHR that he is pleased with the meeting’s turnout and the positive reception the Buxton Report received. Per Haynes, “We have only released the summary report at this point, but plan to release the consumer data in a user-friendly format that can be utilized by our local business community in the near future. We are doing so in hopes that our local business community will utilize this information to better serve our local consumers’ needs.” For more information on the Buxton Report, as well as other projects of the Improvement Agency—including the First-Time Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program—you can visit the City of Big Bear Lake’s Improvement Agency webpage.