AUBURN, Calif. — As Memorial Day Weekend kicks off, Auburn locals and officials anticipate a busy weekend. While some are excited for the influx of travelers, others aren't quite ready for the traffic holiday weekends bring to town.
"Well, it brings in customers, which brings in money," bar owner, Hank Gonzalez explained.
Hank Gonzalez has seen his share of busy weekends in Auburn. He has owned The California Club bar in Old Town since 1963. He said on a weekend like Memorial Day, whether visitors were just passing through or staying a while, it was great for the area's economy, especially during the pandemic.
On the other hand, some locals, like Douglas Specht said they could do without the crowds.
"The traffic," explained Douglas Specht an Auburn resident. "It’s different when people come up from the city because the city is kinda trashy. We don’t want it to be brought up here."
Rob Haswell, an optimistic Auburn resident and the executive director of Visit Placer said he expected a great weekend, full of tourists.
"Our businesses are ready for people to come up," Haswell explained.
He said there would be live music all over town on most venue patios and he expected a good turnout on the trails and waterways as well, which is one reason the City of Auburn has set up a new shuttle system to get to the confluence.
"What we found last year in COVID, was people came out here by the thousands and discovered our backyard," he explained. "Which was great, but what happened was, it got very congested down there, the parking was tough."
The buses run every two hours, Friday through Sunday with 5 primary stops along the way at Springhill Suites, Holiday Inn, Old Town Auburn (by Historic Firehouse), Downtown Auburn (At Elders Station), the Fairgrounds (main parking lot).
Anticipating some heavy travel to the area, State Parks said shuttle transportation was highly encouraged and people should do their research before exploring.
"We really encourage people, especially now, to travel responsibly, take care of their trash, be respectful of businesses and how they are dealing with the COVID protocols as we sort of roll out of them."
Haswell recommends visitors planning a trip to Auburn or surrounding foothill towns to check out the website at visitplacer.com
"Come up to Auburn," Gonzalez said. "Have a cocktail. And enjoy yourself."