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West Coast Kustoms car show all set to drive up business in Santa Maria

West Coast Kustoms Cruisin' Nationals
Classic cars sit parked outside the Historic Santa Maria Inn Thursday morning. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- One of the biggest annual events in the Santa Maria Valley returns this weekend with the arrival of the West Coast Kustoms Cruisin' Nationals.

The popular car show will run through Sunday and is expected to bring hundreds of classic cars, as well as thousands of visitors to the city.

Many of the car owners arrived into Santa Maria on Thursday. Classic cars could be seen driving all over the city, including along the busy Broadway corridor around the Historic Santa Maria Inn, which serves as the official host site.

"It is an event like no other," said Doug Mason, West Coast Kustoms area representative. "That's the reason why everybody who hears about West Coast Kustoms coming into town are happy to see it come."

Now in its 41st year, the massive show brings in hundreds of classic, one-of-a-kind cars from around the nation.

"You'll be amazed at what you'll see," said Mason. "You see cars from all over the country, but also you'll see lead sleds, customs, hot rods, street rods, modified cars, and cars you'd never think would even be on the road, but it's amazing."

While car enthusiasts are no doubt excited about the event, which returns to its traditional Memorial Day holiday weekend schedule for the first time since 2019, local businesses are especially thrilled to see the cars roll back into the city.

"It's a huge impact to the community," said Ryan Swack, Historic Santa Maria Inn general manager. "Starting today, the town is going to fill up, every hotel room will be sold out through the weekend. It's a great event for the City of Santa Maria to host."

According to the Santa Maria Valley Chamber, the three-day long event is a crucial revenue stream for the city, adding much needed tax dollars to city coffers.

"It's certainly one of our biggest events that probably generates the most sales revenue and taxes in town," said Jennifer Harrison, Santa Maria Valley Chamber Tourism Director. "It allows the city to increase its general fund with the sales revenue that comes from this event, so everybody really benefits from this organization and them being in town with their beautiful car show."

Harrison added the car show helps out many types of businesses all across the city, plus those in other nearby areas as well.

"It spreads to our gas stations," said Harrison. "It spreads to our restaurants and even to shopping, so I think everyone benefits from an event at this level. We just love having. It's a fun show. It's what Santa Maria has become known."

The West Coast Kustoms Cruisin' Nationals will be held May 27-29 at the Santa Maria Fairpark. The popular cruise will take place starting Friday at 7 p.m. and will run on Broadway.

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.


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