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Quick facts about San Luis Obispo

  1. Downtown SLO is a humming, pedestrian friendly zone of shops, restaurants and galleries in turn-of-the-20th century buildings.
  2. Thursday Night Farmers’ Market brings a fiesta of produce, crafts, barbecue, street food and live entertainment to
    downtown.
  3. There are approximately 760 non-profits in San Luis Obispo that generate nearly $800 million in economic output each year.
  4. San Luis Obispo wine country lies five minutes south of downtown, putting two dozen premier wineries within easy reach.
  5. There are more than 25 miles of easily accessible trails in the city of San Luis Obispo.
  6. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the fifth of California’s 21 Spanish missions, was founded in 1772.
  7. San Luis Obispo County has more than 80 miles of Pacific coastline.
  8. Hearst Castle, William Randolph Hearst’s elaborate Central Coast summer home, stands in solitary splendor 45 minutes to the north.
  9. In a typical year, San Luis Obispo sees 315 sunny days.
  10. Fourth lowest commute time in the state.
  11. Listed as one of the top 10 places to retire in the US.

View the 2015 Community Economic Profile

Economic Vision Document

Click here to view our Economic Vision Document

Our Mission

We connect the business community with ideas, inspiration and each other, bringing people together to shape the place we love.

Long-Term Objectives

In 2020, San Luis Obispo will:

  • Be a community that encourages businesses to start and thrive here because its business-friendly values, strong environmental ethic, diverse creative-class employee base and active connection with Cuesta College and Cal Poly education and innovation.
  • Provide an abundance of meaningful jobs for residents of various skill and educational levels.
  • Nurture a growing number of primary, hear-of-household jobs in future-oriented businesses.
  • Support a vibrant downtown, with a diverse mix of businesses, including offices, restaurants, retail and entertainment.
  • Encourage other successful outlying business districts as well as friendly, walkable residential neighborhoods.
  • Continue to promote world-class educational, cultural and recreational opportunities.
  • Remain a compact, prosperous and safe city surrounded by viable agriculture and protected open space, with easy access to our beautiful natural environment.Click here to view our Economic Vision Document

Major Employers

1. California Polytechnic State University
Education • 3,055 employees

2. County of San Luis Obispo
Government • 2,800 employees

3. Department of State Hospitals- Atascadero
Healthcare • 2,000 employees

4. California Men’s Colony
Correctional Facility • 1,540 employees

5. Pacific Gas & Electric
Public Utility • 1,900 employees

6. Cal Poly Corp.
Services • 1,400 employees

7. Tenet Healthcare
Healthcare • 1,272 employees

8. Compass Health Inc.
Healthcare • 1,200 employees

9. Lucia Mar Unified School District
Education • 1,000 employees

10. Paso Robles Public Schools
Education • 935 employees

11. San Luis Coastal Unified School District
Education • 902 employees

12. Dignity Health (Central Coast)
Healthcare • 864 employees

13. MINDBODY
Software • 650 employees

14. Atascadero Unified School District
Education • 600 employees

15. California Department of Transportation
Government • 544 employees

16. California State Parks
Parks and Recreation • 440 employees

17. Cuesta College
Education • 440 employees

18. Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo
County • Non-Profit • 410 employees

19. Community Health Centers of the Central Coast
Healthcare • 388 employees

20. City of San Luis Obispo
Government • 359 employees

21. Rabobank, N. A.
Financial • 300 employees

22. U.S. Postal Service
Postal Service • 287 employees

23. Heritage Oaks Bank
Banking• 262 employees

24. Martin Resorts
Hospitality • 260 employees

25. San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
Government • 250 employees

26. F. McLintocks Saloon and Dining
Restaurant Chain • 250 employees

27. Templeton Unified School District
Education • 250 employees

Source: Pacific Coast Business Times 2015

Healthcare

San Luis Obispo is a nationally recognized hub of health care excellence, serving all of the Central Coast with superior regional medical facilities and well trained providers of all types.

The city is home to two major private hospitals, plus urgent care facilities, health maintenance and community health care centers, as well as assisted living communities.

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center has grown into a leading provider of high-level medical and urgent care services in San Luis Obispo County. Today Sierra Vista houses the county’s only neurosurgery program, high-risk pregnancy program, dedicated Pediatric Unit as well as the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit between Santa Barbara and Salinas.

French Hospital Medical Center is renowned for its cardiac services, and was recently named a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by Blue Shield of California. To date, only 433 facilities nationwide have received this designation. Additionally, the San Luis Obispo hospital offers a wide range of services to meet the growing needs of the community including a family-focused birthing center, 24-hour emergency services, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and the Hearst Cancer Resource Center.

Dentists

Doctors

In home health

Demographics

San Luis Obispo offers a sunny and mild climate all year long, great educational systems, easy access to an active lifestyle, a vibrant cultural scene, clean air, low crime rates, no traffic headaches, a bike and pedestrian friendly community and exceptional healthcare. These are a few reasons why San Luis Obispo is considered the happiest city in the nation.

Age Distribution
U.S. Census Bureau                 SLO       County CA
Under 5                                           5%            6.8%
5 to 9                                              4.8%          6.7%
10 to 14                                        5.5%          6.9%
15 to 19                                       8.2%           7.5%
20 to 24                                    10.4%           7.5%
25 to 34                                    17.0%        14.3%
35 to 44                                    10.9%        13.9%
45 to 54                                    14.5%            14%
55 to 59                                      7.3%           5.9%
60 to 64                                     6.4%            4.9%
65 to 74                                         8%            6.2%
75 to 84                                      4.9%           3.7%
84 +                                             2.5%           1.6%
Median Age                               39.3           35.2

Population
California Department of Finance
San Luis Obispo County     272,177
San Luis Obispo                        45,541
Paso Robles                                30,504
Atascadero                                 28,687
Arroyo Grande                         17,395
Grover Beach                            13,211
Morro Bay                                  10,317
Pismo Beach                                7,717

Educational Attainment
Highest level                        U.S. Census Bureau      SLO County
High school graduate                                 21.2%                  20.7%
Some college, no degree                           27.1%                 22.2%
Associate’s degree                                         9.7%                    7.7%
Bachelor’s degree                                        19.6%                  19.4%
Graduate or prof. degree                            12%                    11.1%

Diversity                         U.S. Census Bureau         SLO County
White                                                           71.4%                    40.1%
Black or African American                       2%                       5.8%
American Indian / Alaska Native       0.5%                      0.4%
Asian                                                                3.3%                       13%
Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander    0.1%                       0.4%
Some other race                                         0.2%                       0.2%
Hispanic or Latino                                   20.8%                    37.6%
Two or more races                                    2.1%                        2.5%

Household Income         U.S. Census Bureau         SLO County
Median                                                     $59,628             $61,400
Mean                                                          $77,559             $85,265

Family
Median                                                     $75,410               $69,883
Mean                                                         $91,814                $94,829

Non-family Households
Median                                                      $34,895               $40,843
Mean                                                          $50,091               $59,392

Infrastructure

Utilities

Water and Wastewater

Despite the Governor’s recent declaration of a drought emergency, the City of San Luis Obispo’s local water supply remains reliable and secure. Actions taken by City Council, community members and staff after the severe drought of 1987-1991 have secured reliable water resources for the city. Investment in a multi-source water supply and water reclamation facilities allow for responsible use even following the driest year on record. The city has four primary water supply sources including Whale Rock Reservoir, Salinas Reservoir, Nacimiento Reservoir, and recycled water (for irrigation), with groundwater serving as a fifth supplemental source.

Water and Wastewater services are provided by the City of San Luis Obispo Utilities Department.

The City’s monthly charge per billing unit: (1 unit = 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons)

All Customers Inside City Outside City:
0 to 8 units $6.56 $13.12
9+ units $8.20 $16.40
Base fee $5.00 $5.00

Electricity in SLO is provided by Pacific Gas & Electric.

Natural Gas in SLO is provided by Southern California Gas Company.

Tech Infrastructure

By encouraging public-private partnerships, maximizing efficiency and supporting the construction of a fiber-optic network, San Luis Obispo is prioritizing telecom infrastructure and the kind of business it attracts. As part of the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan (link), the City partnered with a local provider to bring high speed fiber to government buildings and provide the opportunity for fiber connectivity to local business and residences.

Currently, 23 miles of fiber optic network are already in place, providing 75 “lit” commercial buildings with Internet services normally found only in larger metropolitan areas.

Transportation

Public Transportation

The San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA) provides intercommunity public transportation. RTA’s service area includes all of San Luis Obispo County and extends into Santa Barbara County to the south. RTA provides regional fixed-route service and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit service (Runabout).

San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport

Just minutes from downtown, the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport provides convenient access to and from San Luis Obispo with daily commercial flights to Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Francisco as well as full service general aviation and corporate facilities.

Real Estate

San Luis Obispo is a desirable place to live and work.

The median home price in SLO ($485,000) is higher than the state ($393,000) and the nation ($223,300) but when compared to California cities like San Francisco ($935,500), Los Angeles ($540,000) and Santa Barbara ($865,000), San Luis Obispo is significantly more affordable.

To search available commercial property listings, check out these local commercial and residential real estate companies.

Education

San Luis Obispo remains one of the rare communities where superior K-12 public education is available for everyone. This past year, voters strongly supported local schools by passing three bond measures seeking a combined $510 million to upgrade campuses across San Luis Obispo County.

Public educational institutions and facilities in San Luis Obispo include several with distinctions as Blue Ribbon Schools and California Distinguished Schools.

School Districts:

Almond Acres Charter Academy
Atascadero Unified School
District Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter School
Cayucos Elementary School District
Coast Unified School District
Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School
Lucia Mar Unified School District
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District
Pleasant Valley Joint Union Elementary School District
San Luis Coastal Unified School District
San Miguel Joint Union School District
Shandon Joint Unified School District
Templeton Unified School District

The County’s level of educational attainment is higher than the County’s and the State’s. Almost half (46%) of the city’s population over the age of 25 has at least a bachelor’s degree, while one in five have a graduate or professional degree. Statewide, approximately 30 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

San Luis Obispo is also home to Cal Poly State University and Cuesta College.

Cal Poly consistently ranks among the top public universities in the nation with renowned engineering, architecture, business and agriculture colleges.

The university’s distinct “learn by doing” approach prepares students to be productive employees with a deep practical understanding of their areas of expertise. For local businesses, this translates into a young, smart and capable workforce ready to hit the ground running.

Cuesta College is highly regarded throughout the state for its excellent educational programs, responsive student services and exceptional faculty and staff.

Offering 70 degree programs and 57 certificate programs, Cuesta features lower division academic transfer courses, vocational/technical training, short courses, continuing education, distance education, day and evening classes. With more than 9,600 students, Cuesta provides critical technical training in the jobs of the future.

In addition, Allan Hancock College and Laurus College, offer associates degree and certificate programs at their Campuses and online and The University of San Luis Obispo School of Law offers legal education through a part-time weekend program.

Climate

The Weather Channel
Month            Avg. High       Avg. Low        Avg. Precipitation
Jan                           61°F               44°F                           4.95 in.
Feb                          62°F               45°F                            5.28 in.
Mar                         64°F               46°F                            3.97 in.
Apr                          66°F               47°F                            1.39 in.
May                        69°F               49°F                            0.47 in.
Jun                         73°F               52°F                            0.10 in.
Jul                          76°F               55°F                            0.02 in.
Aug                        77°F               55°F                            0.04 in.
Sep                        77°F               54°F                            0.26 in.
Oct                        74°F               52°F                            0.93 in.
Nov                      67°F                47°F                             2.16 in.
Dec                       61°F                43°F                             3.71 in.