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Fire Update: Big Sur Tourism Area Hotels, Attractions
& Restaurants Open with No Damage


  • Highway 1 South of Nepenthe Remains Closed 
  • Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove & Salinas Lodging and Attractions 100% Open 
BIG SUR, Calif. - July 7, 2008 - Big Sur area hotels, attractions and restaurants remain open while firefighters continue to work on containing the Basin Complex Fire. Some California State parks remain closed. As of July 1, 2008, the majority of the fire continues to burn in a remote area of the Ventana Wilderness – a 45-minute drive south of Monterey, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Currently, one road closure is in effect on Highway 1 south of Nepenthe restaurant for approximately 15 miles. Residents and visitors can access the iconic Big Sur stretch of California coastline via Highway 1 from Carmel. 

Big Sur lies 160 miles/258 km south of San Francisco. Monterey County’s top tourism attractions including 25 golf courses, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, National Steinbeck Center, Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, Pebble Beach, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway and the 17-Mile Drive are open. Monterey’s annual 4th of July celebrations will take place as scheduled. 

To date, Big Sur area hotels representing 250+ guestrooms have sustained no damage and the majority are open for business including Post Ranch Inn, Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur River Inn, Glen Oaks, Ripplewood Resort, Riverside Campground & Cabins, Big Sur Campground and the yurts at Treebones Resort in south Big Sur. 

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn and the Big Sur Lodge remain closed due to road and park closures. “The Big Sur valley received little or no damage. The view shed is 95 percent of normal,” notes Jonathan Farrington, General Manager of Ventana Inn & Spa. 

Local restaurants, galleries and attractions also report being operational with no damage or current threat. Nepenthe restaurant, once purchased by Orson Welles for Rita Hayworth (1944), has reopened along with the Big Sur Bakery, Big Sur River Inn restaurant and Roadhouse restaurant. The Henry Miller Memorial Library sustained no damage and is planning to reopen shortly. Other coastal icons, from the Bixby Bridge to Point Sur Lighthouse Station, are fully operational. Garrapata State Park and Soberanes State Park remain open; Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Andrew Molera State Park and Pfeiffer-Big Sur State Park are closed. 

In the back country of the Ventana Wilderness, eight condors were successfully lifted via helicopter from Ventana Wildlife Society’s sanctuary where the chicks are trained to return to the wild. All free-flying condors (a total of 43) have been accounted for and reported alive via the radio telemetry devices on their wings. The Ventana Wildlife Society offices in Andrew Molera State Park remain safe as well. 

To date, the Basin Complex Fire has consumed 47,459 of prime and secondary redwood forest and 17 structures. Air quality reports and daily updates are available via visit,, and Road reports are available via Caltrans at 800.GAS.ROAD. Tourism updates are posted at or available via the Big Sur Hotline, 805.667.2317. 

Monterey County is located 120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los Angeles along the classic California corridor. The region boasts 99 miles of prime Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 40,000 acres of premium vineyards, 25 golf courses and nearly 200 lodging properties. Monterey County includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley. The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), just three miles from historic downtown Monterey and minutes from the area’s major attractions, is served by non-stop flights to and from Denver (DIA), Salt Lake City (SLC), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX and ONT), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO).


Monterey County CVB
Katie Besmer, 831-657-6409


Also See: Post Ranch Inn Receives Small Luxury Hotels Hotel of the Year Award / July 2004


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