The Rose Parade and Rose Bowl draw about 500,000 visitors to Pasadena each year and along with them come a variety of questions – from where to park to where to eat. The Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau started the Visitor Hotline in 1983 to help out-of-towners make the most of their time in Pasadena.
“The hotline started 34 years ago to assist guests from out of town. We want it to be a stress-free experience,” said Melissa Perez, marketing manager at Visit Pasadena.
From Dec. 29 to Jan. 1, volunteers at the Pasadena Convention Center provide information about the Rose Parade®, Rose Bowl Game and answer any other questions related to the city. The hotline receives between 3,000 and 5,000 calls each year and most the most frequently asked questions are about parking, road closures and overnight camping on the parade route.
The Rose Queen and Court cut the ribbon to kickoff the opening of the 34th Annual Visitor Hotline. 2018 Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez along with the 2018 Royal Court; Alexandra Marie Artura, Savannah Rose Bradley, Lauren Elizabeth Buehner, Georgia Jane Cervenka, Julianne Elise Laurenstein and Sydney Grace Pickering, were the first to answer callers’ questions this morning. Phones started ringing off as soon as the lines opened at 9 a.m.
“I want people to really see what the parade is about and enjoy Pasadena,” said 2018 Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez.
In addition to parade-related activities, she recommends guests visit the Pasadena Museum of History, which currently has an exhibit on the Royal Court, and eat an In-n-Out. Marez said she has never missed watching the Rose Parade, whether in person or on TV, and is most looking forward to seeing her friends and family on the parade route.
“Most of our volunteers have been doing this for twenty, twenty-five years,” Perez said. She added that volunteers can apply by calling (626) 795-4725 or emailing her at email@example.com.
“I love helping people and answering questions about the city,” said AJ Fouray, a former Pasadena resident who has volunteered at the Visitor Hotline for over a decade. “Even though I live in San Gabriel now, I still feel like it’s my city.”
Fouray added that the most difficult questions to answer are about driving directions and road closures. “Those can trip me up, people are coming from all different directions, and from all across the nation,” he said.
The Visitor Hotline will be open on Friday, Dec. 29 from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sat. Dec. 30 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Monday Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Call (877) 793-9911 to speak with a Visitor Hotline volunteer visit www.visitpasadena.com for more information.