Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier was presented the prestigious “Jeff King Santa Monica Tourism Champion of the Year” award by Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) at the 10th Annual Travel & Tourism Summit held at Jonathan Beach Club on Wednesday, May 8.
Each year Santa Monica Travel & Tourism selects one outstanding member of the community to receive the Jeff King Santa Monica Tourism Champion of the Year award. This award honors an individual or organization who demonstrates creativity and leadership while fostering the positive experience of visitors and Santa Monica community pride.
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism first established the Tourism Champion of the Year Awards in 2017, awarded to then Assistant City Manager Elaine Polachek. In 2018, SMTT renamed this award to the “Jeff King Santa Monica Tourism Champion of the Year” award in honor of a man who was a pillar of California hospitality.
A beloved member of the Santa Monica hospitality industry, Jeff King was the co-founder of Kings Seafood Company, where he opened 20 restaurants over his 50-year career including Water Grill and Pier Burger. He also worked tirelessly to champion the value of tourism, serving on boards for the California Restaurant Association, California Travel & Tourism Commission and Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“We are honored to receive the Tourism Champion of the Year award in the name of Jeff King. He was a tourism visionary and friend to Pacific Park,” says Jeff Klocke, Vice President and General Manager at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. “We strive every day to surpass the ideals that Jeff set for himself and expected from the industry. His legacy lives on through this tourism award and we will work tirelessly to exceed the standards and responsibilities it bestows.”
Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 14 midway games, an oceanfront food plaza and beachside shopping. In addition to the Pacific Wheel solar-powered Ferris wheel, Pacific Park’s signature rides include The West Coaster, a steel roller coaster that races 55 feet above the Santa Monica Bay; and Inkie’s Air Lift Balloon Ride, the high-flying, family-sharing kids’ ride. For additional information and hours of operation, call 310-260-8744, visit www.pacpark.com, follow on Instagram and Twitter: @pacpark and Like at Facebook: facebook.com/pacificpark.
For media inquiries, please contact Cameron Andrews.
From left, Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis, Santa Monica Pier Director Negin Sighn, Pacific Park General Manager and Vice President Jeff Klocke, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism CEO Misti Kerns. Photo courtesy of SMTT.