SAN DIEGO—While the holiday season is a time a giving, it’s also a time of coming together as a community. For the second year, the Hilton San Diego Bayfront is hosting its Holiday by the Bay, now until Jan. 1, 2018, to benefit the United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) San Diego, which supports U.S. military service members.
The hotel’s Bayfront Park has been transformed into a winter wonderland of sorts, complete with an outdoor ice rink, miniature holiday-themed golf course and other festive features. For Tracy Walker, area GM of Hiltons of San Diego, the holiday season has always been a favorite time of year.
“When I arrived at Hilton San Diego Bayfront in 2016, I challenged my team to think about how we could become even more involved with the local community and become a tradition in San Diego for years to come,” said Walker. “We wanted to create something that would bring the community of downtown San Diego together in celebration. Our team agreed that one of the favorite pastimes for the holidays was ice skating and, with the closure of a nearby ice rink, there was an opportunity for us to start our own. As we head into our second year with Holiday by the Bay, we hope to grow as a tradition in the downtown San Diego community, and continue to be a tradition for years to come.”
On top of growing the tradition, Walker explained that the team would like to grow as an event as well. The hotel has partnered with USO San Diego and will donate one dollar from every ice skating ticket sold to help the local military.
“We are offering a five-dollar discount to all members of the military and their families this year as well, to show appreciation for all that our military does for the San Diego community,” said Walker. “In addition, we’ve added a putt-putt golf course, Rudolph’s Tees the Season Mini Golf, and increased the amount of outdoor holiday movies we’re showing throughout the season that are open to the public to enjoy.”
Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s goal is a big one: to reach 10,000 skaters this holiday season and donate $10,000 to USO San Diego. To help move the dial in that direction, the hotel team has increased the length of time the Holiday by the Bay Ice Rink is open.
“We’ve chosen key partners to work with throughout the season to help drive awareness, like USO San Diego and the San Diego Padres,” she said. “And finally, we have increased the amount of programming around Holiday by the Bay—from Ugly Sweater Skates to Trivia Tuesdays to Special Event Saturdays and more. We want to ensure that any day you visit us, there is a fun event happening to enhance your experience even more.”
Walker hopes the partnership with USO San Diego will continue in 2018 for a third annual Holiday by the Bay. Upcoming events will support Susan G. Komen San Diego, a local affiliate of the national Susan G. Komen nonprofit for breast cancer research.
“It’s wonderful to see all of the magic that our team helped to create with Holiday by the Bay come to life and to know that all of our team’s efforts will go back to help the local military,” she said. “We know that a large part of our community and many of our team members have roots in the military, so we are thrilled to be a partner of USO San Diego for Holiday by the Bay.”