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Calendar >  Vista Village Shopping Complex Celebrates 20 Years

Vista Village Shopping Complex Celebrates 20 Years

By   /  April 5, 2022  /  No Comments


Of Being the Cornerstone of Vista’s Business Ecosystem

Shopping center at Vista Village and South Santa Fe Avenue serves as an example of business connections and community support

The Vista Village shopping complex that revitalized the city’s downtown is marking 20 years of destination-worthy entertainment, shops, restaurants and businesses in Vista. Since its opening, the open-air shopping center has been home to a vibrant collection of shopping, dining and service businesses – all anchored by a luxury movie theater.

“Vista has a community that wants to support its businesses, and that is something I don’t necessarily see at other centers,” said Frank Soto, regional manager at Cinepólis and former manager of the Krikorian Theater at Vista Village. “For the Krikorians, there was a family connection to Vista, so I remember that they were really excited to open the theater in Vista. The family-oriented nature of Vista was a draw then, and I still see that continuing today.”

Soto went on to say that the theater’s transition from Krikorian to Cinepólis keeps the “home-town feel” intact because Cinepólis selects locations where it can integrate into the community. “It was a great transition. Cinepólis understands the welcoming nature of Vista, and the support from city staff has always been appreciated,” said Soto. “Vista Village offers such an inviting mix of stores and restaurants. It has always, in my opinion, been a place where people can come enjoy a movie and spend their day.”

In addition to Cinepólis, there are more than thirty other businesses in the 195,009-square-foot complex. Little Cakes Kitchen, a gourmet bakery with a storefront in Vista and growing wholesale business line, is one such business that has been operating a storefront in Vista Village since 2010. “When I was looking for a place to move our store to, I really liked the old-fashioned main street vibe of Vista Village,” recalled Don Hein, owner of Little Cakes Kitchen. “I live in Vista, and when my family walked to the art fair together recently, it reminded me of how this center interacts with the community. It was really nice to see.”

The business-to-business support was also reinforced recently, according to Hein, when he noted how business owners shared ideas, hosted events together, and really tried to take care of each other. “During the pandemic, a resident wanted to buy two cupcakes to bring to an event, and I offered to give them to him for free. He didn’t accept, so I tried to pay it forward by using the money to buy pizza at Lamplighter. They wouldn’t take the money either. It just goes to show that Vista Village is a community-forward place, and our customers are fantastic,” recalled Hein.

Hein went on to mention that after researching neighboring towns, they are moving forward with plans to open a second location in Vista. “I remember sitting down and learning about future projects like the Ryland and Paseo Santa Fe, and the city made good on its promises to revitalize the area,” said Hein. “I cannot say enough about the community. I just keep coming back to the warm hug of Vista.”

“Connecting Vista Village to Paseo Santa Fe was always part of the vision, and I love hearing about how residents and guests can venture between the two areas that were designed to promote cross-flow and intermingling,” said Mayor of Vista Judy Ritter. “Reflecting back on how much Vista Village has brought to our community over the last 20 years, it would be strange to think of the city without it. It almost seems like an integral domino that sparked so much progress once it fell.”

Vista Village is currently managed by Vestar, a property management company that works with properties from Texas to Washington, and it reinforces the notion of cultivating a business community that reflects the greater culture of Vista. “The center takes great pride in partnering with the city and non-profit organizations to host family-friendly events like the VUSD Festival of the Arts, Muscles on Main, Winterfest and the annual Holiday Parade, things that bring people together to enjoy each other’s company, enjoy the beautiful outdoor venue that Vista Village provides, and build a sense of community spirit,” said Breana Yore, marketing director at Vestar.

“At Vista Village, our team puts tremendous time and effort into curating tenants that are complementary to one another, and that fulfill the wants and needs of the community,” said Yore. “Our retailers are fully engaged with one another, enjoying the benefits of a balanced co-tenancy, and this allows them to work together to support each other and to build that community spirit that the City of Vista thrives upon. While we are always open to new tenants, we specifically look for those that will provide a new experience for our guests that has previously not been available nearby. And we look for those that are willing to give back to the community to support non-profit events and initiatives that benefit everyone who lives in Vista and the surrounding communities.”

When asked what lies ahead for the complex, Yore noted some exciting plans on the horizon, including future electric vehicle charging stations. Later when describing businesses that could be a good fit for Vista, Yore said, “The City of Vista is more like a hometown community. People are close-knit and retailers do business on a personal level with each customer. Businesses also partner with and support one another, and they support the community as a whole. So, in Vista, retail success hinges on a business’ ability to ‘go the extra mile,’ showing genuine care and concern for its customers, to be outgoing and friendly, and to really get to know its guests on a personal level.”

For a current directory of stores at Vista Village and upcoming events, please visit shopvistavillage.com. General resources about doing business with Vista can also be found on the city’s economic development website. Resources include upcoming development projects, associations and city contact information.  

For More Information Contact:
Larry Vaupel, Economic Development, City of Vista

P: 760.643.5244 E: lvaupel@cityofvista.com


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