Well. with a restaurant, produce stand, the visitor center. and a gas station. it might sound like any other pull-off from the freeway then you might see on any American highway.
What makes Betabel special is how much the project would integrate with the local community here in San Benito County.
The first thing a visitor would see would be that, after decades of waste and neglect, most of the land has been restored to organic farming. The McDowell family charity that owns the property has spent over $200,000 to clear trash, junk, and waste off the land and out of the Pajaro River to return 80% of the property to prime agricultural land.
The floodplain and Pajaro River will be permanently protected in a natural state. The River once again flows through newly cleaned and restored banks with the intention that it will once again, through careful stewardship, be able to sustain life.
The envisioned developed area, less than 20% of the available land, would have uniquely designed buildings reflecting the roadside architecture that the McDowells’ son Errol loved so much.
The Visitor Center, a giant watering can, would give visitors the key to San Benito County. The fruit stand, modeled after the stables in San Juan Bautista, would sell local produce, products, and wine. The restaurant would serve food sources from local farms as well as produce from Betabel’s own organic farm. The traditional market would highlight locally made foods, beverages, and gift items.
Seasonal events would take place throughout the year and make Betabel a must-visit location for local residents and tourists alike.
Better still, in an area hard hit by the recent pandemic, Betabel would provide as many as 90 entry-level through management jobs. Tax revenue from Betabel would pour millions of dollars into San Benito County projects. And all profits from sales would go to pediatric cancer research.
With our interest in the needs of the local community and our goal of eliminating a disease that is devastating to the young, Betabel is a model project of civic responsibility. We hope you will support our work and follow our progress.