CITYWIDE — The official I Love Santa Monica blog, launched, appropriately, on Valentine’s Day, is everything you’d expect from the folks at the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau: shiny, upbeat and, of course, all about Santa Monica.

Promising to be an online forum for sharing “fun, historic, memorable and personally enriching” stories about Santa Monica, the brand new site at www.santamonica.com/love is geared toward boosting tourism while taking advantage of locals’ passion for their city.

“Our goal is to keep the Santa Monica community up-to-date with fresh and relevant information for locals and visitors alike, and we look forward to the ‘I Love Santa Monica’ blog becoming an added resource for locals to share information on Santa Monica tourism with each other and with visitors,” Misti Kerns, president of the CVB, said in a press release.

“It is our experience that there is passion about Santa Monica and a desire for an online outlet. The blog’s focus will be broad and will spotlight the many positive aspects of our Santa Monica community.”

The blog’s inaugural entry, by Ben Franz-Knight, the executive director of the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp., gives a hint of things to come.

He noted some successes from the past year, including the pier’s centennial celebration and Cirque du Soleil’s residency in town before concluding: “For 2010 we invite you to join the team, bring your support, your ideas and your enthusiasm, together we can continue our winning efforts for one of the best teams around — Team Santa Monica!”

Other Contributors to the blog will include: Laurel Rosen, president of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Mary Ann Powell, general manager of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier; West Hooker, owner of Locanda del Lago Restaurant, among others.

The blog will publish posts and add more behind-the-scenes detail and resources for travelers, the local community and residents alike. Topics will feature content relevant to everyone interested in tourism and will address key topics relating to travel news, economic impact of the hospitality industry, as well as expanded information on local events, city programs, and other happenings.

“For those that live or work in Santa Monica and feel pride in being a part of this progressive community, we hope they will feel encouraged to represent their city with great experiences and help us build our stories,” said Alison Best, the CVB’s vice president sales and services.

news@www.smdp.com

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