2020 Downtown SLO Beautification Awards

31st Annual Beautification Award Winners Announced

Each year since 1990, Downtown SLO has honored businesses making physical and/or aesthetic improvements in the Annual Beautification Awards. This year, the award ceremony scheduled for April at a private reception for the winners did not take place due to COVID-19 prohibitions on large gathering rules. Instead, Downtown SLO announces the winners on its website and social media.

“We were sorry not to gather and give these awards in person,” said Downtown SLO CEO Bettina Swigger, “but we want to make sure the public knows about the efforts of these creative business owners who make downtown so beautiful. We had a record number of eligible projects because of the uptick in new businesses in 2019, and as downtown begins to safely reopen, we encourage locals to visit and see for themselves.” 

Downtown SLO’s Cultural Arts Committee oversaw the months-long process of award selection Beautification Award Committee Chair Marshall Ochylski led the process, along with members Landy Fike, Monique Matta, Christine Marie, James Papp, Stephen Patrick, and Denise Leader Stoeber. Staff members Brent Vanderhoof, Rachel Maiorino, Austin Bertucci, Kat Thompson, and Bettina Swigger assisted. Top honors include the prestigious Mayor’s Award, this year given to the Gateway to Downtown–1085 Higuera Redevelopment project at the corner of Santa Rosa and Higuera streets.

“Downtown is so important to our city,” said San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon. “Each year I am proud to be part of this tradition that honors our businesses who make downtown beautiful.” 

Other special awards include the Chairperson’s Award given to Hotel San Luis Obispo, and the CEO’s Surprise and Delight Award given to the City of SLO Promotional Coordinating Committee for their cultural icon flags and parking kiosks.  

Other awards were in categories including Tenant Improvements, Signage,Façade Improvements, Merchandising, Maintenance, and several special awards.

Mayor’s Award

Gateway to Downtown at 1085 Higuera Redevelopment

CEO’s Surprise and Delight Award

Cultural Icon Flags and Parking Kiosks

Chairperson’s Award

Hotel San Luis Obispo at 877 Palm Street

Exterior Improvements: Merit

949 & 959 Higuera Street

Facade Improvements

Bargain Boutique Achievement House Thrift Store at 553-A Higuera Street

Green Awards

Integrated Interior & Exterior Design: Excellence

The Carissa at 736 Higuera

Integrated Interior & Exterior Design: Merit

The Penny at 664 Marsh Street



Pop-Up Award

SLOcally Made at 881 Higuera Street (December 2019)


SLO Community Spirit Award

Tenant Improvements: Excellence

Tenant Improvements: Merit

See all of the winners for yourself using this map!