Aptos has about 619 businesses, not including a number of home based businesses and small farms. The town brings in over $119 million in payroll annually. Our largest employer is Cabrillo College with a $77 million annual budget (‘03), which includes a payroll and financial aid outlay of $51.7 million. Aptos business employs over 5,045 people even though 82% employ less than 10 people. 119 businesses or 19% are involved in retail trade. Retail shopping areas include Aptos Center, Seacliff, Rancho del Mar, Soquel Drive, Aptos Village Square, Historic Aptos Village, Redwood Village, Deer Park Marketplace, Rio Del Mar Esplanade and Seascape Village. Over 221 businesses, or 36%, are business and professional services. We have over three dozen eating establishments including some of the best in the county.
Tourism is a major industry in this county generating over $6 million in Lodging Taxes (TOT). County Government’s share is $2.7 million, $1.3 million or 48% of which is generated directly through Aptos visitors (1996/97).
Aptos is tourism, with 25% of all the county’s visitor rental units, including rooms and campsites, in the Aptos area. Aptos lodging directly brings in more than $13 million to the local economy. A number of local businesses are involved directly or indirectly in serving visitors. Aptos has three hotels with 475 rooms, four bed & breakfast inns with 24 rooms, and five rental agencies for vacation homes with 275.
Aptos area tourists are typically high-yield, overnight or week-long visitors. A substantial number stay in vacation rentals, with an average of 6 people per house, for 6 nights. Aptos is literally the home of the invisible tourist, with an average of 275,000 visitor days per year.