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Supercharger - Big Sur CA (LIVE 24 May 2019, 8 Urban stalls)

RidingClean

Member
Oct 30, 2017
13
7
Santa Cruz
model S occupying one of the 8 supercharger stalls that was not plugged in, taking away a valuable charging spot to use as their personal parking space, a real dick move imho. A classic model s owner who should have been more thoughtful of their fellow travelers, never came to retrieve his unplugged vehicle the entire hour we were there.

Plug them in! Now you can generate 'dick tax' revenue for Tesla.
 

Randy Spencer

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,608
3,649
Alameda, CA
Well, I appear to have forgotten to take photos, but when I visited Big Sur this week I found there were Destination Chargers at the facility too. One set (a 48+ amp Tesla charger and a 30 amp J1772 unit) across from the Superchargers and another set up by the restaurant. Lovely location, nice to walk around while charging.

The drive includes much of the grand parts of the drive down Hwy 1, you miss Pismo Beach, but that's such a quick blip it's not worth the extra 6 hours to go all the way to LA just to see it. But that would be a great NEXT location for a SuC. Another good place to get out and walk around. I hate stopping in Buellton, how could they not put the SuC at the Anderson's Pea Soup like it is on Hwy 5?

I managed the whole drive down and back, including stopping for Fish & Chips for lunch and was back in Alameda before 3 pm and rush hour. Nice Tuesday adventure. Also finally got to explore the new update's Auto Emergency Lane Centering on the trip. Car get's nicer every time I drive it.
 

21five

Member
Aug 31, 2018
51
160
San Francisco, CA
Last night there was a power outage across Big Sur, so the full set of Superchargers were out of action at 3:30am… surprisingly Tesla didn’t mark them as offline on the in-car map, and they no longer provide Supercharger phone support 24/7.

Something to be aware of with more remote Superchargers! Luckily we’d charged up to 90% in Atascadero the previous evening so were able to continue our journey.
 

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,428
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
Last night there was a power outage across Big Sur, so the full set of Superchargers were out of action at 3:30am… surprisingly Tesla didn’t mark them as offline on the in-car map, and they no longer provide Supercharger phone support 24/7.

Something to be aware of with more remote Superchargers! Luckily we’d charged up to 90% in Atascadero the previous evening so were able to continue our journey.
I'm brainstorming: this would be a perfect location for a small Tesla PowerPack that is limited to only giving each Tesla car enough charge to get to the next SuperCharger. Cars already with enough energy would be denied energy. Once cars had enough energy to continue, they would be denied energy. That would suck during power outages, but not as much as being stranded. It would be relatively cheap for Tesla to implement and use in many remote locations.
 

shotgunsi

Member
Apr 13, 2019
59
159
USA
Charged here during a busy holiday (MLK Day) with very warm weather (75F). Highway 1 was pretty packed with people and lots of Teslas. Charging speed was good, getting a solid 68 kW through the majority of the charging curve.

The stairs leading up to the hotel have been permanently blocked off, with signs indicating the facilities are for guests only.
 

goldengate

Member
May 9, 2018
396
464
san rafael,ca
TLDR:
- Ventana doesn't want you there
- No WIFI or cell reception for the NAV etc. My Verizon cell worked fine.
- Easy access from Hwy 1
- Nothing to see and can't walk around - security guard in booth is very vigilant
- No public restrooms and not an obvious place to go behind a tree


I visited this supercharger yesterday and thought I would update this thread with the latest. The good news is that this supercharger is rarely full. I was the only one there. The bad news is that as referenced in the above post from @shotgunsi , the steps have been permanently blocked off with "resort guests only signs."

I did not feel welcome at all, and I suspect that Ventana may be regretting their decision to host a supercharger. As you pull in, there's a security guard who makes sure you make the right turn into the charging area and keeps a vigilant eye to make sure you stay in the immediate area and do not visit the resort. I was very friendly and mentioned we had stayed at the resort 20 years ago and would it be possible to walk up there for old times sake? He was also very friendly - but NO. Not now, not ever. He blamed these restrictions on COVID-19 but the vibe is very watchful. Back in the day Ventana was $225 a night.. now it's $1800 a night and I don't think the people who stay there want any of us up there looking around.

We stayed about 10 mins but without car connectivity / WIFI and nothing to see, it was pretty boring so we left and I charged in Monterey later (super full!) while my partner shopped in Carmel.

A charger here gives some peace of mind when visiting but I would not return unless I absolutely had to. The ones in Monterey are much more fun with great Tesla people watching and lots of activity. I love a good supercharger with lots of people pulling in and out!
 

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PLUS EV

Running on Empty
Sep 16, 2016
6,606
10,662
Seattle
I received a somewhat similar chilly reception from Ventana as well and that was pre-pandemic so I don't think it's COVID lol. At that time we were able to walk up to the restaurant, but the hostess there was unfriendly from the outset. I think I told her we were charging our Teslas and were curious about the property, but when I asked about the hotel she just told me that I'd have to book a room to find out about it lol. At this point, I was legit concerned that she might say NO if I asked her to use the restroom so I just walked in without asking as I needed to go. Then another icy stare on the way out the door and we were on our way. I too was wondering if maybe they just wanted the supercharger to advertise an amenity for their guests and didn't realize that it would need to be available to the public.

FWIW the rooms were something like $550/night back then, but it was a slow time of year.
 
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maximizese

Member
Jan 16, 2018
484
464
California
Thanks for setting the expectations and I hope folks can be understanding towards Ventana on this. It's a very secluded 5-star resort that values its privacy and its guests. I'm grateful that they allowed a SuC site on their property so I can easy drive our Tesla. Still, it would have been nice if Tesla could have negotiated a small greenway or spot for folks to enjoy while they charged their cars. But as for Ventana, I wouldn't want Tesla-folks lurking for the following reasons:

1) It's a small private 5-star resort.
2) They have a a very generous wine and cheese hour for their guests with a lovely outdoor fire table that folks might crash.
3) They have an adult bathhouse where bathing suits are optional.
4) They have a gym and library...the perfect spots for Tesla owners to kill time.
5) Have you seen all the litter left behind (food waste, masks, disposable gloves...used diapers) by Tesla owners at many SuC sites in California?
6) Wandering folks can be quite the insurance liability for slip and falls in an area where there are a lot of things to slip and fall from/on.

In essence, they need to maintain their resort and can't risk compromising guest experiences/privacy with lurking Tesla owners walking about and some behaviors of even a small fraction of Tesla owners is appalling for such a resort and its guests. It would have nicer to have a SuC site at Nepenthe or Post Ranch, but neither happened. Just be glad the SuC site isn't down the road near Pfeiffer Beach; imagine all the traffic with its tight ingress/egress.
 
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goldengate

Member
May 9, 2018
396
464
san rafael,ca
All good / valid points. I get it....and by some miracle we did not need to go to the restroom but I'm guessing a lot of Tesla owners are peeing in the woods there. At least roll in a port-a-potty...:)
 

shotgunsi

Member
Apr 13, 2019
59
159
USA
It's totally within their right to not allow non guests to use the property. However I was annoyed that the in car nav still showed restrooms available at this location and when I arrived I was greeted by the sign saying not allowed. To their credit I did email Tesla about it and it seems they have removed the restrooms indication from the website, but I'm not sure about the in car nav as well.
 

smartypnz

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
2,172
2,339
Monterey Peninsula
I wouldn't say 5 star. Prices do not give a hotel stars. Service does. A true 5 star hotel - and there are some in this part of California, treats all people they come in contact with as future guests... also the folks they treat less may be the ones who dole out the hotel ratings.
They have been languishing as of late and this is the reason why.
I believe (may be wrong) that they accepted Supercharging so that they may say that there is one on the premises.

Unfortunately, locations near this area that can handle Supercharging are very rare.

I would give them one star - for the way they treat people every time I am there. (At the top and bottom of the hill).
 

PLUS EV

Running on Empty
Sep 16, 2016
6,606
10,662
Seattle
I wouldn't say 5 star. Prices do not give a hotel stars. Service does. A true 5 star hotel - and there are some in this part of California, treats all people they come in contact with as future guests... also the folks they treat less may be the ones who dole out the hotel ratings.
Agree with all this. In fact, I easily could have seen myself staying at the hotel at some point in the future (as evidenced by the fact I looked into it last time I was there), but obviously I never will now. I'm not going to pay $1800/night but I frequently travel off-peak season, on weekdays, etc. and I look for good deals at high end properties just to sample the experience for a couple nights here or there. Treating Tesla owners like peons is definitely a strange business model.
 

BeeBee

Member
Mar 15, 2020
100
55
Boston Suburb
We checked out this site today in our ICE rental vehicle. So I can’t comment on the chargers except that there was only one Tesla there at 6PM on a Thursday. But I wanted to report that a short walk down the hill at the beginning of the access road is an amazing new restaurant, Big Sur Smokehouse, that’s only been open for a month. It has reasonably priced, ribs, brisket, and chicken with numerous side dishes available and a small but interesting selection of canned beer and spirits. The place is shiny and new, very clean with indoor and outdoor dining AND they have public bathrooms. The staff is also very attentive and friendly.
 

SaveOurPlanet

Member
Jan 6, 2018
252
150
San Francisco
Just because there is a supercharger there does not mean you are entitled to use nearby facilities. There are 2 restaurants around there which you should be able to use the facilities if you are a patron but don't assume you have the right just because you have a Tesla. Even a low end restaurant like Pea Soup in Gustine has a sign that says restrooms are for customers only. The fault is with Tesla, not with the local establishment.
 

PLUS EV

Running on Empty
Sep 16, 2016
6,606
10,662
Seattle
Just because there is a supercharger there does not mean you are entitled to use nearby facilities. There are 2 restaurants around there which you should be able to use the facilities if you are a patron but don't assume you have the right just because you have a Tesla. Even a low end restaurant like Pea Soup in Gustine has a sign that says restrooms are for customers only. The fault is with Tesla, not with the local establishment.
Totally depends on what the agreement with Tesla is. What you are saying is not necessarily true.
 

goldengate

Member
May 9, 2018
396
464
san rafael,ca
It would be interesting to know more about the "behind the scenes" back and forth between the resort and Tesla as this was conceived, constructed and built. Initially Tesla owners were encouraged to come to the resort it appears -- since a stairway was constructed for just that purpose. The resort likely then realized that they had opened their exclusive doors to dozens of quick visitors a day who likely were not spending money and were impacting their own guests' experience... someone paying $4,300 a night (just checked October rates... WOW) is not going to want to mingle with patrons of what amounts to a gas station, even if it's traditionally been a high-end station. If the resort wanted chargers just for their guests they could have just installed destination chargers, as we all know. They may have envisioned this when Teslas were $100k+ and attracted a more exclusive / wealthy crowd.

Having said all of that, it would be a nice gesture and make security's job much easier if they would just construct a small bathroom for the use of chargers as well as employees, who I also think may park down there. Presumably Ventana's motivation in installing a supercharger was to foster goodwill among the driving public, but in this case I would guess more damage than good is being done given their policies.
 
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smartypnz

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
2,172
2,339
Monterey Peninsula
I think Ventana's idea was to get more notice among wealthier clientele (or to make sure they wouldn't hesitate doing the Tesla thing because of uncertain charging options). Then perhaps there was an incident that upset a patron that started the 'divorce'. Not sure how to fix this, but options of installing a different Supercharger in that area have to be difficult, given the remoteness of the area.
 

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