New Vista economic development director sees inspiration downtown


The Paseo Santa Fe project in Vista, pictured in November 2021, includes a sign for the city. (Vista city photo)

News Release

Larry Vaupel recently joined the city of Vista as director of economic development, and in his brief time here, he has already found inspiration in the community’s makers and innovators.

“When meeting entrepreneurs, it’s always so interesting to learn about what sparked their ideas and what drives their passions, and Vista has so many great entrepreneurs here,” Vaupel said. “Take Misadventure for example. Reducing food waste was their mission, and they’ve turned that idea into a vodka distillery that uses expired packaged pastries as their sugar base. That’s such a creative idea.”

City Notes logo.Among the priority projects for Vaupel is the continued implementation of Vista’s economic development strategy that outlines ways the city can support businesses like Misadventure in their ongoing recovery efforts, as well as promote a thriving business-friendly environment where companies of all sizes can do well.

“Vista has a thoughtful strategy that is centered on the makers and innovators in the community,” Vaupel said. “We want to be known as a city that inspires investment in business, and then leverages those investments to support the greater community and region. I’m fortunate to join Vista and help implement a plan that reflects the best path forward for the city.”

The community of Vista, its downtown in particular, is what Vaupel noted as attracting him to the director of economic development position.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been able to work with some amazing and vibrant downtowns, and Vista is a great example of what a downtown area can and should be,” he said. “A downtown is often the heart of a city, and it can tell you a lot about the community. How much locals cherish their downtown can signal the health of a city, and by this measure, Vista is a very healthy city economically. There is a lot of civic pride in its downtown and support of our local businesses.”

Vaupel went on to mention that the city is preparing to launch its new “Clean and Safe” initiative in May that will continue Vista’s efforts to foster a welcoming place for residents and guests to enjoy in its downtown. “We are making further investments in the downtown area to see if we can take it to the next level,” noted Vaupel of the program.

While the downtown enticed Vaupel to apply for the position, he mentioned that the Vista team is what really makes the role exciting. “I was able to get an authentic behind-the-scenes look at Vista from Kevin Ham, and everything he said is true. Vista has a great city team that supports its employees, residents and businesses. In just a few weeks, I can see the attitude of City Hall is to help businesses get things done. We are here to create clear paths forward and reduce red tape. We want to help businesses succeed.”

For more information about the City of Vista’s economic development initiatives and business resources, visit the city’s economic development website or contact Larry Vaupel at

OsideNews offers cities and other government agencies in our region the opportunity to share their news by submitting press releases for publication. Send yours to news[at]