Monterey is located at the center of a Monterey Bay regional economy which is poised for growth. The former Fort Ord has provided the infrastructure and land resources to accommodate sustained economic growth. Monterey's tourist-based economy remains strong and healthy. The Monterey Bay economy of the future will be based on educational and research activities with special emphasis on marine biology and the environmental sciences. The establishment of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is already making an important impact on the regional economy.
Monterey is recognized as the "Language Capital of the World". Key components of the City's language-skilled labor force include The Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. AT&T's Language Translation Services also are based in Monterey at Ryan Ranch. Monterey is the ideal location for companies seeking to enter or expand into the global marketplace. Other institutions involved in promoting Monterey as the Language Capital of the World include California State University at Monterey Bay, Monterey Peninsula College, CTB McGraw Hill, and the Naval Postgraduate School.
Monterey is one of the premiere tourist destinations in the United States, attracting an estimated four million visitors to the area each year. The tourism component of local economy remains strong. Diverse attractions and resources include the following:
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which attracts millions of visitors to the area each year.
- The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which ensures preservation of the natural marine environment and accommodates eco-tourism, research and educational opportunities for economic growth.
- Historic buildings from the Spanish and Mexican eras are a popular attraction. Monterey was the first capitol of California and remains one of the state's most historic cities. Monterey's "Path of History" walking tour provides an opportunity to learn about California's early history, and visit these historic buildings.
- The Monterey Bay is a major dive destination for scuba divers from throughout the United States.
Numerous opportunities for retail businesses exist in one of several commercial business districts in Monterey.
Cannery Row remains a major tourist attraction and an area of opportunity for new businesses. While the Monterey Bay Aquarium is the prime attraction, hotels, restaurants, art galleries and gift stores, and have created a wide variety of shopping and entertainment opportunities. Numerous activities and special events tied to the historic Cannery Row Area and the legacy of John Steinbeck continue to attract visitors to Cannery Row.
Del Monte Center is Monterey's traditional regional shopping center with more than 90 businesses offering a wide variety of goods and services. Del Monte Center has recently been upgraded and expanded.
Downtown Monterey has been the economic heart of the City since its inception. The Old Monterey Market Place, attracts thousands of tourists and residents alike to downtown every Tuesday afternoon. Old Monterey's historic buildings are an attraction, and a delight to those who wish to learn more about Monterey's historic past.
Heritage Harbor on Monterey's Downtown Waterfront provides opportunities for professional or service-based businesses seeking relatively low-cost space in a prime location.
New Monterey is experiencing solid economic growth with an eclectic mix of businesses. New Monterey is located 3 blocks up the hill from Cannery Row and serves a healthy economic mix of both residents and tourists.
North Fremont is located east of Highway 1, adjacent to the Monterey Fairgrounds. North Fremont is a high traffic area, and an excellent location for service or retail businesses which depend on high traffic and excellent access to the regional market. North Fremont serves a large number of tourists who attend a wide variety of activities and events at the Monterey Fairgrounds.