Nicholas Mattson was born and raised in Atascadero, and graduated from Templeton High School in 1997. While attending college in Las Vegas, Nevada, he took a job with a political consulting firm campaigning for statewide initiatives and a city councilman from 2002-2004.
The job took Mattson all over Nevada, introducing him to a wide range of ideas, policies and the democratic process over the course of three years.
In 2006, Mattson returned to Atascadero and adopted a newfound passion for the rural lifestyle Atascadero offered on the Central Coast. The pace was slower than he was acclimated to, but appealed to his sensibilities for a longterm home for him and his family.
He began getting involved in nonprofit work, volunteering for local organizations to help improve his hometown, including El Camino Homeless Shelter and the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education.
He took a position with the Atascadero News to connect with the community and write for the local newspaper from 2012 to 2017. He served as the sports editor and wrote for all sections of the news, including coverage of the city news, city council and local school board.
Over the past few years, he served on the board of the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Colony Days Committee, and was a founding board member of the Atascadero Printery Foundation. He founded and directed the Atascadero 4th of July Bluegrass Freedom Festival, from 2017.
In 2016, he ran for Mayor of Atascadero on a platform of downtown vitalization and kids’ safety. With several hundred kids downtown during every school day, both traffic and vagrancy in the downtown area were a concern. He also urged a dedicated effort to establish the third leg of the 2008 economic plan to build around an industry or industries that offered local professional opportunities.
In 2017, he began the campaign to rally downtown businesses to establish an organization to self-assess and manage funds similar to an official main street organization. That effort led to the creation of what is now Atascadero’s Downtown Business Improvement District, associated with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce.
Later in 2017, he and his wife Hayley purchased the Paso Robles Magazine and he began publishing the 17-year old magazine in Paso Robles. In 2018, he launched Colony Magazine in Atascadero. In 2019, he launched the Central Coast TRVLR tourism guide.
In September 2019, he and his wife made another acquisition, purchasing a group of publications which included The Atascadero News, The Paso Robles Press, VINO Magazine, Equine Enthusiast, Morro Bay Life, and Avila Beach Life.
He led the transition in ownership of the local publications, growing and shaping the company to serve the local community with careful consideration for diverse points of view that represent local readers while supporting the business community through partnerships with business membership organizations and local chambers of commerce.
With his investment in local business, local people, local success, and local infrastructure, he sacrificed the comfort of his business interests and editorial leadership in his company to volunteer his service as a public servant on the Atascadero City Council, citing concerns for the economic future of a city with big potential beyond 2020.
Mattson wants to lift the economic and social profile of Atascadero so that when people see the iconic rotunda building, they see hope in a future built on solid American values.