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Colorado ski resort still open as July 4 nears

The Colorado ski resort Arapahoe Basin announced it will be open for weekend skiing until June 30 thanks to this year’s abundant snowfall. The current base is 37 inches on the slopes at Dillon and eight runs are open. Over the past three days, half-an-inch of snow fell. “We still do not know about the Read More →

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Broken Earth has big vision for relocated tasting room

Location, location, location was a big draw that prompted Broken Earth Winery to move its tasting room from Highway 46 East in Paso Robles to a large industrial space just steps down the road from Firestone Walker’s brewery and tap room. “We obviously know what Firestone does and how busy they stay,” General Manager Justin Read More →

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Roadrunner ending shuttle service to LAX

Camarillo-based Roadrunner Management Services will end its shuttle service to Los Angeles International Airport effective July 31. The news came in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the state May 31. The former family-owned business is one of the largest private transit operators in the region, and it said the decision was made Read More →

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Mixologists create ‘Official Drink of Santa Barbara’

Visit Santa Barbara will host its third annual “Official Drink of Santa Barbara” Cocktail Contest from 5 to 8 p.m. June 20 at El Paseo Mexican Restaurant, 813 Anacapa St. Last year’s craft cocktail contest winner was “Biltmore Fuerte” (“Biltmore Strong” in Spanish) by Ty Lounge at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, which Read More →

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Michelin’s first California-only guide gives stars to 90 restaurants

By Kate Krader and Lucas Shaw Bloomberg News As if further proof were needed that California has become the center of America’s food universe, consider this: Michelin historically bestows its famed stars only once a year. Last November, the international food guide showered the Bay Area with stars. Seven months later, Michelin is back again, this time to recognize the entire Read More →

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Tri-county buildings are gems of mid-century modernism

On an impromptu visit to the former library that currently hosts KidSTREAM, a planned science museum for children in Camarillo, something clicked. As I stood in the main hall of the empty reading room, the vaulted ceiling, streaming natural lighting and built-in alcoves all worked as a unitary design. The fanciful pattern on the iron Read More →

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Nation’s capital rising in best destination rankings

By Claire Ballentine Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Washington has more than just politics to boast about. It also shot up a recent rankings list of the best cities in America to visit. New York is No. 1, again. Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco round out the top four, all same as last Read More →

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FlixBus launches Santa Barbara, Ventura service to LA, Las Vegas

FlixBus, the European mobility startup that launched in the United States a year ago, added Santa Barbara and Ventura to its rapidly-expanding network on June 6. Residents will be able to travel directly to Las Vegas and Los Angeles as well as connect with other cities in the Flix network. To introduce the new cities Read More →

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Passenger counts taking off at airports in SLO, Santa Barbara

Tri-county travel is trending upward as the region’s top two airports reported strong passenger counts for the first quarter of the calendar year. Passenger traffic grew nearly 20 percent for the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, which anticipates a return to pre-recession levels by the end of year, and 15 percent for the San Luis Obispo Read More →

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Island Packers launches dinner cruises with music

Visitors to Ventura Harbor Village can now enjoy the warmer days ahead with a two-hour Island Packers boat dinner cruise, where they will experience delicious cuisine paired to live entertainment from June through September. Operating on selected Saturdays, singles, couples and families can cruise the protected waters of Ventura Harbor and enjoy a savory meal, Read More →

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Star Wars land debuts at Disneyland

By Christopher Palmeri Walt Disney Co. unveiled the wildly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, providing an early look May 29 at the ambitious expansion of its original Disneyland theme park in Southern California. The 14-acre (5.7-hectare) project is the largest-ever addition to the park that founder Walt Disney first opened in Anaheim in 1955 and Read More →

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Uber launches submarine rides to Great Barrier Reef

  Want to get a fish eye’s view of the Great Barrier Reef but don’t have a boat? Ride-share company Uber Technologies Inc. announced on May 23 that it’s launching a new feature called ScUber, allowing customers to book a submarine trip through the Uber app in Queensland, Australia. The ScUber experience will be available from May Read More →

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Fespar teams up with Robert Green to develop hotel

A legendary family firm will team up with a relative newcomer to the region to create final opportunities for hotel development along the Santa Barbara waterfront. Fess Parker Enterprises, LLC, the family firm founded by the late actor and entrepreneur Fess Parker, announced on May 15 that it will team up with The Robert Green Read More →

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Santa Barbara Airport kicks off summer services

Memorial Day weekend will herald the beginning of the summer travel season at the Santa Barbara Airport. Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airlines resumed its seasonal direct service from Minneapolis to Santa Barbara on May 22. Because of the route’s popularity in 2018, the airline is doubling the number of weekly direct flights to four mid-day arrivals and Read More →

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Virgin Galactic will soon launch first tourists into space

Almost 15 years ago, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson made a bet on launching tourists into space from the scrublands of southern New Mexico. Now, he’s about to move the headquarters of his space venture to the so-called “Land of Enchantment.” Virgin Galactic’s move into its permanent headquarters at Spaceport America, north of Las Cruces, signifies Read More →

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Peake Ranch opens winery at landmark site in Buellton

Visitors who recall tasting at the rustic Sanford Winery shack that appeared in the movie “Sideways” or at Alma Rosa when it was located there are likely to be especially interested in the opening of the new Peake Ranch Winery and tasting room at the landmark site. Peake Ranch began welcoming the public in a Read More →

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Boutique hotels opening across the Central Coast

Four new hotels have opened recently or will open soon in the Tri-Counties. • Kirkwood Collection will introduce its newest property, Hideaway Santa Barbara, with a grand opening on June 15. The boutique nine-room hotel is at 420 W. Montecito St. Kirkwood owns a collection of boutique properties, including other hotels in Santa Barbara, Palm Read More →

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COAST Big Sur gallery reopens to the public

COAST Big Sur gallery has reopened to the public with a a new gourmet café and a menu by renowned San Francisco chef Nick Balla. Since opening as Coast Gallery in 1958, COAST Big Sur has been a fixture on California’s Central Coast and a destination for tourists and artists looking to experience Big Sur’s Read More →

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It’s survival of the fittest for luxury yachts

By Fran Golden It used to be that if you wanted to see blue-footed boobies and giant colonies of sea lions sunning in the Galapagos Islands, you had to travel a bit as Charles Darwin did, on a research-style vessel whose creature comforts came second to up-close nature encounters. That’s changed. The new wildlife-seeking crowd wants to see endangered species Read More →

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Follow these tips to get the most out of traveling by train

By Mark Ellwood First time planning a train trip? Start here. Seat 61.com is a fantastic resource if you’re starting from scratch. The site compares the routes, with everything from pricing data to the different amenities offered on each train. It’s Google for train lovers. America’s much-maligned rail system is hiding a few gems. One of my favorite trains Read More →

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SLO airport had record first quarter passenger count

A total of 113,320 passengers flew in and out of San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport during the first quarter of 2019, a 15 percent increase over 98,516 passengers in the same timeframe last year. Airport officials said it was the busiest first quarter in its history. Last year was the airport’s busiest year on Read More →

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Mending broken hearts with destination divorce parties in Vegas

By Sarah Firshein In October 2015, Ariel Khawaja traveled to Cozumel, Mexico, to say “I do” before a group of 55 wedding guests. Three years later she corralled her two best friends to stand beside her in Las Vegas as she said two other magic words: “I don’t.” Anchoring the trip around a Drake concert, Read More →

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Angels Wine, Food & Brew benefit good for business networking

One of a handful of true business networking must-go events, the Angels Wine, Food & Brew benefit for nonprofit Casa Pacifica is rolling out its 26th annual program in June. The festival will be held June 2 at the CSU Channel Islands campus and all proceeds benefit Casa Pacifica, which provides services to families in Read More →

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World’s tallest modular hotel to rise in Manhattan

By Patrick Clark The world’s biggest hotel company is betting that factory-built guest rooms are a key to juicing revenue — and helping guests get a better night’s sleep. Marriott International is laying plans for what it says will be the tallest modular hotel in the world, in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood. Its 168 guest rooms Read More →

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Backers hope Lompoc space center project launches

With space launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base becoming more frequent, bringing in some 200,000 visitors to witness launches in 2018, a proposal for an educational space center is once again in the works. “The public interest in space is extraordinary,” said project lead Steven Franck as he and business partner Bob Allen pitched the Read More →

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Silver Air title sponsor for Pacific Coast Open polo tournament

Silver Air, the private jet management and charter company with operations in Santa Barbara, is returning as title sponsor of the 2019 Silver Air Pacific Coast Open at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. The polo tournament will be played Aug. 15 to Sept. 1, culminating with the final match on the Sunday of Read More →

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Best golf courses to play if you’re not playing at the Masters

For golf fans, few weeks of the year are as anticipated as Masters Week. The energy on the course transmits itself through the television, in part because for many of us in northern climates, we can finally begin to dream about the end of winter. And for the lucky few that are able to win the ticket lottery — Read More →

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5 fun places to hold a corporate gathering in the Tri-Counties

Building a great team starts with building morale and camaraderie. From activities that push you outside the office to tasks that engage your critical thinking skills at full throttle, team retreats are a way to have productive fun. Across the Tri-Counties, both indoor and outdoor spaces for corporate retreats and team-building exercises abound. Here are Read More →

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New conference centers planned to meet growing tri-county demand

Already a world class tourist destination, the Tri-Counties are poised to ramp up business travel capacity with new spaces for corporate events and conferences. Camarillo and Paso Robles are each slated for large new conference centers that will cater to business functions. This is in addition to more than half a dozen hotels cropping up Read More →

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American Airlines launches nonstop service from SLO to Dallas

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport welcomed its first daily nonstop flight from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on April 2. American Airlines first announced the flight from SLO to the busy national and international travel hub in December, which will enable an additional 89 connections, expanding Central Coast access to the South, the Read More →

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Michelin Guide to include Santa Barbara restaurants

Updated at 4 p.m. March 7: International dining authority Michelin will be writing “Michelin Guide California 2019,” a guidebook to California dining, according to a March 5 news release from Michelin. Santa Barbara County restaurants will be included in the guide, along with restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area and Monterey, Orange, Sacramento and Read More →

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Ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Tri-Counties

With consumers poised to spend an average of $161.96 on Valentine’s Day in the U.S., according to the National Retail Foundation, tri-county destinations are getting in on the action. The National Retail Foundation survey found that 34 percent of consumers anticipate spending a total of $3.5 billion on an evening out. Experiential gifts, such as Read More →

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New hotels opening across the Tri-Counties

A slew of new hotels, including some that have been in the works for more than a decade, have opened or will open in 2019. Ranging from first-class hotel chains to privately-owned concepts, the new lodging spaces cater to a blend of luxury, tourism and business-oriented markets. SANTA BARBARA COUNTY The Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort Read More →

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Santa Barbara Airport adding daily flight to Sacramento

The Santa Barbara Airport will add a daily nonstop flight to Sacramento International Airport beginning April 16, the airport announced on Jan. 31. Contour Airlines will begin accepting bookings for the flight on Feb. 1. The premium, low-fare airline also announced it will increase the number of daily flights from Santa Barbara to Oakland and Read More →

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Popular tri-county film festivals attracting big audiences

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will increase its presence in downtown Santa Barbara, with plans to move its year-round educational program into its current rental space at 1330 State St. In what looks to be a top grossing year for the 34th annual festival, it will also honor regional roots, kicking off and closing Read More →

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LVMH buying El Encanto owner Belmond for $2.6 billion

How about a high end room to go with your high end luggage? LVMH, the French company that owns the Luis Vuitton, Moet and Hennessy brands, is buying Belmond, the upscale hotel company whose holdings include El Encanto in Santa Barbara. LVMH will pay $25 per share or $2.6 billion for the hotel and luxury Read More →

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San Luis Obispo airport adding daily flight to Dallas

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport got an early Christmas present this year. On Dec. 13, it announced a new daily flight destination to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. American Airlines will begin the flights from San Luis Obispo to the busy national and international travel hub on April 2. A spokeswoman for the Read More →

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Landmark equine brick barn now wine venue

What once was Santa Barbara County’s most elegant barn, built of red bricks and a Spanish tile roof to house Arabian horses, is now an ultramodern tasting room and events center just outside Buellton’s western residential district. Buellton resident Norman Williams hired an Italian stonemason to build the barn in the early 1970s after purchasing Read More →

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Solvang gets grant to market itself for television and film shoots

Amid many popular Central Coast destinations sits the town of Solvang, nestled between two mountain ranges in the Santa Ynez Valley and nicknamed “California’s Denmark” because of its strong Danish heritage. The downtown consists of about five to six blocks of primarily one or two-story buildings that were designed similar to traditional Danish structures. “Our Read More →

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Santa Barbara County tourism industry outlook good

With tourism largely rebounding in the aftermath of the winter’s disasters, Visit Santa Barbara unveiled a new branding campaign on Oct 30, along with optimistic lodging forecasts. Data from CBRE Hotels showed an increase in demand for lodging, even as Santa Barbara County absorbed a 6 percent increase in available rooms as new venues like Read More →

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Camarillo Airport users can soon be on Cloud 9

Camarillo will jump on the luxury-storage trend with Cloud 9, a 120,000-square-foot project that will bring luxury hangers and office space for private jet owners, companies and high-net-worth individuals to the Camarillo Airport. The four 25,000-square-foot hangers will be constructed in the northeast quadrant of the airport and, according to airport officials, accommodate at least Read More →

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Attractive venues power tri-county wedding industry

With a large variety of venues, incredible beaches and an infusion of cultural experiences, the Tri-Counties are in demand as a wedding destination for couples from around the nation and the world. “I went to school in San Luis Obispo and fell in love with the area then. When planning our wedding, we looked at Read More →

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Top tri-county tourist attractions at a glance

San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are hot spots for tourism with an array of attractions and activities enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. Here’s a look at the top three attractions in each of the Tri-Counties, ranked by number of annual visitors, according to the Pacific Coast Business Times 2018 Book of Read More →

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Travelers name Santa Barbara as one of the best small cities in U.S.

Santa Barbara is named as one of the “Best Small Cities in the U.S.” as part of the Condé Nast Traveler 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. Santa Barbara, which first appeared on the list in 2015, gets more than 7.2 million visitors per year. More than 400,000 readers took part in the annual survey. Several Santa Read More →

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PGA Tour Champions event will boost Conejo Valley economy

  A PGA Tour Champions event returns to Thousand Oaks in October under its new moniker, the Invesco QQQ Championship, hoping to engage new audiences, drive philanthropy and encourage visitors to explore the Conejo Valley. To be held at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks on Oct. 25-28, the Invesco QQQ Championship is the Read More →

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SLO County scenery makes great backdrop for shooting movies

“Destination Wedding” — a newly released film starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder — is more about the destination than the wedding. Filmed primarily in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, the movie highlights the scenery that draws many to the county. “I think (the producer) found in Paso Robles a backdrop that would fully Read More →

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Hitching Post Wines in Buellton opens tasting room

The Hitching Post II restaurant in Buellton enjoyed some high-profile exposure in the 2004 movie “Sideways.” A scene early in the film shows aspiring author Miles and his pal Jack walking along Highway 246 and up to the restaurant, where the roadside Hitching Post sign glows brightly in the twilight. They sit down at the Read More →

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Western art show SLOPOKE popular with tri-county collectors

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Santa Barbara Airport adding flights, industrial buildings

Santa Barbara Airport is launching into an era of change, adding a new carrier and destinations, putting airport-owned industrial buildings up for lease and recruiting a new director. Daily flights to Oakland and Las Vegas will begin on Oct.16, airport officials announced Aug. 27. Contour Airlines will operate the 30-passenger jets to and from the Read More →

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Santa Barbara Airport adds flights to Oakland, Las Vegas

The Santa Barbara Airport is adding daily flights to Oakland and Las Vegas, airport officials announced Aug. 27. Contour Airlines will operate the 30-passenger jets to and from Oakland and Las Vegas starting on Oct. 16. Fares for the destinations have not been announced. The new service will bring the airport’s direct flight destinations total Read More →

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Highway 1 open for business and tourism rebounds

Shops and stops along Highway 1 have experienced a late summer surge in the few weeks following the historic coastal route’s mid-July reopening. Now merchants are wondering how long the good times will roll. The famed highway along the Central Coast was closed from just north of Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County into Read More →

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Sculpture garden draws visitors to Paso Robles winery

If they didn’t serve wine at Sculpterra Winery’s estate tasting room, it still would be an interesting place to visit. The venue on Paso Robles’ east side is nestled in a verdant garden where meandering paved walkways, hedges and plantings frame dramatically large, museum-quality sculptures. There are stylized renderings of animals — horses, alley cats, Read More →

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Henry Dubroff

Dubroff: Low-cost airlines position Santa Barbara Airport to take off

Santa Barbara Airport, by far the region’s busiest facility, is about to embark on a new era, relying more heavily on low-cost airlines to boost traffic. Beginning on Aug. 16, Sun Country, a Minneapolis-based carrier owned by Apollo Global Management, will begin flights to its home hub in Minnesota on a seasonal, two-day-a-week schedule with Read More →

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Marriott Fairfield Inn will be first hotel in Moorpark since 1920

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Survey will help plan future of tourism in San Luis Obispo County

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Our view: Highway 1 opening will boost tourism

While much media attention in the Tri-Counties has been focused on the Thomas fire and mudslides that shut Highway 101 over the winter, San Luis Obispo County’s tourism economy has been hard hit by a slide-related closure that cut off access to Big Sur and lasted 18 months. A year and a half after a Read More →

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Solvang Chamber of Commerce gets contract to brand and market city

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Highway 1 reopens closed stretch near Big Sur

Some 18 months after a vast mud flow covered a quarter-mile long stretch of Highway 1 near Big Sur, the road has reopened, handily beating a September opening target date. The reopening for vehicles took place the morning of July 18, several days after bicycles were allowed to use the road. The opening had been Read More →

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Roving science museum kidSTREAM finds a home

Ventura County is set to welcome a long-awaited recreational destination for kids, and nonprofit science museum kidSTREAM will get a physical address after receiving the nod from the Camarillo City Council. Until now, the nomadic children’s museum has hosted pop-up events and workshops throughout the county as it conducted fundraising feasibility and market studies to Read More →

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Santa Barbara hotel staffs vie for bragging rights at Hotel Olympics

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Henry Dubroff

Dubroff: Tri-county tourism slow to bounce back but wait ’til next year

When it comes to the 2018 tourism season, evidence suggests a lingering impact from the Thomas fire and mudslides, with many people I talk to thinking that a full rebound may not take place until 2019. If my sources are correct, the region will get a big jolt next season with the anticipated late-December soft Read More →

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Tri-county tourism shrugs off natural disasters

New figures show that even in the face of natural disasters that shook the travel and retail industries, tourism continues to be a top economic driver for the Central Coast. Visitor spending topped $5 billion in the Tri-Counties in 2017, supporting nearly 50,000 jobs, according to data provided by state and county nonprofit marketing associations. Read More →

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Paso Robles downtown wineries host wine walk on the wild side

Normally when you walk into a wine tasting room, you don’t expect to see a 6-foot-long, 100-plus pound alligator perched motionless on a stand, his gaze steely-eyed and his teeth protruding from closed jaws that form what looks like a faint smile. This was no normal day. Spike the alligator, under the watchful care of Read More →

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