A hotel development frenzy in Paso Robles could double the number of rooms in town over the next 10 years, a figure that already has seen twofold growth since 2000 as wineries flourish.
Elite Meetings International is a company that started out aiming to make it easier for corporate planners to find a good luxury hotel but ended up helping those same hotels do more business by creating better booking software.
The Granada Theatre and The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts have received a $1 million commitment to the theater’s endowment fund from Sarah and Roger Chrisman.
When 30 cruise ships float into Santa Barbara’s harbor this year, several will have poor-to-failing environmental grades. And all the ships will carry passengers that, on average, spend about a quarter of what day-trippers and overnight tourists do.
The area has seen a boom in hotel remodels and renovations recently, with upgrades to Hotel Santa Barbara and Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, among others.
Santa Barbara County’s economy relies heavily on its billion-dollar tourism and agricultural industries, two of the fastest-growing sectors of California’s economy by number of jobs. But those are also industries with highly seasonal workforces and generally low-paying wages.
The cruise ship industry had an estimated $2.4 million economic impact on Santa Barbara last year, with more than 50,000 passengers visiting the city, according to a recently released survey.