While it took more than nine years to plan, the Courtyard by Marriott in Goleta is set to open in a week.
R.D. Olson Development and Wynmark Company teamed up to build the 106-room property at 401 Storke Road. R.D. Olson Development started construction of the $28 million Marriott in November and plans to open Aug. 23.
The Courtyard by Marriott is the last Goleta hotel built since the Hampton Inn at 5665 Hollister Ave. in 2001, according to Robert Olson, CEO of R.D. Olson Development. He said there’s a demand for quality business and family-oriented hotels that are built to today’s standards.
“But I think that Goleta has been losing its fair share of the hotel demand that it is creating,” Olson said. “I think a lot of demand is spreading to outlying areas, mainly Santa Barbara and even out to Buellton.”
Since the City of Goleta’s revenue-neutrality agreement with Santa Barbara County expired in July, the 10-year-old city can benefit from all of its hotels’ bed taxes — but it still will have to share 50 percent of property tax and 30 percent of sales tax revenue.
Olson estimated that the Marriott would bring in about $6,000 a month in bed tax, which goes toward services such as public safety, road improvement and redevelopment. The Goleta City Council voted to put an ordinance on the November ballot proposing an increase in bed tax from 10 to 12 percent.
The 68,000-square-foot project sits on a 3-acre parcel southwest of the Goleta Technology Park, near the Camino Real Marketplace and the Santa Barbara Airport. Guest rooms will have WiFi access, flat-screen televisions, microwave ovens and efficient workspace. The hotel will include 1,300 square feet of meeting space and a fitness room, large outdoor pool, putting green and spa. It employs about 40 workers.
“We like the Goleta area for a number of reasons, such as the proximity to UCSB, the growing business community surrounding the airport and then there’s the airport itself,” Olson said.
UCSB economics professor Peter Rupert said the new Marriott will give UCSB families and staff a place to stay, adding that hopefully it will sustain Goleta’s economic development.
Kristen Miller of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce agreed.
“I hope that we get a little more savvy about taking care of our tourists in Goleta, whether they are business travelers or UCSB travelers,” Miller previously told Noozhawk. “I hope the city continues to work together with the business community because we can be stronger together. The city can continue fiscal responsibility but be able to grow.”
The Goleta Planning Commission is reviewing the environmental impact report of another Marriott hotel proposed for 6300 Hollister Ave.
“We have neighbors walking by asking if I was involved in the project who thanked me for how beautiful of a project we are building,” Olson said. “That’s the perception we’re getting.”