The corporate headquarters of Magellan’s Travel Supplies will no longer call Santa Barbara its home.
Its parent company, Gart Capital Partners, announced this week it would relocate the Magellan’s corporate office to Denver and take 74 jobs with it by the beginning of 2013.
The company will keep a retail store in Loreto Plaza on State Street in Santa Barbara, and in Santa Monica. Magellan’s primarily makes money through e-commerce.
The company was founded in 1989 in Santa Barbara. It merged with Gart subsidiary Colorado Bag’n Baggage last December.
“It is a sad day for the city of Santa Barbara and the state to lose a homegrown business such as Magellan’s,” Zoe Taylor, interim president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce, told Noozhawk. “It is not only the loss of jobs but the cumulative economic impact of yet another business moving out of state.”
Taylor said Magellan’s has been “my ‘go-to’ store for all of my travel needs.”
Company president Tom Nelson told The Denver Post that six Santa Barbara employees would make the move to Denver, while the remaining positions would be hired locally. He also said that there are plans for more retail stores in the next few years.
But Nelson told the Post the move was made in part because of the South Coast’s sky-high real estate prices.
Taylor said governments need to look hard at legislation and other factors that continue to hobble business growth, especially amid economic turmoil affecting cities and states.
“We should be helping them to grow and prosper, not putting more challenges in front of them and increasing the cost of doing business,” she said.
City Shows Improving Bed Tax Collection
The City of Santa Barbara raked in $1.8 million in transient occupancy tax (TOT) revenue, otherwise known as the bed tax, last month — the first of fiscal year 2013. City officials reported that it was a 3.1 percent increase over July 2011.
The growth was much smaller this year compared with last July, when bed tax revenue jumped 12.2 percent. The city attributed the difference to just eight weekend days in July 2012 compared with 12 in July 2011.
Still, it’s an indication of more economic recovery for Santa Barbara’s biggest industry: tourism. Last month was the third July in a row in which bed tax revenue increased, and a year-over-year rise for every month since January 2010.
The city projects TOT revenue will grow 6.1 percent in fiscal year 2013 to nearly $14.5 million, or about $3 million more than in all of fiscal year 2010. That’s evidence that revenue from this tax is marching back up to pre-recession levels and keeping the city from venturing into treacherous fiscal waters again.
SBCC’s Small Business Development Center Posts First-Year Stats
More than 100 clients were served during the first year of the Santa Barbara County Small Business Development Center at Santa Barbara City College, the group announced Tuesday.
“We hoped to build awareness by word-of-mouth and some grassroots efforts by attending and hosting business networking events and workshops,” said Melissa Moreno, the center’s director.
Things have been picking up for the center, she said, after people discover what it offers and how it can help boost their business. It has built recognition through word-of-mouth and events at the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at SBCC.
“We made significant inroads to helping small businesses obtain financing or investment, and we helped create numerous new jobs, and helped businesses actually start or increase sales,” Moreno said.
Center officials say the 116 clients it served free of charge in its first year have created 82 jobs and contributed about $7.2 million in capital infusion or sales increases.
The SBCC location is a satellite office to the Ventura County branch. All Small Business Development Centers across the country are funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Halloween Store Reopens Next to Pinkberry on State
Finding a Halloween store is something of a moving target every year, but this year the seasonal World of Magic by Simply Halloween lands in the same spot it was last year — across from Paseo Nuevo. It opened for business this week, even though Halloween is two months off. Hey, it’s never too early to prepare.
Radius Group’s Austin Herlihy, one of the people representing the property, told Noozhawk that the store signed a short-term lease until November at 740 State St., one-time home of the Peace Store. The clothing outlet shut its operations there in April 2011 to become an online-only retailer. Since then, the space has been without a tenant, other than World of Magic last September through November.
Biltmore’s New Manager Comes from Bora Bora
The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara has a new resort manager.
Michael Mestraud, a native of France, comes to the South Coast from Four Seasons Bora Bora. Before serving as the first resort manager there, he also worked for Four Seasons hotels in Paris, Provence and Chicago.
“I like to say I’ve traded one paradise for another,” Mestraud said. “I love Santa Barbara. There is something so very special and soulful about this place that struck me right away.”