Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 3:05 pm | Overcast 61º


Local News

Goleta Council Votes to Join Revamped Tourism District

The City of Goleta has paved the way to renew an agreement to be part of the Santa Barbara South Coast Tourism Business Improvement District, an effort run by Visit Santa Barbara to increase tourism and overnight stays in local hotels.

The Goleta City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to adopt a resolution to join a revamped — and more equitable — model of South Coast TBID, a district that collects assessment rate from local lodging customers to provide funding for marketing efforts.

The TBID includes Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria and unincorporated areas of southeastern Santa Barbara County, and the new version is expected to generate $3.1 million annually for the area.

Increased assessment rates and the addition of vacation rentals were key points of the new TBID, which is supposed to generate $129,370 for Goleta marketing in the first year, beginning in January 2015, about 4.1 percent of total TBID funds.

Visit Santa Barbara needed Goleta approval before bringing the six-year district agreement before the City of Santa Barbara for final say. Goleta last granted consent in July 2010 and has collected more than $780,000 since January 2011 through its lodging, according to Visit Santa Barbara CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes.

Goleta staff gave a brief presentation before handing the podium to Janega-Dykes, who said the district provided “affordable branding” and a new opportunity for vacation rental properties, which would charge customers taxes for the first time but not appear in any marketing materials.

Under current TBID, assessment rates applied to lodging with more than four rooms and varied from 50 cents per occupied room per night to $2, depending on the average daily rate charged by each business. In 2013-14, for example, Goleta collected approximately $375,000 through TBID.

After meeting with local lodging owners and others, Visit Santa Barbara decided to modify its TBID proposal, making it apply to all lodging businesses and rates varying from 75 cents per occupied room per night to $4 based on the same daily rates and including escalations in years three and five. Vacation rentals would be assessed on a per unit basis of $2 per night instead of a per room rate.

Janega-Dykes told council members that all but one hotel, Pacifica Suites, had signed a mandatory petition in favor of the TBID. Pacifica Suites was not opposed, she said, noting a need to set up a meeting.

She said the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce would handle TBID funds, which would also be monitored by a committee formed within Visit Santa Barbara.

Councilman Jim Farr lauded the program for bringing 817,000 annual visitors to Goleta, a better deal than creating Goleta’s own district.

Tony Vallejo, former president of the Goleta Valley Chamber, asked how Visit Santa Barbara targets Goleta visitors and if they track how many tourists stay in Goleta but dine in Santa Barbara — an ongoing challenge.

Councilman Roger Aceves questioned what Goleta gets out of the partnership and why rental vacation properties — the city has some 117 registered — were paying in but not getting advertising.

“How do we get people to say Visit Goleta?” he said. “How do we convince them that Goleta is also a great place to visit?”

Janega-Dykes assured Aceves that a vacation rental owner could me included on the TBID advisory committee, which also features three Goleta lodging owners. She said most vacation rentals don’t have websites or contact information regularly displayed, making the process difficult, although owners have been notified.

Testimonials from Bacara Resort & Spa general manager Kathleen Cochrane and Goleta Valley Chamber President Kristen Miller in support of the district seemed to sway Aceves, who made the motion to approve on the condition that Visit Santa Barbara makes sure Goleta gets its money’s worth.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >