A Southwest jet departs from McCarran International Airport near Las Vegas. Beginning April 12, the airline plans to offer three daily departures to Las Vegas from the Santa Barbara Airport.
A Southwest jet departs from McCarran International Airport near Las Vegas. Beginning April 12, the airline plans to offer three daily departures to Las Vegas from the Santa Barbara Airport. (Stephen Keller photo)

BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing news@noozhawk.com.

Southwest Airlines will offer three daily departures to Las Vegas from the Santa Barbara Airport beginning April 12. And that’s not all. Southwest also will offer one daily flight to Denver and Oakland.

“As we look past the pain of the current pandemic, today’s announcement is exactly the boost of confidence needed for the upcoming travel recovery in a post-COVID environment,” Visit Santa Barbara CEO/President Kathy Janega-Dykes said. “We are optimistic that local hospitality businesses will be prepared to welcome leisure travelers, meeting attendees and newlyweds who will choose Southwest for affordable flights to Santa Barbara.”

Schedules and introductory fares are available for booking now, according to airport officials. Introductory rates are $39 one-way between Santa Barbara and Las Vegas, and Santa Barbara and Oakland. It is $69 between Santa Barbara and Denver. The introductory rates are from April 12 to June 16.

Southwest will fly Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft in and out of the airport.

“We know we’ve been an attractive market for Southwest, but it took the shake-up of the industry as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide the impetus to enter the market,” Airport Director Henry Thompson said. “Whatever the reason, it’s our region that stands to benefit.”

Southwest on Thursday also offered new flights to Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

“We’re boldly launching this eagerly anticipated new year by doubling down on our consistent commitment to California to offer our value and flexibility to now 13 airports in the state,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “Not only does Southwest Airlines celebrate 50 years of service in 2021, we’re gratefully acknowledging the support of Californians who have made us the largest air carrier.”

Retail Closure

Abercrombie & Fitch on State Street in Santa Barbara closed its doors last week.

The store, popular among young and fit people, was a Santa Barbara fixture for decades, even sparking its own one-time controversy over its provocative photos in the windows.

It turns out the trendy store is rebranding and converting the store into its sister brand, Hollister, a teen and young adult retail store, according to Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, marketing manager for Paseo Nuevo, where the store sits.

She said the store will be closed for about a month while the company remodels and rebrands. 

Harms-Romo also said Francesca’s Collection is going out of business; the parent company has filed for bankruptcy. 

Also at the mall, Dylan Star has opened a pop-up, next to Sephora

Lawyer Recognized

Attorney Diana Lytel with the law office of Lowthorp, Richards, McMillan, Miller & Templeman has made the Southern California Super Lawyers.

It’s the second consecutive year that Lytel has received the honor. 

Lytel is recognized as among the top 5% of Southern California attorneys, according to a news release. A civil litigator and criminal defense lawyer, Lytel was named a Super Lawyer for the region in 2020.

Super Lawyers is a rating service that evaluates lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Candidates are selected by independent researchers and professional peers and cannot nominate themselves, according to a news release. 

Lytel specializes in general litigation for businesses and individuals, professional liability, premises liability and criminal defense. She has defended a wide variety of high-profile clients, including Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, mutual funds and insurance entities.

Great Santa Maria Takeout

The Great Santa Maria Takeout begins Friday and runs through Jan. 31. 

The event, typically called California Restaurant Month, features Santa Maria Valley’s culinary creations from a variety of establishments.

Nearly 20 participating restaurants, wineries and breweries are showcasing specials and featured menu items, including “braised boneless beef short ribs, delicious tacos, Cuban cocktails and artisan pizza.”

Participating businesses include Cielito Lindo, Cubanissimo, Moxie Cafe, Naughty Oak Brewing Co., Pizzeria Bello Forno and Wine Stone Inn.

People are also encouraged to enter the “Takeout Selfie Contest” for a chance to win a #SantaMariaStyle staycation. Snap a photo of you taking out your order at the participating business and submit it by clicking here.

The winning submission will receive a staycation package that includes a one-night stay at the boutique Wine Stone Inn, a basket of wine and gift cards to enjoy local restaurants. The winner will have until April 30 to redeem the prize, according to a news release. 

“Our locals and guests love our unique culinary quilt in the Santa Maria Valley,” said Glenn Morris, president and CEO of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. “The mosaic of food and wine from ranch-inspired cuisine to our taco trail, our barbecue and beer trail and, of course, to our signature vintages makes our region a great community to support and explore.”

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.