Instead of staging its fifth annual fireworks display from the beach, the Bacara Resort and Spa took its toys and went home this 4th of July. The dark skies over the luxury hotel were due to the Goleta City Council’s showing favoritism to other organizations, according to Bacara manager Annie Montalvo. The Bacara’s public relations representative insisted that finances were not the issue. The resort – which has reportedly generated $60 million in local spending during its six years of existence – spends $10,000 on the display and charges no fee to beachgoers. Goleta City Councilmember Margaret Connell explained that the council originally voted to exempt Goleta’s Rotary Club from the requirement to notify its neighbors of its annual fundraising explosions at Gersh Park, prompting a protest from the Bacara and the hotel’s decision not to proceed with its own display. The council later reconsidered and voted to underwrite the Rotary Club’s cost of mailing postcards to affected neighbors, instead of exempting it from doing so. “Nonprofits get a lot of concessions that for-profit groups don’t,” said Connell. “I don’t know what [Bacara’s] beef is.”

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