Revised plans for the long-beleaguered Miramar Hotel were approved by the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Rick Caruso, owner of the Miramar for the last several years, reduced the size of the project in order to make it more financially feasible and came back to the board after receiving approval from the Montecito Planning Commission last month. “The wheels fell off the economy wagon,” explained Caruso’s project manager Matt Middlebrook. It would’ve been intelligent to just get rid of the property, he said, but Caruso fell in love with it, the beach, the mountains, and the community. The project isn’t financed, he said, but it’s close. “We’re confident this is the plan that can get it done. It’s a reduced project. We believe it’s a better project.”
The new project now has permits through April 6, 2015. In addition to financial reasons, Caruso made changes in response to feedback from the community, and this time around received little to no opposition.
While the hotel’s staffing level, number of employee units, and beach club will all stay the same, many other changes — mostly reductions — were made. The tennis court was eliminated, the project was reduced by 120,000 gross square feet, and the number of guest rooms shrank from 192 to 186. Additionally, the maximum number of guests allowed went from 600 to 500, and the grading was reduced by 10,000 cubic yards of cut and 10,000 cubic yards of fill.