Glass Half Full?

In addition to the reasons often mentioned to explain the extraordinary commercial vacancy rate downtown (Internet shopping, high store rents, the return of high consumer debt levels, Generation X’s tight finances that prevent them from keeping up the shopping levels of the formerly big-spending Boomers), a few other issues might be considered:

(1) Santa Barbara is a tourist town just beginning to feel the bite of the escalating Trump Travel Slump caused by unwelcoming border and airport policies that annoy both foreigners and other Americans. People who used to love traveling to the California Riviera may now be thinking twice about it. Besides getting rid of the America First crowd, what can we do to convince tourists they’re still welcome in the U.S.?

(2) We also might want to get our creative minds around the fact that there may be opportunity in the crisis. Santa Barbara has way too much unwanted retail space and a desperate shortage of living space — is anyone considering converting one to the other?

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Iron Chef Caused State Street Pedestrian Death

Famous Chef Larry Forgione charged with misdemeanor for driving into Gilbert Ramirez on February 24.

Lavagnino’s Sudden Victory

5th District supervisor a shoo-in as filing window closes; Gregg Hart also unopposed for 2nd District.

One Half of Old Town Streets to Get Sidewalks

Walkways planned for one side of Goleta neighborhood streets; parking, lighting talks at community meeting March 22.

After Disaster in Montecito, Where Is All the Money Going?

Santa Barbara nonprofits account for millions spent on relief efforts.

Santa Barbara Experiences a Rainy March, but a Dry Year

Water year only 34 percent of normal for precipitation.