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Posted on March 12 at 3:26 p.m.
My last visit to the Miramar property was in the mid-90s when I sat on a balcony overlooking the water, eating sandwiches I had brought along due to limited funds. I was shaping the last few ideas for an internet business and making my decision to quit my well paying TV gig. As you might guess it was a good move to gamble everything and try that new fangled World Wide Web. So the Miramar is near and dear to me.
I have to wonder how much tax income has been lost by Federal, State and Local governments because this property has been vacant for the past 13 years. Money that could have been used to help strengthen the community along with those in need. This is a valuable piece of property and sure, whoever develops it is bound to make some money. But for whatever reason it has sat empty.
It appears that the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors created a program to stimulate hotel/resort construction. Well... It looks like the new owner wants to go that route. And in doing so he wants the wording of the agreement to be made very clear. Understandable so, he is going to be investing a large amount of money. For several years, until the doors open, he will have no income at all. Just as he has since he purchased the property. I don't see anyone stepping up to help him pay for demolition of the ugly eyesore. And he is risking that when the doors open the World economy will be such that he can charge profitable rates.
I'm not sure if the owner said $800 per night, or if it was a price created here by a poster. I'm sure some of the rooms will go for that rate and even higher, but no way can a property that size charge that as a minimum rate. It may be posted as a legal rack rate minimum, but real world rates would be much lower for the majority of the rooms.
I'm surprised that locals don't want to see their neighbors put to work on a project like this. The number of tourists entering the US is growing quickly and this would be an excellent destination and source of tax income. More high end foreign tourists means more money for small businesses all over Santa Barbara. Or would locals be happier with a Motel 6?
The reality is that in order for lots of people to do well you will almost always discover one person at the beginning who took a big risk. Just like the risk I decided to take. During those days at the Miramar 18 years ago I had a vision of how the internet was going to change the world. I risked everything, committed my savings, and took the plunge.
On Miramar Blight Gone, but Fiscal Stalemate Continues