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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