The past year of additional $2 hotel fees in the Santa Ynez Valley proved to be a success, so the region’s decision makers have signed on to enjoy another four years as a Tourism Business Improvement District, or TBID, which allows areas to gather funds that can later be spent on marketing, educational training, and grants for tourism-boosting nonprofits and events. The $2 per night was collected by 32 hotels in Solvang, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Buellton, and Ballard starting in July 2010, and amounted to more than $550,000 in one year. The money was spent on, among other specifics, ads in visitor guides, coupon books, Sunset Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times, enhanced listings on, training front-desk staff, and community grants to Danish Days, the Vaquero Show & Sale, the Wildling Art Museum, PCPA Theaterfest, and more. The district is now accepting grant applications for this year’s round of donations, too. See


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