The average daily room rate for South Coast hotels in Santa Barbara is $248.84 a night. That compares to the average range of $130-to-$260 a night in other California coastal communities, according to a UCLA report just released examining how expensive it’s become for most Californians to visit the coast.
The report found that the average California resident was willing to spend $118 a night. The issue of coastal affordability has become of intense concern not just to the California Coastal Commission, but also to some state legislators who’ve introduced bills designed to encourage and to mandate affordable coastal accommodations for state residents.
Although Santa Barbara’s room rates hover on the high end of the state average and higher than the comfort level for many, visitors keep coming. According to Kathy Janega-Dykes of Visit Santa Barbara, South Coast hotels and motels experienced “an uptick” in occupancy rates over the past two years, hitting “the record breaking 77 percent.” Adding to the crunch between supply and demand, the UCLA study reported that 25,000 economy-priced hotel and motel rooms along the coast have been shut down since 1989.