Santa Barbara bills itself as the American Riviera, yet if you walk down State Street, there are a lot of empty stores. That’s a sad sight, and first impressions leave lasting impressions.

People who temporarily disembark from cruise ships to see the city probably wonder about all the empty places and the lackluster State Street entrance leading into our town and beautiful mountains.

There should more money spent to help attract viable businesses to State Street, including spending city funds on art to spruce up the landscape in that area.

Also, why not give away T-shirts promoting the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the wharf, the wineries, and the Mission? I bet the cruise-ship companies would be willing to pick up some of the costs.

What a great way to promote tourism in our community, especially in Montecito, which needs as much tourism as possible because of the flood’s impact on the economy.


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