The Fess Parker – DoubleTree by Hilton Resort opened Monday as Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort after undergoing renovations, according to a press release. This is the hotel’s second name change since the late actor-developer Fess Parker built the property, then known as Fess Parker’s Red Lion Inn, in 1985.
Ashley Parker-Snider, his daughter, said in an email that the Parker family and their partner Park Hotels & Resorts believe the Hilton name will resonate with a broader demographic than the Fess Parker name.
“I think my father would be very pleased to see the property that he envisioned and developed maximize its potential … whether his name is on it or not,” Parker-Snider wrote in an email.
Asked if the move would change the hotel rates, general manager Neil R. Poisson said in an email the pricing model will remain based “on market trends and pricing for upscale Resort Hotels in the greater Santa Barbara marketplace.”
According to marketing manager Claudia Schou, the conversion comes with new amenities, including a Santa Barbara County resident discount program. In addition, the cookies given to guests during check-in when the hotel touted the Fess Parker name will be replaced with a Hilton-blue salt water taffy.
Park Hotels & Resorts and the Fess Parker family will continue to jointly own the hotel while Hilton will retain its management, according to the press release.
“It really doesn’t change our involvement on property there, other than Dad’s name coming off of it,” Parker-Snider said. “The winery, our little inn … all those things that are currently called Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and Fess Parker Winery will continue to have those names, and we’ll just carry on as usual.”