Public officials, hospitality representatives, and several other Santa Barbarans gathered on the evening of Thursday, November 7, to celebrate the official grand opening of the new State Street Visitor Center, located at 120 State Street, Suite F, on the Hotel Californian property.
The new facility builds on the traditional visitor center responsibilities and additionally offers communal iPads and charging amenities, a wide selection of locally made artisanal retail items, and a photo booth to snapshot guests’ travels. Decorated with weathered woods and pops of indigo, the modern State Street Visitor Center emulates the classic coastal S.B. style and invites tourists and locals alike to come shop, hang-out in the lounge areas, and tap into the knowledge of the visitor center’s staff.
“The center is situated perfectly at the historic gateway to our city,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, president/CEO of Visit Santa Barbara, the destination marketing organization that supported and helped fund the center’s launch. “Not only will it capture visitors as they walk and explore the waterfront and State Street; it’s also a stone’s throw from the Amtrak train station.”
The Santa Barbara region’s visitor centers currently welcome around 200,000 guests, and with the opening of the State Street location, organizers hopes to increase this number and continue to promote regional businesses and attractions.