October 31, 2019

Visit Santa Barbara and The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region Open New State Street Visitor Center

State Street Visitor Center Photo Credit: Photo by Carly Otne, courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Visit Santa Barbara:
Anna Jacobson, public relations manager
(805) 966-9222, ext. 110 or [email protected]

The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region:
Stephanie Armstrong, interim executive director
(805) 965-3023 x103 or [email protected]

Santa Barbara, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2019) — On Thurs., Nov. 7, Visit Santa Barbara and The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region officially opened the new State Street Visitor Center, located at 120 State St., Ste. F, in the Hotel Californian property, with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by local hospitality industry representatives and public officials.

“Visit Santa Barbara is thrilled to partner with The Chamber, the City of Santa Barbara and Hotel Californian’s management group to open this new visitor center,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, president/CEO of Visit Santa Barbara, which provided funding and support to launch the center. “The center is situated perfectly at the historic gateway to our city. 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 design of the new facility is intended to represent the beauty and sophistication of the Santa Barbara South Coast (deep indigo tones and wood elements evoke the beach) with the functionality of a modern, high-traffic information center to help visitors plan their current and future trips. The space features a welcome desk, a retail section featuring locally sourced Santa Barbara- and California-themed items and travel necessities available for purchase, communal tables with iPads and charging stations, as well as a lounge area and a photo booth for creating fun photo strips. Amy Cooper, owner of popular Plum Goods boutique, advised on the center’s innovative design and retail products.

Local businesses and attractions have new opportunities to advertise and reach visitors inside the visitor center, including a three-panel feature wall that showcases excursions and accommodations, a video display for advertising activities throughout the region, and a brochure rack. On select occasions, visitors will be able to engage with local artisans and artists in the Maker’s Market retail section—one of several elements intended to make the visitor center an experiential and interactive environment.

Santa Barbara-area visitor centers currently welcome nearly 200,000 visitors each year. These include the new State Street Visitor Center; the original Garden Street Visitor Center, which will continue to operate at 1 Garden St. and Cabrillo Boulevard; and Cruise Ship Welcome Tables, which pop up temporarily along Cabrillo Boulevard near the Sea Landing walkway during cruise ship visits in the fall through spring shoulder season. The new State Street center had its soft opening in September and is expected to draw a new audience of walk-in traffic, while the Garden Street center will continue serve as a pickup point for tour buses and other tour operators on Cabrillo Boulevard.

“This has been a vision in the making for the past 30 years and to see it finally come to fruition is incredible, especially with such a strong partnership with Visit Santa Barbara,” said Stephanie Armstrong, interim executive director of The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region. “The center will serve as an integral tool in promoting our city as well as boosting our economic vitality throughout the region,” continued Armstrong. “We are grateful as well for the support from the City of Santa Barbara to create this community and visitor resource.”

Visitor Center Executive Director Annmarie Rogers, who will be celebrating 25 years of service in February 2020, is responsible for the operation of the visitor centers, along with support from 10 paid staff members and 50 volunteers, under the auspices of The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region. Local businesses interested in advertising at the new State Street Visitor Center may contact Stephanie Armstrong at [email protected]

ABOUT THE CHAMBER OF THE SANTA BARBARA REGION
The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization founded in 1878 and incorporated in 1899. The mission of the Chamber is to enhance and promote the regional economic environment through support of our members and collaboration with business, government and community resources.

ABOUT VISIT SANTA BARBARA
Visit Santa Barbara is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization jointly funded by the City of Santa Barbara, the County of Santa Barbara, the South Coast Tourism Business Improvement District and by a membership of hospitality-related busi¬nesses. The mission of Visit Santa Barbara is to inspire overnight travel to the Santa Barbara South Coast in order to enhance the community’s economy and quality of life. VSB’s primary vehicles are tourism marketing, PR and sales channels that lead to overnight bookings, increase business and tax revenue and support jobs. Annual spending by travelers to the South Coast totals more than $1.9 billion, supporting more than 13,000 jobs and generating more than $56 million in yearly tax revenues, according to Destination Analysts, a tourism market research firm.

###
FOR MEDIA ONLY

PRONOUNCER:
Kathy Janega-Dykes: KA-thee juh-NAY-guh DYKS

PHOTOS
High-res photos available at https://santabarbara.barberstock.com/collection/santabarbara/location-state-street-visitor-center. Please hover your mouse over each image for complete photo credit and caption information. Additional photos will be uploaded to this link following the ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 7. Contact [email protected] for additional images.

INTERVIEWS
Stephanie Armstrong from The Chamber of the Greater Santa Barbara Region and Kathy Janega-Dykes from Visit Santa Barbara are available for interviews.
• For interviews with Stephanie Armstrong, contact Armstrong at [email protected]
• For interviews with Kathy Janega-Dykes, contact Anna Jacobson at [email protected]