August 6, 2020

Hospitality Hero Winners

August 6, 2020

Out of a competitive pool of nominations from throughout the Santa Barbara South Coast, Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center won the Visit Santa Barbara Hospitality Heroes Award in the fourth week of the five-week program.

About Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center

The Paseo Nuevo administrative team put forth extraordinary efforts to keep people safe, and their hard work has benefitted patrons, shop owners, and employees. The staff developed a helpful web page as a resource for retailers to reopen safely, including requirements to follow and step-by-step loan and payroll information. The entire property has been thoroughly cleaned, and popular “touch points” and restrooms are being disinfected hourly. Other enhancements include touchless, curbside pick-up locations, custom, hand-made sanitizing stations, complimentary mask distribution, and adjusted seating areas to ensure social distancing.

Visit Santa Barbara is overjoyed to recognize the Paseo Nuevo team as the week four Hospitality Heroes and are grateful for the way they’ve worked together in finding creative solutions. The outdoor shopping center is a joy to visit with its beautiful courtyards and iconic Santa Barbara architecture.

Shoppers can even utilize a texting service to reach the Paseo Nuevo administrative team 24 hours a day with any questions or concerns. The shopping center is currently being renovated with newly imagined courtyards, landscaping, pathways, water features, and art installations.

July 29, 2020

At a time when connection to nature seems more important than ever, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has gone above and beyond to provide a tranquil and safe environment for guests and staff. Out of a competitive pool of nominations from throughout the Santa Barbara South Coast, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden won the Visit Santa Barbara Hospitality Heroes Award in the third week of the five-week program.

About The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden partnered with Cottage Health’s infectious disease prevention specialist, who guided garden staff in developing and refining best practices around health and safety. To ensure safety of both staff and visitors, the property fully redesigned trail systems to allow physical distancing throughout the gardens. Capacity is greatly reduced, and guests are enjoying a much-needed place of respite and connection to nature.

Visit Santa Barbara is thrilled to recognize the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden as the week three Hospitality Hero and are thankful for the way they’ve creatively adapted their services to keep everyone safe in the community. COVID-19 has been a huge challenge, but the garden provides a place for the local residents and visitors alike to safely connect with the harmonious nature and lush plant life that Santa Barbara is known for.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with face coverings required at all times. No on-site classes, tours, events, or programs are currently available and all indoor facilities, besides restrooms, remain closed. If guests aren’t able to visit the garden in person, they can experience the organization’s Garden at Home program with virtual tours, livestreams, and online classes.

Nominate a Hospitality Hero

Know someone you think is deserving of this award? We’re still continuing to accept public nominations for Hospitality Heroes who have supported healthy and safe behaviors related to COVID-19, whether among their customers or co-workers. To submit nominations and for more information, please click here.

July 21, 2020

After another competitive week of nominations from throughout the Santa Barbara South Coast, we are ecstatic to recognize Pamme Mikelson, one hard-working employee from Goleta Valley Historical Society, as the winner of Visit Santa Barbara’s Hospitality Heroes Award in the second week of a five-week program.

COVID-19 has created many challenges, but Pamme is a positive stand-out among the many local workers who have been graciously stepping up their efforts, from frontline staff to those behind the scenes. In particular, Visit Santa Barbara judges cited Mikelson’s eagerness to help as a brand-new employee, hired just before March. They also noted her fearless drive, positive attitude, and creativity – including the custom fabric representing something so symbolic of Goleta.

About Pamme Mikelson

As the manager of development and marketing for Goleta Valley Historical Society, Pamme Mikelson has made over 400 masks for the Goleta Valley Historical Society and other nonprofits on the South Coast. Mikelson even went so far as to find “lemon-patterned” fabric to make masks for residents of Goleta, an area known for lemons in its agricultural history.

Mikelson creates and distributes hundreds of masks, as well as customizes them for individuals and nonprofits. In addition, she also tracks COVID-19 regulations at the city, county and state levels to update the organization’s policies and procedures accordingly, with patience and flexibility, according to her nomination.

July 15, 2020

Out of a competitive pool of nominations from throughout the Santa Barbara South Coast, we are proud to recognize Kacey House and Luis Garcia of Acme Hospitality as the winners of Visit Santa Barbara’s first Hospitality Heroes Award. We are deeply grateful for their service and commitment to keep everyone safe in our community. In a time when COVID-19 has created so many challenges, they are stand-outs among the many local workers who have been graciously stepping up their efforts, from frontline staff to those behind the scenes.

About Kacey House

As the general manager for Acme Hospitality restaurants, including The Lark, Lucky Penny, Santa Barbara Wine Collective, Pearl Social and Helena Avenue Bakery, Kacey House has balanced “vigilance towards safety standards while still delivering uncompromised hospitality to our guests and a deeper commitment of connection towards one another on our team,” according to her nomination.

The intrepid manager developed a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols and trained staff for weeks to ensure proper implementation and rigorous adherence, from controlled outdoor seating and designated waiting area systems to additional hand washing stations, employee temperature checks and hospitable, playful, brand-specific signage.

About Luis Garcia

In a sweet twist, House herself simultaneously nominated Acme Hospitality Sanitation Captain Luis Garcia for the award. “Luis is tirelessly keeping our employees safe. He comes in each day positive and dedicated to doing his best!” she wrote. Proudly sporting his own uniform so that he is easily identified around the restaurants, Garcia’s mission each shift is to ensure guests and employees alike have a clean environment, from door handles to restrooms, and trust they are coming back to a safe place.

In particular, Visit Santa Barbara judges cited House’s thoroughness in overseeing the detailed protocols, ongoing training and relentless coordination necessary to protect guests, as well as the innovations in sanitation technology, signage and spacing arrangements put in place at Acme, along with Luis’ team spirit and dedication to safety.