Santa Barbara Airport Has Added “VIP Concierge Service”

••• Heidi Merrick is having an archive sale April February 23 to 25 (2272 Lillie Avenue in Summerland). No clue whether the photo above is of something you’ll find at the sale—I just liked it. UPDATE 2/20: Oops.

••• Santa Barbara Airport now has the last thing it ever needed: “Perq Soleil‘s VIP Service at SBA showcases a curb-to-gate escort, streamlined check-in, luggage assistance, and expedited TSA processing. VIP Service Guests will not only enjoy first-class treatment but will also experience reduced wait times. Perq Soleil also offers a luggage delivery service for arriving passengers.”

••• Habitat for Humanity is looking for a donated/discounted space to reopen its Restore store, which closed during the pandemic: “Restore is a locally managed, non-profit home improvement store and donation center, that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, construction and building materials to the public. Revenues from sales provide a major source of funding for our work in Santa Barbara for new construction, home preservation, and neighborhood revitalization projects.”

••• The Electrify America charging station coming to Chapala and Carrillo finally went back in front of the Historic Landmarks Commission this week.

••• Today’s meeting of the county’s South Board of Architectural Review includes “Further Conceptual Review of the approximately 3,500 gross square foot as built addition to the ‘Hillside House,’ a.k.a. 2720 Painted Cave Road, former site of Laurel Springs Retreat. “The project also includes new additions, remodels, and new structures as part of the proposed retreat center. The existing permitted facilities on the project site includes 9 structures totaling approximately 23,018 gross square feet of space. The proposed project would increase the total on-site development to 16 structures totaling 36,360 gross square feet.”

••• An item got added to the Biltmore’s list of proposed improvements, to be discussed at the February 22 meeting of the Montecito Board of Architectural Review: “Grading to fill unpermitted pool excavation.” So maybe the lazy river isn’t happening?

••• Menswear brand Orlebar Brown opened at the Montecito Country Mart.

••• Press release from the city: “Construction for the Cabrillo-Los Patos Roundabout Project will begin in late February. […] New features include updated crosswalks with traffic islands and a landscaped center island. A striped pedestrian and bicycle lane will be installed along northbound Channel Drive as well as installation of a new left turn lane from southbound Cabrillo Boulevard to Channel Drive. [,,,] Construction completion is estimated in Spring 2025.”

••• Namaste clothing boutique is moving from 922 State to 911 State Street, says commercial real estate agent Caitlin Hensel.


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Sam Tababa

Streamlined TSA? A guided walk to the gate? I fly out of SBA upwards of 80x a year. I have never waited more than 10min to get through security. Why would you pay extra to streamline the easiest TSA in the nation?

What SBA needs is a drinking fountain with a filter. Like they have in every other airport in the US. We’re supposed to be environmentally conscious city yet they sell $8 bottled water in plastic instead of adding a water filter that removes the need to purchase bottled water. Let’s be serious. Our water is not great.

Sometimes I wonder about these people who are paid $100’s of thousands to manage the airport, but then I remember, this is a city that spent $100mm on the building and forgot to put in a clock. Ehh, who needs a clock at an airport anyway?


Maybe they are hoping for some of Prince Harry’s pals to need this service? Room for mallets a plus!


Same here, Sam. How about parking assistance to avoid being stranded in overflow (assuming it’s even open)?


Amen Sam! I also travel frequently and have sent multiple emails to airport administrators regarding the drinking fountain! All emails were unacknowledged. Time for new leadership?


I just received an email announcing select tours to Bellosguardo at $100 per person. As I recall, the property was left to the city of Santa Barbara, with the stipulation that it would be developed as a site for a regular visitors. The current executive director, who salary is over 100 K per year, has not followed through to create ADA restrooms, adequate parking, or other requirements that would allow regular visits to the property for the general public. The property has been taken over by an elite few, and has not fulfilled the wishes of its previous owner. Many of the original board members have quit, knowing that little to no progress is being made to turn this into something that will benefit the entire community. I wish that someone on the city council would look into this and do something about it.


Good luck with City Council members. I have sent and resent an email about an urgent and potentially dangerous matter 3 times and have received no reply from the office of Kristen Sneddon. Oh and their voice mail box is full. Just for the record I supported her candidacy during her campaign. Maybe we need to be instructed how to get through to our politicians that run this city. Everyone seems to have built an E`Wall around themselves.


“As I recall, the property was left to the city of Santa Barbara, with the stipulation that it would be developed as a site for a regular visitors.”

You are mistaken. The property was left to the Bellosoguardo Foundation, a non-profit. The property is still private property just like any property owned by a nonprofit. It is not owned by the City of Santa Barbara, nor is it public property in any way.

Lotusland allows “regular visits to the property for the general public,” and it costs $50 per adult and is not ADA compliant because it is a historic estate. I expect a similar situation for this estate too.


About the VIP service at SBA. Focus on basics first. ✔️ The WATER refill station pumps out an iron/sulfur blend that takes your breath. Filter it! ✔️ The one and only COFFEE SHOP has lines waiting for it to OPEN for business. If their contract doesn’t demand they serve the passengers, it should! ✔️ The MURAL welcome art at the escalator is downright depressing, violent and reflects something SB is not … an ancient town in depressed Spain. We are beaches, vineyards, food, mountain vistas and higher education (4 Nobel prizes is much to celebrate). ✔️ FLOOD LIGHTS at the end of the terminal shine directly into the gate area. A blinding spotlight in the wee hours of the morning. Redirect to so passengers can see well enough to navigate the seating area. ✔️ OPEN GATES for arriving aircraft. No aircraft should have to wait for a parking space at SBA. This isn’t O’HARE. Stop wasting fuel. Assign ramp agents to bring the aircraft to the gate and park, cut off the engines. This should be a big priority. ✔️ IF this punch list isn’t part of the daily operations report, replace the ops supervisor (city employee) because this list is just a start.


I agree with every one of your points! Water filters. Better coffee shop availability. That mural memorizes the worst of our history: let’s celebrate our progress, not our corrupt roots. Parking cost I’d exorbitant too. Let’s reduce that and stop penalizing the people.