Ty Warner Won’t Reopen Properties Because He Fears Liability

••• In an interview with the Montecito Journal, Beanie Baby magnate and Biltmore owner Ty Warner goes farther than in his statement to the Independent, not only reiterating his intention never to sell the Biltmore or his other Montecito properties (Montecito Club, Coral Casino, San Ysidro Ranch), but also explaining that the reason everything but the Ranch has yet to reopen is because he does “not want to take the risk for them to be open or to be sued or have any liability were something to happen.” The Montecito Journal apparently didn’t ask whether the Biltmore could be undergoing a management change, which would explain the rumor that it’s going to be reflagged as a St. Regis. I’ve reached out again to Warner’s communications representative about that question. Given Warner’s dismay with the rumors and his insistence that he’s not hard to track down (“It’s not like nobody can find me”), perhaps someone will get right back to me….

••• Related: Noozhawk has a report on yesterday’s protest by Biltmore employees about the lack of communication from Warner about their future.

••• The county “admits using [Roundup] herbicide to clear local debris basins, promising it is used sparingly.” —Montecito Journal

••• “Nine of the 10 bargaining units representing City of Santa Barbara employees have agreed to defer 2.5 percent in pay increases already negotiated, thus saving City Hall $2.3 million for fiscal year 2021. This came in response to the drastic financial damage wrought by Covid-19. Only the firefighters’ bargaining unit is still negotiating terms and conditions of any pay deferrals. This savings also includes 2.5 percent pay cuts for managers and department heads. City Administrator Paul Casey and City Attorney Ariel Calonne are taking a 5 percent pay cut.” —Independent

••• “The Mason Beach Inn in Santa Barbara plans to open Monday after months of renovation.” It’s on W. Mason, between Castillo and Bath. —Noozhawk

••• “The Goleta City Council held a Special Meeting on August 5, to hear an update on the Goleta Train Depot project and select a design theme for the building.” Below: the design and the new parking lot. —KEYT


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