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May 27, 2009

Santa Barbara Open For Business

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission (SBCVB&FC) is pleased to inform the traveling public that Santa Barbara is indeed open for business, and that the Jesusita Fire inflicted minimal damage to visitor infrastructure. It is safe to travel here, air quality is back to normal and the Santa Barbara that visitors know and love is ready and waiting for immediate enjoyment. The Jesusita Fire, which started May 5th, burned 8,733 acres in the Santa Barbara foothills and canyons between Goleta and Montecito and destroyed 80 homes and 79 outbuildings.

“We are grateful to the California firefighters and local emergency personnel who worked so hard to contain this fire and keep our area safe for residents and visitors,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, president & CEO of the SBCVB&FC. “The generosity and cooperation displayed by our entire community during this crisis is a testament to what a truly special place Santa Barbara is.”

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden sustained significant damage but will reopen this weekend, on May 16th. Fortunately, much of the garden remains intact including the Meadow, most of the Desert and Redwood Exhibits, the Discovery Garden, Teahouse and Manzanita Exhibit. Some Los Padres National Forest lands are currently closed for safety reasons in the front country above Montecito, Santa Barbara and Goleta. For avid hikers, the vast back country trail network is ripe for adventure. All other businesses and public spaces are open and unharmed.

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