Where's the youth hostel Fess?
This from Barney Brantingham at the News-Depress on Saturday:
Fess won: Lily Rossi, former city clerk, reminded me that today is the 20th anniversary of the referendum where the public OK'd what is now known as Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort. "Environmentalists had challenged the city's approval of the proposed 360-room hotel-conference center that had taken over 12 years and many scaled-down revisions to go through the city's planning process.What Barney forgot to tell us is that Fess "Let's Build the Hotel Across Cabrillo Blvd" Parker promised a youth hostel and a public park as part of the deal he got from the city.
The public park consists of the swath of grass in front of the Doubletree. Not many Santa Barbaran's even know its a public park because Fess never put up a sign saying so. Even a few benches might help imply that this is a public park. Santa Barbara resident David Stone has been holding his birthday parties there for the last few years under the moniker "Take Back the Park". Go Dave!
As for the youth hostel, which was originally going to be located where Q's Sushi-a-Go-Go is now, it is promise left unfulfilled.
Let's not give Fess any more projects without making sure that a promise made is a promise kept -- especially when that promise is made to an entire community in exchange for an incredibly profitable hotel. Yeah, Fess won, but Santa Barbara lost big time. Hope ya' got kissed, 'cause...