5:46 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Pismo Beach hotel plans move forward with unanimous council vote

Artist rendering of the 104 room hotel set to be built adjacent to the Pismo Beach pier.

Plans to build a large hotel next to the Pismo Beach pier are moving forward after a unanimous vote Tuesday night by the City Council.

The plans had previously been approved by the Planning Commission, but the project was appealed last month by residents forcing it to be heard by the council.

The 104-room hotel has plans for a rooftop pool, restaurant and commercial retail space. There is also a business center and convention space.

Underground parking remains part of the plan, but had some adjustments made by the council.

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4:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Home prices jump along the Central Coast, but total number sold is down

Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Counties all saw the median price for homes jump significantly in the latest year-over-year sales figures.

San Diego-based DataQuick says Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties had gains of more than eight percent, while Monterey County jumped nearly 12 percent for July.

The year-over-year number of homes sold is down in all three counties with Santa Barbara County seeing the largest drop.

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10:10 am
Wed August 6, 2014

New survey shows California's regulations are not popular with small business owners

Credit Flickr member Phil Whitehouse

A survey out this week shows small business owners rank California near the bottom of a nationwide survey showing which cities and states offer the most business-friendly environments.

More than 12,000 business owners participated, making it the largest of its kind according to, the company that conducted it.

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6:18 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

New hotel and convention center coming to downtown Pismo Beach

Artist rendering of updated plans for the hotel planned near the pier in Pismo Beach.

Developers looking to build a large hotel and convention center near the Pismo Beach Pier now have permission to start work on the project.

The city's planning commission voted unanimously in favor of the facility at Tuesday night's meeting.

The applicants, an investment group based in Santa Barbara, have approval to build a structure that contains a 104-unit hotel.

The designs also call for nearly 1800 square feet for retail shops, more than 2100 square feet of meeting space, and an underground parking garage. 

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10:10 am
Mon July 21, 2014

California's unemployment rate falls for June, Central Coast sees mixed numbers

The state Employment Development Department said Friday that California gained more than 24 thousand jobs in June, with education and health services seeing the largest increase. The state's construction industry saw the weakest growth. 

Olga Hernandez is a research analyst for the department and says the unemployment rate is measured by the number of people who are not actively part of the labor force and who receive unemployment insurance.

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5:51 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Santa Barbara-founded Habit Burger named best in the nation

The Habit Burger location in downtown San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Credit Jordan Rabe

California-based Habit Burger is getting national attention. The fast-food chain that got its start in Santa Barbara County has the nation's best tasting burgers according to one high-profile publication.

For a new Consumer Reports survey, subscribers were asked to rate the taste of various burgers on a scale of one to ten, and Habit Burger came out on top beating popular burger competitors like In-N-Out and Five Guys (#2 and #3 respectively).

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6:58 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Group loses lawsuit to stop Walmart from being built in Atascadero

Credit Flickr member Mike Mozart

A lawsuit aimed at keeping a Walmart from being built in Atascadero was shot down Tuesday by California's Second District Court of Appeals in Ventura.

The Atascadero City Council had approved the project two years ago. However, members of a citizens group called Save Atascadero were concerned over the project's Environmental Impact Report.

Tom Comar, the group's spokesperson, says the group will not seek any further legal matters on the issue at this time.

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6:46 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

World Cup competition boosts business for Central Coast sports bars

The United States Soccer Team is scheduled to play its first elimination-round World Cup game Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT against Belgium.

Managers at Central Coast bars and restaurants showing the game say they expect to see big crowds, even though it's in the middle of a work day.

An informal survey of a half-dozen sports bars from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles shows an uptick in business of between 5 to 20 percent, thanks entirely to the games.

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6:37 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Unemployment rate continues to drop on Central Coast

The unemployment rate continues to fall along the Central Coast with Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties down to 5 percent for the month of May.

Monterey County's rate is higher at 7.4 percent, but that's down more than a full point from a year ago.

Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties have consistently been among the top performing locations in the state in terms of job growth, following the recession.

California's overall rate is 7.1 percent, which has also seen a downward trend this year.

12:27 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Rogue Traders

A Wall Street trader who sees stock activity a millisecond in advance has a distinct advantage.  Securities finance expert, Scott Skyrm, examines the plethora of scam stock marketers over the last 40-years in his book, Rogue Traders.

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6:20 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Chevron project along Tank Farm Road before planning commission

Land along Tank Farm Road that is proposed for development by Chevron.
Credit Remedial Action Plan, Avocet 2007

The City of San Luis Obispo Planning Commission will review a 332-acre project along Tank Farm Road at Wednesday night's scheduled meeting. The acreage is actually on county land, but the city has influence over the area. 

Chevron wants to develop the land after large portions of crude oil contamination are cleared. 

The plan includes turning more than three-quarters of project into open space. The remaining land would be used for a business park and other commercial uses. The plan also calls for reserving space for a park of up to 15 acres.

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7:24 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Tourism tax dollars on the rise in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara's East Beach and surrounding mountains as seen from Stearns Wharf.
Credit Flickr member MamaOT

The tourism industry in Santa Barbara—or at least the lodging portion of it—is on the upswing with more than $1.4 million collected through the city's Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) in April. That's a 23 percent increase from the same period last year.

Santa Barbara's fiscal calendar ends in June, and so far the TOT  is on target to exceed growth of more than 10 percent, year-over-year.

So far the city has collected more than $13.6 million for the fiscal year.

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12:37 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Business groups get behind extention of San Luis Obispo's Measure Y sales tax

Two pro-business groups are lining up behind a plan to extend San Luis Obispo's half-cent sales tax for another eight years.

The Downtown Association has joined the SLO Chamber of Commerce, in calling on the City Council to put the extension on the November ballot.

Voters first approved the half-cent tax, known as Measure Y, back in 2006. It's due to expire this year.

The Downtown Association's executive director, Dominic Tartaglia says the association wasn't always entirely behind the measure.

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5:22 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Businesses on Morro Bay's waterfront face unique lease renewals

Morro Rock as seen from the waterfront.
Credit Randol White

Embarcadero Road is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and fishing businesses. Together they make up the community of Morro Bay’s celebrated waterfront.

All the lease sites along the waterfront are public property of the City of Morro Bay and are managed by the Morro Bay Harbor Department.

Eric Endersby oversees the waterfront leases as a part of his job as Morro Bay Harbor Manager and he says things are changing in the bay.

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6:26 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Comcast could take over Central Coast Charter customers

Central Coast customers who use Charter Communications for their cable, internet or phone service could find themselves dealing with an entirely different company in the coming months.

All Charter customers in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties will become Comcast customers should the federal government approve a major merger that is currently in the works.

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