Gina Keough

Join us as we host our annual Tourism Luncheon on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at beautiful Presqu’ile Winery, 2391 Presquile Road in Santa Maria, from 12pm-1:30pm!  Seating is limited to existing seating arrangements, therefore, guests are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair with them to the winery.  Cost is $30 per person. Please make your reservations by Friday, May 1 online or by emailing

We will be serving a very special Wine Country Picnic boxed lunch, prepared specially for this occasion by Tracy Labastida, owner and chef at Field to Table events.  To complement our Wine Country Picnic lunch, guests 21 and over are welcome to purchase a glass/bottle of Presqu’ile wine.


Basil & Strawberry Water, Cucumber & Lemon Water, Mint & Orange Water

Turkey Sandwich

Imported Brie, Blackberry Mustard Compote, Caramelized Onion,

Leaf Lettuce, Herbed Foccacia

Wild Arugula & Roasted Heirloom Tomato Orzo Salad

Grapes & Tangerine

Macadamia, Coconut & Chocolate Artisan Cookie

Our luncheon is held every year during National Travel and Tourism Week! It’s our time to shine, thank all our partners and reflect on the benefits tourism bestows upon our city. Our Visitor and Convention Bureau’s (VCB) mission is to increase overnight stays into the Santa Maria, bringing revenue to the City of Santa Maria.

As of February 2015, overnight stays in our hotels brought $1,994,523.15 in transient occupancy tax receipts to our city – an increase of 11% over last year’s figures. Transient occupancy tax is a 10% tax charged nightly for hotel stays.

Every year, we honor two distinguished people who have made significant contributions to the tourism industry in our city.  Their hard work, dedication and professionalism in bringing in groups for overnight stays does not go unnoticed.  Therefore, we are delighted to announce our honorees for this year:

Diana Cantero, Tailwinds Bicycle Club
The Mayor’s Award
Every year we bestow the Mayor’s Award upon an event planner who has been instrumental in bringing in groups to the Santa Maria Valley.  We are proud to recognize Diana Cantero from the Tailwinds Bicycle Club for bringing us the Windmill Century every summer.

Dennis Smitherman, Recreation and Parks/PLAY, Inc.
Robert P. Hatch Excellence in Hospitality Award
This new award is presented in Bob’s honor, to a VCB member who has conscientiously used the membership benefits he designed, to become successful in his or her job.
Our Special Thanks During National Travel & Tourism Week, and always …

To Matt Murphy and the Murphy Family Foundation at Presqu’ile for making our luncheon at Presqu’ile Winery, possible.

City Manager Rick Haydon, Mayor Alice Patino, Mayor Pro Tem Terri Zuniga and the City Council Members Bob Orach, Etta Waterfield, Jack Boysen for their support of the tourism industry in Santa Maria and for funding our programs;

Our Chamber President/CEO, Glenn Morris and the entire Chamber staff: Dave Cross, Teri Oneschuck, Marcy Lariz, Jennifer Harrison, Cara Martinez, Terri Paniagua and Patricia Horta

Malei and Christopher Weir from Mooncatcher Communications who handle our media relations program with such expertise, efficiency and creativity;

Our Visitor Center Volunteer Betty Holloway;

The members of our Visitor and Convention Bureau, including the hotels, restaurants, attractions and event venues; and

And finally, to the frontline staff members at our hotels, restaurants and attractions whose excellent customer service is so critical for our continued success and outreach in making our visitors feel welcomed and valued.

For the work you do, for your partnership with us, for your dedication and expertise, for your forward-thinking, for your caring and friendship… indeed, for all that you bring to the table, thank you! It is a pleasure to work with you all and we appreciate all that you do!