Author spotlight: Bob Hazard

Robert C. Hazard, Jr. is the retired former chairman of Creative Hotel Associates and Choice Hotels International. During Bob’s tenure at Choice, the system grew to one of the world’s largest franchise lodging chains in the world. Before joining Choice, Bob served as chief executive officer of Best Western International for seven years. A cum laude graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, he served in the U.S. Air Force, and later IBM and American Express. Father of five grown children and grandfather of nine, Bob and his wife Victoria currently reside in Montecito, California.

The Outlook for Property Values in Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   March 1, 2018

For most residents of Montecito, a large portion of their investment portfolio and net worth is tied up in the value of their home. What will be the long- and short-term impact of the twin tragedies of the Thomas Fire – the largest in California history – and the destructive 1/9 debris flow on real […]

Rising from the Mud
By Bob Hazard   |   February 22, 2018

Montecito’s cleanup effort is well underway with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers having cleared most of the creeks and debris basins. But a largely unanswerable question surrounds the massive mountain of mud still piled on private property: what to do with the stuff. This is not just an individual homeowner problem; it is a […]

Rebuilding Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   February 14, 2018

One of the unexpected gifts of the twin tragedies of the Thomas Fire – the largest recorded wildfire in California’s history – and the subsequent Montecito mudslide, has been the outpouring of sympathy, compassion, and support from our neighbors in the City of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland, Goleta, the rest of Santa Barbara County, and […]

The Upper Village of Montecito: Part II
By Bob Hazard   |   February 8, 2018

While retailers across the country enjoyed a very Merry Christmas, retail in Montecito struggled. From hair salons to gift shops to restaurants, business owners watched helplessly as fire and ash led to mandatory evacuations, intolerable air quality and the absence of holiday tourists, all of which put a damper on holiday parties and decimated local […]

Helping Hands in Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   February 8, 2018

It has been nearly a month since we were awakened in the middle of the night, without electrical power, to the drumbeat of a pounding rainstorm and the roar of a descending mountain of mud and boulders.  As is usual in a natural disaster, there were scenes of personal heroism from unnamed first responders and […]

Coming Together to Rebuild
By Bob Hazard   |   February 1, 2018

One of the unexpected gifts of the twin tragedies of the Thomas Fire, the largest recorded wildfire in California’s history, and the subsequent Montecito mudslide that engulfed our small village, has been the outpouring of sympathy, compassion, and support from our neighbors in the City of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland, Goleta, the rest of Santa […]

Fire and Flood, Mud and Debris
By Bob Hazard   |   January 18, 2018

The catastrophic fire and flood of 2017-18 has changed the face of a number of parts of Montecito for years to come. The mud and debris flow that came down the mountains behind us tossed cars around like Tinker toys and ripped homes off their foundations, filling the landscape with toxic mud and mold. Many […]

The Day We Nearly Lost Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   January 11, 2018

(photos courtesy MFPD chief Chip Hickman) Most in Montecito have no idea how close we came to community decimation two weeks before Christmas. At 6 am Saturday, December 16, 2017, sundowner winds of 30 mph, gusting up to 60 mph, drove the Thomas wildfire, the largest in California history, past the firefighter containment lines on […]

The Upper Village of Montecito: Part I
By Bob Hazard   |   December 7, 2017

Montecito is small in size but famous for its natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle. Whether you hike the Montecito trails, stroll Butterfly Beach, order a cup of coffee or a snack – the community character remains the same – unhurried, laid-back, charming, uniquely engaged, small-town friendly service, and locally owned businesses. The shops and businesses […]

California Screaming
By Bob Hazard   |   November 30, 2017

After a weekend of Thanksgiving gobbling and gorging, most of us are more interested in waist cuts than tax cuts, but the Senate is about to make its move on tax reform… and Californians are nervous. Voter registration in the State of California runs 44% Democrat versus 29% Republican; California is definitely a dark-blue state, […]

Search for Excellence (Part 2)
By Bob Hazard   |   June 27, 0209

What is needed to make Montecito better?Last week my wife and I had lunch with our Congressman and former 1st District Supervisor, Salud Carbajal. Although we are on different sides of the political spectrum, Salud gets my vote and my financial support because of his sincere commitment to the Montecito community, his dedication to constituent […]