The Travel Store closing in Santa Barbara after 29 years

Business slows and owner sells off remaining stock

POSTED: 06:01 PM PDT Jun 11, 2013    UPDATED: 06:12 PM PDT Jun 11, 2013 
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

After 29 years, it's the end of the road for The Travel Store on Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.

Owner Jan Koch says business has slowed, and sales have fallen off.   He is selling off his last items at discount prices until the end of the month.

Koch has survived a down economy, and issues involving the homeless, but he says it's online stores and fewer local customers that have forced him to shut down.

"Should people know about us? Well they should.  Do people sometimes chose not to find us?  I think there in lies the answer," said Koch.

One customer, Julie Harris was shocked to hear the news.  She is leaving on a trip to Portugal soon and was planning to pick up some items at the store before her trip.  Now Harris says, she will get them right away before the lights go out.

Harris says when she is inside she often sees new items or different products than the ones she was first interested in.

The store is next to the former site of the Hobby Shop which closed right after Christmas.  It has been replaced by the Arbor store that specializes in snowboards, skateboards, and apparel.

It's unknown what business will fill the soon-to-be open space downtown.