Articles in "businesses"

Orca Whale Watching Pictures and Video off Chanel Islands Coast

by Ventura County Now

January 2nd, 2014

We set out in the afternoon on a typical whale watching trip intent on encountering southbound Gray whales.


The trips of late have been spectacular with incredible weather and consistent sightings.

When we cleared the breakwater, besides being met by an extremely calm ocean, something seemed awry.

Having spent my entire life on these waters leading trips, there existed a different kind of calm…an eerie unnatural calm.

We had returned from our morning trip, just a half hour prior leaving behind a channel filled with south bound whales and massive pods of common dolphin. Sea lions were observed in every direction…but not now.

This type of still, this calm besets a region with a top predator in the area.

Something was around that has swiftly voided all life, and has sent sea lions scampering for higher ground.

Then, off on the horizon several miles away, make no mistake, the tall dorsal sail of an adult male Orca.

Nothing can begin to describe the feeling when this apex predator lands squarely in the field of view of your binoculars.

It’s like winning a jackpot on a slot machine…just a feeling of excitement and awe all wrapped into one.

We traveled some 3 miles to catch up to what would ultimately be a pod of 7 of the most curious, playful and interactive Orcas I have had the opportunity to observe.

For 2 solid hours we tracked along with them often stopping as they approached us, curiously rolling over looking at all those onboard.

It was one of those encounters I will take with me the rest of my life.

This is our second encounter in as many days.

We are out daily…enjoy the images.

Capt. Frank

 

Thank you for visiting our blog. We look forward to you joining us on your next aquatic adventure. A 50%-off coupon is attached which is valid for one year.  By sharing this link through any social media such as Facebook any of your friends or family members will be able to receive this 50% coupon as well.

 

Click on the coupon below and become a member of the POD where you will receive exclusive offers and promotions. We look forward to seafaring with you.

Channel Islands Whale Watching Coupon

Please Note:  To be eligible for and to receive the discount you need to sign-up for and join our POD club.  Please do not print coupon off of this page—Coupon is valid only with successful POD club sign up.  Sign-up is FREE.

Channel Islands Helicopter Harbor Rides

by Ventura County Now

November 7th, 2013

Are you ready for the weekend... This weekend FALL special is amazing.. $25 helicopter rides. Saturday November 9. First come first serve. If you want to experience the beach and harbor by the air come on down for your first helicopter experience!

Channel Islands Helicopter Harbor Rides 

 Humpack-whale-aerial    Humpbacks-lunge-feed-from-air  

My Vacation to California, rode Channel Islands Helicopters for an Island Tour

by Ventura County Now

April 14th, 2013

Well, I really need to do this again! That was my thinking when our helicopter was gently touching down after an exhilarating, picturesque 30 minute excursion to the Channel Islands. I was looking to try something new on my vacation to California, and had never been on a helicopter ride.

Channel Islands Helicopters

I thought the expense would be something beyond my budget. But, thanks to an ad I saw for 50% off on the Ventura County Now website, it was VERY affordable. My friend and I split the $150, and were rewarded with an unforgettable experience! First of all, the owner, Josh, and his team were friendly and accommodating. Alex was our knowledgeable pilot, and he was a great tour guide. We were undecided about what we wanted to check out from the unique view once we donned our headsets and lifted off in flight. So, we took Alex's advice and headed out to Anacapa Island.

The coastline looked spectacular from our vantage point, the clear day affording us a view of the beach that went on for miles, to the distant hills and mountains behind Oxnard. But that was only about the first five minutes of our trip!

Channel Islands Helicopters

Keeping a lookout for sea creatures large and small, we headed to our destination. I saw a sea lion dipping up and down searching for food, but was more excited to see the islands, (Anacapa Island is actually made up of THREE islands), as they were primitive and relatively uninhabited. I could imagine the native Chumash Indians making this their home long ago while fishing and hunting to survive in this beautiful spot. Alex pointed out the landmark Arch Rock, and I got postcard quality pictures on my cell phone!

Channel Islands Helicopters

I plan to enlarge some and display them when I get home. We also saw the lighthouse, several openings of interconnected caves that Alex explained kayakers enjoy, and other Channel Islands in the distance. We flew around the entire island, taking pictures and video non-stop.

Channel Islands Helicopters

It didn't feel like we were moving the 120 mph Alex said we were traveling, until he went into a sharp banked turn and dipped closer to the Pacific Ocean. Then we knew we were! We saw a massive sailboat, all the passengers and crew giving us a friendly wave as we circled above them. Then we started back to the heli-pad. I took more pictures, and just spent the rest of the trip back admiring my surroundings. We touched down softly, and waited for the aircraft to cool down and overhead rotors to stop before hopping off. That was when I came to the obvious conclusion; I REALLY need to do this again! Thanks for an unforgettable experience, Channel Islands Helicopters. I have the pictures to prove it.

Channel Islands Helicopters

Join Channel Islands Helicopters E-Club and recieve 50% any tour click on the banner below.

By joining our E-Club you and your friends or family will receive 50% off of your next helicopter adventure with us—additionally we will send you 50% discount offers throughout the year for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries.  We look forward to flying with you! - See more at: http://ciheli.thefinalcode.com/eclub#sthash.r95S7aAS.dpuf
By joining our E-Club you and your friends or family will receive 50% off of your next helicopter adventure with us—additionally we will send you 50% discount offers throughout the year for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries.  We look forward to flying with you! - See more at: http://ciheli.thefinalcode.com/eclub#sthash.r95S7aAS.dpuf
By joining our E-Club you and your friends or family will receive 50% off of your next helicopter adventure with us—additionally we will send you 50% discount offers throughout the year for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries.  We look forward to flying with you! - See more at: http://ciheli.thefinalcode.com/eclub#sthash.r95S7aAS.dpuf

Channel Islands Helicopters Discounts

Ventura County, visit a new website dedicated to garage door installation and service.

by Ventura County Now

November 14th, 2012

Hey, local home owners... have you been considering a new garage door to improve your home? VenturaCountyNow.com is pleased to announce the launch of wcOverheadDoor.com, a new website from a local business you can trust. West Coast Overhead Door is located in Fillmore, and serves Ventura County including Oxnard, Point Hueneme, Camarillo, Simi Valley, Piru, and Santa Paula...as well as their neighbors in the Santa Clarita Valley. Their new site displays garage door style options, details repairs and services, and explains types of automatic door openers available, making your search easy and convenient! While visiting their website, take time to watch a video about how enhancing the beauty of your house by installing a practical, and attractive, garage door system can increase it's value! The friendly and knowledgeable staff is happy to assist you with any questions. And it is always reassuring to know you are dealing with a local company that stands behind the goods and services they provide their community! West Coast Overhead Door...neighbors you can trust!

West Coast Overhead Door Logo

New Online lighting design showroom serving Ventura County!

by Ventura County Now

November 9th, 2012

VenturaCountyNow.com is pleased to welcome local merchant Lights Beautiful's new website to our county wide directory. At "LightsBeautiful.com", you can find an already vast online showroom, which is rapidly expanding! This easy to navigate online showroom at LightsBeautiful.com provides residents of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks and Westlake the ability to view the large selection of lights and accessories they have available. The website affords you the ability to browse through several lighting options at your leisure. All products and services available from a store specializing in one thing... lighting! The online experience expands the range of a long established local merchant to reach more customers, and provide expertly tailored design ideas for them! Feel free to visit them on Facebook and be sure to like them for specials and updates. Remember, customer service is a priority at Lights Beautiful, and they listen to their customers to provide them something truly unique. You will find the same attention to customer satisfaction whether online, or paying them an in-store visit! And, keep in mind, besides being able to provide better, individualized attention to customer needs, small businesses are truly what make us a community! So, avoid the larger warehouse tedium and support a local merchant supported by Ventura County Now! Lights Beautiful can help illuminate your world YOUR way.

Is making changes to your website a strain that you would rather not have to face?

by Fernando Maxilian

Ventura County Now Staff
September 14th, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
Turn and face the strain
Ch-ch-Changes

Is making changes to your website a strain that you would rather not have to face?

You don’t have to be a David Bowie fan to be reminded of the everyday changes and strains of running a business.

Everyone needs to make changes to their website from time to time, especially restaurants. Most all restaurants have their menus posted on their websites and if they need to make changes, it can be a real hassle. The Final Code has the technology that allows restaurant owners or their staff to easily make changes to their menu and any other section of their website in seconds.

The Final Code offers easy to use, flexible websites that are a perfect fit for restaurants or any other business that want to easily add pages, make changes and get high rankings on search engines.

Ric’s Restaurant located in Camarillo recently took advantage of The Final Codes technology and upgrade to a new Total Control website. Today the owners of Ric’s Restaurant attended a free class at The Final Code’s offices in Ventura and learned how to use their new website’s features. After their short tutorial with The Final Code staff, they now can make adjustments to their menu items, change prices and specials on the fly!

Visit Ric’s Restaurant @ www.RicsRestaurant.com and check out their tasty menu!

Call The Final Code if you ‘re having to call your web company to request changes to your website and have to wait forever to get the changes done. No more strain is just a call away!

805-243-8321

www.TheFinalCode.com

 

Internet Marketing Class Ventura The Final Code Internet Marketing company ventura The Final Code

Free Internet Marketing Classes!

by David Williams

Ventura County Now Staff
August 28th, 2012

Ventura County Now sponsored by The Final Code, Ventura County’s premiere internet production and marketing firm, is now offering FREE classes on how to successfully launch a powerful web based marketing campaign on any budget!

  • How to create a great website
  • How to market online without wasting your money
  • How to get your business found by the over 10 million local Google searches online each month in Ventura County!
  • Social Media marketing
  • How search engines work
  • How to blog for business
  • The power of You Tube

There will be many more topics and classes geared to help you, the local merchant bring more customers to your businesses.

Introductory classes are FREE. Our philosophy is we offer free services and classes to help local merchants get found online where all of today’s customers shop for goods and services. We hope are efforts are appreciated and if your business ever wants to increase your web based marketing efforts, we trust you will call us and let us create a campaign for you.

Classes begin in Septamber!

Please RSVP as soon as possible! Space is limited!

Call 805-243-8321

www.VenturaCountyNow.com

www.TheFinalCode.com

2011 Was a Big Year For Social Media

by David Williams

Ventura County Now Staff
August 6th, 2012

2011 Was a Big Year For Social Media

The "Big Three," Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn got bigger. Hundreds, maybe thousands of other social networks flourished. Social media is not just a fad. Instead, it's become clear social media is here to stay. It has fundamentally changed the way we do business and the way we document our everyday lives. One in every nine people on Earth are on Facebook and people spend over 700 billion minutes a month sharing photos and status updates.

Despite its name, social media success has nothing at all to do with media; it’s all about the community within which you do your business. Social media works because people realize that they trust each other more than they do the companies that try to sell you products.

 The key to exploiting this new reality is to continuously listen to and evaluate what people feel, think and say about your company, and respond to these perceptions appropriately.

 With all the tools available online, you can jump in and start measuring virtually everything about your social media activities.

These measurements are popular and normally easy to understand, but by themselves don’t lead to useful strategic action and so may not be worth much. For example, marketers may be tempted to focus on measuring the so-called “three Fs” (friends, fans and followers).

But, knowing these figures provide little help in determining how effective a social media campaign is. Following are five useful measurements that will help you assess your social media performance.

 

  • Conversational Exchange is the number of replies or comments to each post. This is a key metric that reveals engagement and interaction, the pillars of social networking. By tracking responses to your tweets, posts and status updates you’ll be able to get a better view of which topics resonate with your audiences and which approach is most effective in engaging them. You can then adjust your posts to get maximum interaction.

 

  • Reach is the size of the network directly accessed by your posts. This is your primary audience, consisting of people who directly interact with your brand or take on the call to action. Earlier I mentioned that you shouldn’t focus solely on vanity metrics, and network size is one of these. But, when combined with other measurement points, these particular vanity metrics can be extremely useful. Reach, for example, when combined with conversational exchange allows you to prepare a launch pad for taking your campaigns viral. The larger your reach, the greater the potential for conversational exchanges to snowball into a huge groundswell.

 

  • Content Amplification is the number of shares for each post. This measure takes advantage of the fact that each node on your network is itself the start of another network, and your posts and updates gain momentum by being shared outside your immediate network. On Twitter this takes the form of retweets.

 

  • Sentiment is the feelings expressed by others toward your post or update. In reality sentiment is much harder to gauge and is not easily evident in social media. But by using tools such as Isis Toolbox, it is possible to approximate and monitor what people may be feeling toward your brand.

 

  • Content Appreciation may easily be mistaken with sentiment, but it has a narrower field of focus. On Facebook it’s conveyed by the Like button. On Twitter, great content is designated as “favorites.” And on Google + people can hit the +1 button to express their appreciation.

 

Social media marketing is not always an easy task for companies to manage; most companies don't have the staff in place to help them with their online marketing initiatives. That’s why The Final Code offers comprehensive Social Media solutions for businesses in need of marketing assistance.

 

 

Search Engine Optimization 101

by Fernando Maxilian

Ventura County Now Staff
July 2nd, 2012

Search Engine Optimization 101

Content Quality

More than anything else, are you producing quality content? If you’re selling something, do you go beyond being only a brochure with the same information that can be found on hundreds of other sites?

Do you provide a reason for people to spend more than a few seconds reading your pages?

Do you offer real value, something of substance to visitors, anything unique, different, useful and that they won’t find elsewhere?

These are just some of the questions to ask yourself in assessing whether you’re providing quality content. Do provide it, because it is literally the cornerstone upon which other factors depend.

Content Research / Keyword Research

Perhaps the most important SEO tactic after creating good content is good keyword research. There are a variety of tools that allow you to easily, and for free, discover the ways that people may be searching for your content.

You want to create content using those keywords, the search terms people are using. That effectively lets your content “answer” them.

For example, a page about “Avoiding Melanoma” may be using technical jargon to describe ways to prevent the most dangerous type of skin cancer. If people are searching for “skin cancer prevention tips,” then writing in the wrong “language” might cause search engines to skip your content as a possible answer.

Create content that speaks to what people are searching for, that uses the language that they themselves are using.

 Content Words / Use Of Keywords

Having done your keyword research (you did that, right?), have you actually used those words in your content? Or if you’ve already created some quality content before doing research, perhaps it’s time to revisit that material and do some editing.

Bottom line: if you want your pages to be found for particular words, it’s a good idea to actually use those words in your copy.

How often? Repeat each word you want to be found for at least five times or seek out a keyword density of 2.45%, for best results.

OK, that was a joke. There’s no precise number of times, and even if “keyword density” sounds scientific, honest, even if you hit some promised “ideal” percentage, that would guarantee nothing.

Just use common sense. Think about the words you want a page to be found for, the words you especially feel are relevant from your keyword research. Then use them naturally on the page. If you commonly shift to pronouns on a second and further references, maybe use the actual noun again here and there, rather than a pronoun.

Content Engagement

If you’ve written quality content, then users will be engaging with it. To determine that, search engines may try to measure engagement in a variety of ways.

For example, did someone search, find your page in the listings, click through but then immediately “bounce” back to the results to try something else? That can be a sign that your content isn’t engaging. It’s also a metric search engines can measure.

Are people sending a relatively long time reviewing your content, in relation to similar content on other sites? That “time on site” metric is another thing that search engines can measure, such as through toolbars that both Google and Bing offer.

Social “likes” of the Facebook type and other varieties are another way that engagement might be measured, and we’ll cover these more in the Social section of this guide.

Search engines are typically cagey about if they use engagement metrics much, much less exactly what metrics they may use. But we do think it is a factor being measured in several ways. Success here is highly linked to the quality of your content.

Content Freshness

No you can’t just update your pages every day thinking that will make them “fresh” and thus more likely to rank better with search engines. Nor can you just add new pages on anything constantly and think that gives you a freshness boost, either.

However, Google does have something it calls Query Deserved Freshness. This means that if there’s a search that’s suddenly getting unusually popular versus its normal activity for some reason, Google will look to see if there’s any fresh content on that topic and give it a boost toward the top results.

If you’ve got the right content, on the right topic when QDF hits, you may enjoy being in the top results for a week or two or three. Just be aware that after that, your page might disappear. It’s not that you’ve done anything wrong. It’s just that the freshness boost has worn off.

Top Venture Law Firm Releases a New Website Dedicated To Help Those in Need

by David Williams

Ventura County Now Staff
June 4th, 2012

Farley, Cassy, Schwartz and Powell – The law firm with the most not guilty verdicts in Ventura County

http://www.FCSPLaw.com

As a partner in a very successful law firm, Steven D. Powell, Esq. believes it is not only essential to provide superior representation for his clients, but he also believes it is essential to make potential clients aware of his firm.  Farley, Cassy, Schwartz and Powell has more not guilty verdicts over any other firm in Ventura County and Mr. Powell felt those in legal trouble should have every opportunity to find his firm and get the best possible representation.

Mr. Powell has been a member of the California State Bar since 1981. He is UCSB undergraduate, UCLA Law School graduate and former Deputy District Attorney Ventura County. Presently, he is defending those accused of crime and other misconduct. Mr. Powell has tried cases from simple assault to death penalty murder. One of the most distinguished and successful trial lawyers in Ventura County, Mr. Powell also litigates significant civil matters. Mr. Powell blogs about criminal law issues at this website, FCSPLaw.com.

 

After years of defending clients Mr. Powell knows how a family member feels when a loved one is accused of a crime. Imagine one day getting the news that your loved one was put in jail and faced serious charges and a lengthy prison sentence. Family members are understandingly very distraught and feel a great sense of urgency to find the best lawyer to end their nightmare and get their loved one freed from all charges. Mr. Powell felt that if a client or their loved ones needed to find the very best law firm, it should be easy and stress free.

Mr. Powell felt that yellow page ads are becoming obsolete and radio, television, and print ads are hit and miss at best. He knew potential clients were increasingly going online to search for a criminal defense team. Furthermore, he found that potential clients needed more information than a yellow page ad or a thirty second radio or television ad would provide to make an informed decision. Mr. Powell knew he needed to go full force into internet marketing.

Dedicated to assuring those in need of legal help found his firm, Mr. Powell decided to create a powerful web presence. He had a top web production company design a new website for his firm, rich with videos outlining the strengths of his firm and introducing the Farley, Cassy, Schwartz and Powell team.  Now a potential client seeking representation can get a proper introduction to his firm, get vital information about the crime charged against them, and make an informed decision.

Choosing the right criminal defense attorney can be the most important decision of one’s life, and once the decision is made, a lot of stress is relieved as the client and the clients loved ones realize they are now in good hands.

Learn What the Experts Know in Internet Marketing

by David Williams

Ventura County Now Staff
May 7th, 2012

THE FINAL CODE

Stand Out in the Crowd!

Trade Secrets Revealed! Learn What the Experts Know in Internet Marketing for Free! Smart Internet Marketing = Big Return on Investment!

When internet marketing is concerned, the biggest investment can be the time spent in research to determine how to launch and maintain a success campaign. There is a lot of information regarding internet marketing that can be confusing, and overwhelming.  Questions like, what is SEO? What is the difference between organic SEO and pay per click? Why is social media important? What are back links and why are they important? What is the difference between a dynamic site and static site? Do I own my own URL? What is web hosting? How do get the most out of video on my site? Do I need e-commerce? How do I launch an e-mail marketing campaign? What is the best way to capture customers? The list goes on and on and many throw their hands up in the air and give up.

The Final Code helps make internet marketing and production simple with concise and easy to understand steps that anyone can assimilate and put into action to create a steady stream of new customers.

The problem is if a business gives up on internet marketing or don’t market effectively, “in the know” competition will gladly take the lion share of online customers. The bottom line is internet marketing is hot and it’s only getting hotter. Those with the knowledge and know how will win and their business will grow and thrive while there competitors are left in financial despair.

Be “In The Know.” The Final Code is a local internet marketing and production firm that is dedicated to help local small businesses “crack the code” to the sometimes intimidating world of internet marketing. Local small business owners will now have the opportunity to attend FREE classes on how to effectively market on the web in a cost effective, easy manner.

“Our goal is to help local businesses tap into the incredible business generating world of internet marketing”, says Dave Williams, Marketing Director for The Final Code. “We have found that many small businesses have not launched a success internet marketing campaign simply because they didn’t fully understand how to do so or they were intimidated by the cost. We are focused on creating an avenue in which any business, even with the smallest of advertising budgets, can launch a powerful web presence. Let’s face it. Many customers are passing by local businesses because today’s customer searches for goods and services online. If a potential customer can’t find a business online they will bring their dollars to a business that does.”

The fact is not enough nowadays to simply create a website. It is essential that a website is properly promoted through search engines like Google, Bing, You Tube, Yahoo, and through Social Media avenues like Facebook, My Space and Twitter.  In addition there are many other effective and affordable methods of internet marketing.

The Final Code desires to share trade secrets with local businesses so they can effectively compete in today’s fast moving internet market place.

That is why The Final Code is now offering free classes in downtown Ventura for local businesses. Topics in the classes range from Internet Marketing 101, where small business owners can learn the basic workings of internet marketing, to Search Engine Optimization, Blogging and Social Media marketing which provides the attendees valuable insights in creating new customers online.

Space is limited to these free classes. Contact The Final Code at 805-243-8321 for more info and to reserve your spot today!

J3 Fitness Studio and Nutrition Center

by Ventura County Now

April 2nd, 2012

Welcome to Julie Englands J3 Fitness Studio. Safe and realistic workouts in a private and clean facility with certified experienced fitness trainers. Our center has a non intimidating environment. We respect our clients needs and goals. No membership fee or club fees. We offer classes in zumba, pilates, country line dancing and boot camps. Stop on by for your FREE 30 minute trial 1 on 1 personal training workout with no high pressure sales.

Camarillo Day Spa Message therapy

by Ventura County Now

February 6th, 2012

Camarillo Day Spa is a beautiful upscale day spa located in Camarillo Plaza. Camarillo Day Spa offers many different types of massage to choose from: Swedish massage, Deep tissue massage, Hot Stone Therapy, and Reflexology. We strive to provide the best customer service and to offer our clients an experiences to remember. Our goal is for everyone to leave wanting to come back. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Ottavio's Italian restaurant in Camarillo Lunch Special

by Ventura County Now

January 2nd, 2012

Are you tired of the same old fast food lunch break during work? Then say no more! Ottavio’s in Old Town Camarillo is the cure for the boring lunch routine. Located right off the freeway and close enough to make a quick, enjoyable lunch trip, Ottavio’s has a great deal with their fresh lunch buffet—all for only $10.50! Often times, we don’t have time for lunch, let alone a great and affordable meal, but Ottavio’s offers just that.

With entrees, pasta, vegetables, soup and salad—offerings that change daily, you can enjoy as much as you want and still have plenty of time left to relax on your lunch break.

Come in and enjoy this family owned and operated restaurant the next time you want a change of pace from your typical lunch routine.

And watch this video to see more and even have a laugh or two…

 

The Loft Hair and Nails

by Fernando Maxilian

Ventura County Now Staff
November 7th, 2011

Located in old town Camarillo on the corner of Lewis Road and Ventura Boulevard, an upscale, casual salon with an urban chic atmosphere where everyone is welcome, nine talented hair designers and two hand and nail, feet specialists are available for all your styling desires. Our friendly crew will greet you with smiles. We exclusively use Davines products, one of Europe's leading beauty lines.

Precision cuts for men, women and children, blow dry, styling, gray coverage, color blending, rich Davines color, high lighting, keratin blow out, relaxers, straightener and extensions are just a few services we offer. We also specialize in special occasion hair and bridal parties.

A kaleidoscope of colors await you. Our nail specialists are skilled in gel polish, fiberglass and natural nail manicuring and pedicuring. Our spa pedicure was designed with every comfort in mind.

We are here to pamper you and indulge you, so relax and enjoy yourself at The Loft. For all your beauty and grooming needs.

Please give us a call at 384-2393 or just stop by, The Loft, hair and nail salon.

The Loft Hair and Nails

by Fernando Maxilian

Ventura County Now Staff
November 4th, 2011

Located in old town Camarillo on the corner of Lewis Road and Ventura Boulevard, an upscale, casual salon with an urban chic atmosphere where everyone is welcome, nine talented hair designers and two hand and nail, feet specialists are available for all your styling desires. Our friendly crew will greet you with smiles. We exclusively use Davines products, one of Europe's leading beauty lines.

Precision cuts for men, women and children, blow dry, styling, gray coverage, color blending, rich Davines color, high lighting, keratin blow out, relaxers, straightener and extensions are just a few services we offer. We also specialize in special occasion hair and bridal parties.

A kaleidoscope of colors await you. Our nail specialists are skilled in gel polish, fiberglass and natural nail manicuring and pedicuring. Our spa pedicure was designed with every comfort in mind.

We are here to pamper you and indulge you, so relax and enjoy yourself at The Loft. For all your beauty and grooming needs.

Please give us a call at 384-2393 or just stop by, The Loft, hair and nail salon.

Lemon Grove Plaza

by Fernando Maxilian

Ventura County Now Staff
October 3rd, 2011

When in Oxnard, visit the Lemon Grove Plaza home of the largest Petsmart in the region. Lemon Grove Plaza has been in operation for over 40 years. Lemon Grove Plaza offers a variety of shopping experiences. Please stop by and enjoy, with so many store's its a great place to get it all done with one stop. The shopping center in anchored by Smart & Final, Petsmart and Burgar King.

Need a quick bite visit one of our many dining chooses: Mariscos La Sirenita mexican food, Hook Line and Sinker Seafood, Swan Korean BBQ, Yokozuna Sushi, or Jersey Mikes Subs.

Lemon Grove Plaza draws customers from all over the region with an excellent location, excellent anchors, its a busy center with plenty of parking.

Located right off highway 101 at the Oxnard Blvd. exit. Lemon Grove Plaza, with a wide range of stores and local eateries. This shopping center is a go to for your entire to do list.

Seeking restaurant and other retail, or professional services.
Can put 1,500 Sf and 1,200 SF together for 2,700 SF unit.

Location is 2001-2093 N Oxnard Blvd at Oxnard Blvd and Citrus Grove Lane north of Gonzales.

 

FEATURED MERCHANTS

 

Yankee Doodle Bakery

Airport Marina Center Shopping Center

by Fernando Maxilian

Ventura County Now Staff
October 1st, 2011

When in Oxnard, visit the Airport Marina Center with a great mix of professional services, medical and dental, retail and restaurants. Airport Marina Center adjacent to the Oxnard Airport and only one mile to the beach. Airport Marina Center offers a variety of shopping experiences. With over 20 stores, the shopping center has many choices. Local favorite eateries include Pirates Grub & Grog, CJ's BBQ. After eating hit the toning shack, Keeb Kools where you can lose 5 inches in your first five one hour sessions. Pamper yourself at Elegant Salon or Tropical Tan and pamper mans best friend at The Dapper Dog Grooming and Pet Supply Store. Located on Victoria Ave and 5th Street Airport Marina Center with a wide range of stores and local eateries. This shopping center is a go to for your entire to do list.

RETAIL and PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS CENTER Well located busy new convenience Center. Great mix of professional services, medical-dental, retail and restaurants. Plenty of on-site customer parking easy customer access with great signage including street pylon.

Fast growing Westside location adjacent to Oxnard Commuter (United Express) Airport and only a mile to the beach and marina. Located at a busy signalized intersection (Victoria Ave. and 5th Street). Great street visibility and customer identity.

 

FEATURED MERCHANTS

Keeba Kool's Toning Shack

 

The Dapper Dog

Ric's Restaurant in the Camarillo Village Square shopping center

by Ventura County Now

August 18th, 2011

Walking into Ric’s Restaurant and Lounge in the Camarillo Village Square Shopping Center in Camarillo, you immediately can see why this restaurant is a local favorite. The laid back atmosphere makes everyone feel at home and the bar setting and big screens make it the perfect spot for watching your favorite teams play.

And, oh the food! You get great portions at an even better price. I found that everyone can be satisfied with their wide range of menu offerings; from burgers with sweet potato fries, to pub favorites to even more romantic dinner offerings like fresh ahi and mouth watering prime rib.  They also have a great happy hour with their amazing signature martinis and ice cold beers on tap.

If you are ever on the area, I recommend stopping by Ric’s to catch a game or enjoy a drink and stay for a great meal.

 

Simi Town Center to get major facelift

by Ventura County Now

July 26th, 2011

Six years after it opened, the new owners of the Simi Valley Town Center are planning a multimillion dollar renovation of the open-air shopping mall, including possible tear-downs and reconstruction, and adding a top-flight park with an ice-skating rink to attract shoppers to the faltering plaza.

Construction at the 612,000-square-foot mall north of Highway 118 overlooking the city is scheduled to begin next year, developer Donald Provost told the Simi Valley City Council last week.

The center will have its grand reopening in 2013, said Provost, founding principal of Colorado-based Alberta Development Partners.

"The slogan we use at our firm is 'creating permanence,' " Provost said during a presentation depicting a mixed-use development in suburban Denver that his company opened in 2009. "Creating assets that stand the test of time, and can live for 50, 60, 70 years, not just 10 or 20 years.

"You'll see a lot of photos of people because that's what town centers in great places are all about — people," Provost said. "And creating the environment for these people to congregate and adopt as their own."

Provost gave the council an overview of the plans his group has for the struggling town center, which his partner, Chicago-based Walton Street Capital, LLC bought in December for an undisclosed price.

The recorded deed showed the property was encumbered with more than $112 million in debt.

When it opened in 2005, the center was valued at $350 million.

The former owners, Ohio-based Forest City Enterprises, cited several factors in putting the mall up for sale.

They included the economic downturn that began in 2007 and more retail competition in the region, including the renovated shopping center in Thousand Oaks, The Oaks.

Provost provided the council with few details of the planned overhaul, saying they are still being worked out by designers.

But some of the center's new features have been settled on, he said. They include:

n Construction of a large community park, including an ice-skating rink, for various events such as arts fairs and tree-lighting ceremonies.

"Great public spaces are very important and I don't think Simi really has that one great public space today," Provost told the council.

n Enhanced landscaping and signage at the center's entrance and perimeter "to set a different welcoming tone" for shoppers.

n A large pop-jet fountain.

"We're not going to change the architecture per se," Provost said in an interview Thursday. "But I think there needs to be a significant repositioning effort, which will probably involve some new construction. It could be new construction ground up, some tear down of some of the stuff that's there and new buildings built in their place."

He said the cost of the redesign will be in the eight figures.

Describing the current financial state of the town center as "difficult," Provost said the goal of the renovation is to "create long-term value for us as the investor and create long-term value for the resident."

Simi Valley Economic Development Director Brian Gabler said from the city's perspective, the goals will be to provide a "gathering place for the community, shopping opportunities for the community that don't currently exist, job opportunities and generation of sales tax revenue."

Provost said since buying the town center, his group has stabilized the erosion of tenants.

At the same time, the developer is continuing to negotiate deals with potential new anchor tenants, hopeful it can consolidate the center's two Macy's into one.

The mall is currently 86 percent occupied with 93 tenants, said Megan Campbell, senior marketing associate for Alberta Development.

Tenants include Abercrombie & Fitch, California Pizza Kitchen and Coldwater Creek.

Dennis Torres, Pepperdine University's director of real estate operations, has doubts the redesign will restore the town center's revenues to 2005 levels, calling it a potentially "high-risk venture."

Torres said commercial real estate vacancies remain high and that while retail sales are up overall, according to reports, "if you take out the price of gasoline and food, retail is actually down."

Furthermore, he said, he believes hyper inflation will kick in about 2015, shrinking consumers' spendable dollars.

The town center will also continue to face competition from ever-growing Internet retailers, he said.

"So I think brick and mortar retail in the next five years is still going to be tough," Torres said. "Who knows where it will go after that?"


by: Mike Harris Ventura County Star

Designer for stars sets up business in Ventura

by Fernando Maxilian

Ventura County Now Staff
April 1st, 2011

When Amy Michelson moved from Los Angeles to Ventura last summer, the bridal gown and celebrity evening wear designer wanted to expand her brand and business so she could work from her new home.

This spring, she branched out to become a personal style and bridal style expert, as well, launching an online style consulting business called Your Private Designer Eye.

Using the Internet, Skype and Facebook, plus other online marketing and communication tools, Michelson mentors brides through their wedding style decisions involving their gown, jewelry, shoes, hairstyle, cake, wedding décor and other wedding issues. Her online business offers personalized wedding and style help and access to a wider range of style options than what is available in stores. She advises brides by taking into consideration features such as their hairstyle, coloring and facial shape, and she is developing an e-newsletter to send to her contacts and clients.

"It's available for non-brides, as well — real women. It's completely personalized," said Michelson, who also offers shopping tips. Clients can sign up for as many online sessions as they want or begin with a basic style assessment.

"I usually charge $275 for a private online intake and celebrity consultation but as a special through the bridal month of June, for Ventura residents (bride or non-bride) it's $197, which includes Amy's intake photo analysis, one-on-one personal Skype or phone session," she said in an email.

The online business is the next logical step for Michelson, 51, who moved to Ventura from Sherman Oaks. She is engaged for the first time, and her fiancé lives in Ventura, so she said it made sense for her to move.

She joked that she was "always the designer, never the bride," and, of course, she will design her own wedding dress.

"I know what I'm wearing, but that's a secret," Michelson said.

"I'm really interested in living here in Ventura and in this lifestyle. It's more who I am. I love living here. Ventura suits me and my sensibility and my style; it's beautiful, but it's relaxed," she said.

Michelson made her name and style known in the fashion world for her bridal gowns that have an elegant, sleek and breezy style mixed with a bit of old Hollywood glamour and a casual flair, and as an evening dress designer for celebrity clients. She's designed red carpet gowns for a long list of actresses and singers, including Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, Faith Hill, Bonnie Raitt, Kim Basinger, Gladys Knight, Michelle Pfeiffer, Salma Hayek, Geena Davis, Anita Baker, Sandra Bullock and Marie Osmond.

She made many celebrity connections yeas ago while working as an actress and fashion designer, becoming comfortable with glamour, high style and working with stars.

Her design style evolved much the same way. In the mid-1990s, Michelson had a young, hip, assistant who was getting married but didn't like the fancy wedding dresses being shown at the time.

"We ended up buying her a vintage Greta Garbo-style dress and reworking it. A light bulb went off in my head. I said, 'Nobody's doing that look for bridal, and it's classic and timeless, sexy and feminine.' "

Destination and beach weddings were becoming popular at the time, too, creating a market for Michelson's style of bridal dresses, which she describes as "sexy in an appropriate way, effortless, not fussy, fluid, flowing, elegant, chic, classic and timeless."

Michelson said her style just happens to appeal to celebrities.

"I didn't seek them out. They liked my wedding gowns, and we transferred them into color for the red carpet," she said. "Movie stars need to pull focus. They need to show up on the red carpet and look perfect. A bride is in the same position. She is going to be photographed, and she needs to feel confident."

Michelson's dresses have been featured on many wedding, style and reality TV shows such as "Say Yes to the Dress," "She's Got the Look," "Entertainment Tonight," the "Today" show, "Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition," "Hollywood Insider" and "Wedding Day."

Next, she will appear as herself on the reality show "Brides of Beverly Hills," with the episode airing later this year. Her gowns also have graced the covers of wedding magazines including Brides, InStyle, Modern Bride, Inside Weddings, Brides UK, Bridal Guide and Los Angeles Magazine, and her formal gowns have been shown in other magazines such as Vogue and People.

She initially studied fine art at Bard College in New York, but she didn't want to be a painter. She liked fashion and had a summer job one year on Long Island, where she met a lot of people working in New York's garment district.

"I said, 'I can do that,' " she said. "I came from an artistic family. My grandmother was a painter and my mother was an art teacher. I was supported in being creative."

She transferred to Parsons School of Design in New York City and earned a bachelor of arts in fashion design. She moved to Hollywood to work for a designer and also as an actor, appearing on the TV shows "Falcon Crest," "China Beach" and "Head of the Class," and in the John Belushi biographical film, "Wired," among others.

 By:Amy Bently