Santa Maria is playing host to Michael Jackson's trial, billed as a lifetime event that the whole world will be watching.
Santa Maria is located in California's central coast, and is renowned for its vineyards and strawberry fields. The largest employer is Vandenberg Air Force Base, providing 5000 people with regular work.
Normally the 1100 hotel rooms are deemed to be more than adequate. However, not surprisingly, these have been fully booked for months.
Around 30 police officers have been assigned to keep the Jackson entourage, fans and media scrum in order during the trial.
It is estimated that police overtime will cost around $40K per month. Around 90% of this should be covered by a contract being negotiated with the media and other organisations.
The media are being charged $7500 per day for costs of staff, barricades and toilets.
It is likely to be "a bit of a squeeze" in the courtroom, as it has only 120 seats; split 50/50 between the public and the media.