by Michael C. Lowe | January 01, 2013
Anaheim/Orange County
The new Anaheim Convention Center Grand Plaza is set to open this month, offering planners 100,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space adjacent to the convention center. The $20 million project features innovative landscaping, walkways, water features and outdoor furniture. To help planners visualize their event at the site, the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau launched a new online application called Grand PlazaVille, where users can configure their own virtual setup, adding seating, concession stands and stages to a template of the Grand Plaza area.

The Anaheim Gardenwalk Hotel Project is expected to break ground this May. The development will include two high-end hotels scheduled to open at the end of 2015 with a combined total of 866 guest rooms.

Last June, Disney California Adventure Park opened the new 12-acre Cars Land, themed to the Pixar animated movie Cars. The space offers three new attractions and three new dining venues. The $1 billion project also included a makeover of the park's main entrance, which takes inspiration from 1920s Los Angeles.

The Discovery Science Center has announced plans for a $62 million expansion that includes a new 40,000-square-foot pavilion, an education wing and an expansion of the Grand Hall of Science. The new building is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification upon completion in fall 2014.

Meeting Hotels
Properties in Anaheim include the 1,576-room Hilton Anaheim, 1,100-room Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, 1,030-room Marriott Anaheim, 990-room Disneyland Hotel, 499-room Sheraton Park Hotel, 489-room Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and 286-room Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort.

Hotels in Huntington Beach include the 517-room Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort, 290-room Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort and 220-room Hotel Huntington Beach.

Costa Mesa has the 486-room Hilton Costa Mesa, 390-room Westin South Coast Plaza, 238-room Wyndham Orange County Costa Mesa and 228-room Hotel Hanford. Newport Beach offers the 403-room Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, 335-room Radisson Hotel Newport Beach and 250-room Marriott Suites.

Convention Center
Anaheim/Orange County Convention Center; exhibit space, 1.6 million square feet; meeting rooms, 51; (408) 792-4194

Airport Transit
John Wayne Airport, about 15 miles south of downtown Anaheim. Transfer cost by taxi, approximately $32

Transit occupancy tax, 15%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%

Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau, (714) 765-8888