by Michael C. Lowe | October 01, 2014
Why here?
North to south, California is booming with meetings-friendly developments. Among highlights, Long Beach recently completed a multimillion-dollar revitalization of its convention facilities, while Palm Springs is welcoming several new hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage (above).

Other cities
Hollywood is in the midst of a hotel renaissance with eight new properties, including one from Kimpton, in a pipeline that will add an estimated 1,115 guest rooms. Most of the projects will be boutique hotels.

In San Diego, a $130 million dual-branded hotel will open in December, comprising a 253-room Springhill Suites and a 147-room Residence Inn, together offering a total of 5,600 square feet for meetings.

Suite surroundings
Perched on the 11th floor of the 969-room Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, the new Blue Sky Suite is a versatile 3,000-square-foot space that can host small meetings or receptions.

Ontario, Calif.
East of Downtown Los Angeles, the city of Ontario offers easy access to destinations like San Diego, Palm Springs and Disneyland. The Ontario Convention Center has 225,000 square feet of function space.

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Local Update

• The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, opened in May with 244 guest rooms, several swimming pools and a 25,000-square-foot spa with 14 treatment rooms. The property sits on a 650-foot-high bluff and offers panoramic views of Greater Palm Springs. For groups, the hotel has more than 16,000 square feet of meeting space and 25,000 square feet of outdoor venues, including two cliffside event lawns.

• The La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria property, is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation of its guest rooms, pool area and ballroom. When the work is finished, the 45-acre property will have 620 casitas and suites plus 98 one- , two- and three-bedroom villas. Event space at the resort totals more than 190,000 square feet.

Meeting Hotels: To find and compare area hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Palm Springs Convention Center; exhibit space, 112,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 18. (760) 325-6611; palm

Airport Transit: Palm Springs International Airport, two miles from downtown Palm Springs. Transfer cost by taxi, about $10

Taxes: Palm Springs: room tax for convention hotels, 13.5%; room tax for other hotels, 11.5%. Hotels with more than 50 rooms add an additional county business improvement district (BID) tax of 2% and tourism marketing district (TMD) tax of 1%. Rooms are not subject to sales tax.

Group Venue: The recently opened Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club offers a chic, upscale atmosphere with a swimming pool, a restaurant, private cabanas and two bocce courts. A designated event space accommodates up to 40 people, while a patio overlooking the pool holds up to 110. (760) 778-8954

Contact: Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, (760) 770-900