The Golden State offers limitless possibilities to planners, including the revitalized Downtown Los Angeles (pictured) and nearby coastal cities, the tech mecca of the San Francisco Bay Area, the stunning natural beauty of Northern California wine country and the outdoor wonderland of Lake Tahoe.
EAST BAY UPDATE
Southwest Airlines is expanding service at Oakland International Airport and in July will offer new daily nonstop service to San Antonio, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Orlando.
Last summer, Berkeley's historic Hotel Durant was revamped and renamed the Graduate Berkeley. The 144-room boutique hotel, a member of Benchmark's Gemstone Collection, has 1,050 square feet of conference space.
North Lake Tahoe's iconic Squaw Valley Inn is being redeveloped and will debut as the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn and Residences in December 2019. The newly luxe inn will have 60 guest rooms and 34 residences.
The Rainbow Bridge, a 605-foot elevated pedestrian walkway on Long Beach's downtown waterfront, debuted last month. The span takes convention center attendees from one side of campus to the other, but it's an attraction in its own right, with bench seating and 3,500 LED lights that illuminate at night to create musical light shows
For an idyllic wine-country setting, St. Helena's Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch offers indoor and outdoor gathering spots, including a lawn and a barn, plus 2,000 acres of grapes, olives and more.
• The Westfield Century City shopping center wrapped up a $1 billion makeover this past September. In addition to its more than 200 shops and restaurants, the mall now offers celebrity-friendly secret elevators and automated luxury-car parking. An outdoor event space, Atrium, can seat 1,000 people.
• The 889-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown at Wilshire Grand, which debuted last June, soars for 1,100 feet, making it the tallest building in the United States west of Chicago. The 73-story building features a sky lobby on the 70th floor and an open-air Skydeck atop the structure that can accommodate as many as 548 people for a reception. The property offers 95,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
• Downtown L.A.'s renaissance continues with the planned opening late this month of the 241-room NoMad Hotel Los Angeles. The much-anticipated property will open in the historic Giannini Building and offer 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a rooftop pool and gathering space overlooking the downtown cityscape.
• The 268-room Hotel Figueroa will have a debut of its own this month, in the form of a $30 million transformation of the property. The original Moroccan décor is being remade into a more contemporary look with a Spanish accent. Other new features will include 57 suites, a pool bar and a rooftop garden. New F&B options will include Breva, a tapas-style restaurant with influences from Northern Spain and Southern France, and Bar Alta, a 28-seat bartender's table.
Meeting Hotels: Properties include the 1,358-room Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, 1,234-room Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 1,004-room Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 878-room JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles L.A. Live, 869-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown at Wilshire Grand, 802-room Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles, 740-room Westin Los Angeles Airport, 683-room Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles, 580-room Hyatt Regency LAX, 569-room Beverly Hilton, 496-room Sheraton Grand Los Angeles, 495-room Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, 469-room L.A. Hotel Downtown and 350-room Hotel Indigo Downtown Los Angeles.
To find and compare hotels, and to send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.
Convention Center: Los Angeles Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 720,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 64; (213) 741-1151
Airport Transit: Los Angeles International Airport, 17 miles from Downtown Los Angeles. Transfer cost by taxi, about $47; Uber service from LAX to the convention center starts at $24
Taxes: Sales tax, 9.25%; room tax, 14%; Tourism Marketing District assessment, 1.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15.5%
Group Venue: The latest large hotel to open near the airport, the Hyatt Regency LAX offers 580 guest rooms and a hefty 52,000 square feet of meeting space. Among the meeting venues on-site are two large event lawns and the largest ballroom in the area, spanning 14,000 square feet. (424) 702-1234
Contact: Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, (888) 733-6952