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January 20, 2017
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Roundup: Eye on California




miramonte indian wells resort and spa

Both San Francisco and Los Angeles just announced big event and visitation numbers for 2016, following a year of major meetings industry developments in California

The San Francisco Travel Association reports that the city welcomed a record total of 25.1 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 2.3 percent from 2015. In 2016, the 25.1 million visitors brought $9.69 billion in spending to San Francisco, up by 3.3 percent from 2015. Convention/meeting direct spending is estimated at $754 million. The numbers made 2016 the seventh consecutive year of record-breaking growth for the city. 

Los Angeles posted some strong numbers in 2016, as well. The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) announced that the city welcomed 47.3 million visitors in 2016, surpassing mid-year forecasts and breaking visitation records for the sixth consecutive year. The new record is 1.7 million visitors higher than 2015’s total, an increase of 3.8 percent from the previous year.

The move comes after a major set of meetings industry developments in the state of California. In August the Marriott Marquis San Diego opened a big new event space just in time for San Diego Comic Con: following an approximately $107 million investment, the property expanded its event space to a total of 280,000 square feet, including one of the largest ballrooms on the West Coast. The ballroom is made of two stacked levels, along with outdoor area on the bay called Marina Terrace, a Marina Walk public walkway, a 16-screen video wall system and design details such as a Swarovski crystal ceiling installation.

Several notable boutique hotels with space for small events opened as well over the past year. Hilton’s Curio Collection added the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa near Palm Springs, CA, a 215 room resort with 35,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, as well as outdoor garden venues. The 236 room Sonesta Silicon Valley opened in December with 4,400 square feet of flexible meeting space accommodating social and business gatherings for up to 200 guests, and, in November, the 54 room Shade Hotel Redondo Beach opened with a standalone, three-level culinary building that spans 9,034 square feet and has a grand ballroom with space for events of up to 25 people on the second floor. In April the new Aloft El Segundo -- Los Angeles Airport, the first Aloft hotel in the city, opened, with 246 guest rooms and more than 1,400 square feet of indoor meeting space, as well as a Backyard outdoor space. 

Finally, looking ahead to 2017, this year will see the debut of renovations to the 1,800 square foot meeting and event space at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego, adding private dining areas, shuffleboard and vintage arcade games, as well as catering from the property’s new Mexican street food eatery, Curadero.

Have a tip on major meetings and events industry news, or an inspiring story you’d like to share? Reach out at aleposa@questex.com

And keep visiting www.internationalmeetingsreview.com for the latest meetings and events industry news, trends and updates. 


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About the Author: Adam Leposa



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