California Meetings + Events Fall 2019

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FALL

2019

Feeling Good

DISCOVER THE GOLDEN STATE’S ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR INCORPORATING WELLNESS INTO MEETINGS

EAST BAY

CONCORD BOASTS EASY ACCESS AND NATURAL BEAUTY

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WHERE INSPIRATION and INNOVATION ™ MEET

The Monterey Conference Center For meeting & conference planners seeking a uniquely transformative experience to inspire and enhance outcomes for their attendees, look no further. The newly renovated Monterey Conference Center with its design, location and legacy is an institute of higher thinking and incubator of innovation.

Plan your meeting today at MontereyConferenceCenter.com

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Find Your Vibe

Whether you’re looking to explore the Channel Islands National Park after a brainstorm, catch a wave between meetings, or host an event at a full-service hotel

you’ll find it here. CAMARILLO

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OXNARD

VENTURACOUNTYCOAST.COM/MEETINGS

VENTURA

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Fall 2019 CALIFORNIA MEETINGS + EVENTS MAGAZINE: IN THIS ISSUE

1440 MULTIVERSITY

FEATURE

20

Wellness Meetings

More and more, when corporate groups gather in California, boosting health and well-being is on the agenda. By Barbara Beckley, Janet Fullwood, Jenny Peters, Shelley Levitt and Ann Shepphird

DEPARTMENTS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER 14 VENUE REPORT A group of San Francisco boutique hotels­­—all with names that begin with “Z”­—provide a millennial-pleasing vibe that’s unfussy, playful and creative. By Janet Fullwood

16 DESTINATION The East Bay town of Concord offers affordability, convenience, outdoor adventure and a downtown rich in festivals and culinary experiences. Small wonder, meeting planners who have been here consider it an undiscovered gem.

48 PEOPLE PROFILE Jeff Dougherty, aka Mr. Sacramento, brings humor, passion and costumes to his role as association meetings guru for Visit Sacramento By Janet Fullwood

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P H O T O : 1 4 4 0 M U LT I V E R S I T Y

By Janet Fullwood

| FALL 2019

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P H O T O : 1 4 4 0 M U LT I V E R S I T Y

100,000 SQUARE FEET OF DEDICATED OUTDOOR PLAZA SPACE

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Fall

2019

A new executive chef is reimagining the catering options at this airportadjacent property. pg 43

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MEETING NOTES 9 MEET SMART Three wearable gadgets designed to elevate attendee engagement. By Kassidy Tarala

10 BEYOND THE BORDER Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal offers elevated, elegant and unforgettable group experiences. By Shelley Levitt

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11 NEW VENUE SPOTLIGHT Luxury in the outdoors: Groups can “glamp it up” in AutoCamp Yosemite’s 80 custom-made Airstream trailers. By Janet Fullwood

12 VENUE NEWS The bounty from a new culinary garden at Montage Laguna Beach will be featured in menus, cocktails and tea.

42 REGIONAL NEWS Awards, venue and people news, |association updates and more.

By Janet Fullwood

46 SNAPSHOTS Fascinators were on full display and mint juleps were sipped at the Derby Daysthemed gathering of MPI Sacramento Sierra Nevada.

13 SIGNATURE DRINK The Ocean Prime Manhattan is a crowdpleasing cocktail that’s perfect for a chilly fall evening. By Shelley Levitt

INDUSTRY UPDATE 40 INFOGRAPHIC “Room Block of the Future” reveals booking trends of large-scale, urban convention attendees. Research courtesy of Kalibri Labs and Prism Advisory Group; funded by PCMA Foundation, NYC & Company and Hilton

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ON THE COVER

Guests can practice yoga at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa. Photo contributed by Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

P H OTO S : J S 2 P R ; D O N N Y COT T E N P H OTO G R A P H Y; H YAT T R E G E N C Y L A X

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P H OTO S : J S 2 P R ; D O N N Y COT T E N P H OTO G R A P H Y; H YAT T R E G E N C Y L A X


EDITOR'S LETTER

Wellness Reigns

Shelley Levitt, editor SHELLEY.LEVITT@TIGEROAK.COM

IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT JUST A GENERATION AGO banquet tables often featured canisters filled with cigarettes for the convenience of guests. After all, it wasn’t until 1998 that California became the first state in the country to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, among other public places. Eight years earlier, San Luis Obispo was the first city in the world to make it illegal to light up in indoor public spaces. Today, as we report in our story that begins on page 20, California is leading the charge when it comes to wellness meetings. When groups gather in the Golden State, whether in San Francisco or San Diego, Palm Springs, Huntington Beach or Carmel, they’re likely to enjoy nutritious and delicious seasonal cuisine, try some of-the-moment well-being experiences (sound baths or CBD massages, anyone?), and leave with fresh health-related intentions and insights. In this issue, we ventured outside California to Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal (page 10). The Waldorf Astoria flag is new for the resort, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and continuing to raise the bar when it comes to delivering superb service and amenities, beginning with a private plunge pool in every guest room. Closer to home, we’re sharing news of AutoCamp Yosemite, a luxury “glamping” property with 80 custom-made Airstream trailers that was named one of the 100 world’s greatest places to visit by Time Magazine (page 11). We’re also excited to introduce you to the fully redesigned Mayfair Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The tallest building west of the Mississippi when it opened in 1926, the property played host to the first post-Oscars party. It now offers the latest tech amenities, including a custom-built Podcast Studio that groups can book to record their own segments. Wishing you a fall filled with wellness and discovery!

Find, Friend, Follow

Find us online at ca.meetingsmags.com, and make sure to “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to stay in the loop between issues. /C AMEE TINGSMAGS

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@C AMEE TINGSMAGS

/MEE TINGSMAGS

/MEE TINGSE VENTSMAGS

| FALL 2019

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EDITORIAL INTERNS

E ) H OT E L IRVINE

To speak Morgan Halaska fluent Italian Megan Gosch Kassidy Tarala Julianna Fazio Barbara Beckley, Janet Fullwood, Jenny Peters, Ann Shepphird Megan Ekstrand, Sophie Jonsson

Food & Beverage

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Constance Adamopoulos, Organized Chaos Events Heather Allison, The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live Jim Burba & Bob Hayes, Burba Hotel Network • Rob Carson, Patina Restaurant Group Layla Forstedt, Fresno/Clovis CVB • Joyce Kiehl, Greater Palm Falls CVB Ingrid Lundquist, The Lundquist Company • David Merrell, AOO Events Daniela Quiroga, Wolfgang Puck Catering • Yvonne Szikla, Events With a Purpose

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Shelley Levitt

AUDIO-VISUAL IS often a contentious item in the budget so, unsurprisi ngly, this is where Nachman and ChirinosIzquierdo disagree on where the best savings might lie. Nachman suggests planners will find better deals outsourcin AS EVERY PLANNER g the A/V, while KNOWS, or quickly Chirinos-Izquierdo learns, food and beverage are among says Chirinos-I argues his zquierdo. “It’s in-house team the highest costs for an event. a value that both offers competitiv attendees and planners Nachman has e some ideas to prices. The moral help the lower appreciate.” the tab. of the story: He also suggests do your homework that instead “Don’t waste money of spending money on bottled to make on a breakfast sure you’re getting that few eat,” she advises. “Make water, look for the best price “We provide FRED alternatives. the morning break before committin and forego lunch. water containers a brunch g. Izquierdo says. ,” ChirinosThen offer a happy “These flask-shap When looking after the meeting hour right ed bottles are for keynote designed to be concludes with refillable with speakers, Nachman light appetizers, beer and wine, FRED water faucets recommends throughout public and give guests using organizati the night off.” spaces and are Although multiday recyclable.” on executives Another suggestion meetings will most instead of spending at least one group likely have is to ask about flexible meal planning and money on dinner, offering fun treats the outsiders. “After a free evening to explore the hotel can offer. all, they have city, network executive chef, “Our separately with Michael Beck, the best insight leagues, or catch coloffers diverse menu into the company options that can up on work and es a be customized cultures,” says Nachman. rest is almost Wine Train includ always welcomed and based on budget,” said Chirinos-I by attendees. “What’s Valley n car (left) zquierdo. more, having ured The Napa ed 1915 Pullma On the hotel side, For example, the top echelon offers be config the hotel Chirinos-Izquierdo ). different fully restor that can 10car speak gives attendees (above lunch buffet looking for hotels suggests coach from menus ranging a feeling of that offer grab a dining vintage a rustic four room or ’n’ ago astyle inclusion and eries. “At Hotel RiverTrain’sfarmhouse menu to street eatr worth.” Examples ento as board all Irvine, we have can betoscaled wande tacos, site: Sacram guests based a user-friend might include the Marketplace open l on budget. For ly allow forma CEO wow, “We 24/7 for meeting Oppo air cars affordable speaking even have a Treat offer more on company growth opengrab their own attendees Trike that will they can snacks and meals orto sweet or the vice deliver ences.specials such as ice at streetfreely, president of pricing,” cream and snow n experiattendees,” sales discussing sit-dow cones to he says. trends, competito rs and new models for increased revenue.

P H OT

EDITOR

MANAGING EDITOR SENIOR EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR DIGITAL CONTENT EDITOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Public speaking

A N D H OT EL IRVINE (OPPOSIT

ca.meetingsmags.com

Y OF NAN CY N AC H MAN

A/V & Keynote Speakers

The Hotel Irvine’s Treat Trike delivers frozen sweets to guests.

COURTES

If you could immediately gain one new skill, what would it be?

P H OTO S :

FALL 2019

seas 16

R 2018

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Waste No

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A Sacramento is fighting organization hunge help of plann r with the ers

DESIGN DIRECTOR ART DIRECTORS

Courtney Nielsen Traci Zellmann, Taylor Kilgore, Olivia Curti

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR PROJECT COORDINATOR

Dianne Talmage Brittni Dye

CIRCULATION DIRECTOR SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING SPECIALIST

Jeremy Wieland Emily O’Connell

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE CREDIT MANAGER ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE SPECIALIST

Leanne Warzeka April McCauley Jared Lawson

WEB DEVELOPMENT MANAGER WEB ADVERTISING COORDINATOR

Sandy Powell Angela Beissel

Bob Haddad 303.617.0548 bob.haddad@tigeroak.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER– NATIONAL SALES

Speed reading Patience

I would love to have the skill to sing and play piano.

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Meeting Notes BEYOND THE BORDER 1o

NEW VENUE SPOTLIGHT

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VENUE NEWS

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SIGNATURE DRINK

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klik badge

MEET SMART

Try these wearable gadgets to elevate attendee engagement. P H O T O S : AV E N T R I , E X P E R I E N T, C R Y S TA L I N T E R A C T I V E

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PRODUCTS, PLACES & INSPIRATION

The moment a meeting attendee walks through the door, they should feel engaged. Whether they’re looking for educational sessions to attend, in search of networking opportunities or just want more information about others in the industry, attendees need to be equipped to make the most of the meeting. From badges to buttons, here are some wearable technology products to make your next event as smart as your attendees.

AV E N T R I S M A R T TA G

Dubbed the “attendee’s digital business card,” the Aventri Smart Tag allows attendees to connect with others via Bluetooth technology. Meeting attendees can virtually exchange contact information, share marketing materials, and record connections they make, sessions they attend and exhibitors they visit.

EVENTBIT

To personalize large events, show organizers can record data to understand what attendees are and are not engaging with on the show floor. When attendees wear eventBit technology, exhibit sales staff can record traffic flow, marketers can understand attendee engagement and personalize messaging, and educators can gauge what sessions are popular with what types of attendees.

KLIK

With a badge, wristband and button, klik has something for everyone’s event experience. Once an attendee has chosen one of klik’s wearables, they can begin exchanging digital contact information and engaging with digitized event materials, such as exhibitor infor-

mation or presentation slides. For planners, klik streamlines event registration, programming, networking, location services, attendee tracking and gamification on one event engagement platform. —Kassidy Tarala

Get Connected AVENTRI SMART TAG aventri.com/products/smart-tag EVENTBIT eventbit.experient-inc.com KLIK crystalinteractive.net/event-technology/ smart-wearables

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PRODUCTS, PLACES & INSPIRATION

BEYOND THE BORDER»

WALDORF ASTORIA LOS CABOS PEDREGAL Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the luxury resort flies a new flag and continues its extraordinary service. When executives of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts met with the management team of The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas earlier this year, there was no talk of how the 10-year-old luxury property would need to up its game now that it would be flying the Waldorf flag as the rebranded Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. Instead, as Fernando Flores, Pedregal’s general manager, recalls, the team was told that the resort would become an example of how to execute excellence for the iconic Waldorf brand. That respect is understandable. It’s difficult to keep track of all the awards and accolades earned by the property, which spans more than 24 acres of the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula and is accessible only by the private Dos Mares tunnel. AAA Five Diamond; Forbes Five-Star; named the “Best Resort in Mexico” in Travel + Leisure’s 2019 “World Best Awards,” the third time the resort was awarded that designation by the magazine’s readers. Helping

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earn those awards are a suite of outstanding amenities and features, including a private plunge pool in each of the 115 guest rooms, a ratio of four staff members for every room, a personal concierge assigned to each guest, freshly made guacamole and Mexican beer delivered to each room every afternoon, the oceanfront Luna y Mar spa, complimentary fitness classes, private tennis lessons, three pools, including an infinity pool that flows into the horizon of the Pacific Ocean, a swim-up bar and superb dining at several different venues. For meeting planners, an experienced team is on-site to meet gatherings seamless and unforgettable, whether that’s a reception for 200 at the beach club, complete with salsa lessons and a mariachi band; a cocktail party in the main lobby oceanside terrace; dinner under the thatched roof of La Palpapa or at El Farallón, a restaurant framed by rocky cliffs and suspended over the ocean; an after-dinner party for 60, with dancing at Casa Bella Vista,

which overlooks the Marina, or a sundown toast of bubbly, courtesy of the mobile champagne cart, with music by a violinist. Two traditional meeting rooms can accommodate 40 people each or be combined for a capacity of 80. Team-building activities include cooking and cocktail classes, yoga on the beach, spinning classes; off-site adventures like private snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, paddleboarding and surfing, and culinary and art excursions to the town of Todos Santos or nearby downtown Cabo. Spend a few days here and you’ll leave without a care. Though, if you should leave anything behind, Pedregal’s superb service will take care of that, too. When one guest on a group trip left her bathing suit drying alongside her private plunge pool after a morning dip, an employee of the hotel delivered it to the airport before she boarded her flight to Los Angeles. theresortatpedregal.com; 844.733.7342

P H OTO S : B L A K E M A RV I N ; H A S S E L B L A D H 4 D ; ( O P P O S I T E ) E R I N F E I N B L AT T ; T H E M AY FA I R H O T E L

BY SHELLEY LEVITT

| FALL 2019

10/9/2019 1:42:22 PM


NEW VENUE SPOTLIGHT»

AutoCamp Yosemite

Meeting groups can ‘glamp it up’ with Airstream lodging and new meeting space at AutoCamp Yosemite. BY J A N E T F U L LWO OD

Vintage travel trailers and safari-style “glamping” tents are growing in popularity for people who love the outdoors but love their creature comforts, too. It’s a mix that can work especially well for corporate retreats, providing a serene, distraction-free backdrop for brainstorming and team-building. For planners seeking a setting in the wilderness, AutoCamp Yosemite, three hours from San Francisco and 32 miles from the El Portal entrance to Yosemite National Park, fits the bill on several levels. This newest and largest of three AutoCamp Airstream Parks (the others are in Santa Barbara and Sonoma County) hosts guests in 80 custom-made Airstream trailers decorated in a variety of styles. All include queen beds with memory foam mat-

tresses, kitchenettes, private bathrooms, patios and fire pits. Fourteen luxuriously furnished “glamping” tents (available April-October) and a string of hard-side cabins, some of them wheelchair accessible, round out the accommodation options on a 35-acre property that includes communal fire pits and lounge areas, shower facilities, a heated swimming pool and hot tub, a shop carrying meal kits as well as merchandise, and a bar catering to modern tastes with craft beer, kombucha, cold-brew coffee and the like. A highlight on the meeting front is a recently completed, 4,000-square-foot, two-story clubhouse with an upper level that can be rented separately for groups. It opens onto a private terrace ideal for meetings that flow between

business, cocktails and dinner. AutoCamp has partnered with the area’s Moonrise Kitchen to provide catering services for group events. Elsewhere on the property, guests can enjoy complimentary mountain-bike rentals, yoga sessions and campfire programs. Working with REI Experiences, the property can provide a menu of six interpretive day hikes ranging from easy strolls on the Yosemite Valley floor to strenuous treks up to Cathedral Lakes. Amenities like these led Time Magazine to name AutoCamp Yosemite one of the 100 “World’s Greatest Places” to visit in 2019. Bonus for those who wouldn’t want their furry friends to miss out on the experience: AutoCamp Yosemite is dog-friendly. autocamp.com; 888.405.7553

NEW VENUE SPOTLIGHT»

THE MAYFAIR HOTEL IN DTLA IS BOTH TIMELESS AND ABSOLUTELY OF THE MOMENT

P H OTO S : B L A K E M A RV I N ; H A S S E L B L A D H 4 D ; ( O P P O S I T E ) E R I N F E I N B L AT T ; T H E M AY FA I R H O T E L

Downtown Los Angeles has gone through a renaissance these past few years with a staggering number of hotels and restaurants opening or reinventing themselves. Among the most vibrant of these properties is The Mayfair Hotel, which brings a history, authenticity and creative energy that feels distinctly DTLA. The Mayfair was first established in 1926 and was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it opened. Now, after a top-to-bottom redesign, it has reemerged with its Roaring Twenties vintage design—brass fixtures, vintage flooring and ceilings, fluted charcoal-colored column pillars—polished and restored, while new design elements have been added, including dramatic black cage chandeliers in the soaring lobby. The 15-story, 294-room hotel has been designed to serve, according to press materials, “as a beacon of social gatherings for Angelenos.” Its multiple venues, including the grand lobby, mezzanine atrium, Eve American Bistro, M Bar, Library Bar, art gallery, ballroom and meetings and events spaces, are rich with warmth and a sense of place. Regular events and activations will include monthly art exhibits, live concerts, fashion shows, trio jazz nights and immersive DJ sets for local and globally celebrated artists. Groups convening here can take advantage of a custom-built Podcast Studio inside the Library and the Writing Room, with a large communal table, that’s adjacent to the bar. mayfairla.com; 213.632.1200

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PRODUCTS, PLACES & INSPIRATION

VENUE NEWS»

NEW HERB GARDEN SPRINGS UP AT MONTAGE LAGUNA BEACH The bounty will be featured in a plant-based tasting menu and in housemade teas. way to showcase fresh food while demonstrating the resort’s approach to emerging sustainability methods and practices.” A 400-square-foot tea garden is part of the new plots. It includes plantings like edible flowers, German chamomile, lemon verbena, green tea and hibiscus that Martinek will have harvest to create singular teas for guests. The Garden Menu takes diners through the delicious journey of a plant’s life cycle. It starts with a seed-centric dish, followed by a sprouts course and then roots and shoots. The fourth course features flowers, the fifth fruits, and the meal ends with an incredible seed finish. The sommelier team can pair wines from Studio’s Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list. The menu will be updated throughout the year, as the garden flourishes, to highlight and utilize the ongoing seasonal bounty. Additionally, five herb gardens have been planted at the resort’s iconic Mosaic Pool. Spanning a total of 150 square feet, these compact, rectangular gardens front

each pool cabana and are encircled with boxwood hedging. Each is comprised of herbs for specialty mocktails and cocktails to be served throughout the resort— including specialty mints such as chocolate, Moroccan, Spanish and Thai; different types of sage such as pineapple and green, white and purple; and edible flowers. According to Houston, plans are in the works to supply herbs and other plantings for use in spa treatments and waters, as well as to develop an educational garden for Paintbox, the resort’s children’s program. “We are in the early stages,” Houston says, “but the possibilities are endless. Gardens offer a wonderful starting point to engage the public, employees, guests and the community and to provide an ideal platform to share sustainability best practices.” Montage Laguna Beach has expansive indoor and outdoor meeting space, including two ballrooms, three oceanfront event lawns, a dedicated boardroom and four executive meeting suites. montagehotels.com/lagunabeach

P H O T O S : M O N TA G E L A G U N A B E A C H ; (O P P OS I T E ) J S 2 P R ; WO N H O F R A N K L E E

Montage Laguna Beach is welcoming a series of replanted herb and produce gardens. The 1,000-square-foot garden is the inspiration for chef Benjamin Martinek’s six-course Garden Menu at Studio, the resort’s Forbes Five-Star signature restaurant. “We are thrilled to expand and update our garden offerings for the benefit of our chefs and our guests,” says Anne-Marie Houston, general manager of the ultra-luxurious 253room resort. “Our gardens are a beautiful

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SIGNATURE DRINK»

The Ocean Prime Manhattan Earlier this year, the 15 locations of Ocean Prime, including one in Beverly Hills, participated in a bourbon blending workshop with Woodford Reserve, the Kentucky distillery. Out of this workshop, Ocean Prime beverage director Andrea Hoover created the Ocean Prime Manhattan. “When we developed the Manhattan,” Hoover says, “our goal was to make it smooth enough to be crowd pleasing, but complex enough to satisfy the developed palate. It is rich in texture with a surprise appearance of Amaro Nonino, delightfully orange and soft. The bitters include notes of rosemary, grapefruit and peppercorn, which add a really fun additional flavor layer. This Manhattan is awesome when served chilled in a coupe, over a big rock of ice or batched for a party. There's really no cocktail more perfect for a chilly fall evening.” INGREDIENTS • 1.5 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon • .75 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth • .75 oz. Nonino Amaro • 6 drops Crude Rosemary, Grapefruit, Peppercorn Bitters

Courtesy of Ocean Prime ocean-prime.com

DIRECTIONS • Combine all ingredients in beaker. • Add pellet ice to beaker. • Stir to combine and chill. • Strain into coupe glass.

RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATION»

FIA OPENS ITS DOORS IN SANTA MONICA

P H O T O S : M O N TA G E L A G U N A B E A C H ; (O P P OS I T E ) J S 2 P R ; WO N H O F R A N K L E E

An acclaimed chef is cooking at a new indoor-outdoor spot.

Cheers to a new contender for the prettiest restaurant patio in Santa Monica: Fia. The 300-seat indoor-outdoor space features a multilevel patio, lush with ferns, native palms and flowers, vintage tables and chairs, and restored French doors. An outdoor bocce ball court tells you this a social destination not just a place to grab and go. The menu is inspired by Italy’s Amalfi Coast with “refined rustic dishes” from Chef Brendan Collins (formerly of acclaimed LA restaurants that include Birch, Waterloo & City and Melisse). There’s a fresh daily selection of raw bar and crudo items, hand-cut pastas like capellini with lobster Bolognese, seasonal local vegetables and grilled seafood and meat, including a seven-day beef shank served with pomegranate molasses. There are several options for private dining, both indoor and out, for up to 25 guests. fiarestaurant.com

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VENUE REPORT ‘Z’ HOTELS

SAN FRANCISCO’S ‘Z’ HOTELS

These boutique properties all have names that start with ‘z’ and a vibe that’s chill and creative. BY J A N E T F U L LWO OD

SMALL MEETINGS ARE BETTER HELD IN SMALL HOTELS THAN cavernous ones where your group is sharing space with noisy convention crowds, right? Lots of planners think so, and in San Francisco, there’s no shortage of boutique properties welcoming small to midsize groups. If those groups are comprised primarily of millennials, some extra requirements come into play.

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“Younger groups want to keep things informal for open-ended brainstorming sessions,” says Amy Cacho, area director of sales and marketing for Noble House Hotels & Resorts, whose portfolio includes the Hotel Zoe, a reimagined boutique property that opened in 2017 in the shell of the former Kimpton Tuscan Inn. “They like things understated and unfussy.” The Zoe, with 220 guest rooms in the Fisherman’s Wharf district, is one of five San Francisco hotels with names beginning with the last letter of the alphabet. While not all related when it comes to management (the Zoe and sister property Argonaut Hotel are managed by Noble House; Zetta, Zeppelin and Zelos by Viceroy, and Zephyr by Davidson Hotels & Resorts), they share a hipster vibe that’s attractive to a younger demographic. That means lots of elements appealing to the senses, from contemporary design and lighting to communal worktables in the lobby and even the music played over the public address system (the Zoe’s playlist was custom-curated by a professional DJ). “What we’re really going after is corporate groups; our perfect size is 40-50 people,” Cacho says. “We sell it as an exclusive, very private space for your group.” Facilities available for meetings include about 2,000 square feet of meeting and function space divided into venues that can accommodate 10-80 guests. A new private dining space with catering from Pescatore, the Italian restaurant next door, seats 30. Groups can also reserve the hotel’s central courtyard, made cheery with fire pits, where breakout sessions and receptions can incorporate everything from yoga and meditation sessions to life-size Jenga and movies on a big-screen TV. There’s no fitness center, but guests get complimentary access to a nearby 24 Hour Fitness club. “We also have complimentary bikes and access to activities on the water, including boat tours and paddleboarding,” Cacho notes.

P H O T O S : H O T E L Z E T TA ; (O P P O S I T E ) H OT E L ZO E ; H OT E L Z E LO S

Hotel Zetta

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P H O T O S : H O T E L Z E T TA ; (O P P O S I T E ) H OT E L ZO E ; H OT E L Z E LO S

Hotel Zoe (above) and Hotel Zelos (right)

The nearby Argonaut Hotel, with 265 rooms and suites, opened in 2003 as a Kimpton property in the former Del Monte warehouse across the street from Hyde Street Pier. It retains its retro-nautical appeal and offers 10,000 square feet of meeting space including a 4,200-square-foot ballroom and a courtyard frequently used for ceremonies and standing receptions. Other hotels in the “z” group reflect a contemporary ethos similar to the Zoe’s. They include: HOTEL ZELOS At the corner of Fourth and Market, near Union Square, the Zelos is housed in a landmark building once home to the Kimpton Hotel Palomar. It offers 204 guest rooms and six meeting rooms totaling 5,000 square feet. H O T E L Z E T TA A boutique property on Fifth Street, in the SoMa district, the Zetta has 116 guest rooms and 2,760 square feet of private event space. Remodeled in 2013 with contemporary flare, it occupies a building that formerly housed the Hotel Milano. HOTEL ZEPPELIN The Zeppelin opened in 2016 with 196 guest

rooms and 4,000-plus square feet of event space taking over what was once the Hotel Prescott. Located on Post Street, it’s a few blocks from Moscone Center. HOTEL ZEPHYR Housed in what was the former Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf, the Zephyr boasts shipyard industrial chic design, 361 guest rooms, 1,610 square feet of indoor event space, a game room and an 8,000-square-foot interactive courtyard venue for up to 500 guests, the largest outdoor venue in the Fisherman’s Wharf district.

Get Connected ARGONAUT HOTEL argonauthotel.com | 415.563.0800 HOTEL ZELOS viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/zelos | 415.348.1111 HOTEL ZEPHYR hotelzephyrsf.com | 415.617.6565 HOTEL ZEPPELIN hotelzeppelin.com | 415.563.0303 HOTEL ZETTA hotelzetta.com | 415.543.8555 HOTEL ZOE hotelzoesf.com | 415.561.1100

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DESTINATION CONCORD

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Opposite: Mount Diablo observation deck; left: Todos Santos Plaza; above: Concord Pavilion

JAZZY CONCORD

This East Bay town in the shadow of Mount Diablo is in tune with what planners want. B Y J A N E T F U L L W O O D FROM THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT DIABLO, on a clear day, one of the most expansive views in North America opens up. “You can see 31 of California’s 52 counties from here,” Mount Diablo Interpretive Association President Stephen Smith says, gesturing around the panorama afforded by the isolated peak that juts up almost 4,000 feet between the East San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley. The snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountain range, including Lassen Peak, 181 miles away, and Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park, 150 miles distant, is visible to the trained eye. (Peering through one of the telescopes mounted to the visitor center observation deck

P H O T O S : L I V E N AT I O N ; V I S I T C O N C O R D ; D O V O S M E D I A ; (OPPOSITE) VISIT CONCORD

helps.) Below, the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta winds like a wet ribbon through a table-flat landscape. Even on a hazy day, there’s lots to see on the trails that lead through Mount Diablo State Park and its adjacent preserves, which together total about 100,000 acres. Guided hikes for groups can be arranged, and there’s hardly a meeting group that comes to nearby Concord without at least a few members who want to explore the mountain. An interesting tidbit of trivia: Since it was first surveyed in 1851, Mount Diablo has served as point of reference on virtually all property deeds in Northern California and parts of Oregon. Mount Diablo is a surprise, but there are other surprises to be enjoyed as well in this East Bay community of 130,000. “In my opinion, Concord is a hidden gem,”

says Yuriko Kawaguchi, director of sales for Concord Hilton, the city’s largest convention hotel with 329 guest rooms and 21,344 square feet of flexible meeting space. “Concord is unique in that it’s situated perfectly, 20 miles from Oakland and 30 miles from San Francisco. So it’s easily accessible, and we have a BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] station as well.” Attracted by the central location and public transportation option, many Bay Area companies come to Concord for their meetings. Beyond convenience, Kawaguchi adds, “of course the company’s money stretches more than it would in San Francisco, so they’re able to give more to their attendees.”

For outdoors lovers, there’s another plus: The hotel is situated adjacent to Iron Horse Trail, a paved, multiuse path stretching 32 miles between Concord and Walnut Creek. (The hotel plans to implement a bike program soon, Kawaguchi says.) For culinary pleasures, a pair of shopping malls across the street from the hotel offers many off-site dining options. Visitors can’t come to Concord without learning that it’s the birthplace of jazz great Dave Brubeck and the Concord record label (now based in Beverly Hills), famous for recording independent jazz artists. A highlight of the year in Concord is an August jazz festival that draws attendees from around the country. For its 50th anniversary in 2019,

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DESTINATION CONCORD

Hiking Mount Diablo

HOTEL VENUES BY THE NUMBERS

HILTON CONCORD: 329 GUEST ROOMS, 15 MEETING ROOMS, 21,344 SQUARE FEET OF FLEXIBLE MEETING SPACE INCLUDING AN 8,832-SQUARE-FOOT BALLROOM CROWN PLAZA CONCORD: 323 GUEST ROOMS, 13 MEETING ROOMS, 20,856 SQUARE FEET OF MEETING SPACE INCLUDING A 6,024-SQUARE-FOOT BALLROOM CLARION HOTEL OF CONCORD: 198 GUEST ROOMS, 7 MEETING ROOMS, 5,400 SQUARE FEET OF EVENT SPACE INCLUDING 4,500SQUARE-FOOT BALLROOM

the fest showcased stars including Esperanza Spalding, Chick Corea, Poncho Sanchez, Dave Koz and the Count Basie Orchestra. The event was held at the Concord Pavilion, a landmark venue with seating for seating 12,500 designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. When it opened in 1975, it was one of the first outdoor amphitheaters on the West Coast outside the Hollywood Bowl. Another music-related option: Concord Masonic Hall, recently converted into an event venue and museum showcasing Concord’s jazz history. Concord’s downtown revolves around Todos Santos Plaza, a community gathering space that hosts weekly farmers markets, music events and food truck festivals spring through fall. It’s surrounded by shops, restaurants and nightspots, including The Hop Grenade Taproom & Bottleshop, a stop on Concord’s Beer Trail. Hop Grenade accommodates groups, serves 21 brews on tap and also hosts the Brewing Network podcast, which is recorded in a small studio inside. Also on the square, LiMA Peruvian Restaurant is a lively hot spot specializing in ceviche and other seafood dishes, with groups graciously accommodated.

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Other restaurants for planners to consider include Puesto, a festive, walking-distance Mexican eatery with dramatic architecture that can host parties and receptions indoors or out. On a more casual note, Mona’s Burgers is a local hot spot that can make room for groups, while the super-casual but well-reviewed Los Rancheros can set up outdoor seating for groups and bring in mariachis to entertain, with advance notice. Also on the beer trail, and definitely worth a stop, is Epidemic Ale, a women-owned brewpub whose humorously named brews include Zombie IPA, Post Mortem, Abomination and Belladona, to cite just a few. “We started with home brewers,” co-owner and assistant brewer Erin Schally says. “Now we’re in restaurants and partnering with as many as we can.” On the team-building front, a truly tasty experience can be booked at Rachel Dunn Chocolates, makers of premier and specialty chocolates and their signature product, giant, caramel-coated apples sprinkled with ground nuts. Groups opting for a half-day, hands-on candy-making workshop start with a chocolate and wine-pairing session while learning

how chocolate is made. Participants then don chef’s hats, aprons and gloves and move into a factory room dominated by three rows of long, wide tables. Master chocolatier Michael Dunn, Rachel’s husband, presides at a podium as group members proceed to dip and decorate a dozen confections ranging from chocolate turtles to peanut-butter cups and cream-filled bonbons. And, of course, everyone gets to take home one of those colossal caramel apples packaged in a beautiful gift box. For planners seeking a really, really big venue during the warm months, there’s another Concord landmark worth considering. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (formerly known as Waterworld) is a water-based theme park with rides, slides and attractions both wild and tame, as well as facilities for corporate events such as catered picnics for hundreds of employees, team-building activities, cabana rentals and even park buyouts. “In-N-Out Burger has purchased the park several times for two-day events,” says Marc Merino, communications manager for Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and sister property Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo. “It’s a very popular venue.”

P H OTO : V I S I T CO N CO R D

BEST WESTERN HERITAGE INN: 121 GUEST ROOMS, 2,350 SQUARE FEET OF FLEXIBLE MEETING SPACE

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Your Success is our Success.

With our experience comes the guarantee of success. Make plans for holding your event at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Reno. Top notch service complete with state-of-the-art meeting rooms, tech savvy amenities and the only resort connected to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Dine in top-ranked restaurants and unwind at Spa Atlantis, the only Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa in northern Nevada. Book a world-class experience today.

P H OTO : V I S I T CO N CO R D

Contact the Sales Department at 800.994.5900 or visit us at atlantiscasino.com/cameetings to submit an RFP.

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MEETINGS WHEN CORPORATE GROUPS GATHER IN THE GOLDEN STATE, BOOSTING HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IS ON THE AGENDA. California has long been known as an innovator in wellness, whether that means surfing in Huntington Beach, experiencing a sound bath in the Mojave Desert’s resonant tabernacle known as the Integratron, or enjoying a gourmet plant-based meal at the iconic Greens restaurant in San Francisco, which earned a spot in the Michelin Guide this year and has been serving vegetarian cuisine since 1979. More than ever before, wellness is a key part of corporate meetings. Where once these gatherings might have led to a hangover or five extra pounds gained, thanks to buffet tables piled high with fried foods and sweets and endless hours spent sitting in conference rooms, today’s attendees are likely to leave with new healthy habits, perhaps a cooking tip or two, greater self knowledge and a new appreciation for mindful meditation Here are some of the ways California properties are delivering wellness to groups.

By Barbara Beckley, Janet Fullwood, Jenny Peters, Shelley Levitt and Ann Shepphird

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1440 Multiversity:

P H O T O : 1 4 4 0 M U LT I V E R S I T Y

IMMERSIVE TRANSFORMATION AMID THE REDWOODS Named for the number of minutes in a day, 1440 Multiversity is a 75-acre immersive learning center and retreat nestled in a redwood forest between Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley. Since 1440 opened its doors in May 2017, scores of thought leaders have led workshops here, including writer Elizabeth Gilbert, singer Alanis Morissette, integrative health doctors Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil, and eminent teachers of yoga, meditation, nutrition, self transformation and professional development. The campus is well designed to host groups, with a capacity of 375 overnight guests, and accommodations that range from modern Asian-style sleeping ‘pods’ to spacious fireplace suites with patios. For panels or conferences, up to 750 attendees can be hosted in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues, including the Sanctuary, with vaulted wood ceilings and views of the redwoods through floor-to-ceiling windows (capacity 203), the Outlook room, which has a state-of-the-art sound booth, screens and wired or wireless microphones (capacity 305), the outdoor Cathedral amphitheater (capacity 460) and the adjacent Redwood Auditorium (capacity 750), the interactive teaching kitchen (capacity 71), and several additional meeting rooms, some with outdoor patios and fire pits, for gathering between sessions. An all-inclusive property, 1440 offers three nutritious gourmet meals a day at The Kitchen, where guests can dine alfresco or indoors next to the roaring fire of a stone hearth. Activities abound, for relaxation, reflection and engagement, with daily classes in yoga, tai chi, qi gong and meditation, guided nature walks and hikes, workshops in community drumming and sound journeys as well as free time to spend in the infinity-edge hot tub, cafes and shops, or swaying with a book or journal in a hammock suspended between the trees. 1440.org; 844.544.1440

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OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD LUXURY IN NORTHERN SAN DIEGO “Relax. Renew. Revitalize.” That’s the mantra at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, the idyllic spa resort in Northern San Diego, and it’s one that’s easily fulfilled. Everything about this luxury property embraces an expansive sense of self. Five hundred acres, which include lavender fields, vineyards and rolling hills, are home to just 32 Mediterranean-style villas. (That number will be expanding to 46 in the summer of 2020.) The staff to guest ratio is 5-to-1 There are 120 different fitness classes to chose among, including aqua sculpt, 20 different types of yoga, pilates, kickboxing, TRX, gyrotonics, and group-friendly activities like hikes (25 different trails span 10 miles), water or sand volleyball, golf, tennis clinics, and a wide variety of dance classes (Zumba, Broadway, hula hoop, belly dance and dance party).

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Mind-body activities are plentiful, some taking place in the stunning 400-year-old candle-lit chapel. Guests can enjoy guided meditation and tai chi, create a lavender wreath or a chakra energy bracelet; they can participate in a Japanese tea ceremony or rock painting and origami workshops, explore the benefits of essential oils or set intentions while walking a labyrinth. In 2018, Cal-a-Vie introduced the Celestial Experience, an hour-long star-gazing session that takes place at the Observatory, a two-story structure that’s positioned on top of a hill overlooking Cal-a-Vie’s grounds and includes eight flat screen TVs, a state-of-the-art Takahashi telescope and imaging technology, as well as 26 seats from the original Houston Astrodome. Stargazing, the resort says, “has been linked to

multiple health and wellness benefits including a sense of personal growth, transcendent thoughts and positive emotions.” What will without question lead to a feeling of enhanced well-being are the spa treatments in the Bath House. A typical day at Cal-a-Vie will include two, selected from a menu of massages, wraps, facials, and body therapies that include chakra balancing, water reflexology and Ayurvedic mud sessions. A regular winner of top awards from Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and SpaFinder magazines, Cal-a-Vie has welcomed groups in biotech and medical fields, among others. The maximum number of guests that can be accommodated, with a full buyout, is 64; the property has 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. cal-a-vie.com; 760.945.2466

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Harbor Court, San Francisco: BOUTIQUE-SCALE WELLNESS

A hotel doesn’t have to be large or loaded with amenities to offer wellness-minded guests an opportunity to keep up their healthy regimes. Planners who want to energize their groups before, during or after an event have options at this newly renovated, 131room hotel in the Embarcadero/Financial district. While the Harbor Court doesn’t have a fitness center of its own, it’s connected via a door in the lobby to the next-door, fullservice YMCA (which includes an Olympic-size pool), where planners can book fitness classes for $20 per person. When class is done, participants can have custom smoothies waiting for them at the hotel. (A bit of trivia: the building served as the YMCA chapel before being converted into a hotel.) As for meeting space, the hotel offers two glass cubes in the lobby that serve as co-working spaces or can be rented for private use (the hotel can provide basic A/V equipment). A communal table outside the cubes is equipped with charging stations and USB ports. The hotel hosts a complimentary wine and beer hour every evening, which some will consider a critical element of well-being, while the in-house Café and Pantry provides barista service around the clock. harborcourthotel.com; 415.882.1300

MEET WITH PURPOSE AT

P H O T O S : H A R B O R C O U R T S A N F R A N C I S C O ; H I LT O N H O T E L S ; ( O P P O S I T E ) C A L - A - V I E H E A LT H S PA

Hilton Hotels

After continually hearing that meeting planners were looking to infuse more health, wellness and sustainability into their agendas, Hilton Hotels & Resorts created Meet with Purpose in 2015. As it has evolved, the turnkey program—and its focus on Mindful Eating, Mindful Meeting and Mindful Being—has been increasingly customized to reflect each hotel and each meeting. “The beauty of Meet with Purpose is that it’s all about customization and personalization,” says Michael Vaughn, executive chef at the 1,921-room Hilton San Francisco Union Square, which features 130,000 square feet of meeting space. Chef Vaughn says the culinary team meets with planners to create unique, healthy and sustainable food and beverage offerings combined with design elements that bring them to life. “When putting together these activities, we like to say, ‘your story, our flavors,’” notes Vaughn. Vaughn reports that the program has been well received by both planners and attendees and that often a wellness activity is combined with a healthy meal. “Incorporating an activity at breakfast

has become very common,” says Vaughn. Examples include Yoga & Yogurt, which features a yoga class followed by a yogurt parfait bar, or Boot Camp Power, which couples a protein-filled breakfast with a high-intensity workout. At the Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, in Huntington Beach, healthy break options include the Midday Stretch, where an instructor-led session focusing on posture, breathing and stretches is paired with seasonal fruits and salads, and the Meditative Moment, which combines

smoothies, healthy snacks and local fruit with a guided meditation session. With the recent completion of an extensive expansion project, the Waterfront Beach Resort now features 437 guest rooms and more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. hilton.com Other “Meet with Purpose” activities include “Puppies and Ice Cream Meeting Breaks” and “Orange is the New Break,” a “Citrus Lift” breakfast or morning-break menu that features vitamin C-powered snacks. meetings.hilton.com

Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach

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Stanford Court:

WELLNESS ON NOB HILL The wellness trend has taken off in a big way in San Francisco, and Stanford Court, a recently renovated, 400-room hotel on Nob Hill, wanted to give guests a unique experience. To do so, it partnered with San Francisco startup Well + Away, which publishes on-thego “VitalGuides” pointing travelers to off-the-tourist-track places to eat, sweat and indulge in healthy pursuits. The collaboration led to the launch last March of Urban Sanctuary rooms for wellnessminded travelers. “When people think ‘wellness,’ they think ‘oh, I have to work out,’” says Luz Chatman, area director of sales and marketing. “Our concept wasn’t about working out in isolation; it was about all the elements of wellness. Modern travelers, especially business travelers, want to get a good night’s sleep and feel great while on the road and not be totally disrupted from their daily routines.” Focused on sleep, nutrition and fitness, the “Urban Sanctuary” package can be purchased as an add-on to any room in the hotel. It comes with yoga mat, meditation cushion, Buddha teas and “VitalKits” offering an array of healthy snacks and other products. This being San Francisco, technology and style also are involved, starting with a gear-lending program that lets guests try out justreleased activewear by Gaiam. Guests also get 30-day complimentary access to the Aaptiv Fitness app, which is loaded with thousands of audio-based workouts and programs; plus 30-day access to Calm Meditation, a leading app for meditation and sleep, and a copy of the book “The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide to Ancient Self-Care.” In addition, a “Nod Hill” sleep menu offers a selection of pillows, earplugs and other amenities to facilitate dozing off. The package is a great perk for meeting planners, Chatman notes. “After all, anyone planning a conference needs some recovery time.” For meeting groups, the hotel offers 2,100 square feet of event venues, including communal workspaces. standfordcourt.com; 425.989.3500

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Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa, SAUSALITO

This century-old Victorian landmark overlooking yacht-filled Richardson Bay has long evolved with the times. In January, the forward-looking property debuted a “Casa Wellness” experience that goes beyond traditional nutrition and fitness offerings. The theme incorporates a Wellness Courtyard with a 62-inch monitor screening Fitness on Demand workout sessions that also can be adapted for groups booking the 1,700-square-foot, oceanview Junto meeting space. To personalize the experience while at the same time offering a sample of the latest high-tech offerings in the fitness field, planners can book their attendees into any of nine dedicated Wellness Rooms outfitted with Eight Sleep smart beds, which integrate with Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, to provide insight on sleep trends through the use of biometric tracking, sleep coaching and temperature regulation. For the tech-minded, there’s more: Muse 2 meditation headbands that provide real-time feedback on brain activity, heart rate and breathing to improve meditation focus and ViSense’s artificial intelligence personal trainer, which uses bio-sensing earphones to create personally tailored workouts. “I’ve always had a passion for holistic health that stems from my own lifestyle, daily practice and understanding of our world and our humanness,” says Carmen Cruz, general manager of the property and the driving force behind the renovation. “With that in mind and a brand DNA of constant innovation, my vision was to create a full emersion wellness experience at Casa Madrona. “With pioneering technology at the core and a concept that goes beyond physical fitness and nutrition, our wellness experience touches all aspects of well-being,” she continues. “It departs from the idea that wellness is some special programming that demands specific vacation time or travel. At Casa, we believe wellness is a lifestyle that you can continue, or newly adopt while traveling for business or leisure.” Casa Madrona offers 64 guest accommodations in several configurations, as well as a 5,000-square-foot mansion suite. Besides a spa and fitness center, the property encompasses 5,500 square feet of recently renovated, flexible event space. casamadrona.com; 415.332.0502

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P H O T O S : C A R M E L VA L L E Y R A N C H ; ( O P P O S I T E ) S TA N F O R D C O U R T ; C A S A M A D R O N A H O T E L & S PA

ALL THE WELLNESS BELLS & WHISTLES This sprawling, 500-acre resort has it all: golf course, tennis facilities, saltwater pool, bocce courts, kids’ splash zone, a farmstead and more, all in a valley setting not far from the Monterey coast. The carefully curated layout and vibe are intended to provide summer camp-inspired getaways that easily adapt to corporate retreats and large gatherings. “We have mostly corporate clients, with group size ranging from 10 to 125,” says Hilary Ebright, associate director of sales. “More groups are requesting time to use the fitness areas before or after events, and even cutting agendas shorter to allow guests to participate in the abundance of activities we have to offer. We have been getting requests for mediation or yoga during breaks, typically in the afternoon, to recharge everyone. A high majority of our groups will incorporate a guided hike during their event.” Other wellness-oriented activities adapted for team-building can include foraging walks, night golf competitions, even falconry, all intended to provide “play outside the box” experiences. The ranch’s group activity menu, which can be customized according to need, encompasses even more, from cooking demos and classes to candle crafting, archery, photography, scavenger hunts and geocaching. And there’s plenty of space to gather. Recently refreshed indoor spaces combine with elegant outdoor venues, including an organic garden and vineyard lawn, to encompass some 10,000 square feet of event space. carmelvalleyranch.com; 855.687.7262

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AMID THE VINES AT

Napa Valley’s Meritage Resort & Spa recently debuted a new program designed to help groups gathering at the resort achieve more “Mindful Meetings.” The program, offered in partnership with Bare Health, can be custom tailored for groups and includes the following wellness-focused activities: meditation, yoga in the vineyard, sound healing, and the creation of juices, smoothies and morning elixirs at the resort’s brand-new Food & Wine Center. According to Sheri Thomas, director of sales for the 322-room Meritage and its luxury resort-within-a-resort Vista Collina (which offers 145 guest rooms), the activities listed in the program are a way to start a conversation with the meeting planner to create a schedule that not only teaches attendees about wellness but has the added benefit of getting people out of their shells and engaging the creative side of their brain. “People are wanting to do a little more with their meetings,” says Thomas. “Adding these types of activities can help attendees disconnect and become more centered and productive.” Thomas also points out these activities are offered at a price point that isn’t prohibitive, leading some groups to choose to offer a variety. “One group did a round robin-style event where attendees could try meditation, yoga or learn about nutrition at a smoothie bar,” says Thomas. (The 60-minute meditation session and the 60- to 90-minute Yoga in the Vineyard are both $30 per person. Sound Healing is 75 minutes/$50 per person and the 2.5-hour juicing, smoothies and morning elixirs demonstration class is $125 for each attendee.) Together, the Meritage Resort & Spa and Vista Collina offer 80,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. This includes the new Food & Wine Center in their Village area, which also features nine winery tasting rooms and an event lawn. meritagecollection.com; 866.370.6272

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P H O T O S : R O B E R T M C C L E N A H A N ; M E R I TA G E R E S O R T & S PA ; ( O P P O S I T E ) PA R K H YAT T AV I A R A

Meritage Resort and Vista Collina

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P H O T O S : R O B E R T M C C L E N A H A N ; M E R I TA G E R E S O R T & S PA ; ( O P P O S I T E ) PA R K H YAT T AV I A R A

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa: LUXURY THAT GOES DEEPER THAN A SPA MENU Naturally, the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa experience includes the inherent wellness elements actually listed in its name, with a famous 18-hole golf course designed by Arnold Palmer and a 15,000-squarefoot spa that boasts 20 treatment rooms. But Aviara also goes far and beyond those familiar resort offerings, into a whole other level of wellness possibilities for individuals and groups. With the VeraVia Luxury Fitness Resort located within the hotel, guests find a personalized team of experts ready to assist with boosting health, fitness, nutrition and behavior to help create new habits for a lifetime of healthy living. Their corporate group programs encompass a variety of retreat options

that are designed to help reduce stress and improve emotional wellness, encourage creative collaboration or reboot the overall health of your team. Group yoga and fitness classes are part of VeraVia's program, as are over 50 workshops with nutritionists, behavioral psychologists, doctors and other health specialists, all geared to getting your group into a new mindset when it comes to wellness at work and at home. Aviara is also a top-ranked tennis resort, featuring nine courts that allow for tournaments or group lessons taught by terrific pro tennis instructors under the inspiring leadership of Tennis Director Steve Halverson. The instructors are not only help-

ful to those who already play the game, but also provide beginners with easily understood techniques to master the basics. They even make tennis accessible to people with mobility issues, meaning no one is left out of the experience. Aviara also offers an outdoor recreation center, complete with sand volleyball court, bocce court, croquet field, horseshoes and a badminton court, for more opportunities to create a relaxing wellness experience while hosting a group meeting at the resort. The resort has 327 rooms and 78,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, with the largest of eight different venues being 11,730 square feet. hyatt.com; 760.448.1234

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‘REJUVEMEET’ AT

There’s no dot on the map of California that says “Silicon Valley,” but it’s fair to say that San Jose is its nucleus when it comes to meetings and events, especially those catering to employees of Google, Facebook, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Twitter, Cisco, Yahoo, eBay, Hewlett-Packard and Netflix and other tech firms with global headquarters just down the road. It makes sense, then, that management at the 520-room Marriott San Jose, one of two hotels directly connected to the recently renovated McEnery Convention Center, would go out of the way to provide attendees with all the amenities they’re accustomed to enjoying in their personal and work lives, from healthy meals to stateof-the-art exercise equipment and meeting environments that diverge from traditional classroom/theater setups. “The major companies of Silicon Valley come and do product launches here, flying in people from all over the world,” says Linda Carta-Samuels, the hotel’s director of marketing. “They gravitate toward healthy options, and in Silicon Valley, they expect them.” In January, the hotel introduced a “RejuveMeet” option intended to satisfy those demands through a holistic approach

to group wellness. “In our particular bubble, our clients are always talking about work/ life balance and being able to stay healthy and pay attention to mindfulness,” CartaSamuels explains. “Meetings shouldn’t take them off that track. We’re focused on letting travel not be disruptive, but an extension of what our clients aspire to do in private life.” Elements of the program include farmers market-style snack selections, smoothie bars, healthy buffet selections, even a portable raw bar, stocked with seasonal fruits and vegetables, that can be moved from a meeting room to the park across the street or other locations. Keto and gluten-free options, as well as mocktails, are on every restaurant and catering menu. On the active front, the Marriott offers cardiovascular and relaxation team-building and break sessions, group jogging and bike tours of the city, yoga in-house or in the park across the street, Peloton bikes in the fitness center, “stretch-away-stress” sessions and mini-massage. There are spa water stations in the lobby and meeting rooms. The hotel can also recommend speakers for wellness education seminars and arrange “give back” volunteer activities that promote wellness in the community. sanjosemarriott.com; 408.278.4466

The Ridge Tahoe Resort:

MAKING “ALONE TIME” PART OF WELLNESS The Ridge, a 302-unit hotel/vacation ownership resort on an 11-acre hilltop overlooking Lake Tahoe, offers many out-the-door health and wellness activities in addition to yoga classes, an on-site spa and a dedicated chairlift serving Heavenly Mountain Resort. Guided meditation hikes, moonlight hikes, stargazing hikes and rock climbing are offered in summer, while snowshoe outings are popular with groups meeting in winter. All are available right out the door. Activities are sometimes combined in innovative ways. “A group last summer planned a guided full-moon hike,” recounts Katie Baumruck, corporate sales manager for Ridge Resorts. “As part of that, the guide sent each individual down the path at five-minute increments, so the attendee could have ‘alone time’ and reflect on the concepts discussed during the day’s meetings.” The Ridge’s recently renovated Castle Rock Event Space totals 3,700 square feet and can accommodate classroom-style meetings for up to 120 attendees. ridgetahoeresort.com; 771.588.3553

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Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa:

P H OTO S : S A N J O S E M A R R I OT T; JA RV I S P H OTO G R A P H Y; (OPPOSITE) SONOMA MISSION INN

AN ETHOS OF WELLNESS & BALANCE

Some hotels and resorts go in and out of mind as quickly as a conference or convention, while others linger for years in the memory, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, with its 1927 mission revival architecture, geothermal hot springs and an extensive menu of wellness options, is unequivocally one of the latter. With 226 guest rooms, more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space, a well-known spa and a location smack in the middle of Sonoma Wine Country, it’s a luxury property that offers some contemporary twists for meeting planners. “This hotel was built almost 100 years ago because of the geothermal springs and their healing qualities. San Franciscans have been coming for generations, and an ethos of wellness and balance has been part of it from the very beginning,” says Michelle Heston, regional director of public relations for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The property has not just rested on its laurels, she adds. In the past few years, as the wellness trend has crescendoed, the inn has developed state-of-the-art programming opportunities for groups, including wellness coaching sessions, nutritional counseling, sound healing, “spirit of Aloha workshops” and group hike-and-bike tours. Group meditation and “give back” programs also are garnering attention. “We’ve had two groups in the last four months work with Habitat for Humanity to build playhouses for needy families, some affected by the recent fires,” says Angela Ramogida, senior catering and conference services manager. “One was a Bay Area tech company group of 40 leadership executives and one was a financial software company, also from the Bay Area. Numerous groups have also incorporated mindfulness mediation breaks or booked private yoga in the mornings prior to sessions, and we’ve also seen an increase in private hikes.” On the nutrition front, wellness elements can be weaved into menu planning and cooking classes, while healthier food items have been incorporated into restaurant and group catering menus. “We have added more protein items like housemade hummus, hard boiled eggs, cheese and charcuterie into breaks,” Ramogida notes. “We’re seeing more groups favor these items over previously requested cookies and sweets. One of the most popular new stations we have right now is the ‘create your own poke bowl’ for receptions and dinners, created by chef Jared Reeves. This is again geared towards the lean protein, no carbs trend.” On the activities front, James Raden, assistant director of spa, adds that wellness workshops, walking tours of Sonoma and bike tours also are frequently requested—along, of course, with spa treatments and geothermal relaxation time. fairmont.com/sonoma; 707.938.9000

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Sunset in Marina del Rey at the upper deck lounge of The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey

PARTY ON! THE GOLDEN STATE IS KNOWN TO CELEBRATE. CHECK OUT SEVEN PLACES IN CALIFORNIA THAT MAKE GREAT PARTY DESTINATIONS.

Located in the heart of the Los Angeles coastline and only 4 miles from LAX, Marina del Rey is the area’s premier waterfront playground. LA’s Marina offers plenty of unique venue options and activities perfectly suited for special events any time of year. Visitors enjoy year-round California sunshine and ocean breezes with waterfront dining, on-the-water recreation, and six contemporary hotels that line the water’s edge. Hotels offer nearly 60,000-square footage of event space and approximately 1,100 hotel rooms while the Marina’s culi-

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nary corridor features more than 100,000 square feet of unrivaled meeting and event space. Cast & Plow at The RitzCarlton, Marina del Rey features waterside terraces and sleek lounges with outdoor fire rings, as well as a culinary team who will create a personalized menu. Café del Rey, with its recent makeover and revamped menu, boasts seating that overlooks the harbor and a private dining room, perfect for intimate parties and lively gatherings. No visit to the Marina is complete without some time on a boat. Having your opening reception or client party on a

private luxury yacht is the perfect way to make a splash with your next corporate function.

City of Henderson Think outside the ballroom and host your next event at one of Henderson’s local libation locations. Not only is the Artisan Booze District a nirvana for booze enthusiasts, it also offers unique options to host your next event. Bad Beat Brewing’s offers a relaxed and playful space to host your next event complete with darts, original Nintendo, a movie projector, giant Jenga, and a shuf-

P H O T O : V I S I T M A R I N A D E L R E Y. C O M

Marina del Rey

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CASINO

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DINING

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GO LF

Take your next meeting to the Summit Bring your next meeting to the Pechanga Summit, our dynamic, 40,000-square foot events center that is as versatile as you are. After your meeting, indulge yourself in our luxurious, full-service spa. When you’re finished, one of our 1,090 rooms and suites await, along with AAA Four Diamond amenities that include 14 restaurants, a 4.5-acre tropical pool complex and the largest casino on the West Coast. Meetings at Pechanga are as easy as playing your perfect combination. 877.711.MEET | PECHANGA .COM 45000 PECHANGA PARKWAY | TEMECUL A, CA 92592 Contact the Sales Department at swilson@pechanga.com MANAGEMENT RESERVES ALL RIGHTS. MUST BE 21 OR OVER TO GAMBLE. PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE 800.GAMBLER.

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Whispering Hills Golf Course in Ontario

Las Vegas Distillery in Henderson

Ontario Convention Center patio

fleboard already at your fingertips. Want your next event to be out of this world? Then Astronomy Aleworks has the space for you. Looking for a chill and relaxed atmosphere to host your friends? Crafthaus Brewery’s Pallet Lounge is an option full of good vibes and colorful décor. Whether you opt to hold your event in the cellar room or the winery, no event is too small or too large for Vegas Valley Winery. With a tagline “Good stories, good whiskey, good times,” how could you not host your next event at the Las Vegas Distillery? This boutique distillery manufactures the likes of vodka and moonshine, and can accommodate small private parties, weddings, workshops and corporate events, offering full service and a la carte event coordination of all sizes.

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Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau Smack dab in the center of Southern California, Greater Ontario is in the perfect location for visitors to access all that the destination has to offer. Fly into Ontario International Airport, choose from over 6,000 hotel rooms, unpack and it’s time for the fun to start. Greater Ontario is a great place to party for families, singles, groups and foodies. The weather is fabulous—so much sunshine allows outdoor activities year-round. Enjoy outdoor dining at Victoria Gardens, a brewery tour, or glass of wine at the site of the oldest winery in California. Take a hike on the Pacific Electric Trail then enjoy the indoor games and adult beverages at Punch Bowl Social. An hour in any direction leads to all

kinds of fun and adventure. You can ski the snowy mountains in the morning and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean in the evening. You can also sunbath in Palm Springs, visit Disneyland Resorts, or tee off on a world-class golf course. Greater Ontario is the gateway to adventure and a place to get your party started.

Visit Berkeley The University of California gives Berkeley a studious side, but like any college town, Berkeley also knows how to throw a party. This unconventional city on San Francisco Bay’s east bank earns the grade for great event venues with more than 40 event venues, over 300 restaurants, and 1,400 guest rooms. The historic Berkeley City Club hotel offers some of the most striking event

P H O T O S : C I T Y O F H E N D E R S O N ; G R E AT E R O N TA R I O C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E AU ; V I S I T B E R K E L E Y

Berkeley City Club

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Where Business Meets Adventure •

Over 250,000 square feet of flexible meeting space

8 championship golf courses

Countless outdoor adventure activities

Minutes from the Las Vegas Strip

702.267.2670

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Berkeley City Club

OUE SkySpace

spaces in the entire Bay Area, from its Venetian Ballroom to outdoor covered Terrace. The Bancroft Hotel features an inviting 3,000-square-foot Great Hall that harkens back to the charm of a bygone era. Its high ceilings, stained-glass windows, raised stage and two fireplaces all make for a unique and memorable event venue. UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium is in play with a range of sporty event spaces capped by the awe-inspiring Stadium Club. Taking it even higher is the Lawrence Hall of Science. Panoramic views, dynamic science exhibits and personal attention complete the ascent. And what’s a great party without craft beer and natural wine? Berkeley’s Gilman District is a burgeoning destination with

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breweries like Donkey & Goat winery and Gilman Brewing Company. Also in West Berkeley, glassybaby is a glassblowing studio and retail store, with a versatile and unique 2,000-square-foot event space perfect for an intimate dinner party or larger events of up to 49 people.

OUE Skyspace LA OUE Skyspace LA is California’s tallest open-air observation deck and the premiere destination for panoramic, 360-degree views of Los Angeles. The two open-air terraces offer breathtaking views of iconic landmarks that will have your guests in awe. With up to 45 miles of visibility, OUE Skyspace is the finest way to see Los Angeles.

Located on the 70th floor of the iconic U.S. Bank Tower, the event space features floor-to-ceiling windows that invite guests to lose themselves in immersive views of the City of Angels from the tallest event space on the West Coast. OUE Skyspace LA offers turnkey event planning including state of the art technology, plus a curated list of preferred vendors including exquisite cuisine. Led by the hospitality artisans who handle some of the world’s finest venues, the venue provides guests with a culinary experience at the height of excellence. This one-of-akind venue is customizable for any event, from cocktail receptions and corporate keynotes to wrap parties, seated dinners and so much more.

P H O T O S : V I S I T B E R K E L E Y ; O U E S K Y S PA C E L A

OUE SkySpace in-house catering

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Visit Lompoc Located on Highway 1 on the Central Coast, Lompoc offers visitors a robust wine scene, championship golf, one-ofa-kind eateries, local art, and a lovely Mediterranean climate to enjoy any time of year. With 12 small to midsize hotels to welcome groups, including the recently opened Hilton Garden Inn with state-ofthe-art amenities, Lompoc is ideally suited for gatherings and celebrations of up to 300 guests. Lompoc’s extraordinary venues include an historic mission, estate wineries and gorgeous golf courses which can be rented for private parties, weddings, wine tastings and tournaments. La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, the most fully restored and furnished of the 21 California missions, offers both indoor and outdoor spaces to rent; Foley Estates Winery & Vineyard, with its expansive lawn and spacious tasting room, is ideal for high-end weddings and exclusive parties. Sanford Winery’s majestic barrel

Sanford Winery in Lompoc

La Purisma Mission in Lompoc

DISCOVER

L.A.’S COASTAL POINT OF VIEW FOR YOUR NEXT MEETING

P H O T O S : D U S T I N WA L L E R

Contemporary Hotels. Yacht Receptions. Poolside Networking. Waterfront Views. Six hotels, 100,000 square feet of meeting space and an abundance of waterfront dining - all just minutes from LAX and world-famous Venice Beach. Marina del Rey is home to six hotels Marriott | The Ritz-Carlton | Marina del Rey Hotel Hilton Garden Inn | Jamaica Bay Inn | Foghorn Inn Contact us to learn how you can save up to $2,000 in incentives for your next meeting.

marinameetings.com • 866.650.4567 • groups@visitmarinadelrey.com

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GO

& Plan on meeting here

Pechanga Summit Convention

MEET, EXPLORE, CONNECT GREATER ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA A breathtaking contemporary state of the art venue with more than 225,000 square feet of flexible column-free exhibit, meeting and function space, the Ontario Convention Center is ideal for conventions, trade shows, exhibits and meetings. Located just 2 miles from Ontario International Airport with access to a variety of hotel and dining options within walking distance, the center is frequently used by filmmakers as an on-site location for movies and commercials. • 225,000 total square feet with a 70,000 square foot column free exhibition hall • Full range of technology services • Award winning Executive Chef and service excellence • Complimentary hotel parking and shuttle service For meeting needs of all sizes – from a conference room to a citywide convention utilizing the Ontario Convention Center – or for a special exposition or sporting event, the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau will provide the necessary destination support tools to execute a successful experience.

For more information on planning your next adventure, visit GOcvb.org

800.455.5755

GOcvb.org

The Industry’s Most Powerful Resource Tool meetingsmags.com 150,000 Resource Listings One-Click RFP Expert Advice Weekly Local and National News City/Destination Profiles

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room, tasting room and patio with vineyard views, all provide memorable settings. La Purisima Golf Course and The Mission Club, Lompoc’s two golf courses, are both available for tournaments and special events.

Pechanga Resort Casino Entertaining doesn’t have to be hard when you have a heaping amount of choices. At Pechanga, celebrating a special event has never been easier. With options designed to accommodate every person on the guest list, choose from dozens of indoor and outdoor event spaces totaling nearly 275,000 square feet. Or, play host at one of Pechanga’s 13 restaurants ranging from casual and fun to sophisticated and upscale. A rustically chic option is ready to be discovered at Journey’s End, the Journey at Pechanga golf course’s dedicated restaurant with sweeping views of the greens and mountainside. Book a private dining room nestled within five Pechanga restaurants where it’s easy to play the gracious host by accompanying dinner with a wine pairing. Does an intimate gathering sound more like it? Take the party under the lights at the Cove event lawn, a gleaming

P H OTO : P E C H A N G A R E S O R T C A S I N O

• Over 6,000 hotel rooms available in Greater Ontario

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4.5-acre pool complex that lights up the night or elevate the party at the rooftop bar, lounge and party venue, The Eagle’s Nest. With carefully selected chefs, customizable menus and amenities for every guest’s desire, planning the perfect entertaining combination is easy.

UNCONVENTIONAL MEETINGS & EVENTS

GET CONNECTED CITY OF HENDERSON cityofhenderson.com 877.755.5252 GREATER ONTARIO CVB gocvb.org 909.937.3000 MARINA DEL REY visitmarinadelrey.com 310.306.9900 OUE SKYSPACE LA oue-skyspace.com 213.894.9000 PECHANGA RESORT CASINO pechanga.com 877.711.2946 VISIT BERKELEY visitberkeley.com/meetings-events 510.549.7040

Just 20 minutes from San Francisco, Berkeley offers more than 40 event venues, over 300 restaurants, and 1,400 guest rooms. Come mix flavors, change tempos, and break molds. Be bold. Meet in Berkeley.

VISIT LOMPOC explorelompoc.com 805.736.4567

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Industry Update HOTEL NEWS 43

PEOPLE NEWS

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BOOKING B E H AV I O R

in

“Room Block of the Future” reveals booking trends of large-scale, urban convention attendees.

Research courtesy of Kalibri Labs and Prism Advisory Group; funded by PCMA Foundation, NYC & Company and Hilton IN 2018, there were an estimated 500,000

PEOPLE PROFILE 48

business travelers attend citywide conventions

conventions in the U.S. with over 40 million attendees. Conventiongoers have many options when it comes to accommodations, and a positive hotel booking experience plays a part in their overall attendee experience. The purpose of “Room Block of the Future” is to better understand attendees’ room booking behavior and determine the influences and motivations that played a part in their decision. The findings could change how cities, hospitality organizations and business event professionals organize meetings and conferences. “The results of ‘Room Block of the Future’ reflect a shift in the industry that CVBs must adapt to,” says Jerry Cito, executive vice president, convention development at NYC & Company. “The findings will help NYC & Company educate planners and suppliers on the need for flexibility, pricing transparency and potential development of a cross-loyalty program.” Download the full report at pcma.co/roomblockresearch

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25% 50% 25%

book in hotels designated as part of the room block, but not through the conference room reservation system

of citywide convention attendees book through the conference organizer’s room reservation system

book in hotels that are not in the room block or in alternate accommodations

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INFOGRAPHIC

REASONS WHY

Cost

A common attendee misperception—affecting booking patterns across different sizes and types of conferences—is that hotel rooms within the block are more expensive. However, the research proves that in most cases (66 percent), rooms within the block are more affordable.

Loyalty

An inability to enter in a loyalty program number was among the top reasons attendees booked in hotels that are part of the room block, but not through the conference organizer’s reservation system.

“One of the more surprising findings from the research was the fact that almost 25 percent of attendees at large citywide conventions actually booked their accommodations at the hotels specified in the room block but did not go through the traditional room reservation process resulting in them not being recognized in the room block. Clearly, this segment of attendees’ room booking priorities were not being met by the existing process.” —MARK LOMANNO, PARTNER AT KALIBRI LABS

Room Choice

Room variety, or lack thereof, is another factor affecting booking patterns. Among many business travelers, a perceived rigidness and the inability to choose a preferred room type played a role.

Age

Overall, younger attendees (59 percent) are more likely to use alternative accommodations like Airbnb.

“It was very unexpected to learn from the survey of citywide attendees just how much it bothers them to lose control of their hotel booking process—being generally unable to do the things they normally do in hotel bookings, such as accessing their loyalty benefits. It’s this desire for control that creates frustration and prompts a quarter of them to make transient bookings in convention hotels to get what they want.” —ELAINE HENDRICKS, PARTNER AT PRISM ADVISORY GROUP

Kalibri Labs and Prism Advisory Group analyzed more than 2 million anonymous hotel and Airbnb guest records from conventions held in Houston, New York City and San Diego between 2015 and 2018 in addition to surveying a sample of U.S. business travelers who have attended a citywide convention.

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REGIONAL NEWS

FOOD & BEVERAGE»

An Exclusive New Wine Experience Flowers

Newly Remodeled Tasting Room in Santa Barbara

New Wine and Food Venue in Los Alamos

James Ontiveros, a Central Coast winemaker and ninth-generation Californian, has opened his Los Alamos tasting room, Ranchos de Ontiveros Wines, and partnered with Santa Barbara chef and caterer Conrad Gonzales on the food enterprise Cisko Kid. The two businesses are taking up residence in The Station, a 1926 landmark building. With a total indoor-outdoor footprint of 20,000 square feet, the space will also operate as a full-service event venue, offering Gonzales’ signature tacos, Santa Maria-style barbecue and wood-fire cuisine. ranchosdeontiveros.com

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P H O T O S : D O U G L A S F R I E D M A N ; B A R D E N TA S T I N G R O O M ; L A I N A S A N C H E Z ( O P P O S I T E ) H YAT T R E G E N C Y L A X ; A N D R E A D ’A G O S S T O

Flowers Vineyards & Winery, which pioneered the growing of pinot noir and chardonnay on the rugged coastal ridges of the extreme Sonoma Coast 25 years ago, has opened a new destination guest experience called House of Flowers. A 15.5-acre estate located just minutes from downtown Healdsburg, House of Flowers includes a hospitality house, winemaking facility, indoor and outdoor seating, expansive gardens, an outdoor wood-fired oven, and an educational culinary pairing program led by chef Jamil Peden. Tasting experiences include Experience Flowers, an opportunity to learn about what makes Flowers’ wines a unique expression of the Sonoma Coast, which features a welcome glass of rosé or pinot noir and a flight of four additional wines alongside a locally sourced, hand-crafted educational food pairing. Shared bottle experiences in the gardens are also available. Advance appointments are encouraged as each party will have a dedicated host to guide guests through their tasting. Private events for groups of seven or more are available. flowerswinery.com

The recently remodeled BARDEN Wines Tasting Room has made its debut in the historic El Paseo courtyard in Santa Barbara. The new look of the tavern-like space is Spanish-inspired and centers around a jewel-toned lounge area that’s anchored by the alcove bar. The patio is available for private day or evening events, accommodating up to 24 guests. BARDEN also offers customized private winemaking tastings for groups of six or more. BARDEN wines are more exclusively from grapes frown in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA; they produce about 800 cases a year. bardenwines.com

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P H O T O S : D O U G L A S F R I E D M A N ; B A R D E N TA S T I N G R O O M ; L A I N A S A N C H E Z ( O P P O S I T E ) H YAT T R E G E N C Y L A X ; A N D R E A D ’A G O S S T O

CREATIVE NEW CULINARY OFFERINGS AT HYATT REGENCY LAX A new executive chef is reimagining the catering options at this airportadjacent property. “Unquestionably Unairport” is the tagline of the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport. Though the 580-room property is located less than one block from LAX, it has the feel of a hip downtown hotel, thanks in part to its midcentury-modern furnishings and its food offerings, which include revered locally made products such as Randy’s Doughnuts, Coolhaus ice cream and spirits from Greenbar Distillery. That culinary innovation will expand under the stewardship of the newly appointed executive chef, Charlie Gold. A veteran of directing food and beverage at hotels that include Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Loews Hollywood and Manhattan Beach Marriott, Gold will oversee all culinary operations of the hotel, including meeting and event catering. (With the newly built Hyatt Regency Conference Center, the property has more than 52,000 square feet of meeting space.) Already Gold has introduced several creative additions to the catering menu. Among them: Imaginative meeting ‘break’ packages, including the Afternoon Sweet Tooth Package with pecan bars, lemon bars, warm soft pretzels with caramel dip and gluten-free chocolate cake. Memorable presentation displays for meeting and event receptions, including the Over the Top display that offers guests vanilla-infused foie gras torchon with local jams and fresh fruit; assorted toasts caviar with minced shallot, egg and chives, grated egg, chopped capers, crème fraiche and Buckwheat Blini Grassy Bar oysters with cocktail sauce, Worcestershire, sake mignonette and lemon wedges; Toro sushi and sashimi with soy sauce, pickled ginger; and wasabi Wagyu beef tartare with parmesan crisps, chopped capers and cornichons. Unique dessert creations that blend hot and cold ingredients and different textures, such as Warm Snicker-Croissant Bread Pudding with Hand Whipped Cream, Red Berry Cake with Macerated Berries and Toasted Meringue Cookie and Praline Crunch Carrot Cake. “Hyatt Regency LAX is positioned as one of the world’s great gateways,” Gold says, “and I am thrilled to carry the responsibility of introducing guests from near and far to the neighborhood fare and distinct flavors that are intrinsic to the culture of Los Angeles.” hyatt.com

1. 2. 3.

HOTEL NEWS»

Westin Long Beach Reveals $23 Million Renovation

The Westin Long Beach has debuted its $23 million renovation project, including the addition of an exciting new dining concept, Navy Proof Food and Spirits, and showcasing completely revitalized, modern guest rooms, and a refreshed lobby space. The new dining space boasts a dramatic three-story sculptural chandelier and a 32-by-30-foot living green wall and features locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and an ambitious cocktail program. “We are overjoyed with the updates and additions we were able to achieve to better serve our guests and the Long Beach community,” says John Thompson, managing director of The Westin Long Beach. “With this, we welcome guests both near and far to take in the beauty of not only our property but the amazing city it is a part of. Whether dining at Navy Proof Food and Spirits, sipping on Bluestone Lane coffee with friends or visiting one of the many attractions nearby, we look forward to creating lasting memories in our new space for years to come.” The downtown property has 469 guest rooms and over 51,000 square feet of event space. marriott.com

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REGIONAL NEWS

HOTEL NEWS»

New Boutique Property in Downtown San Diego The Guild Hotel, a 162-room Marriott Tribute Portfolio property in downtown San Diego is now open for business. Housed in the historic, century-old Army-Navy YMCA building, with the exterior detailing and façade meticulously restored, The Guild has over 18,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space. A standout is the 3,500-square-foot Grace Ballroom, the Y’s former basketball court now transformed into a venue flooded with natural light and access to the garden and a balcony mezzanine; capacity 300. The Garden Terrace, landscaped with succulents, olive and laurel cherry trees, seats 250. Among the more intimate meeting spaces is the Society Lounge, with a 65-inch media screen, a luxe wet bar and convertible marble tables; capacity 30 for a cocktail reception, 20 for theater set-up. theguildhotel.com

Hotel E, an upscale boutique hotel with 39 guest rooms, has opened in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa, offering easy access to Sonoma County’s wine country. With a spring 2020 expansion, the hotel will soon include a rooftop bar, two top-floor suites and a total of 70 guest rooms. Located on Courthouse Square, Hotel E brings new life to the town’s Empire Building, formerly housing a bank, college, and law firm. Built in 1908, the historic Empire Building has been restored and preserved in its newest iteration, including the return of the building’s iconic clocktower. The hotel’s public spaces are also imbued with a sense of place and history. The front doors open to an impressive, historic staircase, and the lobby is anchored by the property’s wine bar, The Enology Lounge. Also located on the main floor, Hotel E’s Empire Room offers 1,000 square feet of divisible meeting space overlooking the property’s courtyard through a wall of floor-toceiling windows. “We are delighted to finally share Hotel E with our guests, partners, and local community following a long restoration and renovation project,” says Vern Lakusta, general manager. “Throughout the entire process, we closely examined every aspect of our redesign to ensure that we were honoring the history of the building and local community. As the first new hotel since the devastating wildfires of 2017, we hope that Hotel E spurs on the revitalization of Santa Rosa and forever anchors the heart of our resilient town.” hotelesantarosa.com

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P H OTO S : R O B E R T B E N S O N ; A DA M JACO B S ; ( O P P O S I T E ) A N D R E A D ’A G O S T O

SANTA ROSA HAS A NEW BOUTIQUE PROPERTY

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P H OTO S : R O B E R T B E N S O N ; A DA M JACO B S ; ( O P P O S I T E ) A N D R E A D ’A G O S T O

PEOPLE NEWS» Cindy Ramesh has been

named complex director of sales and marketing for Hilton Hotels of San Francisco of Union Square. Ramesh has been in the tourism industry for 25 years, starting her career in Monterey. For many years, she was the director of sales at the former DoubleTree Monterey Hotel and Conference Center and was instrumental in establishing the Monterey Meeting Connection. She eventually left to assist in the creation of the Monterey Convention Authority as director of sales and marketing. Ramesh then moved on to the planning side of the business and worked as regional vice president for ConferenceDirect in Portland Oregon, a third-party sourcing and planning company. In that role, she worked mainly with Fortune 500 Technology Companies on their meetings and events. For the past 10 years, she has been at Hilton San Francisco Union Square as the director of sales, and since 2015 she has been responsible for the complex, which includes the addition of the Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel. JC Resorts is welcoming a new culinary lineup at Surf & Sand Resort and Rancho Bernardo Inn. After three and a half years as executive chef at Laguna Beach’s Surf & Sand, Ron Fougeray has been promoted to corporate executive chef for JC Resorts. Chris Gentile is the new chef de cuisine at AVANT, the signature restaurant at Rancho Bernardo Inn, and Chris Reid has become the director of food and beverage at the luxury San Diego Resort. Jonathan

Litvack joins

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa as its new general manager. He’ll lead the 300-room property through its transition following a multiyear redesign of all facets of the resort.

Litvack bring 25 years of hotel experience to his appointment, including six years as general manager at Sheraton Grand Los Angeles. Coronado Island Marriott Resort has 23 meeting rooms and 25,000 square feet of total event space. The recent property-wide renovation reintroduced the property as a bayside wellness resort with renovated guest rooms, lobby, meeting and event spaces, as well as new dining concepts, spa and wellness center, refreshed pool, programming, and more. Dustin Taylor has been named executive chef at AC Hotel Los Angeles South Bay, the newly opened 180-room property in El Segundo. Taylor brings over 20 years of experience to his role, with time spent in the kitchens of The Anchor in Venice, Michael’s Santa Monica and Comme Ca in West Hollywood. At the new-build hotel, Taylor will be responsible for culinary direction, menu development and working closely with the dedicated kitchen staff on curating seasonally inspired. He’s also spearheading the launch of Flora, the hotel’s elevated rooftop restaurant and bar. “I’m happy to bring my passion for hospitality to this incredible new venue,” Taylor says, “and I’m sincerely honored to join this team, which has already proven to be an incredibly hardworking group,” says Taylor. “We can’t wait to debut Flora and really blow the top off of South Bay and bring more people to the area, specifically El Segundo, which is rapidly becoming a culinary destination. I just want to be part of the movement.” Pat Sorber is the new gen-

eral manager at Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa, the 64-room Victorian-inspired hillside property in Sausalito. Sorber is a hospitality industry veteran and has held general manager positions at several Northern California hotels, including Four Points by Sheraton in San

Rafael, Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf and San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf. She was the first recipient of the San Francisco Hotel Council’s annual Hotel Heroes Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004 and served as Board Chair for both the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce and the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau. David Hoffman has been

named general manager of the Pendry West Hollywood and Pendry Residences West Hollywood by Montage Hotels & Resorts, scheduled to open in 2020. In this role, Hoffman will oversee the operations of the entire mixed-use project, including the 149 guest rooms, as well as the 40 Pendry Residences West Hollywood by Montage Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, Hoffman served as the general manager of Sagamore Pendry Baltimore. Prior to this position, he served in leadership roles opening several Montage International properties including Montage Kapalua Bay, where he was the resort manager, as well as Montage Beverly Hills as hotel manager and Montage Laguna Beach where he served as director of rooms. Hoffman worked for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts for eight years prior to joining Montage International. Working alongside Hoffman is Karen Dailey, who assumes the role of director of sales and marketing. With more than 18 years of industry experience throughout Los Angeles, Dailey is a local hospitality veteran, having held positions as director of sales & marketing for Viceroy Santa Monica; sales manager for W Hollywood Hotel & Residences; associate director of sales for Thompson Beverly Hills; group sales manager for W Los Angeles; group sales manager for St. Regis Los Angeles & Westin Century Plaza and, most recently, director of sales and marketing for Sydell Group at LINE LA.

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SNAPSHOTS DERBY DAYS IN SACRAMENTO

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MPI Sacramento Sierra Nevada celebrates Derby Days

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The annual education luncheon and trade show of the Sacramento Sierra Nevada chapter of Meeting Professionals International brought out many fancy hats and the smaller accessories known as “fascinators,” a nod to the “Derby Days” theme. Held in the Clubhouse at the Cal Expo racetrack, the event’s bar served up mint juleps, another merry bow to the theme.

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1. Ray Roa, CSEP, Visalia Convention Center. 2. Danny Pferschy, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno. 3. Leah Banchero, DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country. 4. Kimberly Dunnegan, Visit Newport Beach. 5. Elizabeth Pemberton, Embassy Suites Monterey Bay Seaside. 6. Matt Brezinski, San Francisco Travel Association. 7. Terry Schroeder, CMP, and Kristine van Winkle, CMP, CASE, CTE, Marriott International. 8. Marcia Durst, CMP, Durst Event Strategies, with Paul Dickey, Mercy Peddlers. 9. Sandy Smart, DoubleTree Hotel & Spa, Napa Valley/ American Canyon. —Photos by MPI Sacramento Sierra Nevada

SUBMIT YOUR EVENT PHOTOS To have your meeting or event photos featured here, contact the editor at shelley.levitt@tigeroak.com.

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PEOPLE PROFILE JEFF DOUGHERTY

CAM+E: What does your sense of humor bring to Visit Sacramento? JD: It definitely gives our destination more exposure. I was sitting at a reverse trade show, watching suppliers go from appointment to appointment repeating their same spiel. None of them was going to be remembered. I wanted to do something different. This led to the birth of “flat Mr. Sacramento.” I start each appointment with a leave-behind flat Mr. Sacramento, which has a few fun facts on the back and a call to action: “Take a picture with Mr. Sacramento and share it on social media for a chance to win a fabulous prize.” Everyone loves it.

‘MR. SACRAMENTO’ IS SPREADING SMILES

Jeff Dougherty, association sales director for Visit Sacramento, likes to leave groups laughing. BY J A N E T F U L LWO OD ASSOCIATION MEETINGS GURU JEFF DOUGHERTY, aka “Mr. Sacramento,” is known for his offbeat sense of humor. Whatever the theme of the occasion, he dresses the part—as a superhero, a horse jockey, a leprechaun or even a fork. On the serious side, in his role as director of California State Association Sales for Visit Sacramento, Dougherty is charged with soliciting association meetings and knowing what works for each group.

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CAM+E: What can you do for planners that’s a bit out of the ordinary? JD: We have an amazing convention services team that lets nothing get in the way of giving clients what they need. From help with marketing materials to setting up tours of unique reception venues, they are here to help. I like to say we have a secret service menu, like In-N-Out Burger. The Visit Sacramento menu offers Mr. Sacramento, a leprechaun or whoever or whatever else might be fitting to the occasion to welcome attendees to your conference. CAM+E: What do you want meeting planners to know about bringing a group to Sacramento? JD: We offer an ideal location to get a true taste of California in a single stop: delicious food and wine, fantastic weather, music, art and an array of exciting activities. Our convention center may be closed for renovation, but Sacramento is certainly open for business. And, post-expansion is booking fast.

P H OTO CO U R T E SY O F J E F F D O U G H E R T Y

CAM+E: How important is the association market to Sacramento, and how are you dealing with the challenges posed by the Sacramento Convention Center being closed [until fall 2020] for a major expansion and renovation? JD: The association market is huge in Sacramento. With the convention center closed, we are working with many groups and hotels to creatively book “miniwides” [conferences split among multiple venues]. For example, CalSAE will be splitting its Seasonal Spectacular show between the Sheraton Grand and Hyatt Regency this year.

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