Prevue November/December 2015 - (Page 63)

Los Angeles VIP experiences add glitz and glamour to L.A. meetings [ON LOCATION] BARBARA SCOFIDIO W hile not every group can experience the Emmys, Oscars or Golden Globes, they can certainly get a taste of the glam. Whether that means a private party for 1,500 on the Warner Bros. Studios lot, or an exclusive VIP red carpet event in Hollywood at the Dolby Theater (the setting for the Academy Awards), the opportunities for entertainment-oriented experiences abound. QUINTESSENTIAL L.A. During a recent meeting of its customer advisory board, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board staged an unforgettable evening at the 67th Annual Emmy Awards. The day had begun with an outdoor breakfast at NOE at the Omni Los Angeles, featuring egg and waffle dishes themed after TV shows. Attendees were then treated to their choice of manicures, pedicures, hair or makeup-de rigueur before attending any awards event. Goodie bags in the rooms included glitter nail polish for those who chose to do their own. After group photos at the pre-event reception at the Conga Room, it was just a few short steps to the Microsoft Theater, where the awards were held. "It's the quintessential L.A. experience," says Darren Green, senior VP of sales for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, who hosted the group. "Only in L.A. can you experience something like an awards show right downtown in the heart of the city." DOWNTOWN RENAISSANCE Downtown, the new Wilshire Grand, opening in 2017 with 900 rooms, will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi and literally change the landscape of downtown LA. An interesting feature: Guests will take high-speed elevators to the top floor to check in. Other developments include a new Hotel Indigo and a major re-do of the iconic Hotel Figueroa. A $160 million re-creation of downtown's flagship Macy's into an open-air shopping experience known as The Bloc will include other complimentary boutiques such as Le Bon Marché and Avenue Montaigne, as well as eateries, art installations and a fully refurbished 485-room Sheraton. All are expected to open in late 2015. The same weekend as the Emmy Awards, a brand new contemporary at museum, The Broad, featuring the collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, opened across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The massive L.A. Live complex has changed the face of the area around the Los Angeles Convention Center, which just received LEED Gold certification and is moving closer to a major renovation, being voted on this fall. A 23-story combined Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott opened there last summer, with a total of 392 rooms and 11,754 sf of meeting space; the JW Marriott will be adding a 1,000-room tower; and the Luxe Hotel will become the city's third W in 2019. Also in the L.A. Live area, the Grammy Museum can be taken over for group events, or companies can host cocktails on its top floor, with an outdoor terrace that accommodates 150, or 250 including the indoor space. Add to all this hotel development the numerous new restaurants being opened downtown by talented emerging and established chefs, and there's no question: This city is white hot. Downtown is exploding, and the renaissance is amazing to watch," says Green. "The new room inventory is really going to add a lot to the experience of downtown L.A. We're re-creating ourselves in terms of what we have to offer groups." | 59

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue November/December 2015

Planner’s Pick: Salt Lake City
Bureau Buzz: Birmingham
Fresh Meets: Melia Hotels International
Good Business: Community Outreach at ASAE
Sea Shores: Crystal Cruises
Ode to Inspiration
On Location: South Korea
On Location: Istanbul
On Location: Panama
On Location: Scottsdale
Checkout: Kalahari Resort & Convention Center

Prevue November/December 2015