The center of California's celebrated Orange County, Irvine is where natural beauty, perfect weather and a rich business climate serve to enhance a sophisticated community. Irvine event venues offer an enticing package for meeting planners: state-of-the-art meeting facilities alongside an eclectic blend of outdoor recreation, culture, incredible shopping, diverse dining and historical points-of-interest.
Widely considered the business capital of Orange County, Irvine is the world headquarters for Fortune 1000 companies Broadcom, Allergan, Group International, Gateway Inc., Blizzard Entertainment, Western Digital, and Vizio. It is also the headquarters for LA Fitness and the regional headquarters for Google. Institutes of higher education include the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Concordia University, Irvine Valley College, the Orange County Center of the University of Southern California (USC) and a branch of Pepperdine University. This combination of high tech, medical and lifestyle industry professionals, coupled with a large academic population, provides access to speakers and group activities, as well as ensuring a lively mix of culture, dining and nightlife.
While John Wayne/Orange County Airport is less than five miles from the city center, Long Beach Airport and Los Angeles International are also within close proximity allowing for multiple travel choices. Once in the city, attractions are easily accessible by car, or visitors can utilize the county's public transportation network which includes iShuttle, a fixed-route bus system with stops within the Irvine business sector (as well as John Wayne Airport).
There are 14 hotels in Irvine, including three major hotels with impressive meeting facilities: the Hyatt Regency Irvine, which boasts 36,000 square feet of meeting space, the Irvine Marriott with 27,000 square feet of space and the Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport, with 23,000 square feet.
For off-site facilities, planners can take their pick from a wide selection of diverse properties. Some of the facilities are specialized, like the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, which offers 45,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, as well as a 200-seat auditorium, for meetings in the medical, technology and science fields. Others, like the versatile, 22,000-square-foot Bren Events Center, can be adapted for concerts, large meetings, small conferences or sporting events.
Thanks to Disney (and, to a lesser degree, Knott's Berry Farm), Orange County is known the world over for its family-friendliness. Family-friendly sites that are particular to Irvine include the Orange County Great Park - with its free (and safe) helium balloon ride that takes guests of all ages 400 feet above Orange County; the Pretend City Children's Museum, where children use props and amenities to "play grown-up"; and Irvine Regional Park, which hosts the Orange County Zoo and where outdoor event areas can be reached by foot or by miniature train. Each of these attractions also doubles as an event space, allowing attendees to enjoy the great California outdoors - and to get in touch with their inner child.
For longer meetings or an enjoyable extended stay, Irvine is only nine miles from Orange County beaches and 45 miles south from downtown Los Angeles.
Nestled in the center of Orange County and spanning 45 square miles, Irvine is an enticing Southern California city, brimming with Fortune 1000 corporations, world-class shopping, outdoor recreation, golf, diverse eateries and proximity to beautiful beaches. As a community, Irvine is known for its low crime rate, great schools and booming economy; in fact, it has been named "America's Safest Big City" by the FBI for six consecutive years. Its endless offerings and a high quality of life make Irvine the city of choice for approximately 218,000 residents.
Not formally incorporated until 1971, Irvine is a planned city largely developed by the family-owned Irvine Company. (The city's namesake, James Irvine, was the 19th-century scion who owned land spanning 23 miles from the Pacific to the Santa Ana River.) Irvine's origins can be explored at attractions such as the Irvine Historical Museum and, the Irvine Ranch Historical Park.
There is no shortage of exhibits, performances and lively events in Irvine. Musicians and dancers take to the stage at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, while the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (formerly the Orange County Performing Arts Center) presents everything from Broadway shows to musical icons. The world-renowned Irvine Museum is the only museum in California dedicated to the preservation and display of California Impressionism. These assets, along with events like the Irvine Global Village Festival (which celebrates the city's diverse residents), not only demonstrate Irvine's dedication to arts and culture, they provide opportunities for entertainment and meeting program enrichment.
But when it comes to shopping, Irvine truly has few rivals. The spectacular Irvine Spectrum Center is considered one of the country's premier shopping and entertainment centers; it has 1.3 million square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space (and counting!) and features nine fountains; a carousel with antique-design horses and menagerie animals; and a 108-foot tall Ferris Wheel that was designed and hand-crafted for the center in Italy. The Spectrum Center features Nordstrom, Macy's and Target as its anchors, as well as more than 130 stores, restaurants and entertainment spaces, including a 6,400 seat, 21-screen movie theater with an IMAX theater (available for rental) and the number-one comedy club in the U.S., the Improv. Other shopping complexes are The Market Place and nearby Newport Beach's Fashion Island.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Irvine experiences a Mediterranean climate with mild temperatures year round. Temperatures average 76° F annually, with summers averaging between 79 and 84° F, and winters averaging around 60° F. The area receives an average of 13.8 inches of rainfall each year, mainly in the winter months. The city does not receive snow fall, but frost is possible.
While Irvine is a year-round destination, the dry seasons of spring and summer are largely considered the best times to visit.
When it comes to meeting planning in Irvine, planners can take their pick from a good selection of meeting sites and hotels. There are 14 hotels in Irvine comprising a room inventory of 3,400, including three major hotels with impressive meeting facilities: the Hyatt Regency Irvine, which boasts 36,000 square feet of meeting space, the Irvine Marriott with 27,000 square feet of space and the Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport, with 23,000 square feet. More meeting facilities can be found at Embassy Suites Irvine, Crowne Plaza Irvine, Atrium Hotel Irvine and Doubletree Irvine.
Bren Events Center At The University of California, Irvine
Mesa Rd. and West Peltason Dr.
Irvine, CA 92617
Total Meeting Space - 22,000 Sq. Ft.
John Wayne/Orange County Airport (SNA)
Approximate taxi fare: $30 USD
John Wayne Airport provides easy access to destinations across the U.S. and offers a convenient alternative to Los Angeles International Airport. The airport is currently home to eight airlines with nonstop service to nineteen cities. Approximately nine million passengers pass through John Wayne Airport every year making it the area's second busiest. Passengers at John Wayne Airport can easily find connecting service to cities across the country and the globe.
The airport consists of one terminal building that is divided into two sections. Currently, temporary satellite structures serve commuter flights; however an ongoing expansion project will result in the creation of six new gates, and alleviate the need for the temporary structures.
Travelers at John Wayne Airport can find a large number of diversions while awaiting flights. Hungry passengers can stop in for a bite to eat at a number of eateries including casual dining options and theme restaurants. Highlights include the Gibson Guitar Lounge and the Oasis Grill and Sky Lounge. Travelers needing last minute gifts will be pleased with the options for shopping at John Wayne Airport. Newsstands are scattered throughout the terminal building, and shoppers can drop by South Coast News to pick up items unique to Orange County and Southern California. In addition to outstanding shopping and dining options, the airport also offers free wireless Internet access to passengers.
Airline Carriers serving John Wayne Airport
Amtrak provides service to Irvine via the Pacific Surfliner route. Originating in San Luis Obispo, the Pacific Surfliner includes stops in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego. The Pacific Surfliner has several scheduled departures each day. Amtrak passengers can transfer to the Metrolink from the Irvine station for travel to Los Angeles and surrounding areas.
Residents and visitors to Irvine are able to move easily throughout the region via a system of buses and a light rail operated by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). The system consists of 77 bus routes running throughout the county and covers all major spots in Irvine and the surrounding cities. Fare for local bus routes is $1.50 for adults and $0.60 for seniors age 65 and older. Multiple day passes are available for purchase as well. OCTA also participates in the Metrolink light rail system, which includes three lines and 11 stations in Orange County. From Irvine, riders can take the Orange County line to Los Angeles or the IEOC line to Riverside. Fares for Metrolink are based on the distance traveled.
A number of companies provide shared ride shuttle service from John Wayne Airport. Shared van service between the airport and Irvine is approximately $20. However, since most Irvine hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport; please check with the meeting's host property before engaging outside shuttle services.
Car rental service is available at John Wayne Airport. Counters for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty are located on the ground floor of the terminal across from the statue of John Wayne.
Taxi service is readily available at John Wayne Airport. Cabs operate on the meter system, but a flat rate can be requested in advance. A typical fare to Irvine is approximately $30.
Photo Credit : Destination Irvine
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