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As the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles rolls out the red carpet for meetings and events, from intimate gatherings to large-scale conventions. Los Angeles is also a major hub for international trade and commerce and a cultural icon for arts, fashion and literature with more museums and theaters than any other city in the U.S. From theme parks and studio backlots to beachfront resorts, the extraordinary variety of Los Angeles event venues can't be matched anywhere else.
The city is seasoned at hosting world-class events. With top-notch accommodations and facilities, a year-round sunny climate, and a culture rich in diversity, in Los Angeles, everyone is welcome.
Meeting planners should reach out to Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, the city's official destination marketing organization, for specific planning requests. They are experts with the inside scoop and a host of free services to help meeting planners get the best of their Los Angeles experience.
By plane, train, or automobile, visitors to L.A. will have no trouble arriving in style. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) processes almost 75 million people every year. The 4th-busiest airport in the world, it serves 251 destinations home and abroad with nearly 900 daily flights. The city's accessibility is further heightened by several additional airports, all of which are fewer than 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles—John Wayne (Anaheim); Hollywood Burbank Airport (formerly Bob Hope Airport); Long Beach Airport and Palmdale. LA/Ontario International, in Ontario, approximately 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is the area's other international airport, serving, Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as mainly West Coast destinations. Palm Springs International is also approximately 100 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
The county's Metro system of 200 bus lines and eight rail lines connects visitors to most neighborhoods in the area, while the quick, affordable DASH Downtown buses offer service to points of interest such as Chinatown, Union Station and L.A. LIVE. With the new Metro Expo Line extension, visitors can now travel from Downtown L.A. to sunny Santa Monica Beach in under 45 minutes, and further expansions of the public transportation system are already in progress.
Entering downtown, planners can enjoy a wealth of meeting facilities suited for groups of all sizes. The stunning glass-and-steel Los Angeles Convention Center, the city's principal events center, boasts the sought-after Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) designation from the United States Green Building Council. Within walking distance to a number of world-class LA meeting hotels, the L.A. Convention center boasts 770,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, 102,000 square feet of meeting space and a 299-seat theater.
The convention center, along with the STAPLES Center and Microsoft Square, is part of the L.A. LIVE entertainment complex, a 5.6-million-square-foot entertainment campus. This 27-acre mixed-use development boasts more than six blocks of entertainment facilities, restaurants, cinemas, bowling lanes, music clubs and museums, including the 7,100-seat Microsoft Theatre, The GRAMMY Museum and four hotels: the 878-room JW Marriott Los Angeles, 123-room The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles Hotel & Residences, the 169-room Courtyard Los Angeles L.A. Live and the 219-all-suite Residence Inn L.A. Live.
Meeting sites in Los Angeles can take any form. Need something cutting edge? The stainless steel Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry, can seat 2,265 people and is home to the city's philharmonic orchestra.
What about a taste of Old Hollywood? Host to countless premieres and three Academy Award ceremonies, TCL Chinese Theatre is one of the most sought-after locations for private events and screenings since 1927.
Groups can soak up the California sun by hosting an event among the 18,000 plants at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Or, wait until the sun goes down to make the most of LA's vibrant nightlife. Restaurants and clubs such as Koi, Spago (Wolfgang Puck presides over two Michelin stars), La Boheme and Sky Bar at the Mondrian Hotel offer fine food and trendy music to liven up events of all sizes. One of the most sought after event spaces is High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach, where the view over the beach and ocean will make attendees forget they're in the second-largest urban landscape in North America.
International trade, entertainment, aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion and tourism dominate LA's economy. The contiguous ports of L.A. and Long Beach also comprise one of the busiest ports in the world. Los Angeles has 23 of the 57 California companies in the Fortune 500 list and is home to 200 colleges and universities, including the University of Southern California, UCLA and Pepperdine University.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
With approximately 292 days of sunshine a year, it's hard to find a bad time to visit. The winters in LA tend to be mild and wet but rarely snowy, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Summer brings highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s.
February is the wettest month and August is the driest, hottest month. The coastline sees temperatures about five degrees cooler than inland year-round, thanks to a cooling effect is caused by the marine layer. July and August are the best months to enjoy the beach, but September and October are best for enjoying all that the city has to offer, when clear, sunny days and little fog are the norm.
Los Angeles Convention Center
The Los Angeles Convention Center attracts meetings and conventions not only for its expansive facility space, but also for its stunning design. Its trademark glass and steel, emerald-hued façade serves as an iconic landmark of the cityscape. Flooded with sunlight, the spacious lobbies are filled with artwork by nationally recognized names. Located in the heart of downtown, the center is fewer than 20 miles from Los Angeles International Airport, and the adjacent central business district has over 7,600 hotel rooms.
Inside, the Los Angeles Convention Center boasts 770,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, 64 meeting rooms totaling 102,000 square feet, and a 299-seat theater. The 347,000-square-foot South Hall has over 16,500 square feet of registration space, while the 210,000 square feet of exhibit space in the West Hall includes 9,230 square feet of pre-function area. Guests to the center can easily traverse between the two main halls via the two-story meeting room concourse.
The expansive facilities at the center are matched by the breadth of its amenities. Event attendees can take advantage of a full-service business center, three food courts, and onsite parking for up to 5,600 vehicles. The 162,000-square-foot Kentia Hall can be converted to accommodate an additional 415 spaces. The center's food and beverage department offers services such as custom menu design, full decorating services, specialty linen, and more to groups of 10 to 7,000 people.
One of the most technologically advanced meeting and convention facilities in the world, the Los Angeles Convention Center offers a wide array of professional A/V services. Facility-wide gigabit-speed fiber optic cabling and wireless Internet allow for rapid connectivity and streaming video.
Always ahead of the curve, the Los Angeles Convention Center became the first convention center of age and size in the United States to gain certification in Leadership and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. Green practices are in effect throughout the convention center, from the use of biodegradable or compostable products in the food services department to the over 1,900 high efficiency lighting units used in the exhibit halls. The center is also the largest solar-generating convention center in North America.
Not surprisingly, the Los Angeles Convention Center is a much sought-after facility, hosting over 2.5 million visitors annually. The center has received numerous industry awards, including several Planner's Choice Awards from MeetingNews magazine and Prime Site Awards from Facilities and Destinations magazine.
CMC - California Market Center
Located in downtown's Fashion District, the California Market Center is home to wholesale fashion showrooms, offices, studio spaces, fashion design schools, restaurants and, of course, plenty of special event spaces. From the panoramic views and whitewashed ceilings of the Penthouse to the sleek marble floors and natural light of the Atrium, the center has over 40 dedicated event spaces. Events at CMC can also take advantage of an onsite events assistant, A/V equipment and convenient underground parking.
Over 30 tons of glass fixtures by Rene Lalique, mallechort elevator doors, Art Deco fixtures and molded plaster ceiling panels fill the interior of the Italian Romanesque structure housing Cicada Restaurant, located in the former headquarters of haberdashers Alexander & Oviatt. The indoor-outdoor Oviatt Penthouse is well-suited to weddings, conferences, ceremonies and more, offering amenities such as a dance floor, heated lamps, dressing areas, and a sound system.
Davidson Executive Conference Center
Featuring soaring brick arches and a 75-foot-tall tower, the Davidson Continuing Education Conference Center is a landmark at the University of Southern California's University Park campus. The 36,000-square-foot building regularly hosts conferences, symposiums, and other educational programs. It features six meeting facilities and conference services including catering.
Hilton Los Angeles Airport
Offering luxury hotel services and a prime location, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport boasts 1,234 rooms, equipped with wireless Wi-Fi, high-speed Internet access, flat-screen televisions, and spacious work stations. One of the world's largest airport hotels, the Hilton's conference center includes a business center, two boardrooms, 58 meeting rooms, and a ballroom with space for up to 1,300 people. A complimentary shuttle ferries guests to and from Los Angeles International Airport every 15 minutes.
Chef Suzanne Tracht, a Bravo TV's Top Chef Masters contestant, dazzles guests with comforting retro dishes at her modern chophouse in the heart of Los Angeles. Designed with the style and sophistication of a 1940s supper club, Jar offers up hearty entrees such as the signature pot roast with carrots and caramelized onions. This self-described "quintessential neighborhood restaurant" welcomes events large and small in its main dining room and semi-private lounge area.
Regal L.A. Live: A Barco Innovation Center
The 5.6 million-square-foot entertainment campus LA LIVE is making a statement on LA's meetings and events scene. This 27-acre mixed-use development boasts over six blocks of entertainment facilities, restaurants, cinemas, bowling lanes, music clubs, museums and more.
LA LIVE's ever-growing campus continues to expand with new, exciting event space. In 2009, a 140,000-square-foot Regal Cinemas, the brand's West Coast flagship, opened at the complex. It features 3,800 seats including an 800-seat premiere house. Meanwhile, 2010 saw the opening of an 878-room JW Marriott Hotel and a 123-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel at LA LIVE. Housed in a shared 54-story tower, these hotels offer over 75,000 square feet of indoor meeting space at the Gallery Collection, which includes three ballrooms and nine meeting rooms.
Microsoft Theater L.A. Live
The area location of choice for performers such as the Eagles and Sugarland, the 7,100-seat Microsoft Theater LA LIVE offers guests mid-size intimacy with no seat further than 220 feet from the stage. It also boasts 12 luxury boxes, 250 luxury seats and 12,000 square feet of VIP and hospitality areas. The two-level Wachovia VIP Lounge offers exclusive access and a private patio. The Microsoft Theater's state-of-the-art technology includes $2 million in specialty lighting and rigging, a $1.5 million JBL VerTec facility sound system, and over 5,000 square feet of LED screens.
The anchor of the LA LIVE complex is the STAPLES Center, the self-proclaimed world's most successful arena. The 20,000-square-foot arena is home to five professional sports teams (Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Sparks, Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Avengers) and also hosts about 240 events each year, ranging from family entertainment to award shows. STAPLES Center has several club and restaurant spaces that can accommodate groups of up to 500 people, as well as a conference center and meeting rooms complete with Internet capabilities, on-site catering and telecom services.
The Olympic Collection Banquet & Conference Center
Offering the features and services of a five-star hotel but not the prices, the Olympic Collection Banquet & Conference Center can accommodate social events, large parties, meetings and more. Its over 30,000 square feet of event space encompasses eight banquet halls and an open-air terrace. The Grand Ballroom, the largest space, can host up to 995 guests.
In addition to offering audio-visual technology, the center's catering team specializes in groups of 25 to 1,500 people. A gorgeous setting overall, the Olympic Collection is a popular choice for film and television productions, having been most recently featured in the Academy Award-winning film American Beauty.
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles
Located in the heart of downtown LA's financial district, the Westin Bonaventure is an attraction in and of itself. A futuristic design and its trademark cylindrical mirrored towers have made it the shooting location of choice for films such as True Lies, Lethal Weapon 2, and Rain Man. Its central atrium houses 42 restaurants and shops, a state-of-the-art gym, and a revolving cocktail lounge. With 130,000 square feet of meeting space, the 1,354-room Westin is the largest convention hotel in the city.
Westside Conference Center at Pepperdine University
Located at Pepperdine University's West Los Angeles Graduate Campus just minutes from Los Angeles International Airport, the Westside Conference Center is one of the city's newest sites for conferences, training and seminars. Capable of hosting 10 to 40 people, the center's various classrooms and boardrooms can be arranged to suit intimate business meetings or large-scale lectures.
All meeting rooms feature wireless connectivity and multimedia projectors. The full-service dining room offers catering services for up to 100 people. On-site parking is available.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Approximate taxi fare: $74 USD
Los Angeles International Airport, commonly called "LAX," is the main airport serving the Los Angeles area. It is the seventh-busiest airport for passenger traffic in the world and third-busiest in the U.S. It operates as a main hub for United Airlines, a secondary hub for Delta, and is a main city for Southwest, Alaska, and American Airlines. LAX serves 69 international and 87 domestic destinations. All international arrivals and departures are serviced through the Tom Bradley International Terminal which was recently renovated and boasts over 70 new retail and dining outlets.
To get from the airport to a given destination, there are a number of options which include taxis, rental cars, door-to-door shuttle vans, long-distance vans, public buses, direct-to-airport buses and the Metro Rail Green Line (light rail). Taxis are a $42 flat fare from LAX to downtown LA, about $35 to Hollywood, about $20 to Santa Monica, $25 to Beverly Hills, and from $45 to $60 to Pasadena and the Valley; all include a service charge of $2.50 and a $15 minimum fare for service starting at the airport.
Two ride-share van companies serve the airport: SuperShuttle and PrimeTime Shuttle, and fares are typically $20-$55 per person depending on the destination. Many area hotels will provide complimentary shuttle service from the airport, so check this option before booking another service. There are 10 rental car companies with airport curbside drop-off and pick-up shuttles, and 30 other rental car companies that are accessible by placing a phone request for a pickup shuttle at the airport. The Metro Rail Green Line accesses the Metrolink and Amtrak system by a free shuttle and can take you as far north as Santa Barbara, as far east as San Bernardino and as far south as San Diego, and to many points in between. Public buses with service to the airport include the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, the Torrance City Transit and the Culver City Bus Lines.
Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
Approximate taxi fare: $59 USD
The closest airport to Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, and downtown LA, Hollywood Burbank Airport (formerly Bob Hope Airport) is a gateway to and from the region for more than 4.5 million passengers per year. The airport provides non-stop service throughout the western United States, direct flights to New York City, and connecting flights throughout the entire country.
A convenient and efficient facility for business and leisure travelers alike, Hollywood Burbank Airport features a number of services and amenities including wireless Internet access, restaurants, gift shops, and valet parking.
Airline carriers serving Bob Hope Airport
John Wayne Airport (SNA)
Approximate taxi fare: $128 USD
Located about 35 miles south of Los Angeles, John Wayne Airport is the only commercial service airport in Orange County. The airport offers non-stop service to over 15 destinations in the United States, including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Houston, and Minneapolis.
The airport has several fast food and full-service eateries as well as a number of gift shops and newsstands. Parking is available in a valet lot, terminal lot and Parking Lot C, which offers shuttle service to the terminal. Parking is set at $2 per hour. Terminal Parking is a maximum $20 per day and Parking Lot C charges up to $17 per day.
Airline carriers serving John Wayne Airport
Opened in 1939, Union Station is known as the "Last of the Great Railway Stations." The rail terminal serves five Amtrak routes: Coast Starlight, which travels from Seattle to LA; Pacific Surfliner, which travels from San Luis Obispo to San Diego; Southwest Chief, which travels from LA to Chicago; Sunset Limited, which travels from LA to New Orleans; and Texas Eagle, which travels from LA to San Antonio.
LA's Union Station is open 24 hours a day.
Operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro consists of 200 bus lines and four rail lines traveling across the county.
Schedules for Metro vary based on route. Regular base fare is $1.25 and $0.55 for seniors. Day passes, good for local travel all day, are $5 for regular fare and $1.80 for seniors. Exact fare is required for buses. Tickets for the Metro rail system, including the Orange line, are purchased prior to boarding from self-service ticket vending machines.
Metro Rail System
Metro Rail runs on eight color-coded subway, light rail, and rapid bus transit lines. The light rail Blue line runs north and south between Long Beach and LA; the light rail Green line runs east and west between Norwalk and Redondo Beach; the subway Red line offers service in downtown and Hollywood; the rapid bus transit Orange line runs from North Hollywood to the Warner Center; the subway Purple line runs between Union Station, Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue; the silver line goes from El Monte to the Pacific Coast Highway Station; the light rail Gold line connects to the Red line and runs to Pasadena; and the newly opened Expo Line goes from Downtown LA to Santa Monica Beach.
Metro buses travel to every major destination in the area on 200 different lines. Orange buses, or Metro Local, stop at points of interest in the city. Red buses, or Metro Rapid, expedite travel with fewer stops and special transponders at major streets that alter traffic signals to favor the bus. Blue Metro Express buses have reduced service along the freeways.
The city of Los Angeles Transportation (LADOT) operates the second largest fleet in the county, serving about 30 million passenger each year. Its six quick DASH Downtown bus routes run during the weekday every five to 20 minutes, depending on route. Some routes offer weekend service every six to 20 minutes. Stops of interest include Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Union Station and the Fashion District.
Regular DASH fare is $0.25. Fare for seniors is $0.10.
The affordable FlyAway buses offer fast service between downtown and Los Angeles International Airport or between Van Nuys Airport and LAX. FlyAway buses pick up passengers at the Lower/Arrivals level of Los Angeles International and drop off at the Upper/Departures level.
FlyAway buses run non-stop service every 30 minutes; early morning and weekend departures vary. One-way fare from Van Nuys and Union Station is $6; one-way fare from Westwood is $5. Discounted one-way fare for seniors is $4. Children under 2 ride for free.
Los Angeles' airports have several onsite and offsite rental car companies. Popular onsite companies include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.
About 40 rental car companies operate out of LAX, 10 of which can pick up and drop off customers directly from the terminals using courtesy shuttles. These 10 companies include Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and Thrifty.
Car rental counters for Alamo, Avis, Hertz and National can be found at Terminal B of Hollywood Burbank Airport. At LA-Ontario International Airport, passengers can reach on-airport rental car agencies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, and Thrifty by shuttle to the Consolidated Rental Car Facility. Rental counters can be found at the arrivals level between Terminals A and B at John Wayne Airport. Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National serve Long Beach Airport's Rental Car Center, accessible by shuttle.
Nine franchise taxi companies operate over 2,300 taxis in the city of Los Angeles. These taxis are designated with the official City of Los Angeles Taxicab Seal.
With its central location in the Los Angeles Downtown district, the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE provides a deluxe level of comfort and personal service within a unique hotel environment designed to reflect its location. Guests enjoy convenient access to LA.
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