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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) processed more than 87 million people in the last year. The fourth-busiest airport in the world, it serves 175 destinations domestically and abroad, with nearly 900 daily flights. The city's accessibility is further heightened by several additional airports, all of which are less than 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles -John Wayne (Anaheim); Hollywood Burbank Airport (formerly Bob Hope Airport); Long Beach Airport; and Palmdale. L.A./Ontario International in Ontario, about 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 about 100 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
The county's Metro system of 165 bus routes and six 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 L.A. meeting hotels, the convention center boasts 720,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, 147,000 square feet of meeting space, and a 299-seat theater.
The convention center, along with the STAPLES Center and Xbox Plaza, is part of the L.A. LIVE 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, 174-room Courtyard by Marriott L.A. LIVE, and the 219-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 has been 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 L.A.'s vibrant nightlife. Restaurants such as Cal Mare, Spago (Wolfgang Puck presides over two Michelin stars), 71Above, and Sky Bar at the Mondrian Hotel offer fine food and trendy music to liven up events of all sizes. Sought-after event spaces include Two Bit Circus, Banc of California Stadium, and the High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach, where the views and entertainment will make attendees forget they're in the second-largest urban landscape in North America.
International trade, entertainment, aerospace, technology, fashion, medical research, and tourism dominate L.A.'s economy. The contiguous ports of L.A. and Long Beach also make up one of the busiest ports in the world. Los Angeles 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.
The 5.6-million-square-foot L.A. LIVE entertainment campus is making a statement on L.A.'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.
L.A. 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 L.A. 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.
The area’s location of choice for performers such as the Eagles and Sugarland, the 7,100-seat Microsoft Theater L.A. LIVE offers guests midsize intimacy with no seat farther 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 anchor of the L.A. 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 hosts more than 250 events each year, ranging from concerts 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, onsite catering, and telecom services.
City Market Social House
City Market Social House, a contemporary, beautifully restored warehouse, is one of the newest additions to event space in downtown, located in the Los Angeles Fashion District. The property has over 14,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for up to 1,000 adults and is conveniently located just 1 mile from the Los Angeles Convention Center. Its customizable food and beverage menu and full array of services provide a perfect space for creative events of all sizes.
Hollywood & Highland Center
The Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex is where the luxury of old Hollywood and modern convenience converge in one remarkable setting. It offers a variety of special event venues that are ideal for brand activations, meetings, groups, conferences, or events and can be designed to fit any objective. In addition to a variety of flexible event spaces, Hollywood & Highland features breathtaking views of the landmark Hollywood sign, the Hills, and the Boulevard. Exclusive catering at Hollywood & Highland is provided by chef Wolfgang Puck. Located in the center of Hollywood & Highland and framing the famous Hollywood sign, the 19,000-square-foot Central Courtyard lets you direct your own Hollywood extravaganza.
OUE Skyspace LA
OUE Skyspace LA is California’s tallest open-air observation deck and boasts stunning panoramic, 360-degree views of Los Angeles. Perched close to 1,000 feet above downtown L.A., it lets guests experience amazing views of the city, from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. It’s the tallest building on the West Coast, and the 70th floor can be transformed to host an array of custom events: corporate meetings, networking events, filming, and more.
InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
The InterContinental Hotel in downtown L.A. offers numerous ballrooms and boardrooms for meetings and private events. Its grand ballroom can host over 500 people in a boardroom setup and over 3,000 for a reception. With 889 luxurious guest rooms, this hotel offers a prime location for access to explore the downtown L.A. area. Attendees can also take a break at the restaurant and bar on the 70th floor, which showcases a fantastic view of downtown Los Angeles.
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.
Los Angeles International Airport, commonly called "LAX," is the main airport serving the Los Angeles area. It is the fourth-busiest airport for passenger traffic in the world and second-busiest in the U.S. It operates as a main hub for United Airlines and a secondary hub for Delta, and it’s a main city for Southwest, Alaska, and American Airlines. LAX serves 175 cities with 886 daily nonstop domestic inbound flights and 1,297 weekly nonstop international flights. 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, including 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).
Two rideshare van companies serve the airport: SuperShuttle and PrimeTime Shuttle. 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 curbside drop-off and pickup 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. There is also a pickup point located at Departures, Terminal 1 for Uber and Lyft, which can transport you anywhere in the city.
LAX is undergoing a massive renovation project known as the Landside Access Modernization Program, which is set to conclude in 2023. This project includes a people mover, which will be a driverless electric train that travels on 2.25 miles of elevated guideway. This people mover will connect visitors to an offsite parking structure, a new rental car facility, a new Metro rail hub that will help connect to the rest of the city, and several other terminals. The system will accommodate 10,000 riders per hours, with trams pulling into the stations every few minutes. The new rental car facility will consolidate all rental car companies, as well as parking for more than 20,000 vehicles. This will offer an easy and reduced traffic method for accessing your rental or parked car. Other features of the LAX renovation project will included improved terminals, faster security, and more technological advancements in the airport itself.
Airline carriers serving Los Angeles International Airport (LAX):
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
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.
Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)
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 5.5 million passengers per year. The airport provides nonstop 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 Hollywood Burbank Airport
John Wayne Airport (SNA)
Located about 35 miles south of Los Angeles, John Wayne Airport is the only commercial service airport in Orange County. It offers nonstop 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.
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 L.A.; Pacific Surfliner, which travels from San Luis Obispo to San Diego; Southwest Chief, which travels from L.A. to Chicago; Sunset Limited, which travels from L.A. to New Orleans; and Texas Eagle, which travels from L.A. to San Antonio.
L.A.'s Union Station is open 24 hours a day.
Operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro consists of 165 bus routes and six rail lines traveling across the county.
Schedules for Metro vary based on route. Regular base fare is $1.75 and 75 cents for seniors. Day passes, good for local travel all day, are $7 for regular fare and $2.50 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 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 L.A.; 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 L.A. to Santa Monica Beach. Opening in 2019, the Crenshaw Line will service Inglewood and Leimert Park, while also connecting to the LAX Automated People Mover, scheduled to open by 2023.
Metro buses travel to every major destination in the area on 165 different routes. 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 Department of Transportation (LADOT) operates the second-largest fleet in the county, serving over 20 million passengers each year. Its five quick DASH Downtown bus routes run during the weekday every five to 20 minutes, depending on route. Some alternate routes offer weekday and weekend service every six to 20 minutes. Stops of interest include Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Union Station, and the Fashion District.
Regular DASH fare is 50 cents. Fare for seniors is 25 cents
The affordable FlyAway buses offer fast service between LAX and Hollywood, Long Beach, Union Station in downtown, Van Nuys, and Westwood. 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 nonstop service every 30 minutes; early morning and weekend departures vary. One-way fare from Van Nuys and Union Station is $9.75; one-way fare from Westwood is $10. One-way fare from Hollywood is $8; one-way fare from Long Beach is $9. Children under 5 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.
At Hollywood Burbank Airport, passengers can reach on-airport rental car agencies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, Midway, National, and Thrifty by shuttle to the Consolidated Rental Car Facility. Multiple 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.
The 22,000-seat development is the first open-air stadium built in Los Angeles in over 30 years. With over 100,000 square feet of event space conveniently located in Exposition Park just three miles from the heart of downtown, the new stadium is a game-changer.
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