NEWS & NOTES - DECEMBER 2013

AEG BEGINS AS OFFICIAL OPERATOR OF LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER

Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has begun official operations as the private-sector management company operating the City-owned Los Angeles Convention Center, after completing a transition period. The City of Los Angeles has re-structured governance of the Convention Center, centered on strong management and an increased customer service orientation. Management by a private-sector operator is an approach increasingly pursued by the nation’s top-performing convention centers, and is considered essential to maximize the City of LA’s competitive success to secure conventions and events. AEG is one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment presenters, with a collection of over 100 premier facilities around the world, including STAPLES Center and the 4 million square-foot L.A. LIVE sports and entertainment complex, adjacent to the Convention Center. LATCB has a long-standing relationship with AEG, as well as a strong, synergistic partnership, with LATCB bringing its strong capacities in convention sales, and AEG providing the best facilities management and services available.

AEG also announced the launch of new services at the Convention Center. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, LACC will launch its new “Taste of LA” food and beverage experience as the venue’s signature and exclusive dining offerings. Operated in partnership with Levy Restaurants, “Taste of LA” will feature upgraded menus in both concession fare and catering while providing new dining options in line with the city’s culinary star power. There will also be new in-house audiovisual service provided by Encore Event Technologies, the hospitality division of the Freeman Company. LACC also opened up electrical services, to offer show managers the opportunity to select specific services from preferred provider lists that are vetted and compiled by the LACC staff. The “approved vendor model” will enable Show Managers to select from preferred providers including Edlen Electric, Trade Show Electric/GES and Freeman Electric. The Los Angeles Times published an editorial on Dec. 8, 2013, about the importance the privatization of Convention Center management. To see the article, click here.

LOS ANGELES ROSE PARADE FLOAT ANNOUNCED

Los Angeles’ most iconic landmarks will be re-imagined in brilliantly colored flowers on the official City of Los Angeles float for the 125th Rose Parade® presented by Honda, on Jan. 1, 2014. LATCB is collaborating with the City of Los Angeles and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association for the 116th consecutive year on the “Endless Entertainment” themed float, making it the longest-running float entry. The float is composed of over 12,000 orchids, daisies and roses, depicting the glamour of Hollywood, swaying palm trees, some of LA’s unique ethnic neighborhoods such Olvera Street, Chinatown and Watts, LA’s sports teams, and our world-class arts and culture institutions. The most popular New Year’s Day celebration in the world, the 125th Annual Rose Parade will draw nearly one million spectators lining the streets of Pasadena and many millions more who watch the event live on TV, generating significant media exposure for the destination and LA’s attractions and landmarks, including many LATCB members and partners.

LOS ANGELES TOURNAMENT OF ROSES / HOLIDAY HOTEL PROMOTION

LATCB launched a holiday season travel deal in partnership with Hotels.com and Expedia.com to encourage visitors to spend the holidays in Los Angeles. Anyone booking three room nights or more at a participating Los Angeles hotel will receive two tickets to the Rose Parade, $10 off a Universal Studios HollywoodSM Front of the Line pass, two tickets to the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE and a $25 Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill gift card, a holiday package worth $170. The offer is valid through Jan. 2, 2014. Book via Expedia at http://bit.ly/IpzJpI or Hotels.com at http://bit.ly/1cn986i.

LATCB PARTNERS WITH LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE TO PRODUCE NEXT OFFICIAL VISITOR GUIDE

LATCB has partnered with Los Angeles Magazine to produce and print LATCB’s biannual Official Visitor Guide starting with the Spring/Summer 2014 edition. Los Angeles Magazine Content Solutions (LAMCS), the custom publishing division of Los Angeles Magazine, will direct multiple aspects of the guide, including editorial development, advertising sales, print production, distribution, and creation of a digital version for tablets. Los Angeles Magazine was selected in order to craft a guide that would capture the essence and excitement of the destination, and offer visitors and Angelenos an engaging, informative, and user-friendly tool for discovering LA, with LATCB members and partners strongly represented throughout. 

To advertise in the Visitor Guide, please contact Kristy Day at [email protected] or (323) 801-0018.

LAUNCH OF NEW AWARDS SEASON PROMOTIONS

LA HOTEL PACKAGES INSPIRED BY THE STARS - LATCB launched a new “Stay Like a Star” Awards Season hotel package PR campaign in late November to celebrate Tinseltown and generate buzz to keep the entertainment capital of the world top-of-mind for travelers. The buzz of Awards Season begins when the nominees are announced, starting with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) on Dec. 11; Golden Globe Awards on Dec. 12; and Oscar nominees on Jan. 16. Then Jan. 2014 brings the parade of statues, culminating with The Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 2. 

The Ritz-Carlton LA is offering its American Music Awards (AMA) Ultimate VIP Weekend Package, with VIP access to AMA events and spa treatments. Thompson Beverly Hills goes athletic with a Red Carpet RIPT Package to get in shape for the red carpet. Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is featuring pre-awards show beauty and wardrobe activities, and its Suite Drive program features newly-renovated suites with complimentary luxury or exotic cars such as Rolls Royces, Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Porsches. At Hotel Bel-Air, Wolfgang Puck celebrates his 20th anniversary as the caterer to The Oscars, with a Best-Dressed Package, an in-room dining promotion with Wolfgang Puck’s red carpet menu, a “best dressed” cocktail, a voting ballot and even your own statuette. For more information, click here.

SNAP.POST.WIN Photo Contest

To celebrate Awards Season in Los Angeles and promote LA’s title as entertainment capital of the world, LATCB is holding the SNAP.POST.WIN photo contest. Participants are encouraged to get creative in visually representing how LA inspires them, whether it’s a shot of palm trees, hands in fresh cement, or a TV or film production location. The grand prize includes VIP Red-Carpet Access to the “Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” for two with a backstage tour and dinner at the star-studded awards gala, three nights luxury accommodations at Loews Hollywood Hotel, and a round-trip flight for two to Los Angeles. View all the SNAP.POST.WIN. contest rules and details at  www.discoverlosangeles.com/RedCarpetLA. The winner will be chosen by an official LATCB judge on Dec. 18, 2013. 

PR NEWSFLASH

The LATCB PR Team has been working hard to keep LA and LATCB members and partners in the news and on the minds of travelers. The PR Team has been rolling out coordinated media efforts, pitching and securing stories about LA and our members and partners to top-of-the-line consumer and travel trade publications for business and leisure travel, in the U.S. and abroad. Here is a sampling of the media coverage Nov. 1-Nov. 30, 2013.

KTLA CH. 5 – “AWARDS SEASON”

Sam Rubin, the entertainment anchor for the KTLA Morning News, is helping to promote LATCB’s Awards Season SNAP.POST.WIN photo contest, which is meant to promote LA as the entertainment capital of the world. Segments are airing in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Sacramento, San Diego, Denver, Los Angeles and on a national morning show in Australia. To see a sample, click here

PBS FAMILY TRAVEL WITH COLLEEN KELLY – “EXPLORING LOS ANGELES” 

LATCB partnered with PBS to shoot a two-part episode of PBS’ new  national travel show, “Family Travel with Colleen Kelly” featuring many of Los Angeles’ great attractions, neighborhoods and activities, as well as many LATCB members. The first episode aired on Nov. 25. "Family Travel with Colleen Kelly" provides expert travel tips and insights to create easy, fun, family vacations filled with once-in-a-lifetime memories. PBS has a national audience of 220 million. The second episode airs on Dec. 30, 2013 (broadcast locally on KVCR). To see the first episode online, click here

San Diego Union Tribune – “Car Free LA”

The LATCB Communications Team worked with the San Diego Union Tribune for a story published Nov. 24 covering the Car Free LA program, several member hotels’ "Care Free, Car Free" hotel packages, as well as other LATCB members. The two-page travel story, featured on the front page of the newspaper’s Arts & Culture section, included quotes from LATCB, color images, and a link directing readers to the www.discoverlosangeles.com/carfreela. The article ran the weekend prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, an important moment for planning holiday travel. The total circulation for both online and print coverage is 3,449,012 and the total estimated ad value is $37,506. To see the article online, click here.

New York Times – “Hotel as Personal Trainer” - Car Free, Carefree Hotel Packages

The Communications Team worked with the New York Times for an article on hotels offering fitness programs to help guests stay in shape during the holiday season, which included coverage of "Car Free, Carefree" promotional packages offered by LATCB members. The story ran in the Sunday edition of the New York Times as well as on NYTimes.com’s In Transit Blog and was picked up by SeattleTimes.com. The New York Times has a circulation of 2,100,893 and is read nationwide and around the world. In Transit, which features travel news, deals and tips, reaches 50,836 unique monthly viewers. SeattleTimes.com, the online version of the Seattle Times daily newspaper, has a circulation of 1,202,035. To see the article, click here.

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, MEXICO – “¡BIENVENIDOS A HOLLYWOOD!”

The LATCB Communications Team worked with Good Housekeeping, Mexico on a four-page article with full-color photographs showcasing the destination and numerous LATCB members and partners, with a focus on Hollywood. The publication has a readership of 60,000 and the piece delivered an estimated ad value of $30,000. 

WELCOME TO NEW LATCB MEMBERSHIP STAFF MEMBER

LATCB is proud to welcome Christina Roberts as our new Manager, Membership Sales. Christina joins LATCB with 10 years of sales experience in the beverage industry. Christina has worked with Young’s Market Co., Southern Wine & Spirits and most recently, Duvel Moortgat USA. Her long tenure within the hospitality industry makes this transition into Membership Sales very easy, and she is already acquainted with many of our current members and prospects. She looks forward to meeting with all of you and working together in 2013. 

INDUSTRY NEWS

WORLD’S LONGEST A380 FLIGHT: EMIRATES AIRLINES LAX-DUBAI

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) and Emirates Airlines officials to welcome the passengers and crew of the first A380 double-decker jet to arrive with Emirates Airlines’ new daily flight to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The new daily service between Dubai and Los Angeles started on Monday, Dec. 2. The Emirates flight is the world’s longest A380 daily flight, with a duration of 16 hours, 20 minutes, crossing Eastern Canada, the North Pole and the Russian Federation. The 489-seat jet offers private suites and shower spas in First Class seating; flat-bed massage seats in Business Class; and extra room and custom lighting in Economy Class. Passengers are pampered with award-winning in-flight meals created by internationally renowned chefs, OnAir Wi-Fi with individual entertainment system, and more. For more information, click here. http://www.emirates.com/us/english/flying/our_fleet/emirates_a380/emirat...

LA’S NEWEST MAJOR VENUE, THE FORUM, OPENING IN JANUARY WITH CONCERT FEATURING THE EAGLES 

The Forum, one of rock music’s most storied venues, where Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and many other giants have performed, has been completely refurbished and is opening in Jan. 2014. The Forum, which is an LATCB member, will offer a major, high profile new venue for large-scale meetings, events, performances, incentives, group travel and VIP experiences. 

The Forum was purchased by Madison Square Garden Co., which announced plans in July to invest $100 million in a dramatic makeover and a January opening with the iconic California band, The Eagles. Madison Square Garden said that it expected the Forum to have a total economic impact of $1.4 billion, and create more than 320 full-time jobs. Once the venue opens, there will be 260 full-time jobs at the venue and in the community. 

For more information, visit www.fabulousforum.com/

MAYOR & COUNCILMAN CALL FOR CONNECTING RAIL SERVICE TO LAX AIRPORT
Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Mike Bonin co-authored an op-ed article in the Daily News calling for extending Metro’s light rail system all the way to LAX to improve the airport’s public transit connectivity. The Green Line and Crenshaw Line stop short of the airport, requiring a bus ride to the terminals. Improving public transit connectivity to LAX is seen as an important way to stay competitive in international travel, since many international visitors to LA are from countries where it is less common to drive, and they expect to be able to use LA’s public transportation system. Metro is studying options for connecting the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line to the airport terminals via a light rail line, an automated people mover or a combination of those. To see the article, click here.

NEW CHINA TOURISM LAW IN EFFECT

China’s first ever tourism law went into effect in October, and applies to all tourism operators in China for domestic and international travel sales. It contains a number of provisions designed to protect consumers, including addressing practices such as coercive shopping measures, and inexpensive but low-quality tours with costs offset by commissions secured from partner shops. Feedback from the industry indicates a decline in group tour bookings, while bookings for free independent travel (FITs) are increasing. China's National Tourism Administration also published a 64-page "Guidebook for Civilized Tourism" on its website to help Chinese travelers bridge cultural gaps and improve the overall experience for travelers as well as their host destinations.