Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Preferred Outcome

Marketing Programs Behind Growth of Service Provider for Independent HotelsPreferred Hotel Group’s 1,600-point hotel inspection is intense.

By Kari Hamanaka February 15, 2014 midnight   $$ Share

Advantage OC

‘Outdoor Living’ Leads Sports Gear Maker to Fountain Valley

A big chunk of the operations of the newly organized and renamed United Sports Brands will move into a 134,000-square-foot shop in Fountain Valley in December—just in time to remind employees who will be relocating from the Midwest of a key reason for the move.

Global Drama, Local Grind

OC-Based Public Companies Take Share of Licks, Carry On

Orange County’s diverse crop of publicly traded companies held up relatively well as worries about China’s economy whipsawed the stock market here and in other markets around the world.

Next in Anaheim: JW Marriott Set to Join Hotel Lineup

HOSPITALITY: 4-diamond entry expected for GardenWalk area

A 2.8-acre parcel near Anaheim GardenWalk is in line for a 466-room, 12-story JW Marriott hotel, according to documents filed with the city of Anaheim.

Stadium Towers Owner Sees Room for More

REAL ESTATE: Could add 300,000 SF, 15 stories on Katella

The owner of Stadium Towers Plaza, a 12-story office next to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, is in the early stages of planning to double down on the same site.

OC Companies Play Key Role as ESports Grow Up

Much of Play Devoted To Blizzard’s Game Fare

Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment Inc. and Kingston Technology Inc. in Fountain Valley are at the forefront of one of the hottest trends in the technology industry that’s attracting stadium-size crowds to venues across the globe and millions of online viewers.

Gamer on Cloud 9 as He Rides Lucrative Whirlwind

Players Do What They Love for Big Cash, Fame

Sean Gares is getting ready to leave his Tustin apartment to catch a 2 p.m. flight out of LAX to Germany.

Electronics Makers See Flat Employment Pace

18 Biggest Companies Add Just Nine Employees

Employment at the county’s largest contract electronics makers was flat over the past 12 months, despite steady sales growth in the industry worldwide.

About That 100,000; Kudos for Ingram; Prediction for Aitken

A key number overlooked in last week’s initial blast of publicity on the $68 million makeover of the central plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts: 100,000.

Majority Stake in MainPlace Part of Bigger Sale

RETAIL: Santa Ana center 1 of 5 said to be in $1.1 billion deal

Sydney-based Westfield Corp. is expected to sell a majority stake in Westfield MainPlace in Santa Ana to a partnership headed by USAA Real Estate Co. in San Antonio, Texas.

South Korea-Based Game Maker Sets Sight on West

TECHNOLOGY: NCSOFT hires 100 in Aliso Viejo

South Korea-based video gaming giant NCSOFT Corp. is pouring big money into expanding its Aliso Viejo operations in a global effort to bring a roster of popular role-playing fantasy games to the West under a new business model.

Stantec Buys Another Neighbor in Irvine

SERVICES: Latest deal brings ‘unique skills’ on water work

Irvine-based civil engineering firm VA Consulting Inc. has been acquired by Stantec Inc. on undisclosed terms.

Oculus Effect: Newport Gateway Lands Tech Tenants

REAL ESTATE: Irvine Company revamps, recasts office complex

Oculus VR Inc. might not count Irvine as its headquarters any more, but the virtual reality headset maker’s influence on Orange County’s technology sector can still be seen in the buildings where its local operations are housed.

Fastest-Growing Private Companies Wanted for List

ECONOMY: Centerpiece of Sept. 21 Special Report

Is your company growing fast?

Western Digital Cuts More OC Jobs

Western Digital Corp. eliminated 81 positions from its Irvine headquarters in its second round of layoffs in the past three months.

Device Maker Gets $38M in New Round

San Clemente-based ReShape Medical Inc. received a $38 million round of financing.

Concordia Adds 1,700 in 10 Years

Concordia University-Irvine said a trade publication for higher education listed the school as one of the fastest-growing private nonprofit universities nationally as a result of a 132% increase in students over 10 years starting in 2003 to about 4,050.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 35

Chapman University has put off a plan to expand its campus by 17 acres and add about 3,000 students, according to the Orange County Register.

Specialist Shares Projections for Remainder of 2015

Sales Expected Steady As Appreciation Continues

Luxury home sales in Orange County have been strong so far this year.

OCBJ Calendar

Aug. 31-Sept. 9 and Sept. 24, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Quality Systems CEO Reflects on Early Days on Job

Frantz Settles In, Focuses On Clients, Employees

Quality Systems Inc. Chief Executive Rusty Frantz is starting to “settle into my new role here” after replacing longtime leader Steven Plochocki in July.

Will Galaxy Fans Get Kick Out of ‘Big-Screen App’?

Designer Eschews Smart Phones for Larger Screens

DeskSite, an Irvine-based digital media company that develops app-based video entertainment portals, is thinking bigger than a smartphone with a deal it recently signed with the LA Galaxy soccer team.

Incubator Move to OC to Boost Startup Aid Network

Cie Digital Aims For Up To 4 Launches Per Year

Cie Digital Labs’ recent move from Long Beach to Irvine could boost OC’s developing ecosystem of incubators, a mix of real-estate-driven plays, public and private partnerships, and co-working spaces.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Central, North OC Office Market Vacancies Down

The Central and North Orange County office submarkets have traditionally trailed the Greater Airport Area and South Orange County office submarkets in terms of vacancy, average asking lease rates, and space absorption, and 2015 has been no different.

Volt Eyes Sale of 12-Acre Office Campus in Orange

Aims For 10-Year Leaseback of Western Hub

Volt Information Sciences Inc., a New York-based provider of staffing services, has put its Orange office campus on the market.

Innovation Institute Reaches Beyond Healthcare

Deloitte, Dell Sign On to La Palma-Based Consortium

The La Palma-based Innovation Institute LLC continues to rack up partners in its second year of existence.

New Tools, Talent Fuel PR Shops

MARKETING: Biggest here add duties, combine for 12% hike in jobs

The 40 biggest public relations firms based in Orange County are doing more with more—additional services, bigger budgets, new hires.

Speedo Aims to ‘Innovate, Extend’ From New HQ

APPAREL: Plans move from downtown LA to Cypress

Speedo USA is moving its headquarters from downtown Los Angeles to Cypress.

Latest Big Office Deal: $73M in Newport Beach

REAL ESTATE: Prudential affiliate gets 202,000 square feet near JWA

A 10-story office building in Newport Beach is the latest property to get snapped up by institutional investors bullish on Orange County’s improving economy.

Independent Spaces Span OC, Complement Hotel Lineup

Various Alternatives Can Riff Off Local Hotels

Corporate meetings are commonly held at hotels and resorts, but independent OC event spaces with no formal ties to hotels have opened this year or increased efforts to offer a change of scenery for out-of-town guests or to tap local businesses that aren’t looking for an overnight stay.

Q&A

Orange County hotels and resorts this year have followed technological trends in the industry to enhance meetings and conventions offerings.

Orange County hotels and resorts this year have followed technological trends in the industry to enhance meetings and conventions offerings. Wider hospitality choices are aimed at better operations and the experience guests have when staying at a property—from moving operations to the cloud and internal apps that bring employees to where they’re needed. The “Internet of Things,” encourages guests to post live videos or “selfies” to their social media accounts, and giving them the ability to text the valet to retrieve their cars. Smartphone technology allows guests to pay bills and open hotel room doors. A recent industry conference guided executives to advise hoteliers to think of themselves in part as technology companies. A hotel in Cupertino—of course—has used robots to deliver items to rooms, and another has tried out the devices to sort luggage. The Business Journal’s Paul Hughes asked local hotels and resorts about technology they’ve added this year in general and specifically for meetings and conventions. Edited excerpts of their responses follow:

Cooperative Approach Leads to Pitch for ‘Anaheim Campus’

Visit Anaheim, Convention Center, 3 Hotels Together

Staff from Visit Anaheim, Anaheim Convention Center, and the city’s three biggest hotels within walking distance of the convention halls—Hilton Anaheim, Anaheim Marriott and Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort—have traveled four times in 90 days to bring convention business to the city and have scheduled two more jaunts for the fall.

NB Marriott Restaurant Event Draws Industry Insiders

First of Four-Year Run For ‘Flavor Experience’

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa drew 500 restaurant and food service company executives in early August to The Flavor Experience conference in the inaugural year of a four-year stint at the property.

EVENTS Calendar

This list of conventions, trade and consumer shows, and other happenings includes events scheduled from Aug. 24, 2015, through July 31, 2016.

Hale Fellow Well Met; DeFranco Goes Platinum

Not a lot of details offered when Blackstone Group’s deal for a majority of Santa Ana-based Stearns Lending came to light late last week, with initial reports offering no price and the description of founder and Chairman Glenn Stearns’ ongoing stake limited to “significant”(see Addendum item, page 15).

New Owner, Address for Westinghouse TV Brand

MARKETING: China-based company gets license from CBS

Flat TV designer and marketer Westinghouse Digital LLC has relocated its headquarters from Orange to the eastern edge of Los Angeles County and changed its name, the company confirmed to the Business Journal.

Action Sports Media Outfit to Depart San Clemente

MEDIA: Magazines move south; Grind TV to Santa Ana

A bulk of Ten: Action/Outdoor Group’s staff is leaving Orange County next month.