Orange County Business Journal


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

Irvine Co. Provides Free Space to Incubator - Which Provides Free Space to Startups

Bennett Washabaugh and Mike Zei launched their commercial real estate startup, TenantBase, with Irvine Company in mind as an innovator that leases space to startups around the country.

Moro-San’s Mission

Globetrotting Exec Wants to Redefine Mazda

Masahiro Moro—or Moro-san as employees at Mazda North American Operations call him—reclined at his office in Irvine, where a picture of a red RX-Vision concept sports car Mazda Motor Corp. introduced in October at the Tokyo Motor Show hung on the wall directly across from his desk.

UCI Hopes Campus Collaboration Leads To Cybersecurity Institute

TECHNOLOGY: Computer science, law, engineering schools drive effort

University of California-Irvine is in the early stages of establishing a cybersecurity research institute that will become the first of its kind in the state with a national scope and profile.

Deal Signal of Irvine Co. Shopping Spree?

REAL ESTATE: $1B CMBS offering could precede some big property buys

A new billion-dollar funding deal involving a portion of Irvine Company’s apartment portfolio raises the prospect that Orange County’s dominant real estate company could soon be on the lookout for acquisitions.

Cities, Hoteliers Dig Data When It Comes to Business

Destination Marketers, Others Hunt for Ways to Stand Out

More local cities, marketing groups and hotel companies are using data to decide how to reel in new business.


Orange County is known for drawing visitors from across California and the rest of the country—and from many points around the world. Less attention goes to day-trippers, or those who come to Orange County without staying overnight, yet make a significant contribution to the tourism industry. The Business Journal’s Paul Hughes asked some local tourism and hotel executives about the value of what turns out to be a big segment of their business, and how they work to attract day-trippers to the county. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

New Hotel, a Few Room Tweaks, Shuffle Ranks

HOSPITALITY: Great Wolf raises top 50 to 21,508 rooms

There have been a few changes on a list that rarely sees them.

Split Decision on Trump Smell Test; Doti Goes Solo

Reports from the Lincoln Club’s recent annual dinner at the Island Hotel indicate Al Frink captured the mood of many of the assembled GOP stalwarts with a turn as a prop comic.

KBS Lands SF Tower, Redmond Business Parks

REAL ESTATE: $300M spree follows bond deal in Israel

A real estate investment trust run by Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors, fresh off a $250 million bond offering in Israel, has made plans to spend nearly $300 million on an office property in downtown San Francisco and a portfolio of business parks in the Seattle suburbs.

Details of Pending Abbott-St. Jude Merger Unclear

HEALTHCARE: Combo to make both more competitive

It’s not yet clear how Abbott Laboratories’ pending $25 billion buy of St. Jude Medical Inc. will impact the latter’s Orange County operations.

Dallas Biotech to Costa Mesa

Dallas-based Cerebain Biotech Corp. has moved its corporate headquarters from Dallas to Costa Mesa.

HB Luxury Hotel Adds to Developer’s High-End Tilt

Pacific Hospitality Walks Line Between Resorts and Chains

This week’s opening of Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach marks the seventh high-end property out of 10 in owner-operator Pacific Hospitality Group’s stable.

Device Maker Plans Summer Intro of Weight-Loss Aid

Transplant Startup from Ariz. Sees Breath Tool as Innovator

A startup company that recently relocated to Aliso Viejo is aiming to introduce breath analysis as a tool for weight management.

Theme Park Company Buys NY Property

Apex Parks Group LLC in Aliso Viejo bought Martin’s Fantasy Island theme park in Grand Island, N.Y., on undisclosed terms.

AI Developer Secures Sony Investment

Anaheim-based artificial intelligence developer Cogitai received a strategic investment on undisclosed terms from Sony Corp., the multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Coast Magazine Names Top Editor

Samantha Dunn was named editor of Coast magazine, according to the Southern California News Group, which oversees 11 daily newspapers, several magazines and other entities in Southern California, including the Orange County Register.

Knife Maker Sold to Beverly Hills Firm

American Capital Ltd. sold PHC Sharp Holdings Inc. to Beverly Hills-based investment manager Levine Lechtman Capital Partners on undisclosed terms.


Philanthropy for May 23, 2016


Addendum for May 23, 2016


May 23-June 1; June 3, 2016

Pyott Slated to Return to Spotlight at Eye Conference

Will Be Interviewed By Another Company Veteran

David Pyott, retired chief executive and chairman of Allergan Inc., now Allergan PLC, will be the headliner next month at the annual Ophthalmology Technology Summit put on by OCTANe, an Aliso Viejo-based booster group for life sciences and other forms of technology.

Vietnamese Style, Heritage Celebrated at Fashion Week

Event Showcased SoCal, Vietnam-Based Designers

Viet Fashion Week, showcasing designers of Vietnamese heritage, was held over the weekend outside the Westminster Mall.

Momentum Continues in Mid-Counties Market

New businesses continued to migrate to the Mid-Counties industrial market at the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties in the first quarter as existing businesses expanded, resulting in 256,044 square feet of positive net absorption.

Newport Sports Museum Office Sells for Top Price

Museum Closed in 2014, Sells for Nearly $1,500/SF

An office near Fashion Island shopping center that previously held the Newport Sports Museum has sold for what looks to be one of the highest recent prices for an office deal in Orange County per square foot.

Clean Energy Founder Savors Idea of First Profits

Otherwise Laments State Of Overall Fuel Market

Count Clean Energy Fuels Corp. co-founder and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens among the throngs of company backers who thought a profitable quarter would come years ago.

Will Haddad Re-Up With Navy? Locals on Publicity Blitz

Expect to hear more from various sources around the state about the growing stature of Emile Haddad and Aliso Viejo-based FivePoint Holdings Inc.

Naugles Plans to Kick-Start Comeback on HB Shore

DINING: Novice operator won name from Del Taco

A long-dormant fast food brand anticipates a revival with its first full-time location in two decades, in Huntington Beach.

Software Maker Jobs Up Slightly as Newer Firms Join

TECHNOLOGY: 39 Largest Combine For 8,000-Plus Jobs

The county’s largest software makers grew employment by 5.1% in the 12 months through April as several emerging companies joined the ranks of the largely mature local industry.

PacSun Set for BK Auction in June

RETAIL: SF-based private equity firm lined up as stalking horse

The fate of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. could be decided in a bankruptcy auction that’s scheduled for next month, with a stalking-horse bid in place and the possibility of additional interest in the Anaheim-based teen apparel and accessories retailer on the horizon.

Her Healthy Ecosystem

Exec Sees Firm Father Founded As Community Game Changer

It’s been a hectic 18 months for Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, president of Cypress-based cleaning goods maker Earth Friendly Products, who was one of the honorees at the Business Journal’s Women in Business awards ceremony on May 4 at Hotel Irvine (see related stories, pages 1, 6, 8 and 11).

‘Singing CEO’

Helms Family Firm That Prides Itself on Service, Quality

The female business leader who’s known as Orange County’s “singing CEO” was honored at the Business Journal’s 22nd annual Women in Business Awards on May 4 at Hotel Irvine (see profiles of the other winners, pages 1, 4, 8 and 11).

Role Model for OC’s Business Women

Webster O’Grady Saw Need For Female Mentors

When Nella Webster O’Grady, principal at Newport Beach-based investment adviser Palo Capital Inc., was honored at the Business Journal’s Women in Business awards luncheon at Hotel Irvine on May 4, she immediately reflected on her career in finance in Orange County. (See profiles of other winners, pages 1, 4, 6 and 11.)

Seeing Pink

Breast Cancer Nonprofit Head Values Its Business Connections

Lisa Wolter credits passion and a variety of other factors for her long-running career in the nonprofit sector that’s been sewn “with the thread of women’s health.”

Allergan Does Business Realignment

Allergan PLC reorganized its business segments as it prepares to divest its generic drug unit.

Broadcom Sells Wireless Backhaul Unit

Broadcom Ltd. agreed to sell its wireless infrastructure backhaul business for $80 million to MaxLinear Inc. in the latest divestiture led by Chief Executive Hock Tan.

Real Estate Investor Spins Off REIT

Irvine-based healthcare real estate owner and investor HCP Inc. will spin off its HCR ManorCare skilled nursing and assisted living businesses into a separate, publicly traded real estate investment trust.

OCVA Expands China Initiative

The Orange County Visitors Association in Irvine added a “Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions” effort to its Beijing office.