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

Will This Trend Float?

Creative Alternatives on Meetings Claim Spotlight

Balboa Bay Resort finally has a yacht.

Brand Amp Makes Its Breaks

PR Shop Thrives Amid Client Shakeups

This could have been a tough year for The Brand Amp.

Karma’s Road to Revival Starts in Spectrum

REAL ESTATE: 262,000 SF for executive offices, direct sales center

Karma Automotive LLC will move the bulk of its local operations and establish a new direct sales center in a building in Irvine whose design is expected to echo the company’s cutting-edge technology.

Pacific City Sale Tops Chart For OC Retail

REAL ESTATE: Values new center in Huntington Beach at $970 PSF

It took the Pacific City shopping center in Huntington Beach less than a year to claim a spot among Orange County’s most valuable retail properties.

Q&A

Orange County hotels and resorts are nothing if not agile—always adapting and improving their goods and services. Hospitality providers here lately are building on OC’s reputation for attractive venues and entertaining presentations by crafting creative events (see story page 1) and targeting niche groups for meetings (see story page 18). Once groups get to a property, though, what do they do? What’s new on-site for them to try, enjoy or benefit from? Reporter Paul Hughes asked hotels, resorts and other venues about physical changes they’ve recently made at their properties, including those intended to tap a specific submarket of the meetings and convention business. Some facilities focused on food, fireworks or fitness, while others went with spa amenities or enhanced technology behind the scenes. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Niche Groups Help Hotels Fill Up Events Bookings

Industry Values Consistent, Flexible Source of Business

It’s the little things that count.

Sports Report: Golf, Rodeo, Theater, Etc.

Count the Oct. 5-9 run of the Toshiba Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club as another aspect of Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology’s role as a good sport and able marketer.

EVENTS Calendar

This list includes conventions, trade and consumer shows, and other happenings scheduled from Aug. 22 through July 31, 2017.

New Home Co. Expands Into San Diego

REAL ESTATE: Also grows within OC with Brea project

New Home Co. has bought land for its first homebuilding project in San Diego, and is also expanding its reach in Orange County through a new project at the La Floresta development in Brea.

Innovation Institute Plans Fund for Startups

HEALTHCARE: 3rd phase for La Palma-based enterprise

Innovation Institute LLC in La Palma plans to raise $150 million and take “meaningful” stakes in healthcare startups at “Series B and beyond” with investments in the $10 million to $12 million range.

$97M Army Contract to Irvine Manufacturer

A manufacturer in Irvine has won a nearly $97 million contract to supply weapon components to the U.S. Army.

Private-Equity Buyer for Smile Brands

Smile Brands Group Inc. in Irvine was acquired by private-equity firm Grpyhon Investors in San Francisco on undisclosed terms.

Gaming Content Maker Acquired

Twitch.tv, the world’s largest live-streaming site for gaming content, acquired Irvine-based Curse Inc., which creates content for gamers.

LAB Holding Plans LB Retail Center

Shaheen Sadeghi of Costa Mesa-based LAB Holding LLC got the green light from Long Beach City Council to turn city-owned property in the north part of town into a “small-business friendly” retail center.

Ex-Abbott Exec Now Alphaeon Chief

Alphaeon Corp. in Irvine named Murthy Simhambhatla president and chief executive to replace Robert Grant.

PR Firms Up Staffing 14%, Outpacing US Estimate

The Brand Amp Stays Atop List With 21% Increase

The majority of the biggest public relations firms in Orange County increased their staffing levels during the 12 months ended July 31, combining to more than double the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projected 6% pace of national industry growth.

Fastest-Growing Private Companies Wanted for Annual List

ECONOMY: Centerpiece of Sept. 19 Special Report

Is your company growing fast? 

PHILANTHROPY

More than 500 “foodies” gathered at Montage Laguna Beach on May 15 for the city’s premier culinary event for a cause, Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry. 

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 39, No. 34

Sole Technology Inc. in Lake Forest appointed Esmail Mawjee interim president, a new position.

OCBJ Calendar

Aug. 23-31, 2016; Sept. 22, 2016

This week's business and other event listings.

Good ReVision Study News Follows FDA OK for Gel

Plans to Look at Raindrop Inlay for Post-Cataract Use

ReVision Optics Inc. in Lake Forest said study results on its Raindrop product showed “significantly improved near and immediate vision” in patients with presbyopia.

Alcatel Dials Up Promotional Help From Irvine Shop

Envoy Creates National Ads That Trumpet IDOL 4

Smartphone maker Alcatel Onetouch, the Irvine-based unit of TCL Communication in China, which posts annual sales topping $5 billion, worked with Envoy to launch a new national campaign for its flagship device.

Kingston Joins Pokémon Bandwagon With Competition

Gym Battle Provides Face Time With Game’s Fans

Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Inc. is the latest OC tech company trying to capitalize on the Pokémon Go craze sweeping the globe.

Real Estate Deals

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

Kelemen Caamaño Investments sold a building in Irvine to Bomel Construction for about $15.1 million, or about $363 per square foot.

Mid-Counties Industrial Market Hard to Read in Mixed Q2

Demand for real estate in the Mid-Counties industrial market has become a challenge to quantify with its historically low levels of inventory.

Cambria Hotel Eyed for Anaheim to be Chain’s Largest

350-Room Project On Katella to Run 12 Stories

A limited-service hotel planned for the Anaheim site near the Disneyland Resort that once held The Boogie nightclub appears to be getting much taller than initially envisioned.

Lincoln Club’s Cue; Haddad’s Menace; Callahan’s Kickers

The Lincoln Club of Orange County said a mouthful—and not a word about Donald Trump—in a recent call for support for Marco Rubio, who came up short in his bid for the GOP presidential nomination and now seeks a second term representing Florida in the U.S. Senate.

Deeper Dive on Sales

APPAREL: Manhattan Beachwear at $700M, pricing change aims for more

Manhattan Beachwear Inc.’s annual sales have grown tenfold to nearly $700 million since Linsalata Capital Partners became its majority owner six years ago. Now the Cypress-based swimwear designer and manufacturer with a roster of 55 brands is about to get bigger.

Milan Capital Buys in LB, Sells in Anaheim

REAL ESTATE: Park Tower office trades for close to $26M

Milan Capital Management, an Anaheim-based commercial real estate investor, has bought an office tower in Long Beach and sold an office in its hometown in two deals topping $50 million together.

Liftoff for Growth

EnCore’s New Airliner Seat Certification Unit Ready To Leverage Boeing Contract to Gain Market Share

An acceleration sled propelled by two compressed air tanks has just concluded one of its first thrusts down a 120-foot runway in a renovated wing at the Huntington Beach headquarters of EnCore Aerospace LLC.

Biolase Gets $10 Million for Ongoing Turnaround

HEALTHCARE: 2 biggest shareholders boost stakes

Biolase Inc. in Irvine sold $10 million in preferred stock and warrants to its two largest shareholders and others to continue to fund a turnaround effort the company said has had some early success.

Huntington Beach Luxe Rentals Sell For Top Dollar

REAL ESTATE: New complex moves for estimated $131 million

A newly built apartment complex in Huntington Beach has a new owner in a deal that appears to set a high-water mark for pricing in Orange County’s hot multifamily market.

Roberts-Owned Mission Inn Hits List

Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside was named to a 2016 top 10 list by readers of USA Today.

Biggest Area Subway Developer to Relocate Eateries

RESTAURANTS: Taps eating trends, new areas in OC

Grewal Foods OC LLC in Irvine plans to relocate 15 to 20 of its 250 Orange County Subway restaurants over the next two to three years, said President Bob Grewal.

Pokémon Go Craze Creates Buzz for Startups, Other Local Companies

One deal signed, talks under way on additional augmented reality work

Augmented reality has always been in the shadows of its more famous parent, virtual reality. That all changed in a big way in July when Pokémon Go took the world by storm. OC startups with an AR focus have since seen a surge of interest from clients and investors.

Little E Tells ‘Big Dog’ Pet Insurance Firm’s Story

MARKETING: Race star in ad showing Nationwide’s other side

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is starring in a new TV commercial for a Brea-based pet insurance company, compliments of the firm’s parent, Nationwide Insurance Co. in Columbus, Ohio.

NextVR Gets $80 Million in Funding

Laguna Beach-based virtual reality content maker NextVR Inc. said it completed an $80 million round of funding led by Asian technology companies.