In a list that rarely sees changes, the New Year brings a new look to the Business Journal’s ranking of OC hotels by total meeting space.
The Journal’s research team this year sought information on outdoor and indoor meeting space. This made for a larger list—54 properties qualified by having at least 6,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space, up from last year’s 52—and about 600,000 more square feet of meeting space countywide.
Some properties added space on their own, the most notable being No. 13, Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, which more than doubled its total meetings area after adding a second tower and climbed up eight notches on the list.
Beach properties in general benefited from our updated methodology, given such hotels’ predilection for outdoor expanses:
• No. 5 Monarch Beach Resort rose five spots and clocks in this year at 90,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.
• No. 6 Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel climbed eight spots with nearly 83,000 square feet of total space.
• No. 8 Resort at Pelican Hill jumped 16 spots with the count of more than 34,000 square feet of outdoor space, bringing its total to more than 54,000.
• No. 9 Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa moved up 13 spots with 50,000 square feet.
• No. 21 Montage Laguna Beach rose 13 slots with its 33,500 square feet of meeting space.
New to the list—though not to OC—are Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel with 17,500 square feet of total meeting space and Howard Johnson Hotel and Conference Center in Fullerton with 9,475 square feet, at No. 33 and No. 47, respectively.
Neither submitted information for last year’s list.
More meeting space is on the way, especially orbiting Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and Garden Grove. New hotels will bring further changes to the list and more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space to OC’s total inventory (see chart, page 32).
This includes Wincome Group’s Westin Anaheim Resort, a $250 million redevelopment of the former Anabella Hotel next to Anaheim Convention Center. It’s slated to open next year with more than 600 rooms and 40,000 square feet of meeting space, three restaurants and a rooftop bar.
A Wincome affiliate also owns Avenue of the Arts.