Site Inspection: Reimagine Anaheim

anaheim

The next chapter of meetings and conventions is coming…and it’s a vibe

Think you know Anaheim? Consider this site inspection your pop quiz. To begin: Name the first three things that come to mind when you think of this popular Southern California meetings destination. If you said Anaheim Convention Center (ACC), the Anaheim Ducks or Disneyland, congratulations. You’ve made it through part one. Now, create an itinerary that doesn’t include stops at any of those.

Stumped?

There’s good reason. ACC is a meetings mammoth—the largest exhibit facility on the West Coast, to be clear—offering 1.8 million sq. ft. of total exhibit space following its $190-million expansion in 2017. After 600 days without fans or concerts due to Covid, Anaheim’s Honda Center continues to sell out for each NHL game (Go Ducks!). And, well, Disneyland is Disneyland.

But there’s far more to Anaheim than meets the eye (even though what we see already is really, really nice). New and emerging luxury hotels are offering groups a little more love, with dedicated meeting spaces and fine on-site cuisine that offer respite from the hustle and bustle of Disney leisure travelers—all while walking distance from ACC. Plus, we have the lowdown on why you want to start planning for Anaheim 2024, today.

Arrive

Traveling to Anaheim is easy, with four airports between Orange County and Los Angeles, plus train, bus and shuttle lines to central Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC).

Meet and Stay

Concierge Library at JW Marriott Anaheim

While there are more than 500 hotels and venues across Orange County—and 29 hotels with dedicated meeting space in Anaheim—we’re shining the spotlight on two new AAA Four Diamond properties that, after opening during the pandemic, can finally, safely and expertly welcome your groups.

JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort opened in August 2020 with 466 guest rooms, 40,659 sq. ft. of total event space and a connecting pedestrian walkway to Anaheim GardenWalk, home to Disney’s House of Blues. It features a 13,440-square-foot ballroom and seven coveted “storefront” breakout rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open into the hotel lobby. Groups can put their company on display pre-ACC-tradeshow—or take refuge in group yoga classes, farm-to-cocktail mojitos (made with lavender grown on the grounds) or the secret garden and its QR-coded digital sculpture tour.

Book the private dining room at on-site Tocca Ferro Italian Chophouse for elegantly plated Chilean sea bass—or head upstairs to Parkestry Rooftop Bar, where light bites pair well with California wines and a sunset over Disneyland.

Lobby Tech Room at The Westin Anaheim

A few blocks down the way, seven-story The Westin Anaheim Resort features 613 guest rooms (101 suites) and 47,542 sq. ft. of high-tech, customizable meeting space, just 500 steps from Anaheim Convention Center. It has 23 meeting rooms, a 16,120-square-foot ballroom and first-class views of Disneyland’s nightly firework show just across the street. Take advantage of the hotel’s rooftop lounge or premium suites with balconies for ultimate viewing—and be sure to leave free time for attendees to experience the resort-style outdoor pool, Peloton-equipped fitness center and Westin Heavenly Beds (ahh).

On-site Tangerine Room offers private dining and vibrant California cuisine, from the citrus beet root salad to an A5 Japanese steak that cuts like butter. After-dinner drinks at the guest-only RISE Rooftop Lounge (with live music) are a must.

Coming Soon

Looking ahead? Two new development projects are currently underway that will add a completely new dimension to Anaheim. The ocV!BE, opening 2024, is a community and live entertainment district project that will bring two new hotels, more than 30 new restaurants, four public plazas, 20 acres of green space, pedestrian bridges and a 6,000-capacity concert venue to the area between Honda Center and ARTIC.

Starting 2025, the Angel Stadium area will be redeveloped to include a 153-acre stadium site, two new hotels with a combined 943 rooms, a five-acre urban park and 1.1 million sq. ft. of restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

Translation: Anaheim is about to get a lot more walkable, accessible, varied and cosmopolitan, just in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Need to Know

  • +39,000 sq. ft. of windows at ACC to let in the California sunshine
  • 15 hotels with dedicated meeting space
  • 2024: Opening year of ocVIBE, the newest mixed-use community and live entertainment district
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