City and local officials gathered yesterday to mark the groundbreaking for the latest addition to the Anaheim Convention Center. The Grand Plaza project will add a new outdoor meeting and event space to the Center, the largest venue of its kind on the West Coast, adding to its marketability to large events, private meetings and expositions.
An artist's design for the completed Grand
"The Grand Plaza will be a beautiful new public space in the city of Anaheim, adding to the world-class service and the state-of-the-art amenities that makes the Anaheim Convention Center such a sought-after facility,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “The Grand Plaza … will be a tremendous community asset for all to enjoy, and I look forward to making it available to the public in the new year."
Work has begun on the new project, which is slated for a January 2013 completion date. The area features a long avenue lined with palm and citrus trees, water features and an illuminated “river” of lights running the length of the plaza. Situated outside the Convention Center’s main entrance off of Convention Way, the new plaza will create a pleasant pedestrian connection to the Hilton Anaheim and Anaheim Marriot hotels.
Charles Ahlers, president of the Anaheim Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau, said the new space will provide event planners a spectacular outdoor meeting and gathering environment unlike any other. “Orange County’s excellent year-round sunny weather is the perfect backdrop for this space. Here groups can dine al fresco, listen to concerts, or attend receptions and exhibitions,” Ahlers said. “The Grand Plaza will enhance our open, campus-like space surrounding the Anaheim Convention Center and the walkability to the adjacent hotels.”
The space will also include a new entry monument for the Convention Center and a Transit Plaza to allow for convenient traffic management.
“The Grand Plaza is designed to create a new sense of arrival for guests visiting our resort area, as well as provide us with the flexibility to utilize this attractive outdoor space in a number of ways to accommodate the needs of our clients and local residents,” said Tom Morton, the Convention Center’s executive director of sports and entertainment.
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