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28 Feb  

Love in Santa Monica

By Michael Tanouye

Met my future wife at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium back in the 80s. We just passed our 20th wedding anniversary. Love living in S.M. for reasons too many to list.





27 Feb  

Nica in La

By Alexandra Olivas

I am originally from Nicaragua, Tropical weather and beaches in the Pacific and Atlantic. I moved to Santa Monica in 1992 and love the fact that the beach is right there. One of the things that I can now check off my “bucket list” is boot camp at the beach. I go on Saturdays, we meet at the life guard Station 27. Instructor Ruben from Hypeperformance is tough but fun. Whoever is looking for a fun workout at the beach, come meet us on Saturdays at 9am you will not regret it.





26 Feb  

I Love Lawn Bowling in Santa Monica!

By Stuart Bell

Photo by Stubowls

We have people from all over the world, men and women enjoying the best green in California. We have a group of 40 visitors from England bowling with us on the 7th of April. Another Tournament on the 21st of March called the Jack Beckley Friendship Tournament will have bowlers from all over the South West of California compete on our green. Come and check it out, it’s great fun for all ages.





25 Feb  

Loving SM – From New Zealand and All Over the World

By Kim Baker

Like all of us, after a few days in Santa Monica, journalists tend to fall in love with it too.

Above is a great video from Megan Singleton, a journalist from New Zealand who visited Santa Monica last summer for a piece on “TV NZ” – New Zealand’s version of “Good Morning America”. Thank you to Hotel Shangri-La for hosting Megan Singleton – we cannot generate this type of press coverage without the support of our hotel partners!

Why does press coverage from such a faraway place like this matter?

International visitors are extremely important to Santa Monica’s economy and way of life. Why?

1. They stay longer in our hotels – providing more revenues directly to City of Santa Monica’s general fund, which funds our parks, police/fire, libraries, street improvements and more
2. They spend more money in our restaurants and stores – which sustains our small businesses and also brings sales tax revenues into the city
3. They prefer to use public transportation – which does NOT bring more car traffic into the city – they love the Big Blue Bus and Metro!

One of Santa Monica CVB’s main missions is to ensure that international visitors continue to choose Santa Monica over other destinations. While Santa Monica is a world class destination, we directly compete with cities like San Francisco, Las Vegas and San Diego. These cities have multi-million dollar advertising budgets, so with less resources, Santa Monica CVB is strategic, creative and targeted in getting the word out – all with our partners’ support.

One way we get the word out about Santa Monica is through press coverage in other parts of the world. Working with our local partners, Santa Monica CVB works to get journalists to visit Santa Monica and write about their experiences while here first hand. In 2009, Santa Monica hosted journalists from the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Germany and more.

You can see how other journalists love Santa Monica – check out other recent articles on our website!





24 Feb  

From Frankfurt to Santa Monica

By Thomas Schumann

Thomas Schumann

After 5 years of world travel and 10 years of commuting between Frankfurt/Germany and Los Angeles, I finally found myself, my peace, my happiness and my home in the most beautiful beach community on this planet.





23 Feb  

Fresh from the Farmers’ Market

By Tim Kittleson

Photo by Kristen Beinke

There are many things to love about Santa Monica, but the one that I am reminded about twice a week is our wonderful farmers’ market located at Arizona Avenue and 2nd Street!  I can’t think of any other place in Los Angeles, the country, or even in the world, where such fresh, locally grown produce is available to all takers twelve months out of twelve.

In this respect we are truly blessed by our climate. I am also proud that our now very famous downtown farmers’ market is actually owned and operated by the City, which makes it feel even more a part of the community.  The Wednesday morning market is very different from the Saturday market.  On the weekday there is a very perceivable bustle of local chefs buzzing from stall to stall, seeing what’s inspiring and what will end up on this week’s menu. The Saturday market is more leisurely; folks stop to chat with each other as well as with the various vendors, some of whom have become friends over the years.

So twice a week, I start my early morning doing something I love about Santa Monica: experiencing the downtown farmers’ market.





22 Feb  

Staycation Destination: Santa Monica

By Laurel House

Kreation Organic - Photo by Laurel House

Need to get away? Then stay. You live in a city that people like to escape to. You should too. Instead of packing up, taking off, and expanding your carbon footprint to some asinine size, stay put and take a staycation in Santa Monica.

Read the rest of the article that I wrote on Discovery’s PlanetGreen: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/travel-outdoors/staycation-destination-santa-monica.html.





21 Feb  

No Matter Which Team Comes Out on Top, Santa Monica Wins

By Bill Doak, General Manager, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Sports teams and athletes in Santa Monica

Jerry West hits golf balls into the Ferris Wheel before the Northern Trust Open (Photo: Fitz Carlile), Ohio State University Rose Bowl Pep Rally at the Santa Monica Pier (Photo: Fitz Carlile), and Santa Monica CVB volunteers at the 13.1 Half Marathon

Do you like to cheer on the Lakers? The Dodgers? The Kings? How about the Clippers? How about your favorite local college team? Well don’t forget about Team Santa Monica! Although we have no pro teams or major universities of our own, our beachside city has established itself as a major league sports destination. With its proximity to LAX and numerous major sports venues, plus its many attractions, perfect weather and reputation for warm hospitality, our city is a desirable and convenient location for visiting athletes and fans alike.

At the Loews Santa Monica Beach, where I’m the General Manager, we provide accommodations for individual athletes and teams from across the sports spectrum. For many clubs, including many of L.A.’s rivals, it’s become a tradition to stay at the Loews. We’re pleased to say that even when Los Angeles is “hostile territory” for a visiting team from the local fans’ perspective, our guests know they can count on us to make them feel right at home.

The same holds true for the thousands of sports enthusiasts who flock to the L.A. area each year. Working with the Pier Restoration Corporation’s Ben Franz-Knight, Santa Monica Visitors Bureau helped entice nearly 40,000 Ohio State and University of Oregon supporters to Santa Monica Pier for pre-Rose Bowl pep rallies. The Pier also played gracious host to 600 University of Texas fans prior to the BCS National Championship Game.

Just days later, a new event brought almost 5,000 out-of-towners to Santa Monica for the debut of the 13.1 Los Angeles Half-Marathon. The Loews served as race headquarters and the shores of Santa Monica Bay provided a scenic start for runners. Then, in February, golf aficionados flocked to our seaside city for the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open, which took place in nearby Pacific Palisades. Elite endurance athletes return again in March for the annual L.A. Marathon, hoping to be the first to cross the finish line at Santa Monica Blvd. and Ocean Ave. These events alone are responsible for bringing about 50,000 people to stay in the city’s 37 hotels, eat in its renowned restaurants and shop in its stores. It’s enough to make any Santa Monica stakeholder a sports fan!





20 Feb  

Why I Renovated One of LA’s Cultural and Architectural Icons

By Tehmina Adaya

Hotel Shanrgi-La

The Rock & Roll Suite at the Shangri-La

My father purchased the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica in 1983 and I had the privilege of growing up in and around an LA institution that as Hollywood’s ocean front hotel had a long history of being a hideaway for high profile figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Bill Clinton, Tom Cruise, Diane Keaton, Madonna and Sean Penn.

Before my father passed away in 2006 I secured his blessing to carry out a $35 million renovation of the hotel. The Shangri-La had given so much to both the Los Angeles community and visitors from all over the world for over 7 decades that I felt it was time for us to put something back in to her.

The renovation of the hotel was also a metaphor for rejuvenation and transformation in my own life and in my family, as well as part of my personal journey to reconcile the dichotomies in my life as a mother, entrepreneur and a lover of art & culture who has lived on several different continents.

I had four mandates for the renovation of this unique landmark;

1) To maintain the architectural integrity of the building while bringing in modern amenities and not making it another ubiquitious modern hotel.
2) To reclaim Santa Monica’s roots and reputation as being a luxury destination and having an underground street cultural edge, Santa Monica being one of the origins of surf and skate culture.
3) To create a nexus of popular and alternative culture in the lineage of the Bloomsbury Set, Andy Warhol’s Factory and following the lineage of the famous French salons of the 17th and 18th centuries.
4) The reconciliation of dichotomies:  we all have conflicting interests and desires in our life, and the Shangrila would be a place from where you can go shopping with your girlfriends, to hanging out by the pool or beach with your kids, to having a zen experience overlooking the ocean and doing sunset tai chi or sunrise yoga, to having an amazing sensual experience with your lover in the sexy and elegant guestrooms.  The Shangri-La would be the place where you would be able to do indulge in all these seemingly disparate activities.

Given that the Shangri-La’s location is superb, I knew the rooms and amenities had to keep pace with it. The custom interior 71-rooms are complimented by a rooftop bar with stunning views of the Southern California coastline, ocean-view dining in our restaurant, our custom designed penthouse rock n roll suite, and a luxury courtyard complete with pool, hot tub and fire pit.

My goal is that our much-valued Shangri-La’s guests experience the romance, vibrancy and tranquility that the hotel represents for me. It gives me a sense of pride and humility to know that my renovation of the historic Hotel Shangri-La has ensured the preservation and long-term health one of California’s true cultural gems.





19 Feb  

Art and Beauty

By Tyler S.

Photo by Meredith Walter

I moved here to pursue a full-time career in music. Santa Monica is one of the few places in America where one can actually make a living doing that. Thanks to all the generous people who continue to make my dream a reality.





 

The opinions of this blog are that of the contributors and do not necessarily depict the position of Santa Monica Convention &
Visitors Bureau. Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau reserves the right to edit or refuse any submitted information.

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