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Industry Briefs
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center Debuts The Pacific Ballroom At The Longbeach Arena

The Pacific Ballroom special event venue made its grand opening debut recently as Long Beach's newest, largest and most innovative meeting and special event space.  The evening, titled "The Sky's the Limit," was a series of spectacular "reveals" that showcased the Long Beach Arena ballroom's versatility as a special-events space.  The more than 1,000 guests included professional meeting and special event planners from across the country.  Industry insiders expect the new ballroom to be one of the most desirable venues in the country, as it expands the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center's capability to handle larger groups.

The Pacific Ballroom, part of a $10 million renovation, is already paying off on those expectations.  The Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau has booked seven groups with signed contracts, representing an Estimated Economic Impact (EEI) of $29 million dollars, which includes $494,000 in direct Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to the City of Long Beach.  Plus, 16 tentative groups are interested in booking the Pacific Ballroom for a potential EEI of $33 million and estimated TOT of $2 million.

Bob Foster, mayor of the City of Long Beach, said, "The Pacific Ballroom, with its high-tech innovations, is the perfect canvas for any event planner. It's just another reason why more visitors should come to our dynamic, creative city."

"TED, the most innovative conference in the world, was in Long Beach for five years, which allowed us to observe how they creatively used our meeting spaces," said Steve Goodling, president & CEO of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. "With the renovation, we have reimagined the Long Beach Arena, creating a flexible space that will allow other groups to have a similar experience without high cost."

The recently completed installation creates a "loft-style" ballroom, which multiplies the utilization of floor space of the Arena's floor space.  One of the largest-ever "flying" steel truss grid systems is now suspended above the 45,000-sq. ft. Arena floor.  This ingenious grid system can be raised or lowered in minutes to provide the perfect ceiling height for any event, transforming the Arena from a hockey venue filled with 13,000 raucous fans into an ideal meeting space for up to 5,000 reception guests.  The grid contains state-of-the art sound and theatrical lighting that can be customized by the event planner.  Electronically operated curtain walls drop down to cover the Arena's upper deck seating, completing the creation of the Pacific Ballroom.

"Our collaboration with the City of Long Beach and SMG (the Center's management company) allowed us to use our theatrical custom rigging expertise to craft a unique high-tech environment for staging a wide range of events," said Mike Murphy, president of JR Clancy. "We are proud to be a part of a project that is the first of its kind in the country."

With this "room within room" versatility, the Pacific Ballroom can be home to pops concerts, banquets, fashion shows, boxing matches, keynote speeches or auto shows with custom lighting on individual vehicles. Thanks to its built-in light and sound systems, adjustable ceiling and sidewall curtains, the Pacific Ballroom provides substantial cost savings and an adaptable, creative space so event planners can let their imaginations take wing.

Nestled along Long Beach's vibrant waterfront, between high-rise condo towers and a sailboat and cargo-ship filled harbor, the Long Beach Arena has been most notable for the iconic Wyland painted mural of gray whales and marine life. Now, with the exciting Pacific Ballroom, the multi-use Arena has a distinctive interior to match.

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