January 2014

Greater Ontario, Calif., offers prime meetings locations

by Tyler Davidson

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It boasts a proximity any destination would dream of, being only 40 minutes from the second-largest urban area in the U.S., Los Angeles.

But the Greater Ontario area—“the affordable alternative to Los Angeles and Orange County,” doesn’t carry the hefty price tag meeting planners will find closer to the Pacific.

“Meeting planners come to Greater Ontario knowing they’ll get the same high level of service and accommodations but at a greater value,” says Michael Krouse, the new president and CEO of the Greater Ontario CVB, which represents the Inland Empire destinations of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, “which means their meeting attendees can enjoy themselves a little more when they go out and about to explore everything that Southern California has to offer.”

According to Krouse, the destination draws everything from business professionals to competitive cheer teams, and even held one of the largest quilting conferences at the Ontario Convention Center, which offers 225,000 square feet of meeting space and a 70,000-square-foot exhibit hall.

Many delegates traveling to the area for a meeting choose to dedicate some time to shopping at two of the area’s marquee venues.

CVB Contact

Greater Ontario CVB
909.937.3000; 800.455.5755
“People come here from all over the world to shop at Ontario Mills, California’s largest value retail outlet,” Krouse says. “Victoria Gardens is another popular shopping destination, with its pedestrian-oriented design and upscale boutiques.”

On the active side, groups can kart-race, zipline, mountain bike and parachute, or cool off at Raging Waters, which was rated one of the top 10 waterparks in the nation by USA Today.

And, of course, all of the myriad activity options of Greater Los Angeles are but a shuttle bus ride away. mf

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