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JAN-FEB 2017

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14 J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 S elect Traveler Conference attendees are in for a treat: The 2017 edition of the conference will take place February 5-7 in Ontario, California. This will be the fi rst time the conference has journeyed to the West Coast. "We are doing something completely different," said confer- ence organizer Joe Cappuzzello. The conference will be staged inside the beautiful Ontario Convention Center, with its sun- drenched lobbies and its views of the gorgeous San Bernardino Mountains. "It will be in a great venue, an almost-brand-new convention center," said Cappuzzello. The convention hall offers 225,000 square feet of fl exible and divisible meeting, exhibit and function space. Some of the groups that have booked the center liken it to a "high-end ho- tel experience," according to the center's operators. The offi cial conference hotel is right next door to the con- vention center. Delegates will enjoy the DoubleTree by Hilton, an upscale, resort-type hotel property. Both are just minutes from Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport (ONT), one of the fi nest small airports located in the region. The convention center district is surrounded by about 3,000 hotel rooms. A to- BY DAN DICKSON tal of 6,000 rooms are available in the Greater Ontario region. Hotel room rates tend to be much lower in Greater Ontario than in the larger metropolitan areas of the region. Ontario, and its tourism partner and neighbor Rancho Cu- camonga, are about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Delegates from winter-weary states will welcome Ontario's abundant sunshine, dry air and average daily temperatures in the 60s in February. REGIONAL HUB "We are a hub around which there are a lot of major things to do," said Michael Krouse, president and CEO of the Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau. People visiting the area, also known as the Inland Empire, use it as a starting point for tourism travel throughout Southern California. From Ontario, visitors often go on to places like Los Angeles, San Diego, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. "Myself, I like to take a trip out to Palm Springs, just a little over an hour away, because it is 85 to 90 degrees," said Sue Oxarart, who is the CVB's director of marketing and commu- nications. "I enjoy the drive through the desert. Winter is gor- Ontario Motor Speedway CALIFORNIA CALLING SELECT TRAVELER CONFERENCE HEADS FOR THE SUN IN FEBRUARY C O N F E R E N C E connection

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