Monterey Conference Center Announces Renovation Plan

Monterey Conference Center Announces Renovation Plan

The City of Monterey announced plans to raise funds for a much-needed major renovation of the Monterey Conference Center. The center has not seen significant updates since it was built in the 1970’s and the Monterey County Visitors Bureau is looking forward to expanded group capacity and updated space and technology offerings that will help attract new corporate business from the nearby San Francisco Bay Area.

Neighboring hotel owners have agreed to tax themselves to fund the renovation project, with major players including the Portola Hotel and the Monterey Marriott, which are both attached to the center and offer 50,000 square feet and 56,000 square feet of event space, respectively.

There is no timeline set for the project, and cost estimates are currently around $32 million.

The renovation won’t include any new additions, but the center will gain approximately 30,000 square feet of usable space due to reconfigurations. Officials are aiming for LEED certification and enhanced flexibility.

Home to the legendary Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row, Monterey has tons of allure for groups looking for a relaxed oceanside retreat. Plus the city was one of the first major communities in California and has history (John Steinbeck!) combined with the stunning natural beauty of Carmel Valley and the Big Sur coast.

The independent Portola Hotel has 379 guest rooms, a full-service spa, private dining and reception venues and offers planners a variety of green meeting services and teambuilding excursions, like stand-up paddleboarding with Adventures By The Sea.

Tanimura & Antle, a large family-owned farming corporation, operates group tours in the fertile farmlands of the Salinas Valley. With more than 40,000 acres of produce, there is always something to see, sip or taste, and groups can sample fresh strawberries and walk through a celery field while learning about local food production.

Planners looking for interactive CSR can take their attendees “gleaning”; picking leftover food from the fields following a harvest, and then donating it to charity.

T&A also opened the Wharf Marketplace last year, a few steps from the Portola Hotel, the marina and the waterfront bike path. Boasting the “Bounty of the County," the neighborhood gathering spot includes a cafe, outdoor seating and all the produce, local wine and cute trinkets your heart desires.

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