You’re having dinner and drinks at The Beverly Hilton with Lucille Ball. As dessert is served, a spot-on Dean Martin walks in, dropping by the hotel as he would have decades ago. He has a drink or two. “Well whataya know,” he says, “maybe I’ll sing a song.”
So Frankie Sinatra gets wind that Dino’s at The Bev Hilton and stops by for some bourbon and smokes. Sammy Davis Jr. slides in snapping fingers, and all the sudden you’ve got a swinging little shindig goin’ on.
“It was one of those nights that really, really worked,” says Kristen Coleman, sales manager for Access Destination Services, “what if we want a private luau party at trader vic’s, or box seats for madonna? Can you hook a girl up?”
“Some of the women in the audience were doing a kicking line with the impersonators, singing and taking pictures,” she says, touting her Rat Pack theme event.
Coleman explains that entertaining people with world-beating style and Hollywood star power is a passion in Los Angeles. Nothing’s impossible, she promises, whether it’s lunch on the set of Wisteria Lane at Universal Studios Hollywood, teambuilding with pro dancers from “Dancing with the Stars,” or an awards dinner at the legendary Conga Room.
L.A. LIVE Last winter, the $30 million Grammy Museum opened in downtown LA, celebrating the history of music spanning all genres from the Delta blues to Detroit hip hop. A massive array of memorabilia as well as interactive, educational exhibits explore the creative processes behind music-making and recording. Especially notable is the “Songs of Conscience, Sounds of Freedom” exhibition about music’s role as a political force in society.
“There’s so much revolving around the recording industry here these days,” says Coleman. “It was due to take the spotlight.” Access offers a Rock n’ Roll History Tour starting at the music museum. Attendees also visit venues like The Troubadour where Elton John, The Doors and James Taylor got their big breaks. “I don’t think it’s really changed much since then,” she laughs.
The Grammy Museum is part of the sweeping new L.A. Live complex—a whopping 5.6 million sf of glam group space covering six city blocks near the Los Angeles Convention Center. It includes the Nokia Theatre (home to the latest American Idol finale), Staples Center and a host of restaurants and nightlife options. Both the JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles and The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles are scheduled to open here mid-2010, completing the $2.5 billion project.
“It’s all one campus,” says Michael K. Krouse, senior vp of sales for LA INC.—brand name for the Los Angeles CVB. “There’s the Conga Room and the Club Nokia and all these different venues, so a group never has to leave.”
Sounds good. But is it flexible, or will smaller groups feel swallowed up? What if we want a private luau party at Trader Vic’s, or box seats for Madonna? Can you hook a girl up?