Posts Tagged ‘Events’

Inside the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
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There is something about winter on the Monterey Peninsula. Typically, the weather becomes a bit warmer and sunnier, the excitement of the New Year turns to keeping up with resolutions and preparations for the PGA Tour’s annual celebrity showcase, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am are running full bore. As the fleets of volunteer and player courtesy cars arrive and the tournament’s stands, buildings and tents are built in anticipation of one of the year’s most entertaining tournaments, let’s take a closer look at one of the things that make this event so unique!

Since the 1930’s, the Crosby Clambake, now the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, has blended the worlds of sports and entertainment with golf in a way that has delighted fans around the world and raised over 100 million dollars for charity since the tournament started. While much of the East Coast and Mid-West are covered in snow and ice, each February, TV sets around the country explode with the vibrant green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, the clear blue of the Monterey Bay and the mellow tone of CBS’ Jim Nantz as he describes the world class golf and celebrity hijinks. As with anything popular, the public has asked for more and the tournament’s hosts, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, responded with a fantastic line-up of events leading up to the event’s official start on Thursday.

One of the newer and for Bay Area golf and sports fans, the most exciting additions, has been the Chevron Shoot-Out held this year on February 10, 2014 at 1:30pm at the Pebble Beach Golf Links.  Two storied sports franchises tee it up in team competition with current and former San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants going head to head over 5 holes. The teams are competing for bragging rights but more importantly, for $100,000 that is then donated to the Giants Community Fund, The 49ers Foundation and other local charities.

Confirmed participants in the Shoot-Out include SF 49er greats Steve Young and Harris Barton and current SF Giants Buster Posey, Matt Cain and Bruce Bochy with others yet to be named.  This part of the “AT&T Week” is always fun and it’s a great opportunity to get up close to your favorite 49er or Giant.

Yes, the regular tournament is the big show and will once again be highlighted by comedian Bill Murray, actors Don Cheadle and Chris O’Donnell and NFL stars Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, but Tuesday’s Chevron Shoot-Out offers a laid back and approachable venue to watch some of the best athletes in the world play golf like you and me. FORE! (Seriously)

Portola Debuts Runner’s Lounge – Ready, Set, Relax!

Friday, November 14th, 2014
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As the Big Sur Half Marathon runners, sponsors, fans and family members arrive this week, the Portola Hotel & Spa is launching a Runner’s Lounge in their lower lobby.  Featuring cool seating and a designated area for a lucy Activewear Pop Up Shop, as well as a healthy snacks and beverages; AND for after the race, Peter B’s Brewpub’s IPA, Blonde and Amber Ales from Jacks Lounge.

The Runner’s Lounge will be open from 9am-3pm, November 15-16 and Jacks Lounge will open each day at 11am.  So lace up those running shoes and sprint, jog or walk on over to the Portola Runner’s Lounge this weekend in beautiful Monterey!

Jacks Pineapple Coconut Water

And the Winner is…

Monday, November 10th, 2014
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Known as one of the premier venues in in Central and Northern California for conferences, meetings and corporate events of all sizes, the Portola Hotel & Spa was recently named a winner of the Smart Meetings Magazine 2014 Platinum Choice Award. I am thrilled to share with the followers of our Central Coast Living Blog, the press release that was distributed by Ballantines PR to local, regional, national and trade industry media outlets announcing this exciting news!

Portola Hotel & Spa, Monterey’s first and only Silver LEED® EB certified hotel, has been selected by Smart Meetings magazine as a winner of its 11th annual Platinum Choice award. This prestigious award recognizes excellence in service and amenities among meeting hotels and resorts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. An additional category recognizes outstanding services by destination marketing organizations and convention and visitor bureaus across North America.

Out of thousands of qualified properties and organizations, Smart Meetings honors a select group of 192 businesses this year, one being Portola Hotel & Spa. Winners earn this recognition by setting exemplary standards in a range of categories, including ambience, amenities, breadth of resources, facility quality, guest services, meeting space, meeting packages, recreational activities, restaurant and dining facilities, and technical support. The honorees are chosen by the publication’s readers, who vote for their favorites, with additional input from editors and industry experts.

“The winners reflect the diversity of destinations and properties available to meet the needs of meeting planners. These organizations, hotels and resorts exemplify the professional standards expected by event professionals and attendees,” said Marin Bright, Smart Meetings Founder and Publisher. “We are proud to honor industry leaders that celebrate excellence, innovation, exemplary service and facilities to help make meetings and events extraordinary for planners and attendees.”

“We are excited and honored to have been selected by Smart Meetings as a Platinum Choice Award winner and will continue to strive for excellence and be a leader in the hospitality industry,” said Janine Chicourrat, General Manager of Portola Hotel & Spa.

Portola Hotel, along with the premier group of honorees, will be celebrated in the December 2014 issue of Smart Meetings magazine and on smartmeetings.com. View the full list of 2014 winners click here.

Carmel International Film Festival

Monday, October 13th, 2014
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Nothing says Monterey Peninsula like a festival. Whether it be a music, art or wine event, Monterey County is home to some of the most famous and eclectic gatherings the world over. While the Monterey Jazz and the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festivals garner much of the attention, some of area’s more intimate offerings can turn out to be quite a treat!

Carmel has a long and storied history as an artist’s enclave. While much of the art is of the traditional kind, in recent years there has been a greater focus on film. Clint Eastwood’s “Play Misty For Me” may have been the genesis but it was his stint as mayor that truly brought the focus to the sleepy city by the sea. The sixth annual Carmel International Film Festival rolls out the red carpet October 15 – 18, 2014. With independent and contemporary offerings, movie buffs of all generes will be satisfied as over 100 films will be screened over the five day event. Categories include student, animation, feature, documentary and narrative and will be shown at the Sunset Center, Carmel High School Performing Arts Center, Adobe Theatre and Cherry Center for the Arts.

The festival offers more than the celluloid form as traditional art and photography as well as music which is also an important part of the event. The festival offers yearly scholarships to worthy students pursuing an education in film, drama, fine art and photography. The films range to the truly independent to ones with Hollywood A-listers. Stars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Miles Teller, Tommy Lee Jones, Hillary Swank, Josh Duhamel and many others will be gracing the silver screen at this year’s festival along with Q&A sessions with some of the film’s directors and producers. Special to the festival this year is a screening of Merry Friggin’ Christmas, one of Robin William’s last films.

For a more detailed lineup and to buy tickets, visit www.carmelfilmfest.com

So if you are looking for something a little different, join the food and film festivals of fun in Monterey County!

SCCA National Championships

Monday, October 6th, 2014
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Photo Courtesy of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

While much of the nation’s automotive focus is pointed to the Monterey Peninsula during Car week in August, in recent years the hardcore racing fan’s appetite has been satisfied with a bevy of races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The world famous track has played host to the internationally renowned Red Bull Grand Prix, the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix and from October 10-12, 2014 the raceway will host the Sports Car Club of America’s National Championships.

Although billed as an amateur event, these competitors are far from Sunday drivers. The top drivers from each of the SCCA’s 115 national regions are invited with drivers slotted in 27 different car classes. Throughout the week, drivers will get plenty of practice time on Mazda Raceway’s famous twists and turns before qualifying begins. Friday through Sunday the drivers and their teams rev up the fun with three days of competition.

Some of the more popular classes include Production, which allows for performance modifications to an existing design, Formula which are single seat, open-wheel race cars and Sedan which include American muscle cars like the Camaro, Mustang or GTO. Unique to this type of competition is the vast number of different cars all racing against comparable models. Universal, however, is the skill and passion that every driver shows and the dedication to the performance of their cars.

The races will be broadcast live and on demand at www.speedcasttv.com, but if you’d rather get up close and personal to the action, Advanced General Admission tickets are available for $25 per day or $60 for a three day pass. Children under 12 are free with a paying adult and parking is also free with preferred parking only $25.

So if you’re in the mood for some high performance speed from a driver that might just live around the corner, check out the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Drivers, start your engines!