of the nature of the organization, it’s important for
employees to lean toward being green when they
participate in activities.
“We’re all with public water agencies, so we’re
always concentrating on how we contribute to the
environment at meetings,” Currie says.
ACWA holds one meeting a year each in
Northern and Southern California, and the NorCal
conference is usually held in Monterey. You
couldn’t hold that giant ADA meeting here, but
Monterey is the perfect size for the 2,700 room
nights required for a four-day ACWA meeting.
There’s 70,000 square feet of flexible meeting space
and about 20,000 square feet of exhibition space
between the Monterey Conference Center, the
Marriott Monterey, and the Portola Hotel & Spa.
“Monterey is beautiful, and it’s a highly attended
conference site, but one reason we keep going back
is the convenience of being able to walk from hotels
to meeting,” Currie says.
It’s also a destination that’s demonstrating how a
conference or convention center district can lead to
enhancements beyond the event space itself. As the
conference center completes a $60 million renovation, the Portola completed its own expansive renovation of its 379 guest rooms, atrium lobby, and more.
Not using up gas to get from place to place keeps
the group’s carbon footprint to a minimum. But
don’t forget that being green is often cost-efficient on
“Cabs cost money,” Currie points out. “We can’t
meet in a city like San Francisco, for example, because
of the costs of a lot of things, including transportation
and parking. In Monterey, we sometimes have people
at overflow properties, and we’ll provide a shuttle. But
that’s nothing compared to some of the larger cities
that aren’t as pedestrian-friendly.”
Small-town charm mixes with big-time ce-
lebrity in Monterey, which was the setting and
the site of filming for the recent HBO series Big
Little Lies. You could walk from the Monterey
Conference Center to Fisherman’s Wharf and sit
at the harbor-side café where characters played
by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon were
filmed gossiping about local goings-on in the
whodunit series. Questions or comments? Email
Read about other cities embracing convention center
districts at successfulmeetings.com/RisingDestinations
Visitors to the Indiana Convention Center can take advantage of Visit Indy’s
Show Us Your Badge program offering discounts to local venues
The glassed dome of the Indianapolis Artsgarden shelters an unconventional
event venue, a few blocks from the convention center