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What’s New in San Jose, CA’s Visitor Industry

July 16, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

From the debut of Northern California’s tallest and fastest wooden coaster to new daily service on All Nippon Airways Dreamliner from Tokyo to San Jose Mineta International Airport, San Jose is gearing up for a busy summer season.

Visitors can also take advantage of hotel and attraction developments such as:

Meeting and Sports Facilities

San Jose Convention Center: Visitors can already experience some of the exciting new changes at the San Jose Convention Center, which is undergoing a $130 million renovation and expansion set for completion in September 2013. The renovation is substantially complete, including lower level lobby with new sit steps and electrical outlets, a new Lobby Lounge named The Hub, offers an FIS-250x250inviting, naturally lit space for guests to meet between meeting sessions the center remains fully operational throughout the project.www.sanjose.org.

San Jose State University Football: The SJSU Spartans move to the Mountain West Conference beginning July 1, with six home football games starting August 29 for football lovers to enjoy. Call 408-924-SJTX or www.sjsuspartans.com for ticket information.

Hotel Happenings

Hotel Valencia Santana Row: This trendy hotel in the middle of Santana Row — San Jose’s answer to Rodeo Drive but more accessible — is offering a “Stay 2 Nights, Receive the 3rd Free” promotion, with rates starting at $189 per room, per night, based on double occupancy and subject to availability. Package includes stylish accommodations for two, continental breakfast for two at CITRUS and two coupons for a beverage of their choice at the ultra-hip Vbar. Offer is available during the following holidays or dates: Independence Day, June 28 – July 7, 2013 and Labor Day, August 29 – September 2, 2013. For reservations, book now or call toll free 866.842.0100 and mention the Stay 2 Nights, Get 3rd Free promotion. http://www.hotelvalencia-santanarow.com

San Jose Marriott: Visit the newly designed and expanded Corner Market Kitchen, the hotel’s casual outlet and gift shop which completed a $350,000 renovation and expansion in May — making it the largest convenience store within walking distance to the convention center and local hotels. They offer a comprehensive menu of Starbuck’s coffee specialties as well as casual grab-n-go pastries, sandwiches, beer, wine, beverages, candy, snacks and more. The gift shop offers a complete selection of local San Jose and Bay Area team merchandise from the Giants and the Sharks as well as culinary gifts, cosmetics, jewelry, sunglasses, accessories, cards, magazines, travel and personal items, and apparel. www.sanjosemarriott.com

Fairmont San Jose: On the heels of a $5+ million renovation completed last year, which encompassed the hotel’s lobby lounge, sushi bar “Takai,” 352 guest rooms and meeting space, Fairmont San Jose just launched the final phase of renovations to the last 200 rooms in the main building. Scheduled for completion by late 2013, the rooms will feature new beds, décor and soft goods, as well as new dual mirror/television sets (mirror is also the TV screen) in the bathrooms. www.fairmont.com/san-jose

Attraction Action

The Tech Museum of Innovation: San Jose’s museum of technological innovation recently debuted its newest hands-on experience, “Social Robots” — the only place you design, build and program a real robot using sensors, controllers and actuators. Tech lovers will enjoy so many possibilities at their fingertips, limited only by their imaginations. They can build their own robot using different blocks that are attached to a pre-formed base. Once completed, they step up to the workstation to program their robot. For the final touch, aspiring computer engineers can dress their robot up with wigs, feather boas, sunglasses and much more.http://www.thetech.org/

California’s Great America: The Park recently celebrated the opening of Gold Striker — Northern California’s tallest and fastest wooden coaster. The Old West coaster boasts high-speed twists, turns and drops, standing at 108 feet at its highest point with a first drop of 103 feet at a 50-degree angle. Riders can careen along 3,197 feet of track at speeds close to 54 miles per hour. The ride experience lasts more than two heart-pounding minutes.www.cagreatamerica.com

Raging Waters: Northern California’s Largest Water Park — Nominated by USA Today for 10 Best Waterparks, features more than 23 acres of water attractions, panoramic views and landscaped grounds — recently unveiled park upgrades to enhance guests’ experiences. Kids of all ages will enjoy a new slithering snake located in the waters between Slide Creek Falls and the activity Pool. They can also make their way to the Lagoon Stage where future stars can show off their karaoke skills, or relax at one of the new Wine Events in the upgraded Corporate Events area, called Tiki Gardens. Little Dipper Cabanas and Huts provide another new way to enjoy the park in top style, both including pool side views and food service in a central location between the Main Gate and Lazy River. www.RWsplash.com

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo: The park will soon launch Happy Hollow’s Summer Animal Show: A Road Trip Down the West Coast, featuring animals from the western coasts of North, Central and South America. Kids can meet everything from Bald Eagles to Kinkajous during the high-energy road trip show, which will be presented three times daily (Wednesday through Sunday) starting July 19 through August 11. Shows are included with admission.www.hhpz.org

Wining and Dining Deals and Developments

New Downtown Restaurants: Several new restaurants recently opened or will soon open, including The Farmers Union gastro-pub and sports lounge (set for July 18), where executive chef Charles Crossley serves up wood-fired oven and rotisserie fare and diners can enjoy games featured on 20 high-definition TVs and more than 50 beers on tap. The restaurant features photographs from San Jose’s past; the Farmers’ Union was established in the same building in 1874 and served as bank and cooperative for the region’s agrarian society (www.thefarmersunion.com). Chris Esparza, part-owner of Naglee Park Garage, just opened Blackbird Tavern, where Executive Chef Curtis Valdez has put together a diverse menu of fresh pub food and French bistro favorites. Blackbird Tavern will also contribute to downtown’s growing live and local music scene Thursday-Saturday (www.theblackbirdtavern.com). In the South of First Area (SoFA), Mark Williams has turned a former garage into Orchestria Palm Court, a restaurant named after the orchestrion, beautifully decorated machines that look like player pianos and sound like an orchestra or band. The restaurant has several orchestria that will provide background music for diners as they enjoy healthy and organic European continental fare, a complete soda fountain and beer or wine. The facade was redone by Jim Salata / Garden City Construction, which kept the big doors which used to move cars in and out (www.orchestriapalmcourt.com). Chef Monalisa D’Angelo just opened Chef Mo’s Cafe in the Germania Hall with a secluded and picturesque patio, serving artisan Braunschweiger, German salami and chicken sandwiches, spinach and berry salad with mango chutney dressing, Greek salad or Santa Fe quinoa salad (www.chefmonalisa.com). The Amir Cafe Mediterranean Cuisine opened on Market Street, featuring dishes from all over the Mediterranean and outdoor dining. The renowned heavenly sandwich chain Ike’s Place opens its 10th Northern California location in Downtown San Jose’s Legacy Civic Towers later this summer (www.ilikeikesplace.com). Opening in July, San Pedro Square Market welcomes Konjoe Burger Bar that features innovative fusion burgers. Also new at the market are Pauly’s Franks N Fries, Chocatoo, and Market Beer Company (www.sanpedrosquaremarket.com).

Shopping Specials

Japantown San Jose: One of the last three Japantowns in the U.S., Japantown San Jose is on a roll with several new stores for visitors and residents to explore, such as Halloway!urban street wear, Polar Bell Embroidery and Sak n’ Sak totes, handbags and accessories.“Discover San Jose” opened last week, featuring items that represent San Jose, such as souvenirs and gifts from San Jose bakeries, tea shops, artists and professional sports teams, plus a virtual concierge to find out what’s going on in the city.

Transportation Tidbits

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) Updates:

New Flight Service

All Nippon Airways (ANA) begins daily nonstop service between Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) and Narita International Airport (NRT) in Tokyo on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on July 10, 2013. Growth in traveler demand to fly on the Dreamliner combined with the convenient air service offered between Silicon Valley Airport and Tokyo, with easy connections to Asia, are the reasons for the accelerated schedule from the current five weekly flights. Book reservations for SJC-NRT daily service at 1-800-235-9262 or fly-ana.com. Learn more about the investment ANA brings to Silicon Valley hereDelta Air Linesresumed service between SJC and LAX on June 10, 2013, now flying four daily nonstop flights. Delta also offers nonstop service between SJC and Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Salt Lake City. Book tickets at delta.com or 1-800-221-1212. SJC recently welcomed Virgin America and its appropriately-named aircraft “#nerdbird” on May 1, 2013. A favorite of tech-savvy travelers and recently recognized as the nation’s best performing airline by the annual Airline Quality Rating and named the Best Airline by Consumer Reports, Virgin America launched nonstop service between SJC and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with four daily flights. Tickets are available at virginamerica.com or 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (1-877-359-8474).

New VIP Lounge for All Passengers

Now open to ALL SJC travelers is The Club at SJC, a “common use” VIP lounge. By purchasing a day pass for $35, travelers have access to all the amenities of an airport lounge where they can escape the hustle and bustle of the terminals to work quietly, meet with clients, or freshen up during their journey. Priority Pass members have access to the lounge and some SJC airlines offer their premium class or high-mileage status passengers access, at no additional cost. The Club at SJC, located across from gate 15 on the third level, is conveniently located between both terminals and easily accessible. For more information, visit The Club at SJC.

First and Only Bay Area Airport to Offer Zipcar

SJC now offers Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing service. It’s easy for SJC travelers who are Zipcar members to use a car. Simply access the Zipcar app or website and reserve a vehicle. Go directly to the reserved Zipcar in SJC’s Consolidated Rental Car Center, located across from Terminal B, on the 4th floor in the Avis section. Travelers do not have to stop at a counter. Once arriving at the reserved car, simply use the Zipcard to open the car and drive off. Upon return, return the Zipcar to the same location. SJC is the first and only airport in the Bay Area to offer this ground transportation service.

For more information on San Jose as a business and leisure destination visit www.sanjose.org.

Team San Jose (TSJ)

Team San Jose, Inc. is an innovative partnership unifying the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience and serve as the gateway to San Jose as a destination. Our company manages the San Jose Convention Center and Arts and Entertainment venues including the California Theatre, the Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, San Jose Civic and South Hall. For more information about San Jose and Team San Jose, please visit the new www.sanjose.org.

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