Baker and Butler Memorial Accommodations

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A few Santa Clara hotels have created discounted rates for the Baker and Butler Memorial. Please click the chart to view the rates.

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Santa Clara Chamber/CVB Active in Super Bowl Bid Process

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The 2016 (50th) and 2017 (51st) Super Bowl Bid process began in October of last year when the Bay Area Bid Committee reached out to the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau for assistance. In November, we received the 152 page bid specification booklet and have been working on meeting the requirements ever since.  This is when we learned Miami is also bidding for 2016 and Houston is bidding for 2017.  The final bid document will be sent to the NFL on April 1 with a final decision made on May 21 at the owners meeting for both 2016 and 2017 Super Bowl locations.

Many meetings and conference calls have occurred since we began this process in October.  San Francisco Travel is leading the bid coordination with Santa Clara playing a critical role due to the stadium location and game day requirements and activities.  The initial focus was to determine where the major events would be held.  Many of these events like the NFL Experience and Media Center will be held in San Francisco due to their physical requirements; however, Santa Clara will be hosting the NFL Tailgate Party, On Location Hospitality and many other private corporate events that have yet to be determined.  There have been comments made that Santa Clara will not realize the economic impact from the Super Bowl due to many of the larger events being held in San Francisco.  My belief is we will see a huge economic impact not only from the NFL sanctioned events, but from the many private events that will certainly be held close to the stadium for the many companies that call Silicon Valley their home.

Also, a minimum of 19,000 blocked hotel rooms are required for the bid to be considered.  Our goal is to block 24,500 hotel rooms on peak night throughout San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara County.  San Francisco has blocked over 12,000 on peak, San Mateo 2,500, San Jose 3,500 and Santa Clara 1,700 as of this writing.  We are holding additional meetings with outlying Santa Clara County hotels to increase the peak block by another 600 rooms.  Several apartments and long term stay properties will also be needed and will be in high demand for the NFL staff and their affiliates.

The teams are scheduled to practice at Stanford University and San Jose State University prior to the big game. Each team hotel is required to be within close proximity of the practice facilities. Currently, team hotels are being considered in San Jose and in San Mateo County.

Many logistical issues still need to be worked out. Transportation, security, parking are just a few.  The city staff and city council are currently meeting to discuss how these costs will be paid and how to make sure the City of Santa Clara is not responsible for the entire bill. I feel confident these issues will be resolved very soon and the City of Santa Clara will realize a very positive return on investment.

If awarded, in 2016 or 2017, more than 100 million people around the world will have their eyes on the City of Santa Clara as they watch the Super Bowl.  Our hotels and restaurants will be full, generating a surge of transient occupancy tax and sales tax revenue for the City.  Fans will shop and enjoy local entertainment before and after the big game.  Even though San Francisco is named the official host city, the action will be at the other end of the Bay.  All roads will lead to the City of Santa Clara on game day and our community will realize the benefits of hosting a Super Bowl for years to come.

“Visit Santa Clara” iPhone App Now Available

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With the 49ers Santa Clara Stadium and planned NVIDIA and Apple campuses on their way, the city of Santa Clara is expecting thousands of new visitors. In an effort to assist them in becoming familiar with the Silicon Valley city, the Santa Clara Convention and Visitors Bureau has developed a new “Visit Santa Clara” iPhone App.

The App is free and available for download at Apple’s online App Store. The “Visit Santa Clara” App features Trip Advisor ratings of Santa Clara Things To Do, Places to Eat, and Hotels as well as an Interactive Map. Other highlights include access to Special Discounts, Event Listings, Social Media links and Santa Clara Stadium updates.

According to Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau President and CEO Steve Van Dorn, “the App will be an invaluable tool for convention delegates and corporate and leisure travelers visiting Santa Clara.” Van Dorn adds “residents will see benefit from the App as well.”

New City Manager at Outlook 2013

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Julio Fuentes, new City Manager for Santa Clara, was introduced to the Chamber membership at Outlook 2013.  Steve Van Dorn, President & CEO, conducted a discussion with Fuentes.

The new City Manager discussed his proudest accomplishment in his previous job with the City of Alhambra. It was the revitalization of downtown and turning it into a destination. His also spoke about his first impressions of Santa Clara saying it was a well-balanced community with diversity of the neighborhoods from high tech to historical areas. Fuentes also highlighted the friendliness and diversity of the community.

Fuentes also shared his top three priorities:

  1. RDA Wind-down:  this is crucial – they will be looking at the assets that are at risk, the effort it took to create these assets and their benefits, and looking at the services that benefit from those assets.  The RDA takeaway represents a $13 million loss in lease revenue, which equates to a 9%+ loss in funds.
  2. Maintain and stabilize the budget:  add to the reserves
  3. Continue to create a positive economic environment & continue to solicit investment in the community:  the City is here to serve the community and to improve opportunities for business.

To move past the loss of the RDA funds, the City will research other options for bringing businesses to the area such as electric rebates and fee reductions.  He also focused on positive improvements to the City such as the Menlo Equities project, the new TownPlace Suites by Marriott and the Santa Clara Stadium project.  He closed with the request to the audience that “if you’re looking to expand your business, the City of Santa Clara is here to help.”

California’s Great America Set to Open 2013 Season

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California’s Great America, the Bay Area’s premier entertainment destination, launches its 2013 season on March 29 and will open daily beginning Memorial Day weekend.

Highlighting the 2013 campaign will be Gold Striker, Northern California’s tallest and fastest wooden coaster. Gold Striker will feature a wooden coaster record 174-foot initial descent tunnel that will provide riders a true gold mine experience, but at speeds nearing 54 miles per hour. Gold Striker joins Great America’s mainstay thrill rides, including Flight Deck, Demon, Flight Deck and Tiki Twirl.

Boomerang Bay waterpark, included with park admission, provides wet and wild adventure rides, along with relaxing activities to simply soak up the sun. The entire family will enjoy the lovable PEANUTS(r) Gang, the incredible KidZville and entertaining shows featuring Broadway hits and pop favorites.

Fireworks will again blast off on select nights, with special holiday shows on  May 26, July 5-6 and September 1. Also, Halloween Haunt returns scarier than ever in September and October. For more information visit www.cagreatamerica.com.

Impact of Proposed BRT System

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The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has proposed and is in the process of gaining approval for a Bus Rapid Transit system that will run along El Camino Real.  The proposed project is located along a 17.4-mile portion of the El Camino Real, running from the HP Pavilion in San Jose to the Palo Alto Transit Center.  The primary project focus is a system where one lane in each direction of El Camino Real would become dedicated bus-only lanes starting at Lafayette St. and extending through Santa Clara.  VTA has presented a total of five alternatives for the BRT system, but this is the one that appears to be the primary focus.

In response to the VTA proposal for the BRT system, the Chamber surveyed our membership to find out what they thought of the proposal.  In addition to surveying our membership electronically, we also met with member businesses along the El Camino Real corridor that would be directly impacted by the proposed system.    

Here are some comments and concerns that businesses shared with us:

  • Less drive by traffic.
  • Lack of left turn lanes could/would discourage people from patronizing my business as it would affect ease of access.
  • We rely on street parking at our busy times. The street is too congested NOW. Congestion will make it worse.
  • The BRT project doesn’t make sense as VTA is consistently towards the bottom of all ridership categories.  Losing an additional lane of traffic on El Camino will further impact existing freeways already spilling over.  VTA bus service is an inexpensive alternative to them extending rail service or working with BART/High Speed rail to build the infrastructure of the future here in the Bay Area.
  • Since my business is not located along the El Camino, it will not impact my business, but it will impact my decisions about shopping or using other businesses when I am in Santa Clara.
  • I believe this will vastly increase car traffic and will discourage people from coming out to our restaurant.
  • We rely on customers from the El Camino Route. If these businesses are impacted it will create a ripple effect on our business.
  • Dangerous for handicapped and seniors – having to walk across a car lane to get to the dedicated bus lane.
  • We don’t need it; we need small jitney buses traveling in multiple directions – we don’t live and work linear. 

The Chamber is opposed to the BRT for the above reasons in addition to the fact that not all cities along the El Camino Real are supportive of the project (Santa Clara City Council voted to support the project while the Sunnyvale City Council opposed it) and there is a potential loss of sales tax revenues from these businesses along El Camino Real which will impact the City’s General Fund. The Chamber has sent a letter to the City Council asking for a reconsideration of their vote on the project, asking them to choose the “No Build” or “Mixed Flow Only” option.  The Chamber also encourages businesses to voice their opinion – if you would like to send a letter to our City Council, there is a sample available on the Chamber’s website, www.santaclarachamber.org/advocacy. Click on the “Take Action” link.  You’ll find a sample letter here as well as a link to our survey.  Working together, we will make Santa Clara a better place to live, work and do business.