Dec. 05--The Irvine Co., which has owned the Hyatt Regency Irvine since 1986, now also manages the 536-room hotel as the rebranded Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center. The thinking behind the name change is that, in the age of online searching, a basic name can be just as good as a well-known brand.
"We could all spend a lot of time with cute, creative names," said Ralph Grippo, president of the Irvine Co.'s resort properties. But search engines are king, so the company hopes that when individuals search for "hotels in Irvine," it will quickly rise to the top.
The hotel is already busy, so the company's priority isn't necessarily to boost overnight stays. It wants the hotel -- and its restaurants and lounges -- to be a destination for travelers and locals alike, a center in a city lacking a downtown, Grippo said. Every room will be renovated with pops of color and more seamless technological features, including device plug-ins. Glass sliding doors will replace shower curtains to create a feeling of more space. Work is to start within the next 90 days.
The convention center meeting space, restaurant, lounge and outdoor space also will get a new look. Renovations will happen in phases so the hotel can remain open. The upgrades should be complete by this time next year, Grippo said.
Grippo said the timing was right, with its two other hotel properties in Newport Beach -- the Island Hotel and The Resort at Pelican Hill -- doing well. The Hyatt was the last hotel property the Irvine Co. owned but didn't manage.
-- Kimberly Pierceall
On the move
Kareo Inc., a medical office software developer based in Irvine, hired Amyra Rand as vice president of sales. She previously served as senior director of sales and segment leader at HireRight.
Tiffany Chang joined the retail consumer lending team at Union Bank as producing sales manager. She works out of the company's Irvine office, managing a team of mortgage consultants. Chang previously worked as a loan consultant at Wells Fargo.
South Coast Plaza has begun selling Disneyland Resort tickets and annual passports again, at four concierge desks. Suzi Brown, a Disneyland spokeswoman, said the shopping center previously sold the tickets at a separate Disney desk, but that was removed several years ago. The mall is offering a $20 South Coast Plaza gift certificate with the purchase of each Premium, Deluxe or Southern California Disneyland Resort Annual Passport. Southern California Select Annual Passports are not eligible for the gift certificate. Disney sells tickets through other shopping centers, including the Irvine Spectrum Center and Fashion Island.
Jewelry Exchange, a diamond importer and jewelry seller in Tustin, bought the Gold-Stone quartz mine in the Twentynine Palms area of San Bernardino County for an undisclosed amount. Gold sometimes occurs in quartz veins.
WD, a subsidiary of Irvine-based hard disk-drive maker Western Digital Corp., has partnered with Chinese online search giant Baidu to integrate their respective cloud technologies in China. People use WD's My Cloud drives to store files from their computers and mobile gadgets and access them from Internet-connected devices. Baidu provides cloud-based storage services to 100 million Chinese users through its Baidu Yun product. The partnership lets them use WD's My Cloud mobile apps to manage Baidu Yun accounts and transfer files between a My Cloud device and Baidu Yun. Users can back up their drive to Baidu Yun, or back up their Baidu Yun account to their WD hard drive.
Diana Kiehl, chief administrative officer at Alliant Insurance Services Inc., a specialty insurance brokerage firm in Newport Beach, is one of 25 "Women to Watch" according to senior editors at Business Insurance, a biweekly trade publication. Kiehl is the only Orange County executive to appear on this year's list. Honorees are chosen based on recent professional achievements, marketplace influence and contributions to the advancement of women in business.
PowerPlan Corp., a company that makes budget and performance management software, is celebrating 15 years of business in its Huntington Beach headquarters.
"Aside from a financial nuclear bomb ? la Lehman Brothers, our actual scenario is likely to play out more gradually as private markets realize that the policy kings/queens have no clothes and as investors gradually vacate historical asset classes in recognition of insufficient returns relative to increasing risk." -? Pimco's Bill Gross, in his latest letter to investors, on how they will react to diminishing returns on risk-oriented assets.
Mary Ann Milbourn contributed to this report.
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