Daily Business Report-Jan. 9, 2018
San Diego Convention Center to Generate
$1.2 Billion in Regional Impact in 2018
Medical meetings at the San Diego Convention Center will continue to drive attendance and economic benefits to San Diego this calendar year, resulting in an estimated $1.2 billion in regional impact.
The forecast for the year, from Jan. 1 through Dec., 31, 2018 shows a total of 108 events – 58 citywide conventions, known as primary events, and 50 secondary events – booked at the San Diego Convention Center. These events will bring 862,408 attendees to the facility: that’s almost equal to the population of the city of San Francisco.
Primary events (citywide conventions) bring San Diego greater benefits as they consist of out-of-town attendees here for conventions, tradeshows and corporate events that require overnight stays. Secondary events include San Diego-based events or community/consumer shows, and usually do not require overnight stays.
The $27.5 million in estimated tax revenues during 2018 are generated by convention visitors and helps relieve the tax burden on local residents. These revenues pay for important services such as fire and police protection, beach and park maintenance, libraries and street improvements.
“San Diego remains a top meeting and convention destination because it offers an award-winning facility surrounded by more than 13,000 high-quality hotel rooms nearby and an international airport just three miles away,” said President & CEO Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, CFE. “Our convention center is at the heart of a thriving tourism eco-system that draws visitors to San Diego for a convention, trade show or event, then drives them out into the city to benefit local businesses, shops, restaurants and attractions, creating a ‘ripple effect’ into the economy that reaches across San Diego County.”
Comic-Con International will be the top economic generator of the calendar year, with 130,000 attendees and an estimated $147.1 million in regional impact. It is followed by four medical conventions, including the Society for Neuroscience. That one event alone is estimated to generate $88.8 million, generate 46,850 hotel room nights and bring 30,000 medical and science attendees from around the world. This is the seventh time Neuroscience will be held in San Diego. It was first contracted in 2001, following the convention center’s expansion.
The third top economic generator in 2018 will be the American Society of Hematology, another repeat client, with a $79.3 million regional impact, 86,015 hotel room nights and an attendance of 27,000, including international guests.
Medical meetings are especially desirable for a convention center because they attract attendees with more disposable income, perform well in economic downturns and the attendees are more likely to bring their families and stay for vacation. San Diego’s growing innovation economy, biotech and technology sector, international connections with Mexico, and even our world famous craft beer culture, proves the destination is thriving with opportunity for research and business ventures.
Many of these annual events are on a rotation where they cycle through different regions every year, returning to a region every four to six years. The San Diego Convention Center has a 70 percent return business rate.
As for building occupancy, the convention center is expected to hit a 76 percent occupancy rate. The industry average for occupancy is 50 percent, and at levels above 60 percent, a center is operating close to full capacity and may begin to turn away significant amounts of business.
This calendar year, customers and guests will also experience a brand new Sails Pavilion, with its new concrete flooring and new roof which should be completely installed by mid-February. It’s one of several capital improvements
that the convention center has been working on since December of 2016. Escalators and elevators are also being upgraded. In addition, the Board of Directors also approved funding for new meeting room chairs, folding chairs, podiums, risers and easels.
“The San Diego Convention Center remains one of the most successful investments San Diego city leaders have made,” said Gil Cabrera, chair of the corporation’s board of directors. “For every dollar the city invests, our return on investment is $1.52.”
San Diego Industrial Market Nears
1 Million Square Feet of Growth in 2017
After a relatively flat first half of the year, San Diego’s industrial market proved resilient in the second half of 2017 achieving more than 930,000 square feet of occupancy growth during July to December, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s newly released Q4 2017 market report. Overall, 2017 finished just shy of the 1 million square foot mark with 991,000 square feet of positive net absorption as the regained momentum pushed countywide vacancy to below 5 percent by year’s end to 4.8 percent.
“The year began slow but the third quarter really got things back on track and into high gear, and the year was able to finish in the strong manner that we all expected,” said Jolanta Campion, Cushman & Wakefield’s research director in San Diego. “Vacancy now stands at its lowest point we have ever tracked on record or over a 15 year-period.”
Cal State San Marcos Receives Record
Number of Applications for the Fall
Cal State San Marcos received a record number of applications for the fall 2018 term. The university received 17,369 applications from prospective first-time freshmen, a 6 percent increase from fall 2017.
Cal State San Marcos also received 8,927 fall 2018 transfer applications through Nov. 30, a 4 percent increase from fall 2017.
Fall 2018 applicants can expect to receive notification of acceptance by the close of January.
Systemwide, the CSU received 916,235 applications from first-time freshmen, transfer students and graduate students during the 2018 priority application period, an 8 percent increase from the previous year.
Winter Workplace Blues — But not in San Diego
Winter’s getting a frigid reception at many workplaces around the country. According to research from staffing firm Accountemps, 38 percent of professionals said winter weather has a negative impact on their mood at work. About one-quarter (26 percent) cited January as the least happy month.
The survey from Accountemps suggests that San Diego workers will be embracing the winter months — 27 percenrt of city workers say the milder winter climate positively impacts their mood and happiness levels at work.
Employees in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland felt bluest in the wintertime. In contrast, professionals in milder climates such as Phoenix, Miami and San Diego said winter weather has a positive effect on their state of mind at work. Interestingly, nearly one in three employees (29 percent) in New York are in high spirits despite low temperatures and carry this enthusiasm to their jobs.
Elizabeth Perez Appointed to
State Department of Veterans Affairs Post
Elizabeth Perez, 39, of Vista, has been appointed deputy secretary of minority veterans at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Perez has been president and founder at GC Green Incorporated since 2010. She was a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Delegation in Israel in 2016 and a 2013 White House Veteran Champion of Change.
Perez was a director in business development at Xnergy from 2007 to 2011 and a branch manager at Ferguson Contractors from 2005 to 2007. She was an aviation logistics specialist for the U.S. Navy from 1997 to 2005.
Perez is a Truman National Security Project fellow and a member of the California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative Board, Disabled Veterans Business Alliance of California, San Diego chapter board, American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California, San Diego chapter, American Legion Post 365 and the California Nations Indian Gaming Association. Th position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $130,008. Perez is a Democrat.
Branford Castle Fund Buys Vitrek LLC
Branford Castle, a New York-based private equity firm, announced the acquisition of Vitrek LLC, a manufacturer of highly sophisticated electrical safety test and measurement equipment based in Poway.
“We are moving rapidly to deploy our investors’ capital, and Vitrek represents an exciting growth opportunity,” said David Castle, managing partner of Branford Castle Partners. “We are especially pleased to be partnering again with Don Millstein, who is taking over as operating executive and chairman of Vitrek. Don previously partnered with Branford Castle as president of E-Mon, a leading manufacturer of electrical sub-metering equipment that Branford sold for an 11x return.”
Vitrek, founded in 1990, is known for its line of high potential testers, high voltage meters and power analyzers. These products measure electrical safety, power consumption, and other characteristics of electricity in the context of the development, testing and manufacture of a wide variety of consumer and industrial products.
Millstein will take over as CEO when Kevin Clark, co-founder and CEO of Vitrek, retires after an appropriate transition period.
Philip Adams Joins Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek
Philip B. Adams has joined the San Diego-based law firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek as an associate. Adams joins the firm’s litigation department.
Prior to joining the firm, Adams worked as a law clerk with the United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego. He also served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Cathy Ann Bencivengo and the Honorable William V. Gallo.
Adams received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he served as the managing articles editor for the San Diego International Law Journal. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, with a concentration in entrepreneurship, from the University of Southern California.
Edgar Hopida Named Information
Officer for San Diego City College
Edgar Hopida, an award-winning communications professional connected with several community organizations, is the new information officer at San Diego City College. As chief community and media liaison, Hopida will work closely with stakeholders in San Diego while directing, managing, and planning marketing and public relations efforts for one of the oldest community colleges in California.
A former community college student himself, Hopida comes to City College after serving as director of marketing and communications at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in Downtown San Diego for the past two years. Prior experience includes two years as communications director for the Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield, Ind., where he was responsible for communicating the organization’s mission and activities to its members, the media, elected officials, government agencies, and the general public. Before moving to Indiana, Hopida was director of public relations for the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for over six years.