Since their inception in the 1950s, airport hotels have been a popular destination for business travelers and meeting groups, who often leverage their strategic location to attract out-of-town attendees with the promise of convenience.
Perhaps one of the most popular airports in the country for fly-in meetings is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which recently has seen a flurry of hotel activity around it.
Case in point: the Sheraton Gateway LAX, which this week announced the opening of The Hub Conference Center, its newly renovated conference center. Totaling 7,523 square feet, the meeting venue takes up the hotel's entire second floor and includes a new stadium-seated auditorium, an executive boardroom and 17 meeting rooms that accommodate groups of 10 to 50 attendees.
Elsewhere, the hotel -- which offers a free shuttle to and from LAX -- also has a ballroom for groups of up to 450 and an outdoor pool deck for al fresco events.
What makes the venue truly unique, however, is that it was designed for meeting professionals on a budget. It therefore offers meeting planners the option of sharing catering packages and breakout spaces with other groups that are meeting there during the same dates. Shared catering packages capitalize on buffet-style meals that are served to all groups at once for maximum cost-efficiency, as well as pre-set rotating menus that by design are more affordable than custom creations.
"We're starting to see a prioritization in meeting planners for collaboration rather than a-la-carte options as it relates to cost efficiency," said Matthew Baker, the hotel's regional vice president of sales and marketing. "The Hub's all-inclusive packages give groups the chance to save around 30 percent of what they would pay for an exclusive space. We wanted to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing an innovative setting. Quality, craft menus, customizable space and convenience, made easy."
Go to NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com to read about more hotel options taking off at LAX.