Office of the City Manager

Pasadena Is The Hot Place To Be

Pasadena Is The Hot Place To Be


PASADENA, Calif.—From Asia and Italy to the Red Planet and beyond, Pasadena has the bon vivant cachet and out-of-this-world appeal for international special events, exciting restaurants and new technology business opportunities. 

“Pasadena is the hot place to be for conventions, special events and business opportunities.  Our economy is moving forward,” said Eric Duyshart, Pasadena’s Economic Development Director. 

An uptick in convention business and special events began earlier this year when the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau booked its largest event ever, bringing 5,000 convention delegates who completely sold out all full-service hotel rooms in town and pumped $1.5 million into Pasadena’s economy, said Michael Ross, CEO of the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau, www.VisitPasadena.com. 

This past weekend, Pasadena’s streets took on the ambiance, sights, smells and sounds of a bustling Asian street market with the “626 Night Market.”  Thousands of people flocked to Pasadena, checking out nearly 200 vendors selling traditional Asian goods and serving authentic cuisine—all within a short walking distance of the revitalized Old Downtown Pasadena and the famous Playhouse District. 

On July 22, Italy and some of the world’s premier cyclists came to Pasadena for the first, historic “Gran Fondo Giro D’Italia” Bike Tour ever held in the United States.  About 1,000 cyclists took part in this world-class event with Pasadena’s City Hall serving as both the start and finish lines. 

Next up: Mars.  On Aug. 4-5, Pasadena, www.cityofpasadena.net, truly becomes the center of the universe when the Planetary Society holds its “Planetfest 2012” at the Pasadena Convention Center.  Several thousand space enthusiasts from around the globe are expected to attend the two-day celebration of space exploration during which Bill Nye “The Science Guy”—Planetary Society’s Executive Officer—has declared the Pasadena locale as the “most exciting spot on our planet.” 

Bill Nye and the Planetary Society, www.planetary.org are holding Planetfest right at the same time as hundreds of robotic space scientists, news media and NASA officials will gather just down the road at the famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the epic scheduled landing Aug. 5 of Curiosity, NASA’s big new Mars Science Laboratory Rover. 

All of these events come at a perfect time for new business owners, especially several restaurateurs who are opening new eateries to rave reviews and taking advantage of Pasadena’s desirability as a prime place to shop, live and do business, including:  

• Trattoria Neapolis, a Italian gourmet specialty spot on South Lake Avenue by owner Perry Vidalakis; and 

• Abricott, by the husband-and-wife team, John and Jo Wee, who are serving up exciting Asia-American and Thai fusion dishes. 

Many other new restaurants are under construction and scheduled to open soon, including Urth Caffe, an all-organic coffee and tea shop at Madison and Colorado and BJ Breweries also on Colorado Boulevard. 

Duyshart said the City, meanwhile, is moving forward with business negotiations to meet the growing demand for more hotels, retail shops and other businesses.  The City’s recently formed Economic Development Task Force is also helping to define the City’s efforts as a technology center and business incubator—drawing on the talents and resources of Caltech, located in the heart of Pasadena—as well as attracting new green-technology businesses. 

Duyshart said Pasadena already is home to numerous such companies, including:  

• Bluebeam Software, www.bluebeam.com celebrating its 10th birthday this month, was born from Pasadena’s engineering community’s need to collaborate by marking-up PDF documents.  This month Bluebeam released Revu for the iPad. 

• SAFCell, www.safcell-inc.com a homegrown energy technology company from Caltech pursuing an innovative solid acid fuel cell (SAFC) technology.  Representing a significant advancement to current fuel cell technologies, SAFC is expected to be announcing new business partnerships soon. 

• Materia Inc. www.materia-inc.com whose co-founder Robert Grubbs received a Nobel Prize for his metathesis research seven years ago and now the start-up company is commercializing this new technology and recently hired its 120th employee.  The company’s revolutionary technology enables a chemical transformation of base plastics, creating stronger and greener processes and products. 

“Pasadena is on the business radar screen.  Yes, it helps that we’re home to Caltech, the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl, but Pasadena is a year-round destination and a growing business center with the right amenities for everybody’s tastes and budgets,” Duyshart added. 

For more information about the City of Pasadena, go to www.cityofpasadena.net. 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 31, 2012  #047-12  

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:  William H. Boyer, Pasadena Public Information Officer, City Manager's Office 

(626) 744-4755, wboyer@cityofpasadena.net 




Posted: 8/1/2012 07:10:00 PM