San Luis Obispo,CA
Located on California’s beautiful Central Coast – half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco on Highway 101 – the quaint city of San Luis Obispo (pronounced “San LOUIS o-BIS-po,” or simply “SLO”) is nestled between the scenic Coast Range and sparkling Pacific Ocean in the heart of the Central Coast Wine Country. This is Tony Horzen’s convention and home turf, and he’s excited to welcome WIA members to experience a taste of “The SLO Life” in March.
Whether you come to San Luis Obispo by car, plane, or train, the scenery on the way is equally unforgettable. From wide open spaces and rolling hills dotted with oak trees, grazing cattle and vineyards, to breath-taking ocean views along the Central Coast’s pristine 80-mile coastline, you can feel the stress of life and work melt away with each mile. Once you arrive, San Luis Obispo’s casual ambiance and serene setting offers a perfect place to “unplug” and relax, reconnect with old friends (and maybe even yourself), and refresh your perspective.
Come find your new “Happy Place!”
Named “The Happiest City in America” by National Geographic – along with numerous other “Best of” accolades such as healthiest, most romantic, best college town, and best place to retire – San Luis Obispo is famous for its friendly people, small-town charm, health-oriented mind-set and quaint, vibrant Downtown where tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly streets encourage casual strolls and frequent stops to explore the many boutique shops, artisan restaurants, sidewalk cafés, pubs and art galleries. (Even Oprah Winfrey agrees, and sent TV correspondent Jenny McCarthy to find out what makes San Luis Obispans so “happy”. Check out the video from the Oprah’s show.) An outdoor enthusiast’s and wine lover’s paradise, San Luis Obispo County offers great weather (averaging 315 sunny days a year), unlimited outdoor recreation options, over 200 wineries, a focus on fresh air and “farm to fork” cuisine, and a laid-back yet active lifestyle that locals proudly call “The SLO Life.”
From Ice Business to Chilled Beer – 2017 Convention highlights “on tap:”
We’re planning a healthy balance of work and play at this Convention. In addition to two business meetings, interesting motivational and industry speakers, and opportunities to talk face-to-face with suppliers, we’ve line up a variety of fun activities that will allow for relaxed socializing and networking, and even some optional exercise!
- A scenic walk on the Bob Jones “City to Sea” Trail (optional on Thursday.)
- Welcome Reception with Wine Tasting – Pourings by award-winning local wineries.
- Firestone Walker Brewery Tour – Private tour, hosted lunch, and talk by the owners of this highly successful Central Coast-based business on “Building Your Brand.”
- Central Coast “Beach Party” – A casual “bon fire” bash with socializing, music and “smores.”
- Chairman’s Event: “The Great Downtown SLO Pub Crawl“ – An afternoon sampling craft beers with WIA friends at several popular Downtown San Luis Obispo pubs.
- Evening Final Reception – Wrap up the convention in style at the Cliffs Resort.
Hotel Accommodations: Luxury with a View.
Our host hotel for the 2017 Convention will be The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach – perched high on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean’s edge (and their own sandy beach) – just 10 scenic minutes from Downtown San Luis Obispo. Fresh from a recent hotel and restaurant renovation, the full-service, family-friendly, oceanfront resort features first-class amenities and an exceptional guest experience.
- Guest rooms and suites: A perfect fusion of coastal elegance and “California Cool” with private balconies or patios, Italian marble baths, HD flat screen TVs, high-speed Internet and comfortable workstations – each with breathtaking ocean, coastal, or mountain views.
- Heated oceanfront swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center, onsite sauna and spa services.
- Complimentary shuttle service to and from San Luis Obispo Regional Airport (SBP) and 2 local Amtrak stations.
By Air – San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP) is served by two regional carriers, United Express (United Airlines) and US Airways (American Airlines) with direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Phoenix. (Rental car service is available, or pre-arrange free pick-up by The Cliff’s hotel courtesy van.)
By Car – San Luis Obispo County is located mid-way (about 250 miles) between Los Angeles and San Francisco on U.S. Highway 101, which runs north and south through the heart of the county. From the Central Valley and Interstate Highway 5, head west to the coast on State Highways 41, 46 or 166.
If you are coming from the north (i.e. San Francisco), you can also take scenic Highway 1 – designated an American Scenic Byway – for a breath-taking drive through the Big Sur region and along 85-miles of pristine California coastline. (Note: Check ahead with CalTrans for current SR 1 road conditions. Also plan some extra time for stops to take in the spectacular views, and look for migrating California Gray Whales.)
By Train – Amtrak serves San Luis Obispo several times a day via the Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner.
SLO Down and Stay a While:
If your schedule allows, Tony suggests coming a few days early or staying on after the convention to explore more of what San Luis Obispo County has to offer. There’s something for everyone. Here’s a small sampling:
- Wine Tasting – Sample world-class wines at over 200 wineries countywide – 31 located within minutes of downtown San Luis Obispo and our hotel in Pismo Beach.
- Outdoor activities: Golfing, hiking, biking, horse-back riding, kayaking, surfing, zip-lining, bird-watching, or just a relaxing day at the beach.
- San Luis Obispo’s world-famous “Thursday Night Farmer’s Market.”
- Hearst Castle – William Randolph Hearst’s elaborate summer home (in San Simeon).
- Morro Bay – Enjoy the charm of this quaint seaside fishing town (15-minutes north of SLO).
Please mark your calendars to join Tony and fellow Western Ice Association members in San Luis Obispo from March 23 – 26, 2017. Watch for your Convention Registration Packet in the mail soon.