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Faces & Places: San Diego

Faces & Places: San Diego

The Place: Onyx and Thin

The Scoop: Located in San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter, Onyx and Thin offer two seductively different venue experiences in one decidedly hot spot. Onyx, with room for 300 reception-style, is posh, plush and candlelit. Thin, which holds 250, has an industrial-modern vibe and features a large outdoor patio.

The Buzz: Clothing-design clients flip for Thin because its runway-shaped dance floor is a perfect fit for fashion shows. Entertainment clients love the space's multiple Sanyo projector systems and 144-inch pull-down projection screen.

The Quote: “Our unique beverage options — including what we like to call ‘cocktail couture’ — and unparalleled service are what separate us from the rest.” — Charlissa Dodge, director of sales and marketing

The 411:
Onyx and Thin
852 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101

The Place: Rancho Bernardo Inn

The Scoop: A $25 million renovation completed last fall gave the versatile, spacious Rancho Bernardo Inn a newly remodeled and landscaped spa (just named the top resort spa in America by readers of Condé Nast Traveler) and the new 10,140-square-foot Aragon Ballroom with combined indoor-outdoor space cap-able of accommodating more than 1,000 guests.

The Buzz: Clients with large corporate groups appreciate the Aragon Ballroom's size, ample rigging points, isolated power for extensive technical equipment and plentiful pre-function space, while brides swoon over spots such as the Santiago Ballroom, the sumptuous Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn — perfect for bridal-party prepping — and the property's variety of lush, sun-dappled gardens.

The Quote: “Because we are a full-service destination resort, you are able to host any type of event, from a wedding to an event for a large group meeting.” — Bo Landress, director of sales for JC Resorts

The 411:
Rancho Bernardo Inn
17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive
San Diego, CA 92128

The Face: Laurel McFarlane, McFarlane Promotions

The Scoop: McFarlane got her start as an intern with San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter Association before launching her own business in 1995. Her company now handles some of the city's largest public festivals as well as a full slate of fashion-forward private parties for both corporate and high-end social clients.

The Buzz: Not only does McFarlane Promotions design, coordinate and produce events including the KIFM Jazz Festival and Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp but also handles PR in-house. The firm distributes press releases and calendar notices, negotiates ad buys, procures exposure through television, radio and other media, handles ticket sales and can suss out sponsorships.

The Quote: “I don't want every client to feel like he or she is my No. 1 priority; I want them to know they are.”

The 411:
McFarlane Promotions
656 Fifth Ave., Suite B
San Diego, CA 92101


Rabo's new Aluminum chiavari blends modern materials with classic style, is a full 4 pounds lighter than its traditional wood counterpart and stacks easily, saving warehouse space.

Initial Impression's Optical Cleaner Cloth — brand-imprint-ready, colorful, and perfect for sunglasses, cell phones, Blackberry screens and computer monitors — is that rare corporate guest giveaway that recipients will really use.

From 10-by-10 feet to 20-by-40 feet, DreamWorld Backdrops' Asian theme line, in an array of Chinese landscapes both urban and rural, adds vibrance and authenticity to events aligned with the Beijing Summer Olympics.

Coming in 2009 … The Special Event, Jan. 28-30 at the San Diego Convention Center. Visit or call 866/486-0731 or 708/486-0731.

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