Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Kicking Off the Season

September 13, 2010

This Sunday was my favorite holiday of the year…NFL Football Season kicks off!

Okay, so to be precise, it started with the Saints vs. Vikings on Thursday night.  But the true kickoff is always on Sunday morning, and we are hosting the NFL Sunday Ticket here at City Beach all year long, so you know where you will find me for the rest of the year.

You may wonder what this has to do with social and corporate events…nice segue…glad you asked.  On July 31, we were the proud hosts of a certain local NFL team who shall remain nameless.  Okay, I’ll name them…it was the San Francisco 49ers!  They brought their entire team, coaching staff, and the coach’s son to City Beach on the first day of training camp.  Yes, they chose City Beach as the place for the entire team to bond…ON THE FIRST DAY OF THEIR FOOTBALL YEAR!  Needless to say, we were honored to have them. 

For fans of the team, you will happy to know that this group of guys is easy to root for.  The 49ers players, coaches, and front office are the most gracious and humble people you could ever hope to work with.  The steady leadership of Coach Singletary is evident throughout the organization.  He demands high character in addition to superior football skills, and his background and demeanor are nothing short of legendary.  Your humble correspondent was fortunate enough to spend a few minutes alone with the Coach, his son, and our Director of Operations, Gregg Dean.  The thing that we were most impressed with was his low-key energy.  He exudes calm confidence, which I am sure makes his “other side” that much more effective when he turns it on and becomes a master motivator.  That debacle in the opener against Seattle notwithstanding, I think the 49ers are heading towards a playoff birth and great things beyond just a first-round win.

That’s it for now!  We are preparing to host 1500 employees from a Bay Area behemoth tomorrow, so I am off to fold napkins and dust the eaves…


The Holidaze Are Here!

August 30, 2010

The Holidaze are upon us!

Remember when you were at the supermarket last September, and in the midst of buying beer, hot dogs, and ice, the faint sounds of “Jingle Bells” brought you to a grinding halt?  Remember when you thought, “Really?  Christmas in September?” 

In the event business, we’re used to it!  In years past, you were behind the curve if your holiday party offerings, marketing materials, phone calls, and emails weren’t queued up and ready to roll by the end of July.  In the “New Economy,” though, many companies holiday party planning and the budgets associated with them have changed dramatically.  Indeed, every year tough decisions are made across the board, and many wonder if the Holiday Party is a solid strategic move.

In the book Corporate Celebration by Terrence Deal and M.K. Key, the authors make a case that getting together with one’s colleagues for the sake of fun and merriment is basically essential for a thriving business.  The chapter “Frivolous or Fundamental,” the author describes a well-known company that has a culture where the year-end celebration is a key component to the company’s success: 

“(The company) realizes that taking time to celebrate is an integral part of doing business.  The cost of the gathering is offset by the subsequent dividends it reaps in employee morale, commitment, and hard work.  Seasonal celebration summons the corporate spirit, creating energy that carries over into the new year.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!  Thus, the new menu and enhancement offerings for Holiday Celebrations at City Beach are fun, lively, interactive, delicious, and cost-effective.  Our mad scientist and Group Programming Director, Gregg Dean, has developed 3 distinct program enhancements that will liven up any group.  Our newest addition to the team, the talented and larger-than-life Chef Keith Breedlove, has put together the tastiest and most price-conscious menu City Beach has ever had.  Combine these things with our different event spaces which are themed with holiday cheer (and surfboards, if you wish), the 2010 holiday season is shaping up to be a huge success.

We want you and your friends to share in the Holiday spirit – with each other and our staff!  Never mind the possible long-term benefits for your organization…just come in and Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…then repeat as necessary.

Check out our new website!

August 19, 2010

Okay…so this is a little different.  After a chronological year and a metaphoric lifetime, I am proud to be a part of City Beach’s new web site launch…Ta-Da!

I have designed corporate web sites before.  The meticulous preparation, the poring over of design and copy details, the delegating of things that are out of one’s realm of expertise, and the exhausting amount of options are all a part of the process (For a web geek, building a site can be a bit like leaving a 4-year old alone in a candy store…my bon-bons are left hand navigation buttons!)  

But rebuilding City Beach’s site was a challenge of a different ilk.  There simply isn’t another business model like ours, so the old site was truly the only reference guide.  Sure, we all have our favorite corporate branding designs, layouts, interactive features (all of which I am proud to say are included in our new shiny model.)  But when we started laundry-listing what we actually do, the sheer scope of it was almost overwhelming.

With the brain-trust firmly resolved, we worked diligently to build a site that was informative, interactive, and with the mojo that lives within our walls.  We received invaluable contributions and constructive criticism from many “chefs in the kitchen,” most of whom know us and know what the City Beach experience is all about. Suffice to say, we are better for having those objective eyes and ears involved.  

This is a dynamic web site.  Content will change, links will be updated, “i’s” will be dotted, etc.  But we are all very proud of our new look and the product that we are representing.  Please check out the team building videos or take a virtual tour of the Fremont facility.  Ask us questions, feel free to comment, or just drop us a line on our Facebook or Twitter links.  Also make sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay in tune with our fabulous restaurant, rock climbing, and event offerings.  

Thanks for a great (almost) 10 years in Fremont and longer in Santa Clara, and while our web site may change, our commitment to quality and customer service will remain!

Here it is

The Perception of Prosperity

April 20, 2010

The perception of prosperity was and is a struggle for corporate America.  When a certain company back in the 2008 was spending lavishly on their holiday parties and corporate functions (and Executive Bonuses), it sent ripples through the event industry.  Companies that could still afford to do something to reward their employees were doing nothing in the name of political correctness.  Not only did this crucify the event industry that directly and indirectly employs hundreds of thousands of people, it also effectively reduced morale at companies around the country.

Yes, unemployment is still high.  Yes, there are a lot of people looking for jobs or worrying about feeding their kids or making their next mortgage payment.  But do we all continue to live in fear of “what people may think,” bowed by our concern that we will appear to prosperous when it is not prudent to do so? 

I am a creature of optimism.  City is, by its very nature, an optimistic place.  We choose to proceed with a sense that the worst is behind us and the best is yet to come, and we preach it internally as well as to the folks that come to us for team building or just to kick back for a beer and some food.  Like virtually every business in America, we saw tough times in the last 18 months that tested our mettle as an organization.  But we, like so many of you, have found our way through the woods and are coming out of this more nimble, sensitive, and focused. 

What I want for us as an organization is what I want for America and for the world – a renewed sense of possibilities, an eye towards a better financial future, and the conviction that no matter how bad things get, there is a way to get better and stronger through hard work and steadfast conviction.  More than ever, we are grateful that people around the Bay Area continue to patronize City.  If you have the means, and if you have the desire, we await your people with open arms and a plan to inspire them towards a brighter tomorrow.

City Beach Santa Clara – Take the Whole Place!

April 16, 2010

As a member of the Sales Team at City Beach, I am stationed in our corporate offices at the Fremont facility. However, a good portion of my sales inquiries are for our Santa Clara site, so I like to go down there every couple of weeks to peek in. It is critical for the sales team to always be in touch with the pulse of the staff, the operational and logistical nuances of each facility, and the overall vibe. Because I spend so much time up in Fremont, it is easy to lose touch a bit with our brothers in the SC!

I live in South San Jose, so it is about a 20-minute drive up the 85 to the 87 to the 101. I made the trip to City Beach Santa Clara last Saturday for a Bar Mitzvah, and I was immediately greeted by my event staff buddies Eli, Larry, and Travis. I met another crew member named Sam for the first time as well, and all seemed in great spirits and happy to be in Santa Clara.

As I watched the flow of the party from up close and afar, I got a sense of why our team a loves to work at events in SC. As Eli (one of our lead facilitators and resident Mitzvah Games expert) told me, it is an unbelievable spot for parties of 60-150 people, because YOU GET THE WHOLE BUILDING! Seriously, the entire 26,000 square foot facility is yours…5 sport courts, two awesome seating and serving areas, and no sharing with anyone. According to Larry, the lead host on the party, “I love it down here because it is so wide open, and no one has to police different events at the same time.”

As I left the building, I thought about the upcoming birthday parties of my three kids. This latest trip to City Beach Santa Clara left no doubt that we will be there for at least two of them in 2010. And Eli, Larry, Travis, and Sam will all be there, too!

RR out

We Are All Family

April 5, 2010

For a minute there, I thought I was in dreamland!

 The sun was shining, the food and beer were flowing, and our house was absolutely rocking last Friday evening.  But it was supposed to be a somber occasion…NUMMI had just closed a significant part of their operation, and about 500 of their employees honored us with their presence (The fact that they all chose City Beach as their landing spot after the last day on their job is testament to the strong bonds we have built with so many NUMMI team members…thanks, guys!) 

 As we mingled with them, talked about their past, present and future, and just generally extended ourselves to make sure that they felt welcomed, the dialogue was surprisingly upbeat.  The feedback was almost uniformly positive, upbeat, and celebratory.  As I have said, we feel the circumstances of our guests through good and bad…when they hurt, we hurt with them, but when they are ready to kick back and party, that is right in our wheelhouse.  

That was the case with NUMMI.  While this day may have marked the end of an era, it is the closing of a chapter, not the end of the line.  The human casualties of a recessed economy are where the real stories are told.  If we can help people through good times, we should be equally up to the task of helping them manage tough times as well.  This was the confluence of both – a day that pulled a group of 500 former co-workers together to remember the past, and an opportunity to toast what we all hope is a bright future.  City Beach will ALWAYS be here for them, no matter where they land.  


We Understand Event Planning

March 29, 2010

City Beach understands event planning. We realize it has to be the best for you and your guests. Our social events are designed with your objectives in mind. We recognize that behind every social gathering, from weddings to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs to Birthdays and Anniversary Parties, there is a unique and special gathering of people. Whether they are old friends or have never met, City Beach provides a dynamic, comfortable, and fun place to gather for all types of social events.

City Beach’s experienced and well-trained staff will coordinate all aspects of your event to ensure satisfaction without the stress. Our extensive catering menu provides a variety of selections to fit every taste and budget, and once your selections are made, we do the rest. We manage the setup, catering, serving, bartending, and cleanup so you and your guests can enjoy the warm and welcoming atmosphere at City Beach.

Come on down…it will make you feel great!

Bringing the “Family” Together

March 15, 2010

I spend as much time with my colleagues at work as I do with my wife and kids.  Quite simply, my co-workers are my extended family.  At City Beach, we believe that in order to build a happy, productive, and collaborative team, it is critically important that people have a chance to connect with each other outside the confines of the office. 

In my 20 years working experience in many different office environments, I have observed that when one is personally connected to a co-worker’s “outside family,” it humanizes them and ultimately bonds you closer together.  In essence, we all spend enough time together at work that inevitably home life is a frequent topic of conversation.  When I kibbutz with my “extended family” about their personal lives, it helps me empathize and to have met their spouses, children, and parents. 

City Beach brings everyone together in the name of food and fun at our corporate Company Picnics.  For almost 10 years in our Fremont location, we have provided companies big and small an opportunity to gather together and re-connect.  Whether on a billiards table, rock wall, Robosurfer, or over a cold beer, we are passionate about opening our home to our corporate friends.  In a way, they are a part of our extended family, too.  Let us know what we can do for you, and we’ll greet you with a warm smile, an open heart, and a day full of fun!

What’s New on the Horizon

March 8, 2010

What time is it?  Blogging time!

We had a modified Open House last night…”modified” in that it was supposed to be a low-key opportunity to meet with some clients past and present.  Chef Abe and his little helper Kirby (a sock puppet name) busted out some awesome apps.  Hoyt Ryan rocked the Robosurfer, and I served drinks and more drinks…and then some drinks.  The mini Beef Wellington goodies were the hit of the night.  We also connected with some cool cats from diverse businesses such as Broadcom, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Walters & Wolf.  There is something about talking business with a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and Crustini in the other that is just so California.

As I was walking folks through the facility, I realized again how much we have to offer, and how much I love my job.  We have some new program offerings for team building that are as cool as can be, and we now have flyers to match the quality of the programs!  In describing these experiences to people last night (in front of our 25×25 foot game show board), it was easy to get jazzed about what we have to offer.  Our guests seemed to feel my enthusiasm, and we had some great dialogue.  The Extreme Chef program seemed to be a particularly hot topic of conversation.

 We are filming the first video for our team offerings tomorrow with 60 sorority girls.  It is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.  It will appear on our new web site in t-minus 30 days, or a quickly as I can finish the copy for the 98 new pages of content.  No problem, should be done in a week or two, if I don’t eat, sleep, or breathe.

Group Services OUT!

Corporate America Steadily Waking Back Up

March 1, 2010

Corporate America seems to be waking up, and we’re so glad to see it.  The volume of inquiries is clearly increasing from our old friends across the Bay, and we are only too happy to help them kick back, “hang loose,” and have some food and fun.  We have built so many deep and lasting relationships over the years that have made City Beach what it is today.  When they hurt, we hurt with them…  But things are turning around, and we are thrilled to still be here for them…new and improved, but with the same spirit and optimism as always.

In addition, we are starting to hear from some new folks as well.   Last night, I had an old friend from a vendor we work with and a new friend from a major sports organization in the Bay come in to the Fremont location for the first time.  All the New Gal could say is “Wow, I can’t believe I have never been here before.”  We spent some time walking around, talking about what we can do to make her organization happy, and then we broke off into the restaurant for some hot food and cold Stella.  Tough job, I know, but someone has to do it…and I am only too happy to oblige!

While some want team-building activities customized to the dynamics of their group, many just want to come in and celebrate the “revival.”  All of our offerings are about bringing people together.  We see that video games and laser tag can be fun…no doubt we have all geeked out on Pacman or Halo a time or two.   But that is not City Beach’s forte…we want people to play together, not side by side and in their own world.  Simple games like billiards and ping pong open discussion, and complex offering like our new Extreme Chef or Show of Shows bring that connection to the next level.  In point of fact, shared experiences last the longest, and City Beach feels that we can facilitate that with an expert touch.

 That’s all for now…keep those calls and emails coming, and Welcome Back!