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Regional Report

CORONADA

Hotel Getting Lobby, Restaurants Makeover

Loews Coronado Bay Resort has begun a renovation of its lobby and restaurant areas, the latest phase of a $12 million makeover conducted during the last three years. The 440-room hotel remains open during the work.

A March 20 statement from operator Loews Hotels said changes in the next nine months will involve a complete redesign of the Coronado property’s lobby, Bay Terrace, Cays Lounge, Market Café and Market-to-Go.

Designed by the firm BAMO Inc., which has done several luxury hotels, the new lobby will include a two-story chandelier with suspended glass spheres. There will also be a new floating bar area with views of the San Diego skyline and the bay, and a media wall with nine LCD flat-screen TVs.

Previous work involved the hotel’s meeting spaces, corridors and guestrooms, and the latest phase is slated for completion in early December, the statement said.

— Lou Hirsh

ESCONDIDO

Fitch Assigns AA- Rating To $28M in Revenue Bonds

Fitch Ratings assigned a AA- rating to $28 million in revenue bonds issued recently by the Escondido Joint Powers Financing Authority to provide for new money needs for the city, and pay off the remaining $4.7 million of the 2000 series of certificates of participation, a type of bond, issued for improvements to the city wastewater system, according to Fitch.

The bonds carry a coupon rate of 4.25 percent.

Fitch said the city’s net revenues will continue to provide healthy debt service coverage for existing debt, following a decline with the current issue. Reserve levels are strong but at a lower level after the city borrowed funds to use for its general fund in November, Fitch said.

— Mike Allen

CARLSBAD

Media Company Launches Interactive Retail Magazine

WDM Group has launched Retail Digital, an interactive magazine geared to corporate executives, the Carlsbad-based media company recently announced.

A company statement said it is the 16th digital publication introduced since its inception in 2007. WDM produces information products in industries including construction, energy, health care and manufacturing, delivered through mobile devices, e-newsletters and social networking sites.

Founded by entrepreneur Glen White, the company also has offices in Boston, Toronto, Mumbai, Cape Town and the United Kingdom.

— Lou Hirsh

CHULA VISTA

Seacoast Commerce Bank Expands Lending Services

Seacoast Commerce Bank, with a single local office, said it opened a ninth loan production office, in Salt Lake City, Utah, managed by Eric Wadley.

In addition to the new office, the bank, which has about $110 million in assets, also operates loan production offices in San Diego and Orange counties, San Ramon and Sacramento in this state, as well as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Bellevue, Wash.

— Mike Allen

SAN DIEGO

ConVis Taking on Portion of Convention Center Marketing

The City Council has approved a measure clearing the way for the local Convention & Visitors Bureau, also known as ConVis, to take over certain sales, marketing and promotion obligations for the San Diego Convention Center.

The council voted recently on a move to assign the duties to a third party for events that are booked more than 14 months in advance at the center. ConVis was the only entity being considered by the city at the time of the vote, and financial terms have not been finalized.

A city staff report said the city will continue to provide an annual $3.4 million contribution to the San Diego Convention Center Corp., the entity that operates the facility, allocated from the city’s share of transient occupancy taxes. Officials said the move is expected to reduce duplication of marketing and sales activities for long-term convention-related events.

— Lou Hirsh

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