Just a few months in as Team San Jose’s new vice president of sales and destination services — and a newcomer to San Jose — Ken Slattery is experiencing first-hand all there is to see and do just inside and outside of the city. Long known for its enviable position at the epicenter of Silicon Valley, San Jose is also surrounded by jaw-dropping natural beauty.
“I’ve been amazed at how much there is to see just a short drive from my new home,” Slattery said. “I can leave my place in the morning and spend the day in Monterey, just 60 miles away, visit a vineyard, take a hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains, or get lost in Big Basin Redwoods park, and be home in time for dinner.”
While many conference attendees already know San Jose as a high-tech hub, Team San Jose wants more of them to know how close it is to miles of beaches, acres of redwood forests, and award-winning wineries. The city wants to capitalize on the growing bleisure trend by making sure attendees know how easy it is to enjoy the natural beauty and variety of experiences to be found within range of San Jose McEnery Convention Center before their conference starts or after it concludes. Meeting attendees don’t even need to book another hotel outside the city to extend their stay, Slattery said. “Hiking in the mountains, going horseback riding, and walking through the redwoods forest — they’re all just a short drive away.”
And there’s plenty to see and do without leaving downtown San Jose while the conference is in full swing. Once sessions are over for the day, attendees can stroll along Santana Row, a vibrant mix of more than 50 shops and 30 restaurants, browse art galleries, and enjoy theater, a comedy act, or live music — all just steps from their hotels and the convention center.
Whether communing with nature or immersing themselves in San Jose’s innovation and creativity, delegates will find plenty of mind-expanding experiences when they come to town. It starts the moment they step off their flights in Mineta San Jose International Airport — the first airport in the U.S. to introduce customer-service robots. The three robots, Norma, Amelia, and Piper, provide travelers with entertainment as well as dining and shopping recommendations. And during their time in San Jose, they’ll see what it’s like to be connected to Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi, one of the fastest Wi-Fi networks in the nation, thanks to a public-private partnership pioneered by the City of San Jose.
The city is now poised to double down on its knowledge-economy status with a tech growth spurt on the horizon. Adobe Systems has recently announced that it is in contract to buy a parcel of land in downtown San Jose to build a new, fourth office tower for its sprawling headquarters. And Google is in talks to create a massive tech campus in the heart of downtown near the train station, transforming the area into a transit-oriented, tech village, according to a story in The Mercury News. “We will transform this collection of industrial parcels, bars, and parking lots into a dynamic, vibrant epicenter of technology and creativity,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Licarrdo, “complete with public plazas, retail, restaurants, world-class architecture and of course, brilliant minds of one of the planet’s most innovative companies.”