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Convention Center gets the gold

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The San Diego Convention Center recently earned a gold certification from the International Association of Congress Centres, and is the only convention facility in the nation and just the second in North America, to achieve gold status.

"In the highly competitive convention and meeting industry, the San Diego Convention Center's commitment to excellence sets us apart from the competition and ensures important convention business keeps coming back," said Mayor Jerry Sanders.

The certification process examines 10 key areas including customer service, quality of facilities and operations, employee relations, health, safety, security and emergency response, financial integrity, community relations, environmental responsibility, industrial relations and supplier relations.

Convention centers seeking certification are required to submit documentation demonstrating how each standard is addressed as well as the measures in place to gauge success and improve shortcomings.

The Gaslamp Quarter Association will host its 17th annual Taste of Gaslamp from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on June 26 and 27.

More than 30 Gaslamp Quarter restaurants will be showcasing house specialties with a 2- to 4-ounce sample for each ticketed patron. Each guest will receive a numbered ticket and walking map to chart out the day -- as well as a Taste of Gaslamp recipe book. Those 21 and up can partake in the Samuel Adams beer garden.

Tickets are $30 and are sold online only at gaslamp.org.

Kicking off its "Taste of Loews" program and in celebration of National Berry Month in July, Driscoll's, a producer of fresh berries and Loews Hotels will host an official Berry Concierge at each of Loews 17 properties on July 4 weekend.

Driscoll's Berry Concierge will be stationed in the lobbies of Loews properties and poolside at resorts greeting guests with complimentary red, white and blue berry mocktails or cocktails in the afternoon of July 2 and 3. Concierges will engage kids and adults alike with smoothie-making demonstrations, while talking about the nutritional benefits of berries.

"Taste of Loews" is a weekly program that runs at participating hotels through the year, offering guests the chance to sample unexpected culinary creations through partnerships with food and beverage companies who share similar values.

"By aligning with an eponymous grower like Driscoll's, we are able to educate our guests that eating natural foods can be a healthy, delightful and entertaining experience," says Ellen Burke Van Slyke, creative director, Food and Beverage, Loews Hotels.

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