San Diego’s Balboa Park Combines Beauty and Entertainment

Balboa Park pic
Balboa Park

Dr. Bharat Lall, president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Inc., oversees operations at a network of nine vacation properties. He founded the company in the 1990s, and has focused over the years on acquiring underperforming mid-range hotels and renovating them into amenity-rich but affordable destinations. In the San Diego area, Bharat Lall, MD, and Pinnacle offer the Four Points Downtown San Diego, the Radisson Hotel San Diego-Rancho Bernardo, Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Solana Beach, and three other properties.

San Diego can provide tourists with a wide range of fascinating things to see and do. Balboa Park is among the region’s most beautiful and historically intriguing sites, popular with both locals and tourists.

Balboa Park blends rich cultural experiences with the beauty of the natural world. The park is the home of 17 museums, including those devoted to classic artworks, local history, and transportation. Shakespearean performances, concerts, and dance events regularly take place on its stages.

The park’s tranquil expanses of lush gardens offer quiet places to stroll, reflect, or get close to water lilies, orchids, and roses. The gardens are particularly popular with picnickers, and hiking trails and dog parks help visitors and their pets enjoy their exercise.

Originally called City Park, at the time San Diego hosted the 1915 Panama-San Diego Exposition the park was renamed in honor of the Spanish explorer. In the 1970s, it earned National Historic Landmark status.


San Diego Indian American Society Hosts Festival of Lights

San Diego Indian American Societypic
San Diego Indian American Society

A longtime presence in the West Coast hotel business, Pinnacle Hotels USA founder Bharat Lall oversees properties such as Marriott Riverside and the Hyatt Regency North Dallas. Active in his community, Bharat Lall is a lifetime member of the San Diego Indian American Society, an organization that provides annual college scholarships to high school students.

Each October over the past decade, the nonprofit has also been active in sponsoring the Festival of Lights in Balboa Park, California. Initially envisioned as a modest celebration, the annual event now attracts thousands of participants in Diwali celebrations that traditionally involve the lighting of lamps and setting off of fireworks.

In Hindu culture, the lights represent the victory of reason and virtue over negative forces, represented by the night. A symbol of Agni (fire) and Surya (the sun), the lamp celebrates the eternal life force, which carries individual prayers to God. This also takes form in Indian philosophy in the concept of the soul as a “self-lighted torch,” and the flames have an association with one’s “supreme self.”

San Diego’s Cosmopolitan, Historic Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Quarter pic
Gaslamp Quarter

As head of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall guides a company that maintains a portfolio of select hospitality properties across states from California to Texas. Bharat Lall’s collection of premier hotels includes the Four Points By Sheraton San Diego Downtown, which is situated just a few minutes’ walk from local highlights such as the Little Italy, Balboa Park, and the convention-friendly San Diego Concourse.

The hotel is also in the vicinity of the compact Gaslamp Quarter, which spans 16 historic blocks and features a combination of cultural offerings, from museums and symphonic venues to nightlife and dining. Carefully renovated buildings from the Victorian era mingle seamlessly with modern office buildings that feature rooftop gardens and views of the city skyline and Pacific Ocean.

Serviced by trolley lines, the Gaslamp Quarter centers around Horton Plaza, a multi-level outdoor mall that features many boutiques. Arts are the focal point in galleries such as Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts, which inhabits the historic Brunswick Building. In 2017, the Gaslamp Museum brought attention to the neighborhood’s 150th anniversary through the exhibit Alonzo Horton: The Sesquicentennial of the Founding of New Town San Diego.

San Diego’s 10th Annual Diwali Festival of Lights Celebration

San Diego Indian American Societypic
San Diego Indian American Society

An Indian American entrepreneur living in San Diego, Bharat Lall leads Pinnacle Hotels USA as president and CEO. Apart from work, Bharat Lall is an active member of the San Diego Indian American Society (SDIAS), which seeks to contribute to society through the provision of scholarships and educational symposiums.

In addition to its work in the area of education, SDIAS hosts a variety of cultural events and is preparing for its 10th annual Diwali Festival of Lights celebration. The citywide festival is scheduled to take place on October 14, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. In India, the five-day Hindu holiday of Diwali is the most important celebration of the year. With roots as a harvest festival and a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, it has become a national holiday, observed by all Indians regardless of their religion.

SDIAS organizes the San Diego Festival of Lights celebration in conjunction with a number of partners. Elements of the festival include an exhibit of 3- to 8-foot-tall lamps representative of India’s diverse regions and religions, as well as henna artists, dances from different Indian states, and regional Indian food. The festival ends with a procession of 1,008 lights and a Punjabi dance party.

The event typically draws more than 11,000 attendees throughout the day.

The San Diego Public Library’s I CAN! Center

San Diego Public Library pic
San Diego Public Library

The founder, president, and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall focuses on locating, acquiring, and regenerating underperforming hotels throughout the United States. A San Diego resident, Bharat Lall supports numerous city initiatives and entities, including the San Diego Public Library (SDPL).

In an effort to provide services that are accessible to those with disabilities, the SDPL created the I CAN! Center. Located on the central library’s first floor, the I CAN! Center offers a range of programs, services, resources, and professional help so people with disabilities can use the library in a comfortable environment.

Equipped with 16 computers, each with enlarged screens and assistive software, the I CAN! Center also hosts two private study areas. Moreover, it features not just a number of large print and Braille books, but also e-readers and digital talking books.

Service animals are welcome at the I CAN! Center, which also operates a free library-by-mail service for people with significant visual impairments that prevent them from traveling to the library.

The Four Points by Sheraton in San Diego, California


SDSU Climbs in U.S. News and World Report College Rankings


San Diego State University (SDSU)
San Diego State University (SDSU)

Bharat Lall serves as the president and CEO of San Diego, California-based Pinnacle Hotels USA. Outside of his work, Bharat Lall supports a number of local institutions, including San Diego State University (SDSU).

U.S. News and World Report placed SDSU at No. 74 among public universities in its latest rankings of colleges in the United States. As reported by the SDSU NewsCenter on September 13, 2016, the report also put the school at No. 146 among all universities (public and private). This ranking reflects an upward shift of 37 spots since 2011, when SDSU came in at No. 183 overall.

The U.S. News and World Report issue also highlighted a few of SDSU’s more successful programs, including its international business program and the overall undergraduate business program, which earned spots at Nos. 14 and 77, respectively. Further, SDSU claimed a spot among the top 20 national schools for students incurring the least amount of student debt.