Are Aussies Taking Over West Hollywood?

Los Angeles is known for people flocking to its coastal land in hopes of fame and fortune, but there's a new invasion hitting the City of Angels: Australians. Over the course of recent years, more and more Aussies have been turning up in West Hollywood and adding their "Down Under" flair to a variety of businesses, as well as the travel industry."

"Australia has been our biggest market for tourism for the past several years, and it's great to see that some of those who may have started as visitors are now putting down roots in the city," Andy Keown, Director of Communications for West Hollywood tells Oyster.com. "I think there's a natural affinity between Australia and Los Angeles as a whole -- and more specifically, with West Hollywood -- as the two places seem to share similar passions for food, fitness and embracing the good life."

Photo: Courtesty of Visit West Hollywood

Photo: Courtesty of Visit West Hollywood

When it comes to food, there are
a number of Aussie-run businesses popping up including EP & LP, which
quickly turned into the hottest restaurant to open in the area in the past
year. Grant Smillie, owner of the hot spot and Botanical Hospitality Group, says
he was drawn to the area from his home country in order to be a part of the  “can-do attitude of the
U.S.” while still having a fairly easy flight back to Australia. “Culturally, L.A. is very similar to Australian lifestyle. We both enjoy the
outdoors, great food — and the sunshine is certainly something pretty attractive
to Aussies,” he tells us. “Why WeHo in particular? It’s about the
ability of geo-location and creating community.”

And it’s no surprise that
Aussies would want to jump in on the fitness craze that’s a permanent
fixture in West Hollywood. That’s why health gurus like Body By Simone and
Training Mate have popped up in the area, becoming incredibly popular among the
L.A. crowd. “My wife and I took a trip
to Los Angeles in 2009, specifically West Hollywood, which I considered the
fitness capital of the world (and still do),” Training Mate owner, Luke
Milto, tells us. “I was so blown away by the fitness brands that I wanted
to bring the Training Mate philosophy and concept to L.A. and test it against the
bigger players in the industry. I continue to be inspired and motivated by our
fitness industry; it is such a creative space.” 

Just as the Aussies can’t get enough of West
Hollywood, the L.A. crowd can’t get enough of them. Hotels in the area are
actually going out of their way to cater to the influx of tourists from there.
“The times of their
flights are tricky because they’re very early arrivals and late departures,” says Lisa Crampton who handles
the Australia market for the Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas. “So, we try to accommodate the Australian market by offering
complimentary early check-in and late check-out, based on availability. If we
couldn’t offer them that, we’d provide complimentary breakfast or the spa as an
alternative. My numbers of visitors from the country has certainly increased over recent
years.”

Aussie-Friendly Hotel Pick:

What do you think of this trend? Can you see it in other major cities across the U.S.? Let us know in the comments!

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