Costa Mesa's local economy relies heavily on retail and services. The single largest center of commercial activity is South Coast Plaza, a shopping centernoted for its architecture and size. The volume of sales generated bySouth Coast Plaza, on the strength of 322 stores, places it among thehighest volume regional shopping centers in the nation. It generatesmore than one billion dollars per year. Some manufacturing activityalso takes place in the city, mostly in the industrial, southwesternquarter, which is home to a number of electronics, pharmaceuticals andplastics firms.
The commercial district surrounding South Coast Plaza, whichcontains parts of northern Costa Mesa and southern Santa Ana, issometimes called South Coast Metro.
The Orange County Performing Arts Center and South Coast Repertory Theater are based in the city. A local newspaper, the Daily Pilot, is owned, operated, and printed by the Los Angeles Times.
The commercial district within the triangle that is formed by Highways 405, 55 & 73 is sometimes called SoBeCa, which stands for "South On Bristol, Entertainment, Culture & Arts".
Costa Mesa offers 26 parks, a municipal golf course, 26 public schools and 2 libraries. It is also home to the Orange County Fairgrounds, which hosts one of the largest fairs in California, the Orange County Fair, each July. The Fair receives more than one million visitors each year. Adjacent to the Fairgrounds is the Pacific Amphitheater, which has hosted acts such as Madonna, Bill Cosby, Jessica Simpson, Steppenwolf, Kelly Clarkson and many more.
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