It was Belt Buckle Night at AT&T Park on Thursday, where the San Francisco Giants were taking on the Cincinnati Reds. The first 20,000 fans received belt buckles compliments of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
That may seem like an odd giveaway unless you understand that the Giants’ first baseman is Brandon Belt and that Scottsdale is the spring training home of San Francisco’s Major League Baseball team and its rabid fans.
Not only did Scottsdale CVB reach out to San Francisco fans, but the destination management organization also hosted media and meeting planners for a meet-and-mingle pregame session and then dinner and the game. It was the perfect business-meets-pleasure concept, with just the right balance of property updates and networking.
We watched the game from the spacious Audi Legends Club, which can hold up to 100 people. With great indoor and outdoor space, it was quiet enough to get a few extra details about Scottsdale properties and yet you had the option to sit outside in right field to soak up live-game ambience.
Before the game, we gathered in one of the park’s meeting rooms to hear from resort and hotel suppliers who joined the Scottsdale CVB during its San Francisco road trip. Besides showing appreciation to Giants’ fans who storm their city for a sports spring break of sorts, resort representatives had lots to share with us about their unique offerings.
Golf is a big deal in Scottsdale and to accommodate busy business travelers, resorts are devising ways to minimize the time it takes to participate. The Boulders Resort & Spa, for example, has two renowned golf courses. The resort also has designated nine of its shortest signature holes (all between 100 and 200 yards) on each course so guests may enjoy the experience in less time. Just zip past the par-5s in your golf cart to get to your next hole.
Talking Stick Resort is adjacent to Talking Stick Golf Club’s two championship golf courses. The resort also features one of the coolest trends to invade the sport, Topgolf, which is a cross between hitting balls at a driving range and bowling. Designed especially for groups, Topgolf allows golfers to strike balls out onto the range, where participants can score points for balls that land in specific target areas. It’s even set up similar to a bowling center, with food and beverages and group areas, similar to lanes.
It was great to learn more about Scottsdale and see the enthusiasm the CVB and suppliers share for our Giants. The Scottsdale CVB and resort reps definitely hit it out of the park while they were in town this week.