Arizona Outback Adventures
Greater Phoenix is blessed with some of the best weather in the United States. With more than 330 annual days of sunshine, low humidity and an average daily temperature of 75 degrees, it is a boon for planners, who are virtually guaranteed that their outdoor events won’t be disrupted by inclement weather.
Pink Jeep Tours
Yet the lovely climate is just one benefit of this pleasant destination. Spectacular resorts boast championship golf courses, world-class dining and spas, top-notch meeting facilities, authentic Native American culture and enticing options that promise fun in the sun. Whether it’s hiking majestic Camelback Mountain, stand-up paddleboarding on Tempe Town Lake, exploring the rugged Sonoran Desert in a bright pink Jeep or taking in the beauty from above in a hot air balloon, there is plenty of adventure to be had.
Greater Phoenix encompasses Phoenix and the neighboring cities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler. The region is serviced by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), which offers easy accessibility from nearly anywhere in the United States. It’s no wonder this Arizona mecca is a hot spot for planners.
Outdoor Activities Galore
Arizona is Fore Golfers
Sunny Scottsdale is a year-round golfer’s paradise. It’s no surprise that the area is home to more than 200 top-rated courses. At many of the golf clubs, pros offer clinics for players of all skill levels. Here are some of the golf highlights:
features two PGA 18-hole courses with rolling fairways and pristine lakes that are challenging for even the most expert golfer.
boasts three courses with water—a rarity in the desert.
is owned by Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and features two highly rated and challenging courses.
–invites you to test your handicap on two courses set in breathtaking surroundings, among ancient boulder formations. Short-course fast games available.
is a new facility where guests can perfect their swings using microchipped golf balls or compete in team challenges by aiming for targets on a 215-yard field.
is the site of the PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open. Stadium Course received a $12 million makeover in 2014.
has two renowned 18-hole courses set in the Sonoran Desert that feature new course layouts.
features two award-winning 18-hole courses where players won’t see a building or road the whole time they are on the links.
New and Renovated Properties
Many resorts in Greater Phoenix are growing and/or getting makeovers. In Scottsdale, the AAA Five Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is in the midst of a $60 million expansion. It will open 102 new guest rooms in spring 2016, bringing the total to 750. The Great Lawn, a 35,000-square-foot grassy area that can accommodate 2,000 seated guests, debuts soon. Sunset Beach, opening in spring 2016, will feature a 7,000-square-foot pool, 9,000-square-foot white-sand beach and an expansive deck. The property’s redesigned Wild West town, Copper Canyon, provides an authentic group experience with two saloons, an outdoor stage, dance floor, blacksmith shop and jail.
Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, a 39-year-old Four Diamond property, has undergone a $9 million Mexican hacienda-inspired makeover, re-emerging as Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. New additions include an open-air kitchen, 10,000-square-foot outdoor lawn event space, updated guest rooms and redesigned pool.
October marks the one-year anniversary of the relaunch of the former Radisson Fort McDowell Resort by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, which rebranded the property as We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center. The independent AAA Four Diamond property is associated with the adjacent We-Ko-Pa Golf Club and neighboring Fort McDowell Adventures.
The McCormick Scottsdale, formerly Millennium Resort and Villas Scottsdale, reopened last fall following a renovation of its 125 guest rooms, lobby and lounge. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch has spruced up its 14,000-square-foot Arizona Ballroom, adding new carpet, wall coverings, chandeliers and lighting.
Also in Scottsdale, Westroc Hospitality will open Hotel at Mountain Shadows on the former site of Marriott Mountain Shadows Resort in January 2017. The 180-room, full-service boutique hotel will have a lounge, restaurants, fitness center and specialty grocery store. Luxurious Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa is in the midst of a $10 million renovation. The 105 refreshed guest rooms feature desert-inspired artwork. Also, JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is spending $9.5 million to refurbish its spa, guest room bathrooms and Ambiente golf course.
Boulders Resort & Spa in nearby Carefree is celebrating its 30th birthday with a multimillion-dollar makeover of the bar lounge and 160 casitas. The property has four dining options, two 18-hole golf courses, four pools and 50,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor meeting space.
In Tempe, Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel Tempe (pictured) is completing a $4.6 million-dollar renovation of its 209 guest rooms, public spaces and 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes spent $6 million to update its 20,000-square-foot conference center with new drapes, furniture, lighting and tech workstations. And Four Points by Sheraton Tempe was recently rebranded as Hotel 1333, celebrating the event with a grand reopening in July.
Major Meeting Venues
Arizona Biltmore Hotel
Built in 1929; 740 guest rooms; 78 villas; 100,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting space; 25,000-square-foot conference center; refurbished 24,576-square-foot ballroom; spa; two PGA 18-hole golf courses; four dining options.
AAA Four Diamond property; 744 suites; 120,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor event space; spa; Oasis Water Park; 18-hole golf course; six restaurants.
Located across the street from Phoenix Convention Center; 693 guest rooms; 48,000 sq. ft. of function space; gym; pool; free Wi-Fi; four restaurants.
Downtown architectural masterpiece has $3.2 million worth of public art; three-building campus boasts nearly 900,000 sq. ft. of exhibition and meeting space, three ballrooms with cutting-edge A/V; The West Building is LEED Silver certified.
Modern hotel near downtown attractions; 445 guest rooms; 73 suites; 50,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; 20 meeting rooms; rooftop pool; fitness center; lounge.
Adjacent to Phoenix Convention Center; walk to downtown attractions; 1,000 guest rooms; 47 suites; 80,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; 29,000-square-foot ballroom; pool; fitness center; FedEx office. q
Boutique-style downtown hotel; panoramic city views enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows; 242 guest rooms; 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space includes 3,000-square-foot ballroom; pool; Westin Workout room; Province restaurant.
Arizona landmark in Litchfield Park; 331 casitas and suites; 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including 10,800-square-foot Wigwam Ballroom and 25 meeting rooms; golf; spa; four pools.
AAA Five Diamond resort will soon have 750 guest rooms; 106,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting space includes two 23,000-square-foot ballrooms; 94,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space; Copper Canyon Western town; two golf courses; spa; five top-ranked restaurants.
188 guest rooms; 35,920 sq. ft. of fully renovated indoor and outdoor meeting space; world-class golf; bi-level pool; two tennis courts; award-winning cuisine at Talavera and Proof Canteen.
Iconic AAA Four Diamond mid-century-modern property; 191 guest rooms; 13,000 sq. ft. of indoor space; 20,000 sq. ft. of outdoor event space.
493 guest rooms and suites; 70,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor meeting space; eight restaurants; 2.5-acre water playground; championship golf; spa; fitness center; Native American Learning Center. q
427 guest rooms, including 26 suites; spa; two golf courses; 40,000 sq. ft. of event space, including 20 meeting rooms; seven restaurants.
105 guest rooms; 9,786 sq. ft. indoor meeting space; three boardrooms; 8,265 sq. ft. outdoor event space.
Independently owned property in the heart of Old Town; 404 guest rooms, including 180 suites; 40,000 sq. ft. of function space; 10,000-square-foot Grande Ballroom; 58 meeting suites; five pools; tennis; fitness center; spa; putting green; four restaurants.
Rebranded and refreshed Four Diamond property has open-air kitchen; 10,000-square-foot outdoor lawn; redesigned pool with new cabanas; 326 guest rooms; 50,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space; championship golf; spa; signature dining.
AAA Four Diamond resort in Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community; 496 guest rooms; 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; 25,000-square-foot ballroom; two golf courses; casino; six restaurants; Native American cultural center. q
Modern retreat has 125 guest rooms; lounge; 13,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor/outdoor event space.
AAA Five Diamond resort; 64,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting space; 15,000-square-foot Camelback Ballroom; stunning outdoor verandas; seven pools; championship golf; luxurious spa; signature dining.
AAA Four Diamond resort embraces its Scottish ancestry; 732 guest rooms; 200,000+ sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor space; three ballrooms; 41 meeting rooms; spa; championship golf; award-winning dining.
Stylish AAA Four Diamond property within walking distance of many attractions; lounges offer exciting nightlife; 230 guest rooms; 33 specialty suites; 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; poolside deck; live music; Sushi Roku restaurant.
Operated by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation; 246 guest rooms and suites; spa; award-winning golf; gaming; outdoor adventures; 25,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including 18,000-square-foot ballroom.
353 guest rooms; 40,000+ sq. ft. of indoor meeting space including updated conference center; 9,000-square-foot ballroom; 13 breakout rooms; 15,000 sq. ft. of outdoor function space.
Walking distance to downtown; 303 guest rooms; 30,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; rooftop pool; three restaurants; tennis court.
New views are popping up all over Seattle, from the Space Needle’s revolving glass floor to the recently opened, 45-story Hyatt Regency Seattle.