Sunday, January 31, 2016


A tourism industry news update from the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Who says you can have too much of a good thing? When it comes to luxurious accommodations in a picturesque desert setting, there is no such thing, and Scottsdale is gearing up to welcome a new resort to its roster. Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa, which is slated to debut in mid- 2016. As with other Andaz properties, the Scottsdale resort will immerse guests with indigenous experiences to the location. Its mid-century, desert inspired interior pays homage to the 1950s desert art scene influenced by architects, artists and graphic designers, including Alexander Girard, Frank Lloyd Wright and Paolo Soleri. In that same spirit, the resort will collaborate with local artists, musicians and designers to create events and programs hosted in the Andaz Salon based on themes unique to the Sonoran Desert. Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa will include 201 bungalow style guest rooms, a full service spa and salon, and more than 20,000 square feet of meeting and event spaces on more than 22 acres of land. Plus, it will house a large pool and sundeck with views of the iconic Camelback Mountain. For media information, contact Meredith Strodel at or 310-664-8867.

It turns out, we don’t need to wait for “The Big One” to bring the ocean to Scottsdale’s doorstep. We just needed Amram Knishinsky, the mastermind behind Scottsdale’s Butterfly Wonderland, the largest indoor butterfly atrium in the U.S. This July, Knishinsky will bring the sea to this landlocked desert with the opening of OdySea Aquarium on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The 16-acre complex will be the largest aquarium in the Southwest and promises a high-tech, high-entertainment, oceanic adventure. Book an under the sea off-site activity or event at the aquarium already dubbed “SeaWorld meets Disneyland.” With floor-to-ceiling windows that offer aquatic life viewing – even in the restrooms – and underwater acrylic tunnels that lead to each level, your attendees will be surrounded by marine life at every angle. They will explore bayous, coral reefs and deep abysses in exhibits such as “Rivers of the World,” Amazon Rivers,” and “Penguins.” And in the “The Bizarre & the Beautiful,” exhibit, your attendees will find jellyfish, octopuses and seahorses. Experience a teambuilding activity like no other with SeaTREK, an underwater program that will allow your group to descend deep into the water and meet marine life face-to-face. Make a day of it with stops at The Shops at OdySea in the Desert, a 78,000-square-foot open-air marketplace showcasing local retailers and restaurants, and Fliteshop, an indoor sky diving facility, both opening in July. For media information, contact Debi Bridges at or 480-306-4242.

Scottsdale boasts luxurious resorts, restaurants, spas and more. When your meetings goers are spoiled with all that comfort and luxury, how they get to all those amenities is a detail that can’t be overlooked. With Dunn Transportation’s new executive coaches, your group will travel in style. Dunn’s new fleet includes two premium vehicles that can seat up to 37 passengers. Your attendees will enjoy the comforts of the leather reclining seats, flat-screen televisions with DVD capabilities, as well as real compartment capabilities for conveniently traveling with luggage or golf clubs. For media information, contact Margaret Dunn at or 480-970-3866.  

We’re calling it now— 2016 is the year of the “bleisure” traveler. A new year means new travel trends, and this year, the name of the game is coupling business and leisure travel. According to a 2015 trend report by Skift, business travelers are looking to work hard and play hard during their work-related trips, tagging on vacation days to squeeze in some fun. While Scottsdale boasts world-class meeting and convention spaces, its downtime activities are just as memorable. If your meetings goers are looking for some playtime once your Scottsdale conference has ended, point them in the direction of the destination’s finest hotspots and activities

Dust off your boots and cowboy hat, because cowboy culture is alive and well in Scottsdale. Your attendees can see how the real cowboys of the American West lived at Scottsdale’s newest museum, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Peruse the exhibits and learn a thing or two about life in the Wild West. This museum is only a year old, but it has earned quite a name for itself recently being named a Smithsonian Affiliate. If your attendees are looking to giddy up after a long week of meetings, direct them to the Arizona Cowboy College. They’ll leave their travels as honorary cowboys after a day (or more) of this cowboy camp, where they’ll learn to ride a horse, lasso cattle and more.

If your group’s idea of playtime is a tee time, Scottsdale’s world-class golf courses are sure to pique their interest. They can perfect their golf swing with Fore-Max Golf Fitness program at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa or follow in the footsteps of golf greats like Phil and Tiger at TPC Scottsdale. Or have them enjoy a night on the town with a laidback game at TopGolf Riverwalk over some drinks.

For those looking for a little more adventuresome play, Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert backdrop is their playground. Catch the best views of the Valley from a hot air balloon with Hot Air Expeditions, Inc. or Rainbow Ryders, Inc. or explore the rugged terrain on foot with a guided hike through the 30,200 acres of protected land at Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Arizona Outback Adventures can teach them all about the desert inhabitants that call this beautiful yet rugged land home.

After all that work and all those meetings, your attendees will need a little R&R. Suggest they partake in some indigenous spa treatments in this premier wellness destination. They can get pampered with the Aroma-Botanica Massage Treatment at The Spa at Talking Stick Resort, during which therapists use herbs and blooms to create a soothing sensory ritual. And the Agave Signature Organic Facial at Agave, The Arizona Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa will wash all the stress of the meetings away. For media information, contact Clare Hahne at or 480-889-2709.        

If your meetings goers seem a bit quiet and subdued, add in a shot of tequila, a splash of rum, a pint of ale, or a nice pour of wine.  When you book some of Scottsdale’s booze-filled teambuilding activities for your meetings, you’re crafting a recipe for success. After a tipple, you’ll have your attendees letting go of their inhibitions and chatting in no time.

This year, W Scottsdale is unveiling two new amenities that will let groups imbibe. With Mixology 101, a W Scottsdale Mixologist will lead your group in a class on how to craft inventive cocktails, getting their creativity flowing and inspiring camaraderie. In the evenings, keep the momentum rolling with a Sushi Making and Sake Tasting in W Scottsdale’s Sushi Roku Restaurant. Your attendees will learn the culinary secrets on how to roll sushi while tasting a flight of sake and learning how to best pair it with their favorite sushi. For media information, contact Christina McGoldrick at

Give your attendees a taste of the Grand Canyon state’s award-winning wines at LDV Wine Gallery in downtown Scottsdale. Plan a private, off-site event at the tasting room and wine shop, and your guests will sample Rhone varietals from Southeastern Arizona vineyard, LDV Winery. Your group will enjoy charcuteries boards and wine flights, while learning about the history of the Arizona wine industry from the passionate winemakers themselves. For media information, contact Susie Timm at or 480-200-2766.

Remember to log onto for additional tourism news, press kits and releases, media tour information and more. And you can always turn to our public relations team for additional assistance, from photo needs to story ideas. If you are interested in being considered for a group or individual media tour, please fill out the form here. To keep up with Scottsdale’s latest news and happenings, follow @ScottsdalePR on Twitter, @ScottsdaleCVB on Instagram or visit

Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Contacts:
Laura McMurchie, VP of Communications
Direct: 480-429-2253 

Megan Neighbor, Director of Communications
Direct: 480-889-2716

Clare Hahne, Communications Coordinator
Direct: 480-889-2709


from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Friday, January 29, 2016

7 Stand Out Museums

Scottsdale packs a punch when it comes to award-winning museums. Focus ranges from Native American Culture to music from around the globe, providing a museum experience for everyone. And, with so many of them offering out-of-the-ordinary, interactive exhibits, we’re not even sure museum is the right word. Here are seven of the best that you can’t afford to miss.


Western Spirt: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

This downtown gem, which debuted in January 2015, celebrates the pioneer spirit of the American West through changing exhibitions of fine art, rare historic artifacts and cultural treasures like Texas Ranger badges, hand-tooled saddles and shiny spurs.

Heard Museum

Heard Museum

Explore the American Indian cultures of the Southwest at the world-renowned Heard Museum. The museum also hosts popular annual events like the World Championship Hoop Dance Competition in February and the Indian Fair & Market in March.

Musical Instrument Museum

See, hear and play instruments from around the world at the Musical Instrument Museum. More than 5,000 instruments and cultural artifacts are on display, including instruments played by icons like Eric Clapton, John Lennon and Carlos Santana.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

SMoCA celebrates modern art, architecture and design through thought-provoking, changing exhibitions. The museum, an ingenious renovation of an old movie theater by architect Will Bruder, also is home to “Knight Rise,” a James Turrell skyspace (above) that allows you to track the sun’s colorful path across the desert sky.
A local favorite for more than 50 years, the Phoenix Art Museum presents popular international exhibitions alongside it’s collection of more than 17,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American and contemporary art and fashion design.
Pueblo Grande copy
Gain insight into the culture and lifestyle of the ancient Hohokam at Pueblo Grande Museum & Archeological Park (above). Ruins of a Hohokam village and replicas of traditional houses are easily accessible along a 2/3-mile interpretive trail.
Comm Air Force
This spacious museum includes approximately 30 historic aircraft and numerous exhibits celebrating America’s aviation history, including the Flying Tigers, Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

A Taste of the Old West: Hashknife Pony Express

The tradition of the Wild West lives on here in Arizona. Every January, the Hashknife Pony Express rides 200 miles all the way from Holbrook to Scottsdale delivering 20,000 pieces of mail. No Postal Service cars, just a one horsepower relay ride through Arizona high country and down into beautiful Scottsdale. Check out Hashknife’s history below, and stop by Downtown Scottsdale this Friday to catch a glimpse of the riders at their journeys end!

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Valentine’s Day in Scottsdale

Valentine’s Day can be stressful. What are you going to do? Where are you going to eat? Chocolates or no chocolates? While we can’t help you out with that last question (although, can one really go wrong with chocolates?), we can give you a few ideas for a romantic evening on the town!


Westin Kierland Resort and Spa

With its fresh, flavorful Nuevo Latino cuisine, deseo at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa offers a lively and passionate dining experience perfect for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day dinner. Couples are invited to enjoy an evening of romance while indulging in a sumptuous four-course prix fixe menu. Reservations required, call 480.624.1202.

Four Seasons Scottsdale

Proof will be running an ‘Opposites Attract’ Valentine’s Day menu. Choose your 3-course dinner based on your mood that night. They’ll have local beer and cocktail specials too! Click here for more info.

Boulders Resort and Spa

Palo Verde Restaurant will feature a three-course specialty meal on Valentines Day. Head over for a romantic night and delicious food like butter poached King Crab and smoking buffalo tartare Click here for more information.

El Chorro

Enjoy an incredible three-course meal at El Chorro available at $140 for two with an optional wine pairing for an additional $20 per person. Click here to see the Valentine’s Day menu, and call 480-948-5170 to make a reservation.

Pedego Scottsdale

Pedego Scottsdale and Chocolade van Brugge are offering a very sweet special for those looking to enjoy an active and romantic Valentine’s Day. The package is available for two-hour or full day bike rentals for two. It includes a four-piece box of Belgian chocolates and two free coffees from Chocolade van Brugge, and a single red rose. This is the perfect Valentine’s date for the adventurous couple, the chocolate lovers, or those who simply want to experience Pedego’s motto “Hello, FUN!”. Call 480-994-4447 for more information.

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot is offering a four-course gourmet fondue dinner for $69.95 per person, February 11-14. This includes unique cheese fondue with special dippers, specialty salads, a Lobster Lovers of Cupid’s Combination Entrée, chocolate fondue, and a gift for each couple including a $25 dip certificate! Click here for more information.

The Phoenician

Celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day at Il Terrazzo at The Phoenician. A romantic three course prix-fixe special menu featuring gourmet favorites such as beef carpaccio, cinnamon glazed short rib and raspberry mousse awaits you. For more information, click here.

Hotel Valley Ho

Enjoy a candlelit dinner for two at the retro-chic restaurant, ZuZu, featuring the regular menu along with several specials including a asparagus soup, beef tenderloin and strawberry trifles. Dinner is served February 13 and February 14 from 3:00 to 11:00 p.m., and reservations can be made at 480.421.7997. For more information, click here.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Thursday, January 21, 2016

2015 San Francisco Giants Spring Training Schedule

Scottsdale stadium_pano

Buster Posey and former World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner look to start the 2016 season on the right foot in hopes of a championship. Your first chance to see the champions in Scottsdale is March 2.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.26.46 AM

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Cactus League Spring Training in Scottsdale

Spring training is a major draw for Scottsdale visitors. And we have the Scottsdale Charros to thank for all the fun. In 1961, a group of nine local businessmen got together for a meeting at Hotel Valley Ho. Their mission: find a way to make spring training in Scottsdale stand out above the rest. The Scottsdale Charros have moved beyond just promoting Cactus League to become one of Scottsdale’s leading philanthropic organizations. Spring training is their top mode of fundraising. So after nearly 60 years of organizing one of Scottsdale’s most popular events, you would expect Charros members to know a thing or two about what makes Scottsdale such a prime spring training getaway. Here’s what they said:
“Scottsdale is the ideal spot for spring training because it’s as if the city was built around the ballpark. It’s within walking distance of the best dining and nightlife spots in downtown. Everything is so easily accessible.” – George Adams “Scottsdale is like a gigantic entertainment melting pot. It has a little bit of everything mixed together. You have great weather, bars, restaurants, golf, shopping, and Major League baseball all rolled into one!” – Paul Seivert “Besides being the only stadium in Arizona surrounded by shopping and entertainment, Scottsdale Stadium has some of the most unbelievable views around. You can see Camelback Mountain from there.” – Dave Westra
Panoramic views and endless options for fun in downtown Scottsdale? All in all, not such a bad choice. Check out all the 2016 schedules and information here.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

How Far is the Grand Canyon from Scottsdale?


The Grand Canyon is a short day trip from Scottsdale, about 230 miles or a 4-hour car drive.

For more information on things to do along the way and also at the canyon, click here.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

63rd Annual Parada del Sol Parade


For more than 50 years, the Parada del Sol Parade has attracted thousands of spectators to downtown Scottsdale and provided them with a taste of Arizona’s Old West charm. So, put on your Western duds, gather the family and load up your lawn chairs, because the 63rd Annual Parada del Sol Parade is coming to downtown Scottsdale on Saturday, February 13, 2016. The parade will march south along Scottsdale Road from Drinkwater Blvd. to First St. where it will turn west toward Marshall Way. From Marshall Way, it will head south to Second St., eat to Brown Ave. and north to Indian School Rd., ending in Old Town Scottsdale.

With nearly 150 entries last year, the Parada del Sol Parade maintains its reputation as one of the world’s largest parades. Immediately following the parade is the Trails End Celebration in Old Town Scottsdale. Join the fun at this family-friendly block party where you’ll enjoy live music, delicious food, and shopping among a variety of merchandise vendors.

More on the Parada Del Sol:

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Friday, January 15, 2016

Waste Management Phoenix Open: Top 5 Memorable Moments on the 16th Hole


Adoring fans call the Waste Management Phoenix Open the “Greatest Show on Grass.” We’re willing to bet it has something to do with the party-like atmosphere on the 16th hole. Surrounded on all sides by stadium seating, the 16th hole draws spectators who are there for a good time as much as they are there to see pros like Phil Mickelson and J.B. Holmes duke it out. In honor of the 2016 WM Phoenix Open golf tournament, we’re counting down the top five most memorable moments on the 16th hole:

5. 1988: Two years after winning the entire tournament, PGA TOUR professional Hal Sutton made the first hole-in-one on the 16th during the third round of the event. At that time, the tournament was known simply as the Phoenix Open.

4. 1995: A major step toward amplifying the Waste Management Phoenix Open’s party atmosphere, this is the year that the tournament’s first corporate skyboxes made their appearance along the 16th hole’s southern embankment. Skybox tickets on the 16th hole are the most in-demand of the entire golf event.

3. 2009: The “coliseum” takes shape as the 16th hole is completely surrounded by stands, making it the first golf hole of its kind on the PGA TOUR. The grandstands seat between 15,000 and 20,0000 spectators, and that’s not counting the corporate skyboxes!

2. 2000: Arizona State University students and golf fans officially tag the 16th hole as “The House that Phil Built” after former Sun Devil and two-time Phoenix Open Champion Phil Mickelson. Mickelson won the tournament in 1996, 2005 and 2013.

1. 1997: Tiger Woods hits the “shot heard ‘round the world” on the 16th hole when he sinks an ace. The event exposes the world to the fun and rowdy atmosphere of the Phoenix Open as its replayed on television over and over (and over – still, to this day!).

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Top 5 Ways to Explore Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert

Scottsdale is located in the Sonoran Desert – a vibrant oasis bursting at the seams with unusual wildlife and vegetation, including 2,000 native plant species. The pristine landscape beckons visitors to get out and explore, but the options are as varied as the terrain itself. Here are five ways to explore Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert setting during your next visit.



Scottsdale offers nearly 100 miles of hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails. Some of the most popular spots include Camelback Mountain and Pinnacle Peak Park, but nothing beats the picturesque expanses of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which offers nearly 20,000 acres to enjoy do-it-yourself or guided outdoor adventures.

Off-Road Desert Tours

If you prefer to take in your outdoor action from the comfort of a motorized vehicle, there are myriad options available in Scottsdale.

Horseback Riding

For those who want to get in touch with their inner cowboy (or cowgirl), Scottsdale offers horseback riding across the same terrain that hosted such legendary figures as Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and renowned Apache warrior, Geronimo. These guided adventures can even take you through the cool waters of the Verde River.

Hot Air Balloon Adventures

In a landscape as panoramic as the Sonoran Desert, there’s no more leisurely way to soak it all in than aboard a hot air balloon. Riders gently drift with the breeze as the pilot floats the balloon several hundred feet into the air or swoops in low to point out wildlife and native vegetation. Plus, every ride ends with a gourmet breakfast in the desert.

Water Sports

First-time visitors might be surprised by the number of wet ’n’ wild adventures available in and around Scottsdale. The city’s outskirts are chock-full with lakes, watering holes and rivers. Rafting, tubing and fishing are all available to visitors who want to explore Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert.
For more ideas and resources for exploring Scottsdale’s great outdoors, download the Desert Discovery Guide, which features trail listings and provides a comprehensive overview of the Sonoran Desert.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Three to See in Papago Park

Drive a few minutes southwest of downtown Scottsdale and you’ll find yourself in Papago Park. The unmistakable red rocks dotted with holes like Swiss cheese are home to small animals such as jackrabbits and ground squirrels, as well as picturesque hiking trails and picnic areas, and one of the nation’s top zoos for kids.

You can spend a day enjoying the park’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage at three diverse attractions – the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Zoo, and Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park.


Desert Botanical Garden

At the Desert Botanical Garden, you’ll see more than 20,000 individual plants from deserts around the world while learning about desert living, colorful wildflowers, and the diverse plants and people of the Sonoran Desert. Home to several lush trails, the Garden also offers guided tours, seasonal exhibits such as the Butterfly Pavilion, live concerts under the starry skies, fun family activities such as the Summer Flashlight Tours, an outdoor café, and a gift and plant shop.


Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,300 animals, including more than 200 endangered or threatened species. Designed around four distinct trails – Africa, Tropics, Children’s and Arizona – the zoo offers daily activities such as the Safari Train, Stingray Bay, Giraffe Encounters, Wild About Animals Show and a petting zoo. Be sure to stop by Monkey Village, where you become part of a family of squirrel monkeys as they play around you.


Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park

You’ll be taken back 1,500 years at the Pueblo Grande Museum where you’ll experience the ruins of an ancient Hohokam Indian village, including an excavated prehistoric ball court and two full-scale reproductions of prehistoric Hohokam dwellings. Kids will “dig it” as they explore archaeological clues from ancient and historic sites to identify artifacts. Changing galleries showcase exhibits on archaeology, Southwestern cultures and contemporary American Indian arts.

At the end of each fun-filled adventure, be sure to stop by the museum stores and gift shops to bring home a unique Arizona gift, including Native American art, Southwestern foods and candies, and more.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Scottsdale Nightlife: 5 Different Experiences


Dance All Night

Ready to hit the dance floor? Scottsdale has plenty of options. On the 14th floor of Talking Stick Resort sits Degree 270, a premier dance club with stunning views of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert. Here, live entertainment is the perfect companion to regular drink specials and a sophisticated lounge atmosphere.

Casual and Cool

At The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Waltz & Weiser Whiskey Bar & Cantina specializes in fine tequilas and whiskeys, and offers an upscale bar and Mexican-inspired menu in addition to billiards and shuffleboard.

The Wild, Wild West

The West’s Most Western Town is chock full of boot scootin’ fun. What was once Scottsdale’s first bank is now a favorite Western watering hole. Rusty Spur Saloon is a historic tavern where everyone from John Wayne to Vince Vaughn has knocked back some suds.

Live Music

Scottsdale shines the spotlight on live entertainment. Musical expressions from around the world are on tap at Center Stage Bar at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch. From Southern harmony to edgy folk and acoustic soul, listen to it all in a whimsical setting of cascading fountains and glowing fireplaces.There’s something very “Frank Sinatra” about the nightlife experience at Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse. Take your pick from the long list of specialty martinis and settle in for an evening of masterful piano sounds. For a slightly edgier scene, check out Scottsdale Waterfront’s Culinary Dropout. The restaurant and bar, which reserves two-thirds of its menu for beer, wine and cocktails like the bacon-infused Bloody Mary, puts on shows from top local bands every Friday and Saturday night.

Looking to Lounge

Here’s where to sit and sip for a cocktail-driven experience. Stylish Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain’s jade bar and edge lounge are the perfect razor-sharp duo where breathtaking views and exotic drinks are the main course. Here, cocktails are art in motion with handcrafted concoctions like the Eastern Raspberry Sidecar – a muddle of Germaine Robin brandy, Nigori sake and fresh lemon juice. Another hotel bar, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, is a sweeping glass-lined space where the drink menu matches its fun and retro vibe. Also in downtown, R&D at citizen public house is a speakeasy-of-sorts where locals and visitors go for proper and sophisticated cocktailing. And rounding out the list is Salt Lounge at Scottsdale Quarter, popular for its local celebrity mixologists, funky furniture and suave setting.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January Calendar of Events

Check out everything going on around town in January! Be sure not miss Barrett-Jackson starting January 23!

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |