What’s New in Greater Phoenix?
September 2012


  • Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel’s Green Commitee adopts a Valley Metro light rail station
  • Celebrate ten years of luxury as a trio of resorts celebrates their anniversaries

  • Local First Arizona’s certified Local Fall Festival takes place in downtown Phoenix

This past August, the Transportation Security Administration introduced the new TSA Pre✓™ lane atPhoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Terminal 4 A Security Checkpoint. TSA Pre✓™ is designed to enhance security by placing more focus on pre-screening individuals who volunteer to participate prior to flying in order to potentially expedite checkpoint screening. TSA Pre✓™ will be in place at 20 U.S. airports including Phoenix Sky Harbor.

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Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel’s Green Committee adopts a Valley METRO Light Rail station to help keep the neighborhood clean and beautiful. The METRO light rail is a project developed on behalf of and with the support of its community. Now the Central Avenue and Van Buren Street light rail station will be monitored and cared after by the hotel’s committee. As part of a bigger initiative, this effort will foster new relationships amongst the surrounding areas. The Green Committee has been actively working on connecting with the downtown Phoenix community, supporting the Phoenix sustainability efforts and making an overall sustainable difference.The Westin Phoenix Downtown is launching an interactive culinary package that allows guests the opportunity to meet the chef, seek expert nutritional advice, shop a local open-air market for fresh ingredients, and then enjoy a customized three-course lunch. This new package is perfect for guests traveling from afar seeking local offerings or for neighbors looking for an up-close and personal food-focused experience. “Shop with the Chef” allows for a fun, informative and delicious culinary escape. This package is available on weekends Sept. 8 – Oct. 27, 2012. As an overnight package, rates start from $329, but for those unable to take advantage of a night’s stay, guests are still welcome to join for shopping with the chef and the three-course luncheon experience for $75 per person.Calling all Justin Bieber fans: The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa is having an “I’m a Belieber” Weekend starting Saturday, Sept. 15. To all the “Beliebers” out there – grab your friends or get your family to book a weekend at The Westin Kierland for all things Bieber  including a gift bag, dance party and more, and get a chance to win tickets to Justin’s sold-out Phoenix concert or Radio Disney AM 1580’s True Belieber Fan Fest on September 29.

The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa is also celebrating the grand opening of the Kierland FlowRider on the weekend of Oct. 5-7 and is hosting the exclusive FlowRider Festival on October 6. Book a two-night stay for exclusive access to the all-day FlowRider Festival and get two FlowRider “board passes” for your chance to go surfing in the desert! The Grand Opening event will include all-day entertainment at the Adventure Pool, a surfing exhibition, a “Wave Master” finalist Surf-Off, and an evening fireworks show.

The Arizona Biltmore is preparing 10 incredible epicurean evenings for the resort’s 23rd season of “Winemaker Dinners”.  They will feature original menus paired with specially selected wines, spending time with the creators of the wines, after-dinner drinks and cigars, and special showings of luxury products. The first dinner, on September 20, will feature a jewelry showing by Hyde Park Jewelers, with guests also offered the opportunity to wear the jewelry during dinner. For each dinner, Arizona Biltmore Executive Chef Todd Sicolo and Executive Sous Chef Conor Favre will create a unique menu of four-to-six courses, each paired with an appropriate wine of the evening’s featured winery. The winemaker or other representative of the winery will participate, talking about the wines, answering questions and socializing with guests.

Arizona’s largest luxury resort JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa celebrates 10 years of luxury in the Valley. The property features 950 recently remodeled guestrooms, 10 dining experiences, the renowned Revive Spa, eight tennis courts and four acres of shimmering pools and waterways including the celebrated Lazy River with a serpentine slide, and two championship golf courses.

For the first time, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa and Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, two Starwood resorts in Phoenix, are partnering to offer a unique opportunity with the “Ten Years of Luxury Starwood Resorts” in the Valley promotion to commemorate their 10th Anniversaries, offering Starwood Preferred Guest members exclusive rates on stays through December 29, 2012 and the opportunity to earn a 10,000 SPG point award. With exclusive rates from $119 per night, SPG members are invited to enjoy a luxurious stay at two of the valley’s premier resorts and earn an award of 10,000 Starpoints. Guests must stay one night or more at each of the two participating properties, The Westin Kierland Resort and Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort. Guests will receive a 10,000 SPG point award. Starpoints will be credited to the guest’s SPG account within 30 days after the completion of their second stay. Valid for stays August 10 – December 29, 2012, based upon availability, cannot be combined with any other offer, discount or package and is subject to blackout dates. Guests must be a Starwood Preferred Guest member, or are invited to join the Starwood Preferred Guest Program.

The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in October. With exclusive rates starting from $169 per night, all esteemed resort, restaurant and local guests who visit during October will be granted access to many exceptional benefits in their restaurants, retail, Aji Spa and many surrounding Wild Horse Pass Development partners. These benefits include 10% off all of the resort’s award-wining dining outlets, 10% off all ala-carte Aji Spa services and dining in the Aji Café, and more. Rates and offers are valid for resort stays and promotional consumption Oct.1- Oct. 31, 2012, are based upon space and availability, and offers cannot be combined with any other discount, promotion, or special offer.

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort announces its new organic and seasonal children’s menu created exclusively for Hyatt by renowned food pioneer and chef, Alice Waters. The new menu, featuring a three-course organic meal, marks the first hotel project for Waters and complements Hyatt’s groundbreaking “For Kids By Kids” menu, providing children more nutritious, fresh and interactive offerings. The new children’s food and beverage offerings will be offered in all full-service Hyatt hotels and resorts throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. To add another layer of fun to mealtime, Hyatt will launch a Flavor Journey online experience in September where kids and parents can learn more about organic foods, the “For Kids By Kids” menu and enjoy games and activities.

This summer, Hotel Valley Ho is adding a new meeting room and an adjoining hospitality suite to its event space. The meeting room will offer 760 square feet of space, which will be divisible into two 380-square-foot rooms and will also feature a 320-square-foot patio. The setup will be customized for each event. Amenities will include high-definition TVs and WiFi and cable modem connectivity. The new meeting room and suite will be abundant with natural light, featuring floor-to-ceiling glass and mid-century-modern style. They will bring the hotel’s offerings to 12,500 square feet of indoor meeting space and over 25,000 square feet of sunny outdoor space. Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2012.

Debuting fall 2012, Proof at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale presents homestyle comfort fare sourced exclusively from the 50 states.  Embark on a cross-country road trip through the main street of America, tapping into the nation’s rich heritage and the historic days of Route 66.  Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in this relaxed American canteen, featuring menu items such as fried green tomatoes, shrimp and oyster po’boys, and chicken and waffles with bacon and bourbon syrup. Guests can take in the outdoors from every angle with walls that open to views of Pinnacle Peak and extensive patio dining.  Televisions, games and a bustling bar bring buzzing energy to the restaurant on a nightly basis.

Readers of Meetings Focus West magazine have chosen Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa as a 2012 “Best of the West” property in the Western United States, Western Canada and Mexico.  The “Best of the West” award is based on the resort’s quality of meeting space, guest rooms, staff, service, food and beverage, the availability of technical equipment, amenities, activities and value.  The resort was chosen by top national meeting planners as an outstanding meeting facility for its exceptional service, comfort, charisma and ability to blend business and pleasure, ensuring guests have a unique meeting experience.  Only 50 properties in the Western region were selected for the award.

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Local First Arizona’s Certified Local Fall Festival takes place in downtown Phoenix Saturday, November 10, 2012 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00p.m. Now in its eighth year, the annual festival of all things local will move toDowntown Phoenix’s Portland Parkway, located on Portland Street between Third and Central Avenues. This beautiful green space will allow the Festival to better accommodate the many local businesses who want to participate and will allow more room for attendees to stroll, shop, eat and be entertained in a unique urban setting. Voted “Best Free Festival” in 2011’s New Times Best Of Phoenix awards, this family-friendly festival has a street fair atmosphere and has drawn upwards of 5,000 attendees in past years. The event is open to the public and will offer a variety of local businesses, restaurants, food trucks, live music and children’s activities.Phoenix Theatre kicks off its 92nd season with Monty Python’s Spamalot from Sept. 19- Oct. 14, 2012. Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table in their quest for the grail while also taking time to poke fun at Broadway.This September 20-29, Ballet Arizona presents the 15th annual “Ballet Under the Stars”. This ever popular sunset performance series is free and open to the public at six different valley locations. “Ballet Under the Stars” allows Arizona communities to enjoy a professional ballet performance in a unique outdoor setting complete with stage, lighting, costumes and beautiful Arizona weather. In addition, “Ballet Under the Stars” will feature a presentation of Class Act, one of Ballet Arizona’s Education and Outreach programs. Class Act is a project combining the talents and expertise of the professional dancers of Ballet Arizona with the youthful ideas and creative energies of school-age children.

Someone’s getting married at the 3rd annual Arizona Taco Festival. On August 1, Affordable Food Festivals, LLC, announced the start of a seven-week contest to win an actual wedding at the upcoming Arizona Taco Festival. The contest invites couples to create a one-minute video expressing why they deserve a fun “taco wedding” at the Fest, with the winner receiving a full ceremony and 50-person reception on the second day of the Arizona Taco Festival—October 21, 2012. Sponsored by Arizona Weddings Magazine, the ceremony will take place on the main stage and include all the bells and whistles—officiant, décor, music, vow exchange, photographer, and perhaps the most important element: the ceremonial stomping of the tortilla chips. Interested contestants simply film a video with anything from a smartphone to a professional camera and link their video to the Festival Facebook page. The deadline for entering is September 20th, 2012. The video with the most “Likes” by September 28th will win the ceremony.

Childsplay opens its new season with the smash-hit musical ROCK THE PRESIDENTS, which brings the history of our top executive office to life in this high-energy, multi-media extravaganza.  Performances are each weekend, September 8th through 23rd at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  at the Tempe Center for the Arts Theatre. Childsplay brings all 223 years of 44 presidents to life in this rocking, musical revue for kids and families.

el Pedregal Shops and Dining at the Boulders Resort continues “Carefree Sundays” with lively music, distinctive shopping, and refreshing wines every Sunday afternoon throughout the month of October. The lineup includes Affinity on October 7, Khani Cole on October 14, Silhouette on October 21, and Urban Quartet on October 28. Carefree Sundays: Live from el Pedregal festival is sponsored by AZ Wines.  The event is free to attend; food and wine tasting tickets are available for purchase.  This year’s Fall Festival will run every Sunday from Sept. 30-Nov. 4, 2012 from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

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The Boulders Resort is offering value added golf packages to entice golfers for the fall season.  Packages are available Sept. 30 – Dec. 20, 2012. Fall Golf Academy programs by talented PGA and LPGA instructors, including Top 100 Teacher in America Donald Crawley, include Introduction to Golf, Couples Golf Refresher, and Fore Ladies.

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During the month of October, Narande Spa at the Buttes Resort, will be offering a “Think Pink” spa package with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Susan G Komen Foundation.  The package will include three spa treatments for the price of $255.  Valid October 1st-31st, treatments will include a 50 Minute Narande Custom Massage, a 50 Minute Narande Custom Facial, and a 50 Minute PINK Grapefruit Sugar Scrub. The Susan G Komen for the Cure organization is dedicated to combating breast cancer at every front to save lives and empowers people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find cures.The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain will feature a “Casa Spa Harmony” package that offers the comforts of home with a stay in an ultra-lux private estate, available through September 30.  It includes three nights in a home, daily breakfast and two 60-minute spa treatments per person (from $2,119, for four guests).With age comes wisdom, but also sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles.  So, the legendary Golden Door® Spaat the Boulders Resort will introduce a new Natural Face Lift treatment a signature Plant Stem Cell Serum, which is a highly effective combination of both corrective and protective antioxidants. This facial gently exfoliates and deeply hydrates, helping erase fine lines and wrinkles for visibly firmer, more toned skin.

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The soul of North Central Phoenix is about to run a little deeper as Upward Projects, a group of locally-focused restaurateurs headed by Craig & Kris DeMarco and Lauren & Wyatt Bailey, prepares to open their latest vision, Federal Pizza, in the historic First Federal Savings & Loan building originally designed by famed architect Al Beadle. When the restaurant opens to the public in early October, diners can look forward to a menu of big healthy salads, sharable appetizers, and perhaps most exciting of all, wood-fired pizzas designed by master baker MJ Coe.Del Frisco’s Grille (which opened locally June 9th at the Camelback Esplanade) has been named one of this year’s “Hot Concepts” by Nation’s Restaurant News.  Del Frisco’s Grille serves contemporary American cuisine and features an approachable menu, a vibrant atmosphere, an expansive wine list, hand-crafted cocktails and genuine hospitality.  Nation’s Restaurant News’ 18th annual Hot Concepts Awards recognize four emerging companies showing innovation, bold tactics and tremendous potential for growth.Province restaurant in The Westin Phoenix Downtown invites guests to “travel” throughout Latin American this fall by enjoying a culinary adventure in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Executive Chef Randy Zweiban created a Latin Passport Dinner Series that guides Province patrons on a rich and exciting tour of flavors, dishes and cultures. With a stamp of satisfaction, guests will feel as though they embarked on a Latin-inspired culinary journey. This fall, each “Latin Passport Dinner Series” will begin on the first Saturday of the month starting in September, and each country represented will be featured every Saturday throughout the month. All dinners will feature a four-course menu for $35 per person with supplemental beverage pairings available.

James Beard Award-winning chef Robert McGrath is putting his apron back on and joining owner Paul Keeler and Keeler Hospitality Group to create a socially-focused neighborhood restaurant. Market Street Kitchen– set to open September 1, 2012 – will feature McGrath’s signature western cooking, but with some new twists including rotisserie meats, charcuterie and cheese, and backed by an all-star kitchen team including chef de cuisine Matt Taylor (previously the Executive Chef at NOCA). Market Street Kitchen will offer rustic, American fare centered on wood-fired cooking techniques.

The chef known for putting Arizona’s treasured resorts back on the culinary map is now set to upgrade the north Valley dining scene. Award-winning Chef Michael Rusconi has carefully plotted his comeback with the launch of an entirely new dining experience all his own, aptly named Rusconi’s American Kitchen. Rusconi’s new venture opens early September – bringing major foodie relief to an affluent area currently dominated by national chain restaurants.

It’s lucky number five for Humble Pie, which has opened a fifth restaurant in the Valley. The new location offers the same comfortable, social setting with a slight contemporary design. There are 80 seats in the main dining area including the bar, a display kitchen and 50-seat patio. The 10-foot-glass doors in the main dining room open up to the patio creating an open-air dining experience creating a polished, unpretentious environment and high-quality dishes that continue to earn Humble Pie its reputation as a neighborhood favorite.

Prepare to indulge your senses with a blend of Southwestern, Mexican and Southern cuisine when TQLA, the newest addition to Mesa’s culinary and mixology communities, opens Monday, September 17. Celebrating one of the fastest growing spirits in the world, TQLA which was voted one of the best Tequila Bars in USA Today, features a collection of tequilas on tap, hyper-cooled to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. TQLA will also be using locally sourced and organic products along with a wood fired grill to enhance the flavor profile of its food.

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For more information on any of these events or updates, please contact the
Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau Media Department.


Media Contacts:

Douglas MacKenzie
Director of Communications
(602) 452-6250

Trish Hendrickson
Communications Coordinator
(602) 452-6249




Maralyn D. HillThe Epicurean Explorer

President, International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association

Editor-at-Large, CityRoom

Blogs: Where and What in the World & Success with Writing


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