Canada East Chapter

December 26 2012

SOUTHWEST: Visit Phoenix

Ali Gramaglia

Downtown delivers value and fun

There are the obvious reasons to choose Phoenix for your next meeting: the impeccable weather, easily accessible public transit, and close proximity to a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon. But beyond that, there are a million more newly minted reasons, in the form of vibrant art districts, boutique shops, and unique independent restaurants.

Downtown Phoenix, recently reshaped by a billion-dollar transformation, has been reborn. The city center offers everything meeting planners could want. The latest development is CityScape, a two-block shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in the heart of the city. From breakfast at the Breakfast Club to tacos at Fuego to cocktails and spares at Lucky Strikes Lanes & Lounge, CityScape offers something for every attendee.

CityScape also hosts local celebrations and community events like free hot yoga at the new, high-end, 242-room boutique Hotel Palomar. With a “cowboy chic meets ‘Mad Men’” atmosphere, the Palomar offers more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space, including a chandeliered ballroom. In addition, the property has a pool bar, Lustre, and the Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails restaurant.

Within easy walking distance of CityScape is the Phoenix Convention Center, a two-million- square-foot facility built to resemble the colors and textures of the Grand Canyon. The convention center has more than 900,000 square feet of flexible exhibition and meeting space, three ballrooms, 99 meeting rooms, and $3.2 million in public art.

A new light-rail transportation system makes it easier than ever to get around downtown Phoenix. Move between CityScape, the convention center, Chase Field, US Airways Center, and Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus with ease. Just three miles from the city’s center is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, a top-10 airport. The eco-conscious light-rail network links downtown to a plethora of restaurants, such as the historic steakhouse Durant’s and the neighborhood wine café Postino Central, and museums such as Heard Museum and the Arizona State Capitol Museum.

Luxurious lodgings downtown include the 1,000-room Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, the 693-room Hyatt Regency Phoenix, the 520-room Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, and the 242-room Westin Phoenix Downtown. Or check out Phoenix’s famous resort scene at the Frank Lloyd Wright–inspired Arizona Biltmore, the Five-Diamond–rated Phoenician, or the family-friendly Westin Kierland.

Given Phoenix’s famously sunny weather, new downtown development, and extraordinary resort scene, the NFL has chosen the city to host the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau has a super reputation, too. Its award-winning convention services team can assist with housing and registration, and its social-media team offers real-time Twitter assistance to attendees looking for something to do during or after a conference. Whether it’s a hike to the top of Camelback Mountain, a stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden, or a look at the last guitar Elvis played in concert at the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix has something to entertain you at every turn.

For more information: visitphoenix.com

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