Prevue March-April 2014 - (Page 93)

Scottsdale Upscale & Homegrown [ON LOCATION] JULIE ANN SIPOS I It's hard to believe that Scottsdale, known as the resort capital of the U.S., was once a humble agricultural and ranching community. The century-old city, labeled "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" by The New York Times, lays claim to more than 1.3 million sf of meeting space citywide, spread across 70 world-class resorts and hotels. On-site art collections, sustainable and savvy architecture, world-class spas and over 200 championship golf courses help groups soak up Scottsdale's upscale and homegrown vibe. HYATT REGENCY SCOTTSDALE At the 27-acre Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, general manager Peter Rice welcomes groups into an indoor/outdoor lobby whose retractable shotgun design allows for a natural air-conditioning system fueled by the high desert winds. "We're taking climate control to a whole new level," says Rice of the engineering triumph, which can be opened or closed with the temperatures of the Sonoran Desert. Scottsdale's desert scenery serves as a value-added proposition. Buildings are designed to blend into the majestic landscape and city ordinances call for low wattage signage no taller than local scrub oaks. "It's not about separating ourselves from the location, but figuring out how to become the best part of it," says Rice. The Hyatt's architectural fluidity, inspired by famed architect and Scottsdale winter resident Frank Lloyd Wright, fans out to 483 revamped guest rooms and suites, 33 meeting rooms and 70,000 sf of indoor/outdoor function space. Architecture aficionados in the group will delight in a tour of Wright's studio. Corporate gatherings set against the McDowell mountainside up the ante on group return on experience (ROE) with a chorus of cacti, palm trees and wildflowers that perform an inspirational stage show in the sky. Planners will make good use of Hyatt's Passkey, a digital dashboard that keeps up with every facet of group activity in real time, whether taking in the sites, local culture or cuisines. There are quite a few on- and off-site Native American cultural experiences to be had. Hyatt's Native American Learning Center offers Hopi and Navajo exhibits, a reference library and local art. The Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art and Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park are treasure troves for education and discovery. Groups can marvel at a 20-room, 12th-century cliff dwelling in the Verde Valley or study petroglyphs in the Hedgpeth Hills. Local tribes stage interactive dances at the Hyatt during a lively happy hour every Friday. Chilled vats of herb-steeped waters are switched out twice daily and served around a bubbling mineral pool at Hyatt's Spa Avania, rated one of the best spas in the world by a 2014 poll conducted by Condé Nast Traveler. "Whether or not you want it, always take the water," Rice says, recommending the fruit-flavored concoction he is personally doling out. Speaking of water, Hyatt recently revamped its 2.5-acre water playground to include a 3-story, high-speed waterslide, four poolside cabanas and an al fresco H2Oasis. THE PHOENICIAN The Phoenician celebrated its 25th anniversary this past year with improvements to 643 guest rooms, suites and casitas. The Phoenician's allure is partly from the historic Jokake Inn, an | 85 85-88-Scottsdale 85 2/28/14 4:26 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue March-April 2014

Planner's Pick: Dallas
Fresh Meets: Marriott Hotels
Bureau Buzz: Montreal
Good Business: Sandals Foundation
Sea Shores: State of the Cruise Industry
Incentives, Golf + Spa
Special Section: California
On Location: Loews Don CeSar St. Pete
On Location: Chic Outlets
On Location: New Zealand
On Location: Los Cabos
On Location: Scottsdale
On Location: Aruba Hyatt Regency
On Location: Dolce Silverado
On Location: St. Croix
On Location: Hilton Bomonti Turkey
On Location: Aruba Marriott
Checkout: Conrad Pune, India
Meetings, incentives and Corporate Events, Club Med 2014 Edition

Prevue March-April 2014