by Lisa A. Grimaldi | April 01, 2014
Why Here?
The Grand Canyon State offers groups an array of spectacular settings: tranquil desert (pictured above), crimson-hued peaks, cool North Country pine forests, and cosmopolitan cities like Phoenix and Tucson with their rich cultural offerings and hip downtown scenes.

Flag Change
Omni Hotels & Resorts has purchased the 291-room Montelucia Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley and renamed it the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Features include 27,000 square feet of meeting space, 70,000 square feet of outdoor function space and the Joya Spa.

New and Noteworthy
This month, the 496-room Talking Stick Resort will unveil its new stage for outdoor entertainment and special events. Other enhancements to the Native American gaming resort include the addition of a new lounge pool, 27 luxury cabanas and eight canopy daybeds.

The 90-room Vee Quiva Casino, owned by the Gila River Indian Community, debuted in July. The gaming property has 6,000 square feet of event space.

High Country Happenings
The High Country Conference Center Flagstaff ( has unveiled its new 1899 Ballroom. The addition gives the facility a total of 29,700 square feet of meeting/event space.
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Local Update

• The 740-room Arizona Biltmore, a historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed landmark in Phoenix, will renovate its guest rooms and public areas. The hotel, which is part of Hilton's Waldorf Astoria brand, has 33 meeting rooms.

• American Airlines has joined US Airways' operation at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport's Terminal 4. All of AA's ticketing and check-in, gates and baggage services now operate out of Terminal 4.

• The former Fiesta Resort in Tempe, Ariz., just outside Phoenix, has  reopened as the DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix Tempe, following a five-month, $3 million refurbishment. The 270-room property offers 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

• The 242-room Hotel Palomar Phoenix has launched a free bicycle program, including maps of suggested tours.

• The 563-room Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort now offers a 100 MG circuit for groups with high bandwidth needs. The property has 48,000 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels: Phoenix properties include the 1,000-room Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 950-room JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, 740-room Arizona Biltmore, 712-room Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 643-room The Phoenician, 584-room Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, 563-room Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, 527-room Renaissance Downtown Phoenix and 242-room Westin Phoenix Downtown.

To find more hotels and send RFPs, go to

Convention Center: Phoe­nix Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 872,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 109; (602) 262-6225 or (800) 282-4842;

Airport Transit: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Air­port, about three miles east of downtown Phoenix. Transfer cost by taxi, $15-$20 to downtown; by shuttle, from $12

Taxes: Room tax, 5%; sales tax, 7.27%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12.27%

Group Venue: Butterfly Wonderland, a new attraction featuring thousands of the fluttery insects, is near Phoenix/Scottsdale in the Salt River
Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The facility has four event venues; the largest accommodates 193 guests. (480) 800-3000;

Contact: Visit Phoenix, (602) 254-6500 or (877) 225-5749;