by Lisa A. Grimaldi | April 01, 2016
Why here?
Arizona's near-perfect climate and gorgeous natural surroundings (including Camelback Mountain, pictured) are just two of the reasons why people are drawn to the state. Cutting-edge convention facilities, a stunning array of resorts and hotels, and plenty of Southwestern charm add to its timeless appeal.

 The 180-room Sheraton Mesa Hotel has opened in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. The property has more than 37,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space.

 The 200-room Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley, will debut in the greater Phoenix region in 2018. The 20-acre resort will have 20,000 square feet of function space and a spa offering desert-inspired treatments.

The perfect way for attendees (or you) to unwind after a day in meeting rooms is the Scottsdale Plaza Resort spa's signature orange blossom honey body wrap. Your desert-parched skin will say "ahhh."

Northern Arizona's High Country Conference Center serves up Southwestern fare and more at its 1899 Bar & Grill. Private dining for 85 guests is accommodated in the restaurant's adjacent ballroom.
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Local Update 
 The 104-room Found:Re Phoenix is set to open in the city's downtown next year. The property is a transformation of the former Lexington Hotel and will house an extensive art collection curated by Michael Oleskow and featuring contemporary works in various mediums by local artists. The art will be showcased in an on-site gallery and exterior avant-garde display. Other offerings include a restaurant and an event space; stay tuned for further details.

 The 277-room Camby Hotel, Arizona's first Autograph Collection property, has opened near iconic Camelback Mountain. The boutique hotel has a rooftop pool, a spa, a fitness center and three restaurants, as well as more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

 The Luhrs City Center Marriott in downtown Phoenix is a 19-story, 320-room hotel scheduled for completion this year. It will house two brands: a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn by Marriott, which will share a lobby and other amenities, including the fourth-floor pool.

 The 175-room Mountain Shadows Resort is set to open in 2017 on the site of the former Marriott Mountain Shadows Resort, which had been closed since 2004 and demolished in 2014. This new boutique luxury property will include 31 hotel-condominium units, a restaurant, a market, a fitness facility and the recently refurbished 18-hole Mountain Shadows Executive Golf Course.

Meeting Hotels: Properties in Phoenix include the 1,000-room Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 950-room JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, 744-room Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, 740-room Arizona Biltmore and 647-room Phoenician.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Phoenix Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 584,500 square feet; meeting rooms, 106; (602) 262-6225 or (800) 282-4842.

Airport Transit: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, about four miles from downtown Phoenix; Transfer cost to the city's downtown by taxi, $16-$20

Taxes: Room tax, 3%; sales tax, 9.57 %; total tax on hotel rooms, 12.57%

Group Venue: Who says authentic Mexican cuisine is hard to find? Chef Salcido Esparza's new Barrio Urbano at The Yard in Phoenix serves a roster of succulent menu items such as menudo estilo Chihuahua (aka tripe soup, Chihuahua-style) and tacos de pescado (fish tacos). Groups of up to 80 diners can be accommodated. (602) 287-9000.

Contact: Visit Phoenix, (602) 254-6500 or (877) 633-8749.