Arizona Destination Guide

Spotlight: Tucson
The 487-room Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa has completed a $35 million renovation. All guest rooms have been redesigned, and the resort's 60,000 square feet of meeting space has been remodeled. In addition, the bunkers and greens of the resort's 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course have been refreshed, the Westin Workout Fitness Center has been given state-of-the-art equipment and the La Paloma Country Club tennis courts have been resurfaced.

The 398-room Loews Ventana Canyon is going the Wild Kingdom route: The hotel recently debuted a 1,500-square-foot butterfly garden, certified by the National Butterfly Association, as well as an 800-square-foot exhibit of slow-moving and fascinating tortoises that was built in consultation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The Sewailo Golf Club ( opened last December at the Casino Del Sol Resort, an enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, just outside Tucson. The 200-acre course, designed by Native American PGA Tour player and Golf Channel commentator Notah Begay III, offers rolling greens and water features. The club is open to casino resort guests as well as the public.

The 152-room Randolph Park Hotel & Suites is now La Quinta Inn & Suites Tucson-Reid Park. Prior to the reflagging, the nonsmoking hotel underwent a head-to-toe renovation. Among the property's offerings are one meeting room and complimentary high-speed Internet access.


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;