Phoenix-Scottsdale Destination Guide

Native Setting
Heard MuseumThe Heard Museum in Phoenix has one of the most extensive collections of art and artifacts of Native Americans in the U.S. The spacious downtown venue can host events for up to 300 guests. (602) 252-8848; heard.org  

Phoenix
Local Update
The Vee Quiva Casino, owned by the Gila River Indian Community, currently is under construction. The venue, set to open later this year, will include a casino spanning approximately 70,000 square feet with more than 900 slot machines, 50 table games, a 750-seat bingo hall and a 90-room hotel with 3,000 square feet of event space.

The PHX Sky Train, which connects Sky Harbor International Airport's Terminal 4 to the regional Metro light-rail system at the intersection of 44th and Washington Streets in downtown Phoenix, debuted in April. The automated, electrically powered train runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. By early 2015, the PHX Sky Train will serve all of the terminals at Sky Harbor.

Meeting Hotels
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 mcvenues.com.

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

Airport Transit
Phoenix Convention CenterPhoenix 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, 8.27%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13.27%

Group Venue
The Orpheum Theatre, a former movie palace built in 1929 and home of an original Wurlitzer pipe organ, seats 1,364 and is available for private functions. (602) 534-5600; phoenixconventioncenter.com/venues/orpheum-theatre

Contact
The Greater Phoe­nix Convention & Visi­tors Bureau, (602) 254-6500 or (877) 225-5749; visitphoenix.com

 

Local Draught
Cool off with a pint or bottle of the beer (we recommend the Sunbru) made by Tempe's Four Peaks Brewery. fourpeaks.com

Scottsdale
Local UpdateThe 649-room Fair­mont Scottsdale Prin­cess debuted its new $20 million, 52,331-square-foot Palomino Con­ference Center as part of a larger renovation project. The resort now has a total of 156,000 square feet of meeting space.

Six new suites have debuted at the W Scottsdale. The new quarters feature décor by designer Theresa Fatino and bring the property's total number of guest rooms to 230.

The 191-room Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale has transformed two of its guest rooms and one suite into a new 760-square-foot meeting room and an adjoining 930-square-foot hospitality suite. The property now offers a total of 37,500 square feet of event space.

Butterfly Wonderland, North America's largest repository of the beautiful winged wonders, opened this spring. The 10,000-square-foot venue is the first of a four-phase, $170 million entertainment complex. Odysea Aquarium, a 12-acre freshwater and saltwater facility, will open during the second phase, slated for 2015. Phases three and four will see the addition of a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum and the Arizona Experience, an interactive exhibit.

Meeting HotelsProperties include the 732-room Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 649-room Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 647-room Phoenician, 490-room Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, 453-room JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa and 210-room Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.

Outside the city is the 497-room Talking Stick Resort, a gaming property.

To find more hotels and send RFPs, go to mcvenues.com.

Airport TransitPhoenix Sky Harbor International Air­port, about 10 miles southwest of downtown Scottsdale. Transfer cost by taxi, $20; by shuttle, from $21

TaxesRoom tax, 5%; sales tax, 6.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.92% (includes 1.77% Maricopa County transaction excise tax and 1.65% City of Scottsdale transaction tax)

Group VenueGive top performers an adrenaline fix at Octane Raceway, a high-speed kart-racing track that relocated from Phoenix to Scottsdale last month. Groups of up to 750 are accommodated. (602) 302-7223; octaneraceway.com

ContactScottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 782-1117; experiencescottsdale.com