Camelback peaks

Tucson Botanical Gardens is a tranquil refuge in the heart of the city. The venue offers leafy spaces and lush gardens with cacti, succulents, herbs and more. Visitors also enjoy unique art installations like colorful "origami" ponies.

The Right Light
The LEED Silver-certified Phoenix Convention Center just became even more energy-efficient. The venue replaced the lighting in its meeting rooms, grand atrium, food court and more with LED light technology. For its efforts, the center received $175,000 from the Arizona Public Service's Solutions for Business energy rebate program.


Local Update

• Groundbreaking is set for late this year on a 125-room hotel at the Tucson Convention Center. Caliber Development will design, build and manage the $20 million property. At press time, the hotel was not yet branded.

 The El Conquistador Tucson, a Hilton Resort has completed an extensive refresh of its 428 guest rooms and public spaces. Among the upgrades are the redesign of the main Desert Springs Oasis pool, which is now outfitted with cabanas, a larger deck with additional sunning areas and several outdoor fire pits. The property has approximately 100,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, including an 11,000-square-foot, IACC-approved executive conference center.

• The 136-room AC Hotel Tucson Downtown recently debuted. The first new hotel to open in downtown Tucson in more than 40 years, the property offers four meeting and event rooms, a rooftop pool and poolside bar, a restaurant and a fitness center.

• City Park, a multipurpose complex in the middle of Tucson's downtown district, is scheduled to open later this year. The development will house a food hall, an entertainment venue, private event space and a 2,600-square-foot deck ripe for outdoor gatherings.

• Rancho de la Osa, a historic ranch with 19 guest rooms and a vintage Spanish hacienda, reopened last year following a restoration.

• The new golf and entertainment venue Topgolf offers 1,500 square feet of event space, 72 climate-controlled hitting bays (each accommodating six players), a restaurant and a bar.

Meeting Hotels: Among the properties in Tucson are the 610-room JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa; 487-room Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa; 428-room El Conquistador Tucson, a Hilton Resort; and 398-room Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center:
 Tucson Convention Center; exhibit space, 148,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, eight; (520) 791-4101

Airport Transit: Tucson International Airport, about eight miles south of downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, approximately $25

Taxes: Hotels within Tucson city limits: room tax, 12.05%; sales tax, 9.1%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12.05% plus a $4 per night surcharge. Hotels outside Tucson city limits, but within Pima County: room tax, 12.05%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12.05%

Group Venue:
 Check out more than 350 historical aircrafts, ranging from a vintage Wright Flyer to a modern 787 Dreamliner, at the Pima Air & Space Museum. The facility includes six indoor exhibit hangars and numerous outdoor displays. Visitors also can take a bus tour of the adjacent 2,600-acre "aircraft boneyard" -- a government storage facility for old planes. The museum offers 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space; private events for up to 400 guests can be accommodated. (520) 574-0462

Contact: Visit Tucson, (800) 638-8350