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What's New in Greater Phoenix?




  • Cactus League Spring Training kicks off Feb. 25, with two new additions for 2009: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians
  • Hotel Valley Ho, honored with Preferred Hotel Group 'GIFTTS' awards for its work in community service, philanthropy and environment for 2008.
  • Be a "Docent for a Day" in one of the nation's foremost Native American Collection Museums.



Cactus League Spring Training, a seasonal rite in Greater Phoenix, roars to life Feb. 25 with the iconic sounds of cracking bats, snapping mitts and cheering fans. The 2009 Cactus League season features 14 teams and more than 175 games, with action scheduled every day in March. A dozen Cactus League call the Phoenix area home, and that roster includes two new additions for 2009: the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians. The Dodgers have relocated "Dodgertown" from Florida to a beautiful new training complex in Glendale called Camelback Ranch. The tradition-rich National League franchise will share its stadium with the Chicago White Sox, who recently migrated to Phoenix from Tucson. The Indians were one of the adventurous franchises that gave birth to the Cactus League when they came Arizona to train for the 1946 season. This spring, the Indians return to desert in grand style, moving into a new stadium in Goodyear. Baseball fans from Los Angeles, Cleveland and everywhere else will be pleased to discover that tickets to Cactus League games remain famously inexpensive - from $5 for lawn seating to $30 for a lower-level perch behind home plate.




After three years of property renovations that updated both public and private spaces, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort completed the process by opening doors to the Highland Center in mid-December.  Featuring high ceilings, a spacious outdoor plaza, and enhanced technology, the Highland Center offers greater options for meetings, trade shows, and social events.


Camelback Inn has extended its "$100 off" special until April 30, 2009. With a rate of $299 until December 31 and $349 after January 1, this package represents a savings of more than 25 %. Camelback, an AAA Five-Diamond resort for 32 years running recently completed a $45 million renovation. The project touched on nearly every aspect of the property: there are new meeting spaces; restaurants, including Arizona's first outpost of Laurent Tourondel's BLT Steak and Rita's Kitchen, which serves fresh Southwestern cuisine with Mexican influences in a rustic setting; upgraded guest rooms; expansive outdoor features with fire pits, sculptures, and fountains; a new bar/lounge serving specialty tequilas and margaritas; and a new main building and lobby.


The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North in partnership with the Heard Museum and Heard Museum North Scottsdale has a new "Docent for a Day" program that provides an unprecedented intimate learning experience, shedding light on the mystery of the museum world as seen through the eyes of leading curators and designers. The program begins with a personal tour of the Heard Museum North Scottsdale campus and introduction to the Heard's exhibitions, publications and programming with a master docent.  The participant then travels to the Heard Museum in Phoenix and has lunch with a docent or staff member in the Arcadia Farms Café. The program continues as a curator or designer guides the participant through a selected exhibit of their choosing. Following the tour, the participant receives a take-home packet, information about the exhibit and introduction to the Museum's acclaimed Shop and Berlin Gallery. The cost for the program, which includes yearlong membership privileges, is $250 for one person and $450 for two people, and does not include transportation.


Sip premium bourbons and smoke fine cigars under the stars before and after a multi-course gourmet dinner prepared by the acclaimed Chef de Cuisine of the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa's historic signature restaurant. The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa is offering the ‘Bourbon & Cigar Dinner' on April 16, 2009. Held in Wright's at The Biltmore, the dinners feature a menu of Wright's signature American Lodge Cuisine, prepared by Chef de Cuisine Conor Favre, and both pre-dinner and after-dinner receptions on the restaurant's beautiful patio and lawn. The April 16 Bourbon & Cigar Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $115 per person, plus tax and gratuity.


The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, renowned for its innovative meeting programs and distinctive function venues, has added new regional comfort food to the "Rolling Stone Diner" menu.  The new Airstream Bullet "diner" was recently introduced as a moveable retro dining venue for meeting guests to enjoy a wide variety of locations on the resort's 1,300 acres of breathtaking desert landscape amidst the 12-million-year-old boulders.  Items added to the menu include a new Southwest Corndog served in a corndog tray with a red chipotle beef chili and sour cream.  


The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa was recently lauded with two "Stars of the Industry Awards" from the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association: the "Prism Award" for the Scottish Traditions at The Westin Kierland Resort and the "Guest Relations Award" for "The Compass" FUN Passport Program. The Scottish Traditions serve to pay homage to the contributions made by the Scottish immigrants to the development of Arizona's railroads, mines and towns. The Compass: A Trailblazer's Guide is designed to provide guests a with a welcome amenity of a scavenger hunt to help them discover all that the resort offers, and it provides guest interaction with resort associates. 


In the spring, Phoenix transforms into a Mecca for baseball fans. Home to Cactus league Spring Training games, visitors from all over come to see teams like the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Cleveland Reds play. In anticipation of traveling, devoted fans, the Pointe Hilton resorts have created the Triple Play package. For as low as $149 baseball enthusiasts can enjoy the Pointe Hilton Resorts and:

- 3 full nights from February 20 - March 31, 2009

- 2-Full American Breakfasts per day during their stay

- Complimentary high-speed Internet access


The staff of the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, this holiday season, worked to support and sustain the local community through the first annual charity drive benefiting Gila River Children's Charities. A team of Resort associates organized a property wide fundraising initiative totaling more than $22,000 in donations. Various methods of fundraising included a golf tournament, kickball tournament, raffle, silent auction and cake walk. The money raised will go directly to two programs within the local Gila River Indian Community (GRIC): the Boys and Girls Club and the Residential Program for Youth. In addition to monetary donations, Resort associates are encouraged to volunteer their time to programs within the GRIC such as reading to school children, spending time with the elderly and refurbishing the local community.


Hotel Valley Ho, the urban resort and spa in downtown Scottsdale, was recently honored with  Preferred Hotel Group 'GIFTTS' awards for its work in community service, philanthropy and environment for 2008. GIFTTS (Great Initiatives for Today's/Tomorrow's Society) was created to recognize exceptional actions on the part of Preferred Hotel Group member hotels and employees in the areas of philanthropy, environment and community. Hotel Valley Ho was one of several members recognized with the Certificate of Excellence for its good works in all three categories of community, environment and philanthropy. In 2008, Hotel Valley Ho participated in several community service programs including the hotel's annual Summer Splash event, in which children of the Phoenix and Maryvale Citadel Corps of the Salvation Army spend a day at the hotel pool with safety instruction from Scottsdale Fire Department and receive donated back packs and school supplies provided by hotel employees. Hotel Valley Ho has also partnered with Make a Wish Foundation, the Kaiser Family Crisis Center and numerous other non-profit organizations and charities. Additionally, Hotel Valley Ho was recognized in the environment category for its creation of a recycling program and other environmentally friendly and energy efficient practices. The hotel started its recycling program in 2006 and is now the largest recycler in downtown Scottsdale, recycling approximately 4,500 pounds of material per week. Hotel Valley Ho also uses green-certified cleaning products, non-toxic cleaning fluid for dry-cleaning services and dua
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