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A monthly tourism news update from the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

After being closed for more than a year, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will open its newly renovated Virginia G. Piper Theater on Oct. 24. Kicking off the reopening will be ARTrageous , a special benefit performance featuring Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth. The event will start the Center's 2009-10 season, which also includes performances by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Martha Graham Dance Company, jazz musicians Herb Alpert and Arturo Sandoval, and actors Jason Alexander, John Cleese and Martin Short. Improvements to the facility include a new floor and mezzanine, box office, café, public art project, enhanced theater acoustics, lighting, seating and accessibility.

The pop-culture fueled Geisha A Go Go in downtown Scottsdale added an eight-seat sushi bar, dishing out specialty Americanized "rock and roll" style sushi creations. There's the Gaijin, a sinfully good combination of spicy tuna and crab mix, avocado, and cream cheese, wrapped in seaweed, rice and a spring-roll, which is then - wait for it - deep fried. The Pokemon melds Fritos, breaded salmon, spicy crab mix and avocado. 

     Talavera at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North recently debuted a new menu focusing on fresh, seasonal dishes including starters like the Caramelized Onion Tart with prosciutto and melon and Goat Cheese Salad with baby beats, Asian pear and arugula. For those who can't decide on just one item, Talavera now offers the Chef's Two-Course Tasting menu where guests pay $34 (or $45 with wine pairings) to sample a selection of chef-recommended dishes like the Chicken Fried Quail with heirloom tomatoes and haricot vart. The menu rotates every week. 

     Sushi Roku at the W Scottsdale Hotel & Residences is offering a new program, Wine o' Sake. Every Sunday thru Thursday, guests pay $12 for their choice of a flight of wine or sake and a special dish including some of the restaurant's most infamous like the Hanabi Tuna, Miso Popcorn Shrimp or Filet Wrapped Asparagus . Sushi Roku also is adding a dose of goodwill to the food experience with the Dining Out with Benefits program. Running now thru the end of August, the restaurant will take 20 percent off your total bill and donate the proceeds to a select charity each month.

The Desert Botanical Garden gives visitors new ways to enjoy Mother Nature with its fall calendar of events. The Garden's schedule includes old favorites such as the Fall Music in the Garden Series that brings live jazz, blues and Latin music under the desert stars, as well as new offerings like the Biergarten , a one-time event set for Sept. 25 where guests savor more than 40 craft and domestic brews in an outdoor setting. Also returning to the Garden is Spiked! Thursdays, melding themed cocktails and desert scenery, and The Great Pumpkin Festival, where families can take a hayride out to the Garden's patch to choose their very own pumpkin. Spiked! will take place every Thursday from Oct. 1 thru Nov. 5, and the Pumpkin Festival will run Oct. 22-29.

Scottsdale is synonymous with luxury. And while times have changed and discretionary income is tighter, people are still traveling and the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau wants to make sure that the well-heeled visitor chooses Scottsdale for their next one-of-a-kind getaway. This world-class travel destination evokes images of high-end resorts, rejuvenating spas and championship golf courses with the majestic Sonoran Desert as the backdrop. Whether the sophisticated traveler wants to learn to be a cowboy, be pampered in a desert-inspired spa, experience an adrenaline rush by soaring over the Grand Canyon or get away from it all in a mountainous hideaway, Scottsdale possesses what they desire.
     The Scottsdale CVB is satisfying these travelers with the unique experiences they seek with the recent debut of Scottsdale Classics, seven extraordinary vacation packages ranging from $4,600-25,000 and selected to introduce travelers to the treasures of Scottsdale and Arizona in the style and luxury they deserve. Some of the unique travel experiences include: exclusive vault tour at Molina Fine Jewelers; luxury accommodations at world-class resorts like Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa and The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa ; private jet to the Grand Canyon including a helicopter tour below the rim and champagne reception along the Colorado River; and an interactive culinary demonstration and dinner with nationally known chefs.

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