A monthly tourism news update from the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community sets Date for Resort Opening
With a soft opening on April 15,Talking Stick Resort, located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, will make its official debut in June. The project features 497 rooms as well as more than 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor conference space. Resort amenities include a 13,000-square-foot full-service, open-air spa, cigar and wine bar, and eight restaurants, including Ocean Trail , which will serve traditional Creole cuisine, such as steamers, raw oysters, and spicy gumbo. The upscale dining experience is located on the top level of this 15-story resort, complete with 360-degree views of the Valley. Also on property, enjoy live Native American performances, three bars and lounges, and Shadows , an old school music venue highlighting the classic sounds of Frank Sinatra and Big Band. The gaming and entertainment venue is the main attraction and offers a variety of high-tech slot machines, table games and more. Talking Stick Resort adheres to the customs of the community with displays of cultural significance featured in the design and exhibits throughout the property.
New Name, Management Company for Mondrian Scottsdale
The ultrachic Mondrian Hotel in downtown Scottsdale has a new name and management company. In March 2010, a division of GF Management took over hotel operations from Morgans Hotel Group, which bought the former James Hotel in 2006. The property was rechristened as the independent Hotel Theodore after President Theodore Roosevelt, and the hotel’s lounges are now called Teddy’s Lounge and T’s. GF Management operates a range of hotels across the country including the historic US Grant in downtown San Diego.
Free Inexpensive events hot as a Summer’s Day
The 21st annual Summer Spectacular Artwalk is taking place July 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the downtown Scottsdale Arts District that will bustle with artist demonstrations, gallery show openings, live music, prize drawings, delicious food samples and more. Both the event and parking are free, so there’s no excuse not to come “chill” in Scottsdale and test your luck at winning a prize-filled ice sculpture.
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park summer concert series is music to your ears. Grab a blanket or chair and listen to favorite local bands perform free concerts every Sunday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. beginning May 2 and running through July 15. Don’t worry about the little ones losing interest. They can hop on the train for $2 or the carousel for $1 and when hunger sets in, you won’t need to look any further. There’s food available at the park, too!
There’s no better feeling than working up a sweat during yoga class, but what about working up a sweat in a free yoga class? Every Sunday in the summer at 10:30 a.m., Lululemon Athletica brings the Scottsdale area’s most-celebrated instructors to host a free, hour-long yoga class on the center lawn of Biltmore Fashion Park . For those days when the weather alone will make you sweat, the class is held inside Lululemon’s upscale athletic apparel store. Don’t have a mat? No problem. Lululemon will lend you one. If that’s not enough to make you want to strike a yoga pose, free healthy treats after class are sure to get you going to Yoga in the Park.
First ever Barbecue Culinary Event comes to Downtown
Make way for grills gone wild April 9-10 with the inaugural Arizona Barbecue Festival at the Scottsdale Waterfront. This first-ever event for Arizona is two days of serious grillin’ with championship BBQ teams from all over the map descending on Scottsdale with their award-winning recipes. Head to the Marshall Way Bridge on Friday for a VIP dining event where some of Scottsdale’s top chefs like Matt Carter ( The Mission, Zinc Bistro), Beau MacMillan ( elements), and James Porter (Petite Maison ) will have a down-home grilling throw down of epic proportions. Then on Saturday, kick back and relax at the main event where 50 teams, including three from TLC’s “Pitmasters” show, will compete for your undying affection and $20,000 in cash. Country superstar Dierks Bentley is slated to be a competitor and there’s also a bartender competition, Daisy Dukes Beauty Pageant, family friendly activities and more. Tickets are $150 for the VIP event on Friday and $10 for general admission on Saturday, with a VIP experience for $50 available.
Scottsdale’s Menu expands with New Restaurants, Chefs making their Return
With idyllic spring weather inviting travelers to dine al fresco in Scottsdale, the opening of ROQ, An American Outdoor Bistro, at the Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa was perfect timing. The new pool-side restaurant opened in March 2010 and features American bistro cuisine, hand-crafted “ROQtails” like ROQ of Love and Arizona Dreamin’, and live entertainment with stunning views of Camelback Mountain and Kasbah Pool as the dining backdrop. The menu focuses on the freshest ingredients from American boutique farms and local purveyors, and includes a collection of seafood, steaks, sandwiches, salads, and gourmet fries in nine varieties.
Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn isn’t new but its executive chef is. Jeremy Pacheco is enhancing the farm-to-table dining experience with his cuisine blending local produce and traditional ingredients with European influences. Growing up on a farm in southern Arizona, Pacheco is committed to using only the freshest ingredients, working exclusively with suppliers of natural or organic products, in addition to overseeing Lon’s one-acre organic garden. Pacheco was most recently chef de cuisine at Society Cafe Encore in Las Vegas and also served as chef de cuisine at the former Terrace Dining Room at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.
James Beard Award-winning chef Robert McGrath left Scottsdale’s dining scene a few years ago after selling his Scottsdale restaurant Roaring Fork. He has returned to the kitchen with a concept offering diners refined-yet-affordable fare at Renegade Canteen opening this month. The restaurant’s bill of fare will define Arizona cuisine that’s as comfortable as it is familiar. Menu items will include braised meats, pizza, sandwiches, steaks and hearty, not-your-run-of-the-mill soups with prices engineered for today’s economy, with the most expensive item being a $28 steak and most entrees costing $10 to $15.
Hit the Pool in Scottsdale: Renovated, Family Friendly and Party Hot Spots
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North finalized a $1 million pool renovation in March 2010. Keep cool during the summer months in one of the two VIP “super” cabanas with flat screen televisions, mini fridges, and i-pod docking stations that will satisfy your craving for poolside luxury. The expansion also includes added seating in a grassy, elevated chaise lounge area for more sweeping views of the Valley. New lush landscaping makes it easier to find shady shelter from the sun and incorporates the beauty of the surrounding desert.
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa has a pool that adults and kids will never want to leave. Enjoy 9,000 square feet of water excitement with a 900-foot lazy river ride and 110-foot-long waterslide at the resort’s Adventure Water Park. Poolside activities and scuba lessons with The Westin Kierland’s FUN Team are sure to be a hit. For even more family fun, visit the OK Corral that provides activities like lawn chess, basketball, game tables and RC Car Race Tracks as well as hosts outdoor activities like water balloon games, hula hoop contests, limbo, relay races and more.
Voted one the “coolest” in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine, Hotel Valley Ho’s OH Pool Bar offers endless excitement in a modernized mid-century atmosphere. Retro-style furnishings and a martini glass design make this pool unique, but the hip vibe makes it unforgettable. During the summer months, Hotel Valley Ho keeps the party going with pool party weekends that include live music and drink specials. Lounge around sipping cocktails and find solace knowing you’re at one of the “World’s Coolest Pools.”
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