Black Meetings and Tourism

Sept/Oct 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 52 of 60

ICI •Pg_43-58__BMT_pg86-162 12/21/12 1:44 AM Page 52 AREA GUIDES PHOENIX SOUTHWESTERN GEM GROWING IN PROWESS AS MEETING DESTINATION BY GERAD CLAYMORE The Phoenix area has always been a memorable place to hold a meeting. Hotels and resorts bask in near-perpetual sunshine, natural beauty manifests itself in every direction, and jaw-dropping sunsets paint the desert sky on a nightly basis. Now, thanks to a metamorphosis in Phoenix's urban core — including a newly expanded convention center, a new 1,000-room hotel, and a light-rail system that connects meeting attendees to a new world of dining and entertainment options — convening here packs more value than ever. The Phoenix Convention Center is fresh off a $600 million expansion that has transformed it into one of the largest meeting facilities of its kind in the U.S. All told, the convention center boasts nearly 900,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space. Thoughtful touches include airconditioned loading bays, exhibit halls with pre-scored floors, and outdoor meeting areas that capitalize on Phoenix's greatest natural resource — the sun. In the North Building this four-level structure occupies a city block and boasts 635,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibition space. It features a street-level ballroom, 11 exhibit halls, 56 meeting rooms and 20 climate-controlled loading docks. The West Building houses 157,000 sq. ft. of conference-style meeting and exhibit space. Its environs include a lecture hall, a grand ballroom and an adjoining performance center — all accentuated by a striking collection of public art. The South Building of the Phoenix Convention Center recently underwent an $18.5 million makeover in which no corner of the facility went untouched. Over 33,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to this building, including 23 versatile meeting rooms and 28,000 sq. ft. of ballroom space were upgraded. 52 BM&T ••• Downtown Phoenix now offers eight hotels with more than 3,000 hotel rooms — all within walking distance of the Phoenix Convention Center and surrounded by a range of dining and entertainment options in Phoenix's urban core. The 1,000-room Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel rises out of the golden sands of the Sonoran Desert, standing as a cultural oasis and redefining the concept of an urban hotel. Thirty-one stories of style, with unexpected touches and special amenities, graciously await you. With over 80,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, including two ballrooms of 28,256 sq. ft. and 14,667 sq. ft. and 21 breakout rooms this Phoenix jewel is sure to fulfill each and every need of the conference attendee. While in this amazing city conference attendees are encouraged to delve into the fascinating selection of cultural attractions as well as outdoor excursions. Greater Phoenix is a hub for some of the best museums, art galleries and theaters in the Southwest. The George Washington Carver High School is now a museum and cultural center. The school originally opened in 1926 as a segregated school called the Phoenix Union Colored High School. After Carver died in 1943 the name was changed to honor him. The school remained open until Arizona desegregated in 1953. The Heard Museum shows the art, artifacts and history of Southwestern people, from Native Americans to Hispanic cultures. Don't forget to check out Phoenix Art Museum, which hosts national traveling exhibits in which their collections come from all over the world. The Sonoran Desert is best seen at the Desert Botanical Garden, and the talents of Frank Lloyd Wright are showcased at Taliesin West, which is open for tours year-round. As senior vice president of Sales at the Visit Phoenix, James Jessie, September/October 2012••• Phoenix skyline Photo Credit: Phoenix CC Jr. is the person to call if you're contemplating bringing a meeting or incentive program to the city. Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is located in the middle of the Phoenix area, less than 10 minutes from downtown, and within 20 miles of almost all of our towns and cities. • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel 1,000 Hyatt Regency Phoenix 693 Renaissance Phoenix Downtown 520 Westin Phoenix 242 Hotel Palomar 242 EXHIBITION FACILITIES The Phoenix Convention Centre Total Exhibit Space 900,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms 90 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Phoenix (877) CALLPHX or (602) 254-6500 Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce (602) 307-5200

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Black Meetings and Tourism - Sept/Oct 2012