Black Meetings and Tourism

September / October 2021

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B M & T ••• September/October 2021 ••• 34 PLAN YOUR NEXT MEETING IN "THE GRAND CANYON STATE " BY REGGIE MURPHY Business travelers and leisure travel- ers alike have something to be excited about when coming to the "The Grand Canyon State." Projected against this rich backdrop is a panorama of urban sophistication: Resorts and spas that drop jaws and soothe souls. Restaurants with inspired cuisine and inspiring patio views give leisure travelers and the con- ference attendee excellent dining options while in Arizona. Golf courses that beck- on players the year round give travelers much to do on their leisure time. Shopping centers as stylish and eclectic as the fashions they house offer some of the finest retail selections in the nation. • • PHOENIX • • 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 awesome sunsets paint the desert sky on a nightly basis. Inspired by the red-rock walls and turquoise waters of the Grand Canyon, the Phoenix Convention Center is one of the most beautiful and sophisticated con- vention centers in the United States. Its interconnected campus includes three ballrooms, 99 meeting/breakout rooms, a 2,300-seat performance hall and an Executive Conference Center. The four- level North Building 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 meet- ing rooms and 20 climate-controlled load- ing docks. The West Building is a Leed Silver Certified facility with 157,000 sq. ft. of conference-style meeting and exhibit space. Its environs include 32 flexible meeting rooms, a ballroom with 30-ft. ceilings and telescopic seating, an adjoin- ing performance center, and a dedicated Executive Conference Level with a 192- seat lecture hall. The South Building— which includes over 143,000 sq. ft. of ver- satile meeting and exhibit space — under- went an $18.5 million makeover in which no corner of the facility went untouched. The facility is the first public venue in Arizona to receive GBAC STAR™ accreditation. Recognized as the gold standard of safe venues, GBAC STAR™ provides third-party validation to ensure the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to bio-risk situa- tions. The GBAC Accreditation program enables facilities to maximize product use and best practices for sanitization and train staff to implement them at the level needed to thoroughly sterilize and clean environments in the era of Covid-19. Phoenix's perpetual sunshine might tempt you to find a secluded resort and spend all your days sipping margaritas next to the swimming pool. Don't give in. Exploring the city and finding things to do in Phoenix's desert horizons will broaden yours. Shrouded by mountains on three sides and covered by a canopy of near-perpet- ual blue sky, Phoenix and its neighboring communities are home to more golf courses than you could hope to play in one visit. Many of the Greater Phoenix courses were designed by the greats, and most don't have merely one signa- ture hole, but many. Planners might con- sider this historic golf town as an option for clients who want to conduct business and work on that handicap at the same time. When the meetings are over for the day, there is no shortage of things to do and places to see in Phoenix. The inter- n a t i o n a l l y acclaimed Heard Museum is one of the best places to experience the myriad cultures and art of American Indians of the Southwest. Located on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, the muse- um hosts 200,000 visitors a year and pro- AREA GUIDES A R I Z O N I A • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel 1,000 Hyatt Regency Phoenix 693 Renaissance Phoenix Downtown 520 Westin Phoenix 242 Hilton Phoenix Airport 259 EXHIBITION FACILITIES The Phoenix Convention Center Total Metting 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 Phoenix Convention Center Photo Credit: Phoenix C.C LORNE EDWARDS

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