Black Meetings and Tourism

September/October 2014

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Page 46 of 52

B M & T ••• Septemebr/October 2014 ••• 46 PLAN YOUR NEXT MEETING IN "THE GRAND CANYON STATE" BY REGGIE MURPHY Business travelers and leisure travelers alike have something to be excited about when coming to the "The Grand Canyon State." Cities like Phoenix, Glendale, Flagstaff, Tucson and Tempe each offer your meeting or event a unique quality that is embodied by top level hospitality over- all. Everything you need to blow your client out of the water with that PERFECT meet- ing can be found rite here in sunny Arizona. 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 conference attendee excellent dining options while in Arizona. Golf courses that beckon 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 selec- tions 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. 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. A $600 million expansion trans- formed the Phoenix Convention Center into one of the largest meeting facilities of its kind in the U.S. All told, the con- vention center boasts nearly 900,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space. Thoughtful touches include air-condi- tioned loading bays, exhibit halls with pre-scored floors, and outdoor meeting areas that capitalize on Phoenix's great- est natural resource — the sun. In efforts to promote a green environ- ment the city of Phoenix is proud to boast the numerous venues and sites that are LEED certified providing planners with a more natural approach to event planning. The Farm, at South Mountain, is a unique combination of rural tranquility with a beautiful park like setting. The dazzling 10- acre property features multiple spaces to accommodate any group or type of occa- sion. 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-perpetu- al 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 signature hole, but many. Planners might consider this historic golf town as an option for clients who want to conduct business and work on that handicap at the same time. In Scottsdale, just a short distance from Phoenix is the African-American Multicultural Museum. Currently the museum is featuring an exhibit called Music. In addition to the various musical instruments from Africa, also on display are album covers and pictures of various artists who have contributed to the histo- ry of music worldwide. Some of the artist on display are Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, and Whitney Houston to name a few. In November the museum will be featuring The Commemorative 150th Anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment LET FREEDOM RING!!! This is a framework to inspire and edu- cate visitors, as well as acknowledge transformation from conditional freedom to unconditional freedom based on race in America. James Jesse is the director of Sales for the Greater Phoenix CVB. Plan-ners looking to book business in the city should contact Jesse and his team for assistance. Phoenix Sky Har-bor Airport is located in the middle of the Phoenix area, less than 10 minutes from downtown. AREA GUIDES JAMES JESSE Downtown Phoenix Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons Author DPPed A R I Z O N A

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