Virginia G. Piper Auditorium and adjoining
sculpture courtyard, are winning kudos
from local event planners.
“It’s a great blend of history and amazing
architecture; there’s details like poured
concrete along an exterior wall that resem-
bles the ribs of a cactus,” says Lori James,
owner of AZA Events. “It’s well designed for
combining a dinner inside with a reception
Not only is Scottsdale the home of Talies-
in West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home
and architectural school, but it also boasts
the Price House, a mid-century residence
designed by Wright for the family that
owned the U-Haul company. While not
open to the public, the house is available
for groups to hold a dinner or reception
and tour the home and expansive grounds.
“It’s a spectacular example of classic
Wright design that includes a central open
fireplace, original Wright-designed furniture and really stunning mountain views
from the terrace,” Hofford says. “It’s a truly
unique option for events.”
Much like Phoenix, Tucson has also been
busy repurposing some of its early 20th
century buildings. Among them is the
Carriage House, originally the city’s first
indoor car dealership when it opened in
1917. It recently reopened as a culinary
venue operated by Chef Janos Wilder,
owner of the popular Downtown Kitchen
+ Cocktails restaurant. Along with culinary
workshops, the venue is also available for
private dinners and receptions for groups
of up to 160.
Located in the historic Dunbar Spring
Neighborhood, the Whistle Stop Depot is a
clear-span former warehouse of steel and
polished concrete that has been renovated
with recycled, reclaimed and handmade
materials. An outdoor courtyard accommodates food trucks and live entertainment.
“The Whistle Stop Depot is a great blank
campus that can really be dressed up for
a variety of events,” says Cindy Benequis-ta, national sales manager for AlliedPRA
Arizona, who is equally enthused about
Carriage House. “A lot of exciting stuff is
happening in Tucson.”
WESTERN SPIRIT: SCOTTSDALE’S MUSEUM OF THE WEST
Latest + Greatest
➜ The 180-room Sheraton Mesa Hotel at
Wrigleyville West ( www.starwoodhotels.
com) opened last year with 37,000
square feet of function space, including a 12,400-square-foot ballroom,
breakout space and a courtyard seating
up to 300.
➜ The 227-room Camby Hotel ( www.the
camby.com) opened in Phoenix’s Biltmore neighborhood. Part of Marriott’s
Autograph Collection, it offers a rooftop
pool, boutique spa, the Artizen restaurant and more than 23,000 square feet
of meeting and event space.
➜ The former Lexington Hotel is undergoing a transformation into the Found:Re
( www.foundrehotels.com), a 104-room
boutique property near the Phoenix
Art Museum. Set to open in April, the
hotel will feature exhibition space
for local artwork and Match Cuisine
and Cocktails operated by Chef Akos
Szabo, formerly of Mary Elaine’s at The
➜ The Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel
( www3.hilton.com) completed a $7.2
million renovation that included the refurbishment of its 259 guest rooms and
10,000 square feet of meeting place.
➜ The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
( www.squawpeakhilton.com) doubled
the size of the Anasazi Courtyard, a
Mediterranean-inspired, open-air event
space that now accommodates up to
➜ The Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
( http://scottsdale.andaz.hyatt.com) is
set to open this summer on a 22.5-acre
site overlooking Camelback Mountain.
The resort will feature 201 bunga-low-style guest rooms, 20,000 square
feet of meeting space, a spa and cultural programs.
➜ The Scottsdale Plaza Resort (www.
scottsdaleplaza.com) completed a major
guest room renovation last fall that
included new furnishings and lighting.
The 404-room property offers 40,000
square feet of meeting space.
➜ The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
( www.kierlandresort.com) is now offer-
ing classes with mixologist Matt Allen
in which participants can learn the art
of crafting trendy cocktails at their own
bar stations. The classes include light
appetizers as well as souvenir cocktail
shakers and recipe cards.
➜ The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
( www.scottsdaleprincess.com) will
complete an expansion this summer
that includes 102 new guest rooms,
taking its total room count to 750.
The resort will also debut new event
space, including the 35,000-acre
Great Lawn and a new pool area. Also
undergoing expansion is the resort’s
1880s Western Town, which will be
renamed Copper Canyon and feature
two saloons, an outdoor stage, a dance
floor, a blacksmith shop and a jail.
➜ The Hotel at Mountain Shadows (www.
westroc.com) is set to debut in January
2017 on the site of the former Marriott
Mountain Shadows. Operated by We-stroc Hospitality, the 180-room hotel
will feature meeting and event space,
restaurants and a redesigned 18-hole
➜ The Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas
( www3.hilton.com) completed a property-wide renovation that included the
addition of a new restaurant.
➜ L’Auberge de Sedona (http://lauberge.
com) completed a major renovation that
included the redesign of its cottages, lobby and reception areas. The
creekside resort also introduced an
artist-in-residency program and two new
➜ The Moxy Tempe ( www.marriott.com),
part of Marriott’s new lifestyle Moxy
Hotel brand, is scheduled to open this
spring with 186 guest rooms.
➜ The Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch
Resort ( www.haciendadelsol.com)
completed the addition of 32 new guest
rooms, bringing its total room count to
59. The historic property also renovated
its function space and added a new
➜ The 142-room Double Tree Suites by
Hilton Hotel Tucson-Williams Center
( http://doubletree3.hilton.com) opened
last summer near the University of
Arizona campus with 1,800 square feet
of meeting space.