“Working lunches are better with the
sound of soft breaking waves along any portion of Lake Havasu’s 400 miles of coastline,”
said Jackie Leatherman, director of event
marketing for the Lake Havasu City CVB.
She added that groups can let the stunning environment of water and Mojave
Desert help to facilitate their meetings.
Among Arizona’s manmade water oppor-
tunities is Scottsdale’s OdySea Aquarium,
which is the Southwest’s largest aquarium,
with 50 exhibits, over 30,000 animals and
engaging opportunities including Sea
TREK underwater ocean walking.
According to Kelli Blubaum, vice president
of sales and services for Experience Scotts-
dale, the aquarium accommodates events of
all sizes in intriguing sea life settings.
“For example, in the Aqua Lobby,
event-goers can dine under nine sparkling,
globe-shaped aquariums suspended from
the ceiling,” she said.
The Tucson-based Warden Aquarium
is a recent addition to the Arizona-Sonora
Desert Museum, a world-renowned zoo.
“It’s a surprise to most people traveling
here that water would be a part of anything beyond the pools at local resorts,”
Visit Tucson’s Gibson said. “However, the
Sonoran Desert stretches down to the Sea
of Cortez, so it’s impossible to understand
the ecosystem here without sea life.”
For many Arizona meetings, groups don’t
have to leave the host hotel or resort for
some water time.
Phoenix-based Pointe Hilton Squaw
Peak Resort is home to River Ranch, a four-acre waterpark featuring a half-mile lazy
river for tubing.
“The resort’s events team works with
groups of all sizes to develop customized
teambuilding activities such as water volleyball, lazy river team breakouts, waterslide
and boat races, poolside putt-putt challenges and more,” Visit Phoenix’s Lanteigne said.
Phoenix is also home to Arizona Grand
Resort and Spa, which boasts a seven-acre
waterpark featuring an eight-story slide
and a lazy river obstacle course.
Other Phoenix metropolitan area
properties with water attractions include
The Scottsdale Plaza Resort, which offers
a bevy of amenities, including five heated
pools throughout the property and 50,000
square feet of indoor/outdoor event space;
Scottsdale’s Westin Kierland Resort & Spa,
home to the Adventure Water Park with its
waterslide and lazy river; and Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes, where, according
to the Tempe Tourism Office’s Tevault,
planners often opt for a poolside reception
surrounded by the desert landscape.
And in Sedona is the group-friendly Enchantment Resort, which has an
award-winning pool with 360-degree views
of Sedona’s famous red rocks.
“The Enchantment pool, with its expansive patio, provides the perfect canvas for
jaw-dropping group events and customized receptions,” Sedona COC & Tourism
Bureau’s Brearley said.
Meeting guests at Enchantment Resort
can also check into Mii amo spa for a treatment from the Power of Water menu.
WARDEN AQUARIUM, TUCSON
KAYAKING WITH ARIZONA OUTBACK ADVENTURES, SCOTTSDALE
I am the in-house meeting
manager for an accounting
firm. I advise on overall
meeting strategy and
provide site selection,
management and budget
management for 130-plus
events per year.
What type of meeting
did you hold when you
were in the Scottsdale
The most recent was a
leadership meeting at the
Royal Palms Resort and
Spa, which is located
in Phoenix just outside
Was anyone particularly
helpful in executing
Kelli Blubaum with Experience Scottsdale is invaluable. She is a tremendous
resource for information
on what’s happening in
Scottsdale and offers great
suggestions for my group
What did your attendees seem to enjoy the
most about Scottsdale?
Our favorite things about
holding meetings in Scottsdale are the weather, the
ease of airlift and the great
hotels/resorts that truly
understand what is needed
for successful meetings.
experiences do you
Some of my favorites
over the years have been
Bondurant Racing School
[in Chandler], the Arabian
stables [Los Cedros USA in
Scottsdale] and Topgolf.
How does Scottsdale
compare to other cities
where you have hosted
Every location and
meeting is unique so it’s
a bit of apples to oranges.
Overall, we love Scottsdale because it’s typically
affordable, easy to get to,
there are lots of activities
and it’s sunny.
Stacy Weber, CMP // Meeting & Event Manager
Moss Adams LLP // Seattle