Tag Archives: CityScape

cityscape

Thrill-seekers will rappel CityScape office tower

In an unconventional fundraising effort for Special Olympics Arizona, 160 thrill-seekers will rappel 27 stories in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s event is sure to soar to new heights with supporters such as Dallas Cowboys Announcer Kevin Ray.

Sponsors CityScape Phoenix and RED Development host the event at its offices, where participants who have raised more than $1,000 have the opportunity to experience Phoenix from new heights. Spectators, friends and family are encouraged to experience the launch for themselves at the Dec. 13 event.

“It’s fantastic to host something that pulls the community together and builds awareness in a nontraditional way,” Tim Martin, CEO of Special Olympics Arizona, said. “The increased interest we receive every year is a true testament to Phoenix’s dedication to helping Special Olympics Arizona and our athletes.”

Each participant, with the $1,000 fundraising goal, will be able to support two Special Olympics Arizona Athletes throughout 2015. Participants must meet the weight requirement between 100 and 300 pounds in order to rappel off CityScape. Those under the age of 18 will need a parent signed waiver. All proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Arizona.

“We’re honored to share our building for such a great cause,” said Jeff Moloznik, vice president of development at RED Development. “‘Over the Edge’ has grown into a signature event that our team looks forward to, and each year we’re exceedingly inspired by the participants who not only come out to rappel down the building, but also raise invaluable awareness for Special Olympics Arizona.”

Special Olympics Arizona provides every person with intellectual disabilities a place of welcome, acceptance and the chance to be their best. The organization’s mission is to empower over 180,000 Arizonans with intellectual disabilities to be healthy, productive and respected members of society through sports training, competitions and support programs.

skate

CitySkate is back! Ice rink opens Saturday

For the fifth year in a row, close to 100,000 holiday revelers will descend on CityScape Phoenix to take part in the 10 weeks of CitySkate, the largest and only real outdoor ice rink in the Valley that is bigger than ever and dramatically placed in the center of Central Avenue.

The ice rink this year has been significantly upgraded to a 30 percent larger rink than last year with 5,442 square-feet of real ice, a Christmas tree placed in the center of the rink and hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. Also new this year is a complimentary photo booth for skaters to capture their CitySkate memories.

The rink, presented by APS, will be open daily from Nov. 22 through Feb. 2 with special events happening many days of the week

The holidays will officially kick-off at CityScape Phoenix with a tree lighting ceremony and fun for the whole family on Nov. 29.

For those looking to extend their holiday festivities, Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix is offering a “Stay & Skate” package that includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, 15 percent off the best available rate starting from $129 per night, two tickets to CitySkate and two custom Hotel Palomar branded beanies. Use rate code “Skate” when booking at http://www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or by calling 602-253-6633.

CitySkate at CityScape Phoenix
Nov. 22 through Feb. 2
Day Session: 11am – 1:30pm (Daily). Night Session: 4pm – 11pm (Sun.– Fri.), 4pm – Midnight (Sat.)
Kids and Adults – $12 each
Military, Kids Under 5, Seniors – $6 each
College Students (with valid student ID) and groups of 10 or more – $10 each
Ice rink rental is available for private parties and events. Contact (602) 772-3900.
Visit www.cityskatephx.com to purchase tickets and for a list of holiday hours and closures. Admission includes skate rental and unlimited skating all day.

City of Phoenix Holiday Kick-Off and Tree Lighting Ceremony
Saturday, Nov. 29
3pm – 11pm (Santa Claus arrives at 4pm, Tree Lighting at 6pm)
The holiday tree lighting ceremony begins at 6pm with Mayor Greg Stanton and his family lighting the tree. There will be “Frozen”-themed ice skating performances, sledding with real snow in Patriots Square, live music performances, photos with Santa and public ice skating following the tree lighting.

Skate with Howler from the Arizona Coyotes
Every Monday from 7-8pm
Beginning Nov. 24, join Howler from the Arizona Coyotes every Monday night!

Tuesday Theme Days
11/25: Red Nose Day. 12/2: White Christmas. 12/9: Elf Day. 12/16: Ugly Sweater Day. 12/23: Santa Skate (Bad Santa after 8pm).
Every Tuesday, guests are encouraged to dress up as part of that week’s theme for a chance to win prizes. To enter, just take a photo at the photo booth and a winner will be picked the following day. The first 100 skaters will receive fun giveaways based on the theme. Movies will be projected on the ice and soundtracks will be played while skaters circle the ice.

Learn to Skate with the Arizona Coyotes
Dec. 3, Dec. 7 and Jan. 21
5-6pm and 6-7pm
Skate lessons with Coyotes Hockey Development Team
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online.

Adult Skate
Every Saturday from Nov. 22 through Jan. 31
9pm – midnight
DJs, games and prizes and Copper Blues selling hot chocolate and hot apple cider.

Photos with Santa
Saturday’s from Nov. 29 – Dec. 20
Nov. 29: 4:30 – 8pm
Dec. 6: 2 – 5pm
Dec. 13:  6 – 9pm
Dec. 20: 9am- noon

Skater Discounts from CityScape Tenants
All season long, skaters who visit CitySkate can show their wristband to receive a special discount at the following locations:
• 10 percent off your bill at LUSTRE Rooftop Garden, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, Copper Blues, Squid Ink Sushi.
• 20 percent off any service at V’s Barbershop.
• Free shoe rental when you bowl at Lucky Strike Lanes
• Free fountain beverage with the purchase of any pizza at Pizza Studio
• $3 glass of red or white wine and a free cookie with the purchase of a hot chocolate at The Corner

For more information about CityScape Phoenix’s CitySkate, visit www.cityskatephx.com or call 602-772-3900. Ample and convenient underground parking is available.

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CityScape offers options for Halloween fun

Celebrate this Halloween with plenty of tricks and treats at the hottest bars and restaurants in the Valley, all within walking distance at CityScape Phoenix.

Located in the heart of downtown, CityScape will be the place to party with a variety of different options for revelers to enjoy costume contests, dining and drinks specials, live music and more. Participating restaurants and special offers include:

LUSTRE Rooftop Garden

On Friday, October 31, LUSTRE Rooftop Garden will host the “Day of the Dead Rooftop Halloween Party” at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix. DJs will be spinning all night long as party-goers enjoy Espolon drink specials, Day of the Dead makeup artists, fun photographers and a costume contest with $500 in prizes and giveaways. Party starts at 8pm. Tickets are $10 online, $15 at the door.  602-876-5432

Copper Blues Live

On Thursday, October 30, dress up as a Rock Star or Rock Group and sing your favorite Karaoke songs at Stand Up Live Comedy Club. There will be drink and shot specials, as well as a contest for Best Dressed Rock Star, Best Voice and Best Group. Doors open at 11am, Halloween events begin at 8:30pm. No Cover.

On Friday, October 31, Copper Blues Live will host “Friday LIVE Goes Dead… Dead 20’s”. The speak easy themed Friday LIVE will offer happy hour from 3pm to 7pm and live music with an acoustic set from 5pm to 8pm. The Halloween party will begin at 8:30pm, hosted by a local radio talent, and will have a live band from 8:30pm to 12:30am, DJs from 12:30am to 2pm, servers dressed as ghosts and a costume contest for best 20s costume, scariest costume, sexiest costume and best overall costume, with the winner announced at 12am. Doors open at 11am, Halloween events begin at 8:30pm. No Cover. 480-719-5005

Lucky Strike

Celebrate “Bowlloween” at Lucky Strike on Friday, October 31 with complimentary tricks and treats, multiple DJs and a $500 cash prize costume contest (with a minimum of 10 contestants). Doors open at 9pm. The costume contest will be held at midnight. General admission starting at $15 with group discounts and VIP access available. 602-732-5490

Gypsy Bar

Gypsy Bar will be participating in the $1,000 cash prize costume contest (with a minimum of 10 contestants) at Lucky Strike and will feature DJ Pickster 1, DJ Tommy Roberts and DJ Body Tricks. Revelers will enjoy complimentary tricks and treats, spooky dancers and more. Doors open at 7pm. The costume contest will be held at midnight. $10 at the door.

Squid Ink

From 11am to midnight on Friday, October 31, Squid Ink Sushi will be offering Halloween dining specials including a Black Widow Roll for $16, Kraken Salad for $14 and a Bat Wing Special $12. 602-258-0510

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Mix Things Up

Jeff Molosnik

Jeff Molosnik

Mike Ripp

Mike Ripp

Howard Weiss

Howard Weiss

Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil a soup, but with the right mix of experience, demand and legal advice, mixed-use developments can turn into a wildly successful, complementary group of projects.

Mixed-use developments are on the rise in Phoenix Metro as office buildings see the benefit of offering employees a place to work, shop, eat and seek entertainment in thriving community environments. To get one off the ground, though, requires a lot of collaboration and the clearing of many potential legal hurdles.

“The homeowner, the office tenant, the shopkeeper and the restaurant owner – each have concerns involving the layout, structure, location and function generally, including issues dealing with hours of operation, access (both pedestrian and vehicular), noise, security, costs, landscaping, utilities, insurance and so forth,” says James Connor, shareholder at Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. “The various interests of the users may not always be aligned, and in fact, often may be in conflict.

“Creating the fundamental governing and controlling development agreements to serve all interests of the various users, while not undermining the value as an investment nor impeding the ability to obtain financing, is challenging,” Connor adds. “These agreements must deal with not only the development and construction periods, but of course, the indefinite life of the project for decades (if not longer) in duration.”

While drafting agreements that make everyone happy (enough) is key to the success of a mixed-use development. The financing is perhaps one of the biggest non-starters.

“Because most developers have a goal of selling the project upon realization of stabilized cash flow, care must be provided to allow for each component to be able to be defined and conveyed, in order to market parcels to the strategic investors,” Connor says. “Put another way, a REIT which invests solely in office projects will have little appetite to acquire a parcel which includes retail, residential or other uses.”

Experts note that mixed-use projects are increasingly a response to less available land for new development in dense metropolitan areas.

“What makes a given mixed-use project unique depends to a significant extent on whether you are dealing with a ‘vertical’ or a ‘horizontal’ mixed-use project, and whether the project is being developed by a single developer or multiple developers,” says Mike Ripp, an attorney at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite.

Vertical projects, he says, are the most complicated type of mixed-use development.

“The uses are more physically interdependent on each other and that components on the lower floors may need to be in use before the upper floors are complete,” he says.
“The reason these projects are becoming more popular is because people like to live, work and play all in the same area. People like having access to these types of things,” says Nussbaum, Gillis & Dinner attorney Howard Weiss.

From a consumer standpoint, mixed-use developments make life easier. That said, it’s a long journey to the “parcelization scheme” that will grab investors, developers and tenants.

“As mixed-use projects become more prevalent nationally, it is likely that standard ways of handling the more common mixed-use project issues will evolve and gain acceptance,” says Ripp.
“Some lenders find mixed-use projects difficult to evaluate because of the lack of real comparables,” Ripp says, adding that underwriting the many components of development and being able to judge whether a developer has sufficient experience all the product types are also of concern to lenders.

Every single use at CityScape was financed independently of the others. It built a hotel, occupied it and then built apartments above. Instead of phases expanding horizontally, CityScape expanded vertically.

“The idea of having to vertically finance the phasing of a mixed-use project has been one of the most complicated things we’ve had to do here,” says Jeff Moloznik, general manager of CityScape. “That part of it was far and away one of the most interesting and intricate elements of what happened,” says Moloznik of the design and engineering work as well as the financing of the CityScape phases, which happened over a seven-year span.

Additionally, Weiss points out, discrepancy between parking ratios for the different components can sometimes occur. Another issue, he says, comes to leasing. As a tenant, he says, you may not have as much control over eliminating competition — for instance, being the only sub shop in the complex. Operating expenses, too, are important to define for the respective uses.

The expenses for elevators, cleaning and janitorial services or security are not always shared by all the tenants in a mixed-use development, he adds, citing the vertical and disjointed CityScape as an example.

“There’s always an issue with the allocation of these expenses,” says Weiss.

It is easier, he says, for projects such as Kierland or Scottsdale Waterfront, which have different components in different buildings — spread horizontally. “In that type, from a legal perspective, you’ll deal with reciprocal easement (REAs) and operational agreements,” says Weiss.

That means that during development, if different components are owned or developed by separate companies, they can sign an agreement that allows for the most beneficial coexistence through contractual obligation.

“There are a lot of commercial leases out there, but at the end of the day a landlord wants a lease that specifically works with their project,” says Weiss. “Because each one has a unique component, and depending on the developer, I would say this would be handled more on a case by case basis.”

FlowRider, WEB

CityScape Phoenix hosts surfing in downtown Phoenix

Surf’s up in the heart of the desert this summer as CityScape Phoenix hosts Surfing on Central, a 13-week, family-friendly event offering a wave simulator, beach blanket movie nights, professional flowboarder performances, DJs and a special summer staycation hotel package.

Open daily starting June 1 and running through Labor Day Sept. 1, CityScape’s Patriots Square park will transform into a surfer’s paradise with the FlowRider® Mobile from FlowRider, Inc., a wave simulator that creates never-ending waves with over 38,000 gallons of perfect surf, ideal for beginners and experts. With 400-square-feet of ripping ride space, surfers will hang ten in a whole new way while learning to surf, do tricks and have fun.

Flowboarding is a hybrid boardsport that has the look of surfing, the ride of snowboarding, the tricks of skateboarding and the boards derived from wakeboarding.

In addition to the FlowRider, Surfing on Central will be home to lounge chairs, a tiki bar and more. Throughout the summer, there will be “Beach Blanket Movie Nights” where guests can enjoy surf movies under the stars and on Saturday nights catch “Airwaves” from 7pm until 10pm featuring a local DJ spinning the hottest summer hits and pro-flowboarders showing off their skills. Ladies Night is every Thursday from 6pm until 10pm where ladies buy one ticket, get one free.

To kick things off, CityScape will host a flow jam on Saturday, May 31 from 7 until 10 p.m. with professional flowboarders Sean Silveira, Adam Muller and Daniel Tarapchak showing off their shredding skills and signing autographs along with Red Bull DJs, games, prizes and plenty of beach-themed fun.

For those looking for the ultimate summer staycation, Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix is offering a “Toes on the Nose Surfs Up!” package from $119/night that includes deluxe accommodations, two tickets to FlowRider and a 20 percent discount at LUSTRE Rooftop Garden for guests with a FlowRider ticket. Reservations can be booked at www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633 (rate code: FLOW).

Located at CityScape Phoenix, Surfing on Central will be open seven days a week from 10am until 10pm from June 1 through September 1. The event is free and open to the public, with the exception of FlowRider that is available for $25 per person for 30 minutes with a maximum of eight guests per half hour. Riders can also test their skills on “The Mechanical Wave”, which is $5 for five attempts. Hours and pricing may vary throughout the summer. The most up-to-date information will be available online. Surfers must be at least 42” tall. Party packages and memberships will be available where discounts will be given for multiple sessions purchased, like the Blue Membership where riders receive two free sessions with the purchase of five sessions for $125.

Reservations are required to purchase tickets for the FlowRider. For more information about Surfing on Central and to find out how to book a reservation, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com/flowrider.  Easy, convenient and ample underground parking is available and validated by many retailers.

THIS SATURDAY (May 31): To kick things off, CityScape is hosting a flow jam from 7pm until 10pm this Saturday with professional flowboarders Sean Silveira, Adam Muller and Daniel Tarapchak showing off their shredding skills and signing autographs along with Red Bull DJs, games, prizes and plenty of beach-themed fun.

SURFING ON CENTRAL OPENS TO THE PUBLIC THIS SUNDAY & IS OPEN THROUGH LABOR DAY:
A wave simulator ($25/session)
Beach Blanket Movie Nights (free)
Professional flowboarder performances weekly (free)
“Airwaves” with local DJs every Saturday (free)
Ladies Night every Thursday (buy 1, get 1 free)
Special summer staycation package at Hotel Palomar Phoenix (from $119/night, including 2 tickets to FlowRider)

CityScape Residences model penthouse

CityScape welcomes first residents

CityScape Phoenix marked its final development milestone in February when the first residents moved into the CityScape Residences, a collection of 224 luxury apartments that sit atop Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix.

The leasing office is now open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. along with a fully furnished, one-bedroom model on the 14th floor.

Expansive views and high-energy surroundings merge with sophisticated home finishes within all 224 residences. Residents have 24-hour access to the four-star hotel services of Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix, including in-room dining by Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, housekeeping, concierge, valet parking, business center and laundry services. Additionally, residents will enjoy parking with direct access into the residential tower, a private 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center, a community area and an exclusive swimming pool 175 feet above Jefferson Street.

“CityScape is known for many things – most notably, work and play, but now it will take on a new component – live,” said Keith Earnest, Executive Vice President of Development at RED. “Our residents will have full access to the 24-hour vibrancy and energy of the neighborhood. What you find in two city blocks at CityScape is typically separated by miles in other cities. We’ve built a strong, tight-knit community and now we look forward to welcoming people who will call CityScape home.”

CityScape Residences offer unique studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans with floor-to-ceiling windows, gourmet kitchens with prep islands and gas ranges, and luxurious bathrooms with sizeable closets. The residences range from 560 to 2,373 square-feet and include 23 two-story one, two- and three-bedroom penthouses on the top floors. All residences offer magnificent views of the city skyline and mountains beyond.

In addition to the hotel and community amenities, residents are automatically enrolled in a residents-only membership program at participating CityScape retailers and restaurants. Living at CityScape Phoenix puts residents just a few steps away from the best concert venues, theatres, professional sports venues and museums in Arizona.

“I have lived in Phoenix nearly my entire life and have never seen Downtown as vibrant as it is now, nor has there ever been a place more exciting to live than CityScape Residences,” said Irene McCready who works three blocks away at a major corporation and is the first resident to move in. “I sold my house last year and watched and waited for the CityScape Residences to become available. It’s like living at a resort with 24-hour room service and security, a resident-only pool and gym and full access to the hotel’s amenities. The spectacular views of South Mountain from my apartment and the never-ending variety of things to do are exactly what I was looking for in a home.”

CityScape Residences will be professionally managed by Alliance Residential Company. With resident move-ins underway, this signifies the completion of construction at the $500 million mixed-use destination.

For more information on CityScape Residences, call 866-628-0589 or visit www.cityscaperesidences.com.

For more information about CityScape Phoenix, a retailer directory and to see what’s happening, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com. Ample and convenient underground parking is available and validated by many retailers.

Cityscape Unit A1

Cityscape Residences Pool

Cityscape Penthouse 2

CityScape, WEB

CityScape Phoenix Office Tower Receives ENERGY STAR Award

BOMA Phoenix this week named RED Development’s CityScape Phoenix office tower the winner of The Kilowatt Crackdown Award for the most improved ENERGY STAR benchmarked building above 500,000 square-feet in the Greater Phoenix area for 2013.

 

A highly regarded award, ENERGY STAR measures energy savings using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s standards and it is a voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency.

 

Cityscape Phoenix won the award based on its EPA ENERGY STAR rating that improved from 81, which is considered above the national average, to 97 through the 2013 calendar year. A minimum score of 75 is required by EPA to be certified and a score of 81 placed CityScape above average for all US buildings certified. This previous certified score was achieved by RED’s design choices and selection of LEED compliant construction materials of the decisions made during the development phase of the project allowed for the enhanced operations. The score of 97 puts the CityScape Phoenix tower in the top three percentile of all buildings in the U.S.

 

RED made the decision to pursue a higher ENERGY STAR rating for the office tower for a variety of reasons including to lower operating costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the asset’s value and to fulfil a higher standard of corporate environmental responsibility. Over the past few years, more of our office tenants require sustainable buildings and we are proud to be in the nation’s top percentile,” said Ron Roeske, general manager of CityScape Phoenix.

 

The work mainly consisted of evaluating all existing aspects of the building’s mechanical systems and verifying each piece of equipment meet the design intent. Upon completion of the mechanical audit the building control system was then evaluated and defined. After these systems were verified, mechanical and control system deficiencies were modified and corrected as required. These corrections were routinely physical repairs and adjustments to non-functioning hardware and mechanical equipment.

 

The process was a lengthy one and was performed with occupant comfort and feedback being a constant consideration. Our CityScape engineering team provided all of the services without the assistance of an outside firm, which was a notable accomplishment,” said Al O’Connor, Corporate Engineer, who led the ENERGY STAR improvement initiatives.

The final, and most productive, component of this work was system integration and optimization of the building automation system (BAS) with the mechanical equipment. Several information metrics including building use, lease requirements, utility trend and pulse report data, local temperature bin and operation history were evaluated. This information was then used to optimize building operations, through programming and schedules, to achieve optimal improvements in energy consumption.

 

Since 1992, EPA has worked with organizations to help them save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making their buildings and plants more energy efficient. Every year, they’re saving more than $9 billion and preventing nearly 120 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.

From left: David Rousseau, Chairman of Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Jay Parry, President & CEO, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego, Councilwoman District 8, Jim Waring, vice mayor of Phoenix and Michael Nowakowski, Councilman District 7.

Super Bowl Central will take over downtown

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee announced several major initiatives that will take over 12 city blocks in downtown Phoenix and together will serve as the hub of fan, sponsor, media and NFL activities for Super Bowl XLIX.

The activities will cover 5th Street to First Avenue and Jefferson Street to Monroe Street and be anchored by the iconic Super Bowl roman numerals, which will tower 30 feet into the air.

Super Bowl Central, will feature live performances by national recording artists and local musical talent, community groups and schools, football themed activities, and beer and wine gardens. The festival will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages, will be free to the public and incorporate street level merchants and restaurants. Local culture and food will be showcased. This is a new addition to Arizona’s line-up of Super Bowl activities since the state last hosted the Super Bowl in 2008, and one million visitors are expected to participate.

“We are thrilled to be providing extensive and engaging events and activities that will showcase the energetic and vibrant culture of Arizona to fans, sponsors and media alike,” said David Rousseau, Chairman, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

Typically one of Super Bowl’s most popular activities, NFL Experience is the world’s largest interactive football theme park. For Super Bowl XLIX, it will be located at the Phoenix Convention Center and feature attractions such as kids’ football clinics, interactive football games, free autograph sessions and more.

NFL House, a VIP hospitality headquarters, is another new addition to Arizona’s Super Bowl activities and will be located at CityScape.

“Super Bowl Central, along with NFL Experience and NFL House, will turn
downtown Phoenix into the Super Bowl epicenter. It will provide both local and
visiting fans an amazing opportunity to be part of this global event. Super Bowl
Central delivers direct economic benefits to local businesses,” said Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix.

NFL Media Center, located at the Phoenix Convention Center, will provide working facilities for 5,000 members of the media from over 30 countries around the world.

National broadcast networks — NBC, NFL Network and others — will broadcast live from Super Bowl Central.

Additionally, NFL Headquarters will be at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

The average temperature in the Valley in February is 71 degrees, showcasing the ideal weather conditions for an outdoor fan festival as well as the Super Bowl game.

Super Bowl XLIX will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, on February 1, 2015. This marks Arizona’s second Super Bowl in seven years and the third overall. In Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008, the New York Giants bet the New England Patriots 17-14. Arizona’s first big game, Super Bowl XXX, was held at Arizona State University’s Sun Devils Stadium in 1996, with the Dallas Cowboys beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17.

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Pizza Studio Opens First Phoenix Location

Los Angeles-based fast-casual restaurant, Pizza Studio, will expand into Phoenix after signing a multi-unit development agreement for 20 new locations in the Phoenix area over the next five years. The first location will open in CityScape on March 10, 2014 at 11 W. Washington Street, Suite 120.

“CityScape will be our flagship restaurant in downtown Phoenix,” said John Lutz, COO. “Whether it’s a quick business lunch, dropping in before a ball game, on the way to a concert or just enjoying a day in our beautiful downtown area, Pizza Studio will serve as a great dining option.”

Lutz is a veteran in the restaurant industry with 30 years of experience. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University of Hawaii. Most recently with Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Lutz has provided leadership and guidance on both the corporate and franchise side of the restaurant industry. After becoming interested in the fast-casual pizza segment, Pizza Studio was a natural fit for Lutz. He says, “The Pizza Studio team has done an incredible job creating the vision, fundamentals, culture and community spirit of the brand.” Lutz signed the multi-unit agreement with Pizza Studio as chief operating officer in January.

Pizza Studio is a fast-casual franchise concept that invites guests to create their own custom pizza masterpiece. A wide assortment of crusts, specialty sauces, premium meats, fresh and roasted vegetables and the highest quality ingredients are offered at affordable prices. The company is known for its variety of flavors of their proprietary thin, light and crispy crusts with unlimited toppings of sauces, cheeses, nitrate-free meats and fresh-cut and roasted vegetables for each custom-built pizza creation.

Lutz is delighted to bring Pizza Studio to CityScape. There are currently a few sites under review for upcoming locations. All 20 locations will open within five years.
Since its founding in 2012, Pizza Studio has signed development agreements with several experienced multi-unit operators for 175 units.

Lawless Denim, WEB

Arizona's First, Only Denim Manufacturer Moves into CityScape

Denim jeans have been an American fashion staple since the 1950s. Today, most jeans are made overseas or south of the border. Unlike most jean manufacturers, though, Roman Acevedo owner of Lawless Denim is continuing to produce his product in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Lawless Denim, Arizona’s first and only denim manufacturer, moved its shop into CityScape in October.

“American-made jeans are better than anything else,” Acevedo said. “Lawless Denim is about really being proud of that ‘made in downtown Phoenix’ label.”

Acevedo is a San Diego native who fell in love with Arizona and has become the first and only denim manufacturer in the state. That’s not the only thing that makes Lawless Denim special. Acevedo is committed to producing hand-made, custom-fit jeans with integrity.

“To produce an American-made product is far superior to anything else,” Acevedo said. “Take it a step further and customize it so it fits your body perfectly—it doesn’t get any better.”

Acevedo is against the mistreatment of workers and products that lack quality, which is something he can control by manufacturing in Arizona, adding he aims to make a difference in the community by creating jobs in Arizona.

So far Acevedo feels he is getting a great response and Phoenix is excited about his product.

IMG_2796“I think it’s good for business to be the first in the pack,” he says. “If you have a genuine product that’s real quality, people will identify that. If there are others to follow, we have set the bar high.”

Acevedo began Lawless Denim a year ago. The store also sells leather goods such as belts, and bracelets. Acevedo is working on bag designs as well. Most of items in the store are hand-crafted.

“I just enjoy clothes. I am just all about clothes,” Acevedo said. “It really just stemmed from a passion for denim and leather goods.”

Before Lawless Denim, Acevedo was producing clothes at another Phoenix-based manufacturing company he owns. Acevedo loves clothes but wanted to shift gears from a casual chic collection to just purely denim.

“When you get to express your own individuality through fashion, that’s a lot of fun,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo views his job as producing quality rather than designing. He was inspired by old Levi Strauss and loves to add personal touches and details to timeless styles. According to Acevedo, you can’t go wrong with the “501” jean style: “When it comes to denim, there are certain classic styles that you just don’t mess with.” IMG_2794

Like Levi Strauss, before it began to produce abroad, Acevedo uses Cone Denim Mills fabric. Cone Denim Mills is the last American denim manufacturer in the whole world.

At Lawless Denim, the fit and style is up to the customers. Acevedo makes jeans for men and women of all ages.

“The best part for me is when the customer says, ‘I love them.’ There’s no better satisfaction,” said Acevedo of his jeans, on which he offers a lifetime warranty. Acevedo trusts that his denim will only get better with age.

Acevedo said, “We believe in the product…We want it to last you a long time.”

Night Flight

The Ultimate Valley Light Tour: Arizona Helicopter Adventures

Last holiday season, I took a limo ride around the Valley to look at Christmas lights. This year, I decided to step up my game and took in the holiday lights of the valley by helicopter.

Arizona Helicopter Adventures is offering a Holiday Lights Tour this season, and after experiencing it for myself it is definitely a must-do! There is no doubt we live in a beautiful place, but taking in the desert from a different perspective really makes you appreciate where we live. Seeing it decorated in holiday lights from way up high will take your breath away. There is nothing quite like seeing all the decorations in the Valley at once to really put you in the holiday mood. It inspired me to rush home and decorate my own home.

Ari and I.

Ari and I.

My good friend, Ari, joined me on the Holiday Lights Tour. After watching a quick safety video, we were then escorted to the helicopter where we met our trusty pilot, Chris. I was a little nervous at first for the take-off, but within seconds we were 500 feet in the air and gazing down at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess. The resort was decked out in Christmas lights and we could even see the ice rink in the middle. Our next stop was headed west toward Glendale where we saw everything from beautiful homes in the Arrowhead area decorated in lights to all the festivities happening at Westgate City Center. Being born and raised in the West Valley, I have attended Glendale Glitters every single year, and let me just say that you have not experienced anything until you are flying in a helicopter with an aerial view of Glendale to make you truly appreciate it. It was beyond breathtaking. Ari described her view of the Valley as “a blanket of stars.” After we made our loop around Camelback Mountain, it was back to the landing pad. We graciously thanked our pilot and wrote a nice note in the guest book.

The Holiday Lights Tour with Arizona Helicopter Adventures definitely was an experience like none other. I highly recommend this if you’re trying to impress your date this holiday season or if you’re looking for a great gift to give someone special. Flights started over Thanksgiving weekend and will continue through New Year’s Day. The flight lasts for 30 minutes, take off between 5:30 and 9 p.m. and will run you $450, but seeing that smile on your significant other’s face will be priceless and well worth the expense.

Make sure you book your flight soon because spots will fill up fast! Call 480-247-8508 to make your reservation. Get a cup of hot cocoa, cuddle up in a blanket and enjoy the scene below!

Santa Football

Arizona Rattlers To Host Holiday Drive at CityScape

The Arizona Rattlers will host their second annual Holiday Drive on Saturday, December 7, at CityScape in downtown Phoenix. The event will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will feature a toy drive benefiting the Salvation Army and an American Red Cross blood drive. The event is free and open to the public and boasts plenty of holiday fun for the whole family including various children’s activities, football toss inflatable, free pictures with Santa Claus, and CityScape Phoenix’s CitySkate ice rink.

Adding to the fun, Shmonty from 93.3 KDKB will be hosting a special live remote at the event from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and will hand out gifts to those who donate.

Fans from around the Valley will have the opportunity to spend time with members of the 2013 World Champion Arizona Rattlers arena football team, Sidewinder dancers, mascot Stryker D. Rattler and members of the Phoenix Coyotes organization and mascot Howler.

The first 100 people to donate a new and unwrapped toy will receive a special Rattlers gift bag. All toy donations will be given to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Angel program to be included in 3TV AZ Family’s Big Give on December 13. In their 28th year, the Christmas Angel program takes place in 18 malls across the Valley and Northern Arizona and is hoping to help 48,000 Arizona children this holiday season as these may be the only gifts they receive.

The American Red Cross will be conducting a blood drive from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and all blood donors will receive an American Red Cross recycled shopping bag and Arizona Rattlers t-shirt.

All toy and blood donors will receive $2 off their purchase at the CitySkate ice rink as well as exclusive discounts from local downtown businesses.

For additional information please visitwww.azrattlers.com.

Over the Edge 2

Thrill-Seekers to Rappel CityScape Office Tower

In an exhilarating demonstration of their support for Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ), 100 Arizonans will go “Over the Edge”, rappelling 27 stories down one of the tallest buildings in Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 14.

CityScape Phoenix and RED Development will sponsor this adrenaline-rushing event at its office tower where each participant will take their support to new heights, raising a minimum of $1,000 in donations to support SOAZ athletes. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and spectators are encouraged.

“Over the Edge is a fresh, fun approach to fundraising and is one the most exciting events we do,” Tim Martin, CEO of Special Olympics. “We are receiving tremendous interest in this year’s event and it’s inspiring to know how many people will literally go ‘over the edge’ for our athletes. CityScape is the hub in downtown Phoenix and is the perfect location to host such a vibrant event.”

Participation in “Over the Edge” requires creating a personal fundraising page to attain contributions from family, friends and coworkers. Each person that rappels will raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations, which is the amount needed to support at least two athletes in 2014. Participants must be at least 18 years old on the event date and not weigh more than 350 pounds. All proceeds benefit Special Olympics Arizona.

“It’s going to be an exciting afternoon at CityScape to watch thrill-seekers rappel down our office tower, all for the sake of a great cause,” said Jeff Moloznik, vice president of development at RED. “Special Olympics Arizona is an organization that has done inspiring work in the Valley and we’re pleased to participate in this signature event. We hope this will be the beginning of a longstanding tradition at CityScape Phoenix with the potential to grow the event into the largest of its kind in the country.”

Special Olympics Arizona provides every person with intellectual disabilities a place of welcome, acceptance and the chance to be their best. The organizations mission is to empower over 180,000 Arizonans with intellectual disabilities to be healthy, productive, and respected members of society through sports training, competitions, and support programs.

For more information how to rappel “Over the Edge”, visit www.specialolympicsarizona.org. For more information on CityScape Phoenix, a retailer directory and a parking map, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com. Ample and convenient underground parking is available for the day of the event and validated by most tenants.

Lawless Denim_ready made jeans

Lawless Denim Opening First Store at CityScape

Lawless Denim & Co. will be the first and only denim manufacturer in the state of Arizona when it opens the doors of its first store at CityScape Phoenix on Oct. 12 offering 100 percent handmade, custom-fit jeans, denim clothing items and leather goods.

The 3,200-square-foot space will serve as both a retail location and a manufacturing shop that will feature reams of 25 different types of selvedge denim for customers to choose from in 10 different styles. With everything made by hand, the manufacturing area will have professional tailoring stations, vintage sewing machines used for stitching and cutting tables. Customers will be assisted by denim smiths and in-store designer Maya Vita to select sizing, denim type, cut, style, stitching color and button finishes. Each pair of custom jeans are priced around $245.

Lawless Denim & Co. products stay true to classic American denim manufacturing with brass hardware, vintage-sewn stitches and the highest quality American and Japanese selvedge denim. Selvedge denim is made in small batches on pre-WWII vintage looms, much like the ones Levi Strauss used when first making blue jeans in the 1870s. The limited release of each batch of selvedge denim ensures customers receive unique and specialized denim weight, color and texture. Lawless will also have ready-made jeans available for purchase that can be tailor fit and priced from $85 to $180.

“It’s all about keeping with tradition and bringing each customer a truly unique and custom-made pair of jeans that will easily become their favorite pair of jeans,” said Roman Acevedo, Phoenix resident and owner of Lawless Denim & Co. “You can’t get anything like this in Arizona. In cities like New York and Los Angeles, you’ll typically pay $400 for custom jeans. Our jeans are handmade to your body type with high-quality denim in classic styles that will never go out of style. The best part – you’re part of the design process.”

Other custom-made items at Lawless include denim jackets and leather goods such as belts, wallets, accessories and bags. Acevedo purchased a rare Italian belt cutter that will be the only one in Arizona.

In celebration of its grand opening week, Lawless is offering customers a custom-made pair of jeans for $175 from Oct.13 through Oct. 20. Also, men’s and women’s ready-made jeans in white oak raw selvedge denim will be on special for $107.

“Lawless Denim & Co. is a prime example of the entrepreneurial spirit taking place in downtown Phoenix. Roman is drawing attention to a great American tradition of denim manufacturing and its authentic connection to Arizona. Today’s consumers expect quality, craft and authenticity. Downtown is all about reinvention and Lawless embodies that,” said Jeff Moloznik, vice president of development at RED Development.

Lawless Denim & Co. is open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm and on Sunday from noon to 7pm. For more information, call 602-288-8302.

Kimpton's Hotel Palomar

Palomar offers superb Staycation options

I’ve been a downtown dweller for a decade now. I’ve lived in the historic district of Phoenix since before First Friday brought in the cool kids, long before there were bars in the Roosevelt district to attract the hipsters, and well before CityScape made downtown Phoenix a destination for something other than a sporting event or employment.

So I’ve never viewed downtown Phoenix as a place to go to get away from it all. Boy, was I wrong.

I took advantage of one of the summer “Staycation options” offered by the Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape. The deals run through September 8 and there are three options:

$102 and a Round of Brew: Deal includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, a round of four beers at Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Rates start from $102 (Rate code: BREW).

Laugh Like a Local: Life just seems a bit better when you’re laughing. Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two tickets to Stand Up Live. Rate starting from $129 (Rate code: LOCAL).

Downtown Discovery Family Package: Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, choose your own adventure with two children’s tickets to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix or the Arizona Science Center, two welcome kids packs. Rates starting from $124 (Rate code: PFAM).

I’m not a big drinker, so the $102 and a Round of Brew was out. And getting away from the kids is sometimes the reason you NEED a Staycation, so the Downtown Discovery Family Package was out. Since the laughter is the best medicine, the Laugh Like a Local was the perfect pick.

We arrived at the Palomar at around 5 p.m., just in time for the evening wine hour for all guests from 5-6 p.m. It was the pefect way to start our getaway. Immediately, we were on vacation. The Hotel Palomar is as cool as it comes. It is contemporary, connected and cosmopolitan, yet comfortable and welcoming all at once.

After we checked in and put our things in our amazing room with breathtaking views of the city and South Mountain, we went to the pool and its adjacent Lustre Rooftop Garden, which has sweeping views of the city’s stunning skyline and recently underwent several upgrades in addition to launching a new menu. The new menu highlights fresh bites, juice-infused cocktails and a fun and vibrant environment where guests can play table tennis. Local, seasonal ingredients are staples of the new menu, which features leafy green salads, veggies, local and grass-fed beef, a variety of flatbreads, kombucha on tap, fresh-squeezed juices and cocktails.

We had a couple cocktails — I highly recommend the Vida Del Oro: Square One Vodka, lemon juice, carrot juice, ginger juice — and had perhaps the most amazing burger I’ve ever consumed. The Lustre burger comes with avocado, jalapeño, pepper jack cheese and cool ranch aioli. That drip you’re hearing is the drool streaming from the corners of my mouth as call upon the memory.

Lustre is the perfect escape — great food, great drinks, great service, great views, amazing music and the people watching is phenomenal. Lustre was so perfect, we almost missed the 9:45 p.m. comedy show because we didn’t want to leave.

The great thing about the Laugh Like a Local package was the the Palomar has reserved tables for guests at Stand Up Live, so there was no waiting in lines and our seats were great. As it does every weekend, Stand Up Live delivered so many laughs that our abs were sore the next day.

What would a Staycation be without sleeping in, so we stayed in bed until a little after 9 a.m. I was able to get a workout in thanks to the complimentary use of Gold’s Gym, which is adjacent to the Palomar in CityScape. After the workout, I went for a quick swim in the Palomar pool, then soaked in the enormous tub in the room.

We ended our Staycation with a highlight that has the drool flowing again. It was fitting that our brunch at the Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails was on Sunday morning, because it was a religious experience. The Blue Hound is a brilliant blend of modern industrial with a touch of rustic. Friends have been raving about Executive Chef Stephen Jones’ food, but it was my first visit … the first of many. Here is what we chose:
* Eggs Benny with dungeness crab, swiss chard and hollandaise on an english muffin
* Fried Chicken and Waffles with Brown family farms maple syrup

The eggs were poached perfectly, the waffles were heaven-sent (keeping with the religious theme), and the bottomless mimosas were exquisite.

Our Staycation lasted about 18 hours, but eveything the Hotel Palomar Phoenix offers —  its proximity to downtown’s shopping, dining and entertainment; the wine hour; the Blue Hound and Lustre Rooftop Garden; the third-floor outdoor pool with views of the city skyline — made it the perfect quick getaway where we were able to let everything go.

As soon as we got into the car, we both looked at each other and said at the same time, “I want to go back.”

That’s when you know a Staycation has become the perfect vacation.

Booking: www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633

Hotel Palomar_Pool Cabanas

Palomar Offers Superb Staycation Options

I’ve been a downtown dweller for a decade now. I’ve lived in the historic district of Phoenix since before First Friday brought in the cool kids, long before there were bars in the Roosevelt district to attract the hipsters and well before CityScape made downtown Phoenix a destination for something other than a sporting event or employment.

So I’ve never viewed downtown Phoenix as a place to go to get away from it all. Boy, was I wrong.

I took advantage of one of the summer “Staycation options” offered by the Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape. The deals run through September 8 and there are three options:

$102 and a Round of Brew: Deal includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, a round of four beers at Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Rates start from $102 (Rate code: BREW).

Laugh Like a Local: Life just seems a bit better when you’re laughing. Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two tickets to Stand Up Live. Rate starting from $129 (Rate code: LOCAL).

Downtown Discovery Family Package: Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, choose your own adventure with two children’s tickets to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix or the Arizona Science Center, two welcome kids packs. Rates starting from $124 (Rate code: PFAM).

I’m not a big drinker, so the $102 and a Round of Brew was out. And getting away from the kids is sometimes the reason you NEED a Staycation, so the Downtown Discovery Family Package was out. Since the laughter is the best medicine, the Laugh Like a Local was the perfect pick.

We arrived at the Palomar at around 5 p.m., just in time for the evening wine hour for all guests from 5-6 p.m. It was the perfect way to start our getaway. Immediately, we were on vacation. The Hotel Palomar is as cool as it comes. It is contemporary, connected and cosmopolitan, yet comfortable and welcoming all at once.

After we checked in and put our things in our amazing room with breathtaking views of the city and South Mountain, we went to the pool and its adjacent Lustre Rooftop Garden, which has sweeping views of the city’s stunning skyline and recently underwent several upgrades in addition to launching a new menu. The new menu highlights fresh bites, juice-infused cocktails and a fun and vibrant environment where guests can play table tennis. Local, seasonal ingredients are staples of the new menu, which features leafy green salads, veggies, local and grass-fed beef, a variety of flatbreads, kombucha on tap, fresh-squeezed juices and cocktails.

We had a couple cocktails — I highly recommend the Vida Del Oro: Square One Vodka, lemon juice, carrot juice, ginger juice — and had perhaps the most amazing burger I’ve ever consumed. The Lustre burger comes with avocado, jalapeño, pepper jack cheese and cool ranch aioli. That drip you’re hearing is the drool streaming from the corners of my mouth as I call upon the memory.

Lustre is the perfect escape — great food, great drinks, great service, great views, amazing music and the people watching is phenomenal. Lustre was so perfect, we almost missed the 9:45 p.m. comedy show because we didn’t want to leave.

The great thing about the Laugh Like a Local package was the the Palomar has reserved tables for guests at Stand Up Live, so there was no waiting in lines and our seats were great. As it does every weekend, Stand Up Live delivered so many laughs that our abs were sore the next day.

What would a Staycation be without sleeping in, so we stayed in bed until a little after 9 a.m. I was able to get a workout in thanks to the complimentary use of Gold’s Gym, which is adjacent to the Palomar in CityScape. After the workout, I went for a quick swim in the Palomar pool, then soaked in the enormous tub in the room.

We ended our Staycation with a highlight that has the drool flowing again. It was fitting that our brunch at the Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails was on Sunday morning, because it was a religious experience. The Blue Hound is a brilliant blend of modern industrial with a touch of rustic. Friends have been raving about Executive Chef Stephen Jones’ food, but it was my first visit … the first of many. Here is what we chose:

* Eggs Benny with dungeness crab, swiss chard and hollandaise on an english muffin
* Fried Chicken and Waffles with Brown family farms maple syrup

The eggs were poached perfectly, the waffles were heaven-sent (keeping with the religious theme), and the bottomless mimosas were exquisite.

Our Staycation lasted about 18 hours, but eveything the Hotel Palomar Phoenix offers —  its proximity to downtown’s shopping, dining and entertainment; the wine hour; the Blue Hound and Lustre Rooftop Garden; the third-floor outdoor pool with views of the city skyline — made it the perfect quick getaway where we were able to let everything go.

As soon as we got into the car, we both looked at each other and said at the same time, “I want to go back.”

That’s when you know a Staycation has become the perfect vacation.

Booking: www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633

Hotel Palomar_Pool Cabanas

Palomar offers sublime Staycation options

I’ve been a downtown dweller for a decade now. I’ve lived in the historic district of Phoenix since before First Friday brought in the cool kids, long before there were bars in the Roosevelt district to attract the hipsters, and well before CityScape made downtown Phoenix a destination for something other than a sporting event or employment.

So I’ve never viewed downtown Phoenix as a place to go to get away from it all. Boy, was I wrong.

I took advantage of one of the summer “Staycation options” offered by the Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape. The deals run through September 8 and there are three options:

$102 and a Round of Brew: Deal includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, a round of four beers at Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Rates start from $102 (Rate code: BREW).

Laugh Like a Local: Life just seems a bit better when you’re laughing. Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two tickets to Stand Up Live. Rate starting from $129 (Rate code: LOCAL).

Downtown Discovery Family Package: Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, choose your own adventure with two children’s tickets to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix or the Arizona Science Center, two welcome kids packs. Rates starting from $124 (Rate code: PFAM).

I’m not a big drinker, so the $102 and a Round of Brew was out. And getting away from the kids is sometimes the reason you NEED a Staycation, so the Downtown Discovery Family Package was out. Since the laughter is the best medicine, the Laugh Like a Local was the perfect pick.

We arrived at the Palomar at around 5 p.m., just in time for the evening wine hour for all guests from 5-6 p.m. It was the pefect way to start our getaway. Immediately, we were on vacation. The Hotel Palomar is as cool as it comes. It is contemporary, connected and cosmopolitan, yet comfortable and welcoming all at once.

After we checked in and put our things in our amazing room with breathtaking views of the city and South Mountain, we went to the pool and its adjacent Lustre Rooftop Garden, which has sweeping views of the city’s stunning skyline and recently underwent several upgrades in addition to launching a new menu. The new menu highlights fresh bites, juice-infused cocktails and a fun and vibrant environment where guests can play table tennis. Local, seasonal ingredients are staples of the new menu, which features leafy green salads, veggies, local and grass-fed beef, a variety of flatbreads, kombucha on tap, fresh-squeezed juices and cocktails.

We had a couple cocktails — I highly recommend the Vida Del Oro: Square One Vodka, lemon juice, carrot juice, ginger juice — and had perhaps the most amazing burger I’ve ever consumed. The Lustre burger comes with avocado, jalapeño, pepper jack cheese and cool ranch aioli. That drip you’re hearing is the drool streaming from the corners of my mouth as call upon the memory.

Lustre is the perfect escape — great food, great drinks, great service, great views, amazing music and the people watching is phenomenal. Lustre was so perfect, we almost missed the 9:45 p.m. comedy show because we didn’t want to leave.

The great thing about the Laugh Like a Local package was the the Palomar has reserved tables for guests at Stand Up Live, so there was no waiting in lines and our seats were great. As it does every weekend, Stand Up Live delivered so many laughs that our abs were sore the next day.

What would a Staycation be without sleeping in, so we stayed in bed until a little after 9 a.m. I was able to get a workout in thanks to the complimentary use of Gold’s Gym, which is adjacent to the Palomar in CityScape. After the workout, I went for a quick swim in the Palomar pool, then soaked in the enormous tub in the room.

We ended our Staycation with a highlight that has the drool flowing again. It was fitting that our brunch at the Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails was on Sunday morning, because it was a religious experience. The Blue Hound is a brilliant blend of modern industrial with a touch of rustic. Friends have been raving about Executive Chef Stephen Jones’ food, but it was my first visit … the first of many. Here is what we chose:
* Eggs Benny with dungeness crab, swiss chard and hollandaise on an english muffin
* Fried Chicken and Waffles with Brown family farms maple syrup

The eggs were poached perfectly, the waffles were heaven-sent (keeping with the religious theme), and the bottomless mimosas were exquisite.

Our Staycation lasted about 18 hours, but eveything the Hotel Palomar Phoenix offers —  its proximity to downtown’s shopping, dining and entertainment; the wine hour; the Blue Hound and Lustre Rooftop Garden; the third-floor outdoor pool with views of the city skyline — made it the perfect quick getaway where we were able to let everything go.

As soon as we got into the car, we both looked at each other and said at the same time, “I want to go back.”

That’s when you know a Staycation has become the perfect vacation.

Booking: www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633

pillow

Massive Downtown Phoenix Pillow Fight coming

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a flurry of feathers during the largest pillow fight to ever hit Downtown Phoenix. On June 5th in the hotel’s second-floor Living Room, hotel staff will provide pillows and be on-site to share tips for friendly battles and proper techniques. Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, a Kimpton restaurant, will offer $1 signature cocktails and snacks from 5-6pm in celebration of the anniversary.

Following the pillow fight, the hotel will host a party from 6pm – 10pm to debut LUSTRE Rooftop Garden that recently underwent several upgrades in addition to launching a new menu designed by Chef Stephen Jones. Guests will enjoy complimentary fresh bites, cool cocktails, a juice bar, sphere dancers and games of tennis table all to the beats of DJ Al Page.

Perched on the third floor pool deck, LUSTRE Rooftop Garden is an oasis in the heart of Downtown Phoenix with sweeping views of the city’s stunning skyline. The new menu highlights fresh bites, juice-infused cocktails and a fun and vibrant environment where guests can play table tennis. Local, seasonal ingredients are staples of the new menu, which features leafy green salads, veggies, local and grass-fed beef, a variety of flatbreads, kombucha on tap, fresh-squeezed juices and cocktails.

Both events are free and open to the public. The LUSTRE Rooftop Garden Debut Party is open to guests 21 and older.

To learn more about Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape, visit www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com.

LUSTRE Rooftop Garden at Kimpton's Hotel Palomar Phoenix.

Hotel Palomar Phoenix offers Staycation deals

As the weather warms up and Memorial Day rolls around, it’s got everyone thinking about what they’re doing and where they’re going this summer. If staying locally is in the cards, the Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape offers some amazing deals.

Here are just a few of the Staycation options at the hotel this summer (mostly all packages run through the end of the year):

$102 and a Round of Brew:  Cheers to great rates! Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, a round of four beers at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Runs June 1 – September 8, 2013. Rates start from $102 (Rate code:  BREW).

Laugh Like a Local: Life just seems a bit better when you’re laughing. Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two tickets to Stand Up Live. Rate starting from $129 (add just $10 more than the Best Available Rate for two comedy tickets. Rate code: LOCAL).

Downtown Discovery Family Package: Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, choose your own adventure with two children’s tickets to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix –or- Arizona Science Center, two welcome kids packs. Rates starting from $124 (rate code: PFAM).

Booking: www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633

Hotel Palomar is contemporary, connected and cosmopolitan, yet comfortable and welcoming all at once. Just a few of the perks of staying at Hotel Palomar Phoenix:
* Located at CityScape Phoenix, just steps from downtown’s shopping, dining and entertainment hub.
* Hosted evening wine hour for all guests from 5-6 p.m.
* Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails.
* Third-floor outdoor pool and lounge with views of the city skyline.
* Complimentary use of Gold’s Gym Elite, adjacent to the hotel.
* Pet friendly services and amenities.

CityScape Plaza - Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

CityScape Phoenix Attempts Pilates World Record

CityScape Phoenix will attempt to break the world record for biggest Pilates class with 863 participants in celebration of International Pilates Day on Saturday, May 4 with participants lining Central Avenue in Downtown Phoenix.

CityScape Phoenix, in partnership with Gold’s Gym, IMX Pilates Studio, Pilates by Fitness Solutions and Remedy, a Pilates & Massage Studio, will attempt to break the Guinness World Record. Currently standing at 862 people, CityScape plans to crush the world record that was achieved in Spain in 2009 by having 1,000 people simultaneously practicing Pilates at Patriots Square at CityScape and along Central Avenue. The class will be led by IM=X Pilates Master Trainer, Chanda Fetter, who has personally led more than 4,000 mat Pilates classes.

Participants of all ages and skill levels are welcome to bring their mats and water and join in this exciting event. Arrival is encouraged at 8am with the hour class beginning at 9:30am. There will be live music, food and vendors in the park following the class from 10:30am to noon.

“It’s going to be an exciting morning in Downtown Phoenix and the record will be measured at a point during the class when everyone is participating,” said Celine Hacche, marketing director of CityScape Phoenix. “Health, wellness and bringing the community together are big priorities for us at CityScape and we’ve had great success in our free fitness classes that change on a seasonal basis.”

During the class, guests will learn proper technique, tone, strengthen and improve their body and working abs, buns and thighs. This event is free and open to the public.

Every Saturday morning since March 16, CityScape has been hosting “Pilates in the Park”, offering free Pilates classes at Patriots Square Park leading up to this world record attempt.

After participating in the world record attempt, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Hotel Palomar Phoenix is offering participants a special offer during its Punch Brunch where you will receive half off your entrée with the purchase of any breakfast cocktail.

For more information, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com/pilates or call 602-772-3900.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, second from left, joined city leaders March 14 at the American Animal Hospital Association’s annual conference to celebrate the millionth delegate to visit the Phoenix Convention Center since its $650 million expansion in January 2009. The millionth delegate, veterinarian Monique Weldon of Aurora, Colo., accepted a donation in her honor to the Rescue Operation for the Animals of the Reservation (ROAR). Pictured from left are Phoenix Convention Center Director Debbie Cotton, Mayor Stanton, AHAA President Mark Russak, ROAR spokeswoman Helen Oliff, Greater Phoenix CVB President Steve Moore, Weldon, and Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos.

Convention Center welcomes millionth delegate

A huge milestone at the Phoenix Convention Center arrived last week in the form of a petite veterinarian from Colorado.

Dr. Monique Weldon, owner of Loving Family Animal Hospital in Aurora, Colo., was the one millionth delegate to visit the Phoenix Convention Center since it emerged four years ago from a $600 million expansion.

Weldon, a veterinary professional in town for the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) annual conference, was honored by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and City Manager David Cavazos in the convention center’s palatial North Ballroom during the AAHA’s May 14 opening general session. Phoenix Convention Center Director Debbie Cotton and Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau President Steve Moore also participated in the celebration.

“One million delegates is a testament to the drawing power of our city, our airport, our remade downtown, and this beautiful convention center,” Mayor Stanton said.

Cavazos pointed out that one million convention delegates visiting downtown Phoenix equates to nearly $1.5 billion in estimated spending for Phoenix’s economy.

The Phoenix Convention Center welcomed its first convention attendees in January 2009. With a glass-and-stone design inspired by the turquoise waters and red rock of the Grand Canyon, the convention center boasts nearly 900,000 square feet of exhibition and meeting space.

Mayor Stanton characterized the new convention center as a game changer, and called attention to several other developments that either dove-tailed with the facility’s construction or followed in its wake:

* METRO Light Rail began operation with 20 miles of line and 32 stations
* More than 60 new restaurants have opened downtown
* Every major hotel in downtown Phoenix is either completely new or has undergone multimillion-dollar renovations.
* CityScape was built, adding 2 blocks of new dining and entertainment options within a short stroll of the convention center’s doors.

On a more whimsical note, in the four years since expansion was completed, the convention center’s catering staff has served nearly 400,000 chicken breasts and 68,000 gallons of Starbucks coffee.

In addition to honoring Dr. Weldon with an array of gifts that included a return visit to Phoenix, representatives from the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau and three downtown hotels—the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Renaissance Phoenix Downtown and Sheraton Phoenix Downtown—donated $1,000 to the Phoenix branch of AAHA’s charity of choice, the Rescue Operation for the Animals of the Reservation (ROAR).

The AAHA matched that donation to ROAR, and another $2,500 was given to the group’s cause by BlogPaws, a collection of bloggers who write about pet-care information.

ROAR is a nonprofit that provides food, shelter and medical care to dogs and cats rescued from American Indian reservations. According to the organization’s website, extreme poverty and limited access to medical care lead to tens of thousands of animals being orphaned on Indian reservations each year; there are at least 1,500 stray dogs and cats roaming the Navajo Nation alone.

On hand Thursday to help ROAR accept the donations was Lucy, a German Shepherd mix who was found in a roadside cardboard box in a New Mexico pueblo. Lucy now lives in a mountainside home in South Phoenix, where she enjoys daily walks and swims in a backyard pool.

triathlon store

Sporting events pump billions into Arizona economy

If you build it, they will come.

We did. And they have.

Over the last decade, the Valley has added Jobing.com Arena, University of Phoenix Stadium, built new spring training facilities, upgraded old ones and visiting sports fans have responded by pumping billions of dollars annually into the economy. And when the Super Bowl returns to Arizona in 2015, the big winner will be the Valley, which will score an economic impact $600 million.

“If you take a look at the economic-impact studies that have been done for events such as spring training and the Fiesta Bowl and the Phoenix Open, the numbers are impressive,” says Steve Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau. “For example, the last time the Super Bowl was here, in 2008, if you added its economic impact to that of annual events like Cactus League, the Phoenix Open, the Fiesta Bowl, and the NASCAR events at PIR, you’re looking at a number approaching $2 billion.”

But economic-impact studies alone don’t tell the whole story, Moore says.

“The enormous media value of hosting Super Bowls, college bowl games, NASCAR events, and NBA and (Majore League Baseball) all-star games simply cannot be purchased,” Moore says. “These big-time events also bring in corporate executives who use the games to entertain clients, and those executives and clients often return to town with their own corporate meetings.”

Arizona tourism leaders have utilized and marketed some its the state’s best features — sunny weather that guarantees no delays, desert scenery, excellent facilities and hotels — to become a major player in the world of sports. And the impact on the industry is staggering.

“Huge and immeasurable,” says Jesse Thompson, director of sales and marketing for Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. “Every traveling team spends a night in town. Every team has loyal followers who travel to see their teams. And more than just the team travel, you have sportscasters, television crews, medical teams, referees, and not to mention the hundreds of employees at these venues that service everything from security to bathroom cleaning. Also, all the ancillary travel revenues from cabs and taxis, airlines and airports, food and beverage, entertainment, and retail are huge considerations.”

Consider this:

> Cactus League baseball will have an economic impact in excess of $350 million this year; the average stay for fans will be four days; and most will spend $350 a day while they are here. “Spring training typically offers the biggest sporting-related economic boost we see every year,” says Ron Simon, general manager of Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort.
> The 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open pumped $222 million into Arizona’s economy — with direct sales tax revenue estimated to be $8.2 million — and non-local attendees spent an average of $300 per day.
> When the Super Bowl rolls back into town, 85 percent of the 73,000 fans at the game will be from out of state; 65 percent of them will be key company decision-makers; another 50,000 fans will visit without tickets; and the average Super Bowl visitor will spend $2,000 while they are here.
> Glendale alone draws between 4 million and 5 million people annually to sporting events that take place in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District, which contribute to the city’s increased hotel occupancy and sales tax collection throughout the year.

“The Fiesta Bowl and spring training are tremendous economic engines for Glendale and the West Valley,” says Lorraine Pino, manager of the Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Both of these events bring hundreds of thousands of fans to the region. The hotel occupancy rate also reaches near capacity during spring training.”

But it’s not just high-profile athletes that drive sports tourism in Arizona. Beyond being known as a mecca for golfers, the Valley hosts high-profile events for amateur athletes that translate to big bucks for the tourism industry.

Events like Ironman Arizona and the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon are huge economic drivers because they bring not only the athletes, but their families and friends out for support which drives room nights and retail dollars for the entire community,” says Tori McLaughlin, regional director of sales and marketing, West Coast for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which includes both Hotel Palomar and FireSky Resort & Spa.

But beyond the beautiful golf courses, hiking trails and weather, Arizona has built its sports tourism empire by creating its own “Field of Dreams” story and epitomizing the “If you build it, they will come” strategy.

“There has been a major investment in the construction of spring training stadiums, including the development of new stadiums and enhancements to existing ones,” Simon says. “We’ve also seen great development and growth of the entertainment and shopping areas surrounding Chase Field in downtown Phoenix and Jobing.com Arena and University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.”

With improving infrastructure and venues, Phoenix is extremely well positioned to successfully bid for even more mega sporting events in the future, experts predict.

“Arizona’s success has created destination envy, particularly in Texas, which actually enjoys an advantage over us because they have legislation in place that allows them to provide hosting-obligation funds based on incremental visitor spending at these events,” Moore says. “In fact, both Houston and Dallas were chosen over the Valley during the last bids for the NCAA Final Four. But we’ve become a better competitor due to the metamorphosis of downtown Phoenix. We stressed this in our most recent Super Bowl bid. The fully expanded convention center, the 1,000-room Sheraton, light rail, CityScape, the new Westin and Hotel Palomar — none of these things were around in ’08, when the Super Bowl was last in Arizona. The NBA and MLB got a taste of the new downtown when they held their All-Star festivities here, and the NFL will get an even bigger taste in 2015.”

Masiulewicz

Masiulewicz takes leadership role in MPI

Donna Masiulewicz, a native of Chicago, was named president of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International for the 2012 – 2013 year.

Masiulewicz earned her BA from Northern Illinois University in Spanish Translation and International Marketing.  She began her career in the hospitality industry working in association meetings management and tenured in corporate meeting and event operations.  A move to Arizona in 2001 carried over her role in corporate meetings and introduced her to incentive travel programs.

As president at Timeline Meetings and Events, LLC, Masiulewicz manages programs and events in domestic and international destinations with delegations from 12-2500.
Over the years, Masiulewicz has earned several industry awards, including the Rising Star for MPI (both Chicago and Arizona chapters) and the MPI Special Commendation award in Arizona. Masiulewicz won the prestigious 2008-2009 AZMPI Planner of the Year.
She recently sat down with Arizona Business Magazine to talk about the state of the hospitality industry in Arizona.

Question: What motivated you to become a meeting and event producer?
Masiulewicz; I started working the association market as an internal meeting/registration coordinator for a national nursing council. I truly loved the job and all the facets of the meetings industry. Wanting to learn more, I moved to the corporate side of meetings and conferences, got involved in MPI and continued to grow, learn and focus on perfecting each event.

Q: What are your duties and focus as president at Timeline Meetings and Events, LLC?
M: I am an independent senior meeting planner who is proficient in operations management for conferences, events and incentive programs. I manage all facets of program logistics including on-line registration support team, housing, custom program itinerary, ancillary meetings/activities, food/beverage selection, implementation, budget management, client relations, on-site execution and production, accounting and financial reconciliation.

Q: How did you become involved in the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of MPI?
M: I joined the Chicago chapter of MPI in 1997 and served on several committees; also receiving the Rising Star award in 2001. I transferred my membership to the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter when I moved in 2001. I was going to sit back and take it all in, but quickly jumped onto two committees. Over the next few years, I served on several committees including host and hospitality, membership, holiday party, special events/fundraising, and education forum. I joined the board of directors as director of special events/ fundraising in 2006-2007 and served as vice president of finance for a year before becoming president-elect in 2011-2012.

Q: How have some of the political and social issues — SB1070 and the lesbian couple being asked to leave a downtown Phoenix hotel restaurant — impacted the meeting and events industry in Arizona?
M: While we continue to be sensitive to the special interests of all our clients, we have a responsibility to remain focused on the task at hand which is the organization and execution of the best event we can produce. At times this may entail distancing that task from any group’s social or political views. While some may protest such an approach, the resultant neutrality assures both the organizers and the clients a well-run event without the distractions of any alternate agendas.

Q: What are your goals as president of the chapter?
M: My theme for the year is “Meeting Momentum.” We have the energy and resources laid in the foundation for the hospitality industry and it’s up to us as the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter to keep the movement and mobility in motion by doing four things:
* Offering top notch education to our membership.
* Encouraging members to live MPI and share the message throughout the industry and beyond.
* Paving the path for our future leaders.
* Having fun with networking events and helping others via our community outreach efforts.

87690275

Technology expands meeting and conference industry

We don’t catch up over coffee anymore, we catch up on Facebook.

Technology has changed the way we date, invite people to parties, and even watch TV. It’s only natural that technology will change the face of business meetings and conferences.

“As a chapter and in addition to our website, we utilize social media outlets — Facebook and LinkedIn — to promote our meetings and events and to share information industry-wide,” says Donna Masiulewicz. president of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. “We also use these means to educate those outside the industry about the power of meetings.”

Mara Weber, global marketing and communications director for Honeywell Process Solutions in Phoenix, has taken the use of technology a step far beyond Facebook.

“We held a global sales and service kickoff meeting on a virtual platform, with live broadcasts of a general session in two time zones,” Weber says. “The objective was to align our global team on growth initiatives, portfolio offerings, key messages and how to sell the value to our customers.”

While Weber says virtual meetings — which experts expect to triple in the next five years — give companies the ability to create a global footprint and bring content to an audience when and where it’s convenient for them, there are logistical challenges that need to be overcome.

“To be honest, the time and energy required and cost is far more than people realize,” she says. “You need to start with a very specific plan of attack, keeping goals and results in mind and making sure you are creating the right content in the right format. Video format, platform format, firewalls, testing in varied browsers and software versions, ability to convert files and stay flexible at all times is just the start. You also need to think past the technical to the end-user experience and also branding to create a visual environment and help messages that guide attendees or they quickly get frustrated and jump off. It’s not like being lost at a trade show and being able to view a map and ask people for directions. The audience is largely on their own and you have to think about their experience every step of the way, how they behave, how you want them to behave, download, ask, engage.”

Weber believe the best use of virtual meetings are as a component of a live, face-to-face event, extending the value of the content through the web to attendees who cannot travel or have abbreviated schedules.

“We chose to do a fully virtual kickoff meeting because we have over 3,500 sales and service team members in more than 100 countries,” she says. “The cost and logistics of face to face meeting is not reasonable.”

Weber says Honeywell has piloted virtual meeting a couple of times with customers when they can focus on a specific, targeted topic. And even in the high-tech world that Honeywell does business in, change isn’t embraced easily.

“Our customer base does not seem to be accepting,” Weber says. “By nature, they are engineers and like live demonstrations, talking face to face with experts and networking.”

TECHNOLOGY IMPACTS THE MEETING INDUSTRY

Here are five way ways experts say the use virtual technology is changing the face of the convention, conference, meeting, event, and trades how industries: ways he says you can use virtual technology to enhance your meetings.

WEB CONFERENCING: Connects meeting attendees and speakers in different locations by using VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), which allows real-time streaming of audio and video. More hotels and business centers are also adding high-definition virtual conference rooms that can be used to host hybrid sessions.

ONLINE COLLABORATION TOOLS: Open source your meetings and events by allowing virtual participants to share documents, Web pages, whiteboards, slide decks, audio, and video … all in real-time. Some Web conferencing systems allow you to record your events, thereby creating a collective knowledge base. These tools can be used for small meetings or for larger groups of thousands.

SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS: Often called the “backchannel,” social media represent the virtual conversations taking place in the background before, during, and often long after your live meeting or event. Take the time to set up and promote social media activity through things like assigning a specific Twitter hashtag for your event, creating event-specific Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and setting up Foursquare check-in locations.

REMOTE PRESENTERS: Use a streaming video feed of a speaker who is in a different physical location. This can be done as a realistic 3-D hologram, or a live feed of your guest speaker. Remote presenter options can be a great way to attract high-profile speakers who may not have the time to travel to a physical event.

LIVE WEBCASTS: Broadcast your keynotes, general sessions and breakouts by streaming your live audio and visual presentations via the Internet in real-time.