Tag Archives: grand canyon

Papillon Group pilots go pink for breast cancer awareness

Papillon Group pilots will wear pink epaulettes during the entire month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The ornamental pink epaulette shoulder piece will be worn by every pilot during every tour throughout the month to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness.

The tradition began in 2013 when one of Papillon Group’s own pilots wore pink epaulettes to honor a loved one who had been impacted by the disease. The simple yet powerful fashion statement quickly spread among the pilots.

This year, Papillon has purchased and distributed the pink epaulettes to their pilots to show company-wide support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Grand Canyon aerial tour company plans to continue the annual tradition for years to come.

“Breast cancer affects so many families. This is our way of remembering our loved ones as we’re showing support for anyone involved in the fight against breast cancer. I am so proud of the enthusiasm our pilots and staff have shown toward this initiative,” says Brenda Halvorson, chairman of the board, Papillon Group.


Grand Canyon at confluence of money and conservation

When Renae Yellowhorse comes to the area of the Grand Canyon where the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers meet, she feels the presence of her late father.

She says she sees him in the desert blooms, feels him in the breeze and senses him when she takes steps toward the edge of the canyon.

But the place Yellowhorse holds sacred, where she says her prayers and connects with her ancestors, could someday be the site of commercial development and an aerial tramway, along with the thousands of tourists that would follow.

This spot on the north edge of the canyon is known as the Confluence. Developers want to build a project called the Escalade to make the area a commercial hub for tourists to learn about Navajo culture and have easy access to the bottom of the canyon and the Confluence.

But the land is considered sacred to the Navajo and treasured by hikers and conservationists who worry any development will tarnish its untouched beauty and strain water resources. Yellowhorse is the spokeswoman for Save the Confluence, an organization opposed to any changes – even though the developers behind the project say they will leave the sacred areas untouched.

“When man comes in and does the blasting, the tearing into the heart of our mother, where does that construction end? Where will it stop? What’s next for this area?” she said, sitting on a cliff overlooking the Confluence.

Some 25 miles away in Gap, Larry Hanks takes a dirt road to his small house, pointing out two couches, a wood-burning stove, propane bottles, a gas lantern. There is no electricity, no running water, not even a bed. He lives here with his 10-year-old daughter.

He and others in the Bodaway-Gap Chapter of the Navajo Nation support the Escalade project because they say it will provide jobs in one of the poorest and most undeveloped areas of the Navajo reservation.

“In an urban area, a city, a lot of kids have all the resources they want with their school. My daughter does not have that, as you can see,” he said. “There’s no Boys and Girls Club. There’s no elderly care, there’s no places for them to hang out … There’s no such thing as a park here, where you can play, none.”

People like Hanks say the development will bring hope and employment. Outgoing Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly also has said he supports it, but he didn’t respond to multiple calls for comment.

Arizona Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels, and a partner in the project, says it will help the impoverished Bennett Freeze area. The Bennett Freeze, imposed decades ago by federal authorities, prohibited any development on parts of the Navajo reservation because of a long-standing land dispute between the Navajo and Hopi tribes.

“There are no jobs available on the Indian reservation,” said Hale, a former Navajo Nation president. “So the people who are opposed, are they willing to step out and say, ‘You know, we have got to look at these things, we have got to find a way to keep our children here,’ and if we continue to not do anything our children will continue to move off because the opportunities are off the reservation.

“Pretty soon, who is going to be left?”

Newly elected Navajo President Russell Begaye disagrees. Lynette Willie, his communications director, said Begaye thinks more conversation is needed.

“He doesn’t think the Confluence Partners are doing what the people want, it’s important to listen to the Navajo people about development,” she said. “They know what’s best for them.”

Marie Peyketewa, whose family has worked the land as sheep farmers for generations, has the same concern. She said the project hasn’t been properly explained to the people and that Navajo Nation leaders have refused to meet with her.

“They don’t want us to question how much money is going to come in and how much you (sic) promising us,” Peyketewa said. “That’s what they don’t want to hear.”

Peyketewa said a better way to bring prosperity would be to build the houses and bring the water and power lines necessary to improve their quality of life, rather than counting on the Escalade project.

Yellowhorse has been coming to the Confluence since she was a girl.

“If they bring in anything to dig up the earth, I will be here, hanging on with my bare hands if I have to,” Yellowhorse said. “That cannot happen here. Not here.”

Development around the Grand Canyon long has been debated between investors looking capitalize on the area and conservationists and nearby residents who want to protect the natural wonder.

Just miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon sits a cluster of hotels and small homes, a McDonald’s, a general store and a gas station, comprising the town of Tusayan. With fewer than 600 residents, most of whom live in employee housing, the town is primarily a pit stop for Grand Canyon visitors.

Tusayan also has been in the middle of a years-long conflict over development plans. Some say the area is in desperate need of permanent housing for residents, while others say it can’t handle a large development because of water concerns.

For more than 25 years Italian investment group Stilo has been looking to develop the town and even helped get it incorporated, but town members and Grand Canyon park officials say there isn’t enough water to sustain the planned 2,000-home development on 40 acres of land.

For Mayor Greg Bryan, the development is about affordable housing and helping residents put down roots in the town instead of relying on their employer for housing.

“I’ve been here 17 years, and if I were to retire next week I have to leave,” Bryan said. “I have to leave. I can’t retire here.”

Bryan said affordable housing, rather than employee housing, would help build up the community.

“We have the opportunity to grow the town and to grow leadership because they will have roots, they will have skin in the game, they will have the desire to build something for them and their family and their children,” Bryan said.

Additionally, the development would greatly improve residents’ standard of living, Bryan said.

“They (critics of the development) don’t understand that they get to sit quietly and nicely in their furnished home – store right down the street, they can shop and get whatever they want – and if they want to change jobs or change schools, it’s a choice they have with minimal impact,” Bryan said. “Citizens and residents in this community don’t have that luxury today. They don’t have the luxury of owning a home. They don’t have a luxury of tax benefits.”

Clarinda Vail, a third-generation Tusayan resident, said the interests of developers and Town Council aren’t in the best interests of the town.

“They are, in my opinion, in this area just to line their pocketbooks, and they don’t have their heart here the way that my family has had their hearts here for years,” Vail said.

But it’s not just small-town politics causing a rift. Figuring out how to supply water for the development is also an issue.

Dave Uberuaga, superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, said the proposed development wouldn’t serve the best interests of the town or the public.

“They want to go from a residential community of less than 500 (sic) people to one of 5,000 to 6,000 people,” Uberuaga said. “They want to go from a consumption of water that’s 400 percent more consumption, and they haven’t declared where they are going to get their water.” Hear more from the superintendent

Residents like Vail have been asking the developers how they plan on finding water, but Stilo acknowledges having no answers.

Tom De Paolo, managing director of Stilo’s U.S. operations, said the company has looked into repurposing a pipeline to bring in water, but it doesn’t have any set plans.

“If you take a place as special as the Grand Canyon and you do it thoughtfully, it’s forever and it should be,” he said. “So it’s going to take as long as it takes to do it right.”

The Grand Canyon National Park had more than 4.5 million visitors in 2013, ranging from sightseeing families to serious hikers like Grant Emerick.

Emerick has been hiking the Grand Canyon with his father since he was 8 years old.

“I think, especially with the Grand Canyon in particular, I think it’s very important to preserve our national landmarks for younger generations,” he said. “The more they get destroyed, the more they get developed, the less respect people are going to have, you know, newer and newer generations, for the natural world.”

climate denialism

Arizona’s hospitality industry embraces global market

Arizona has the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Sedona, but to promote these natural wonders to international travelers is no walk in the park.

To showcase Arizona around the globe, it takes detailed research, strategic planning, effective branding and marketing, a global network of industry professionals — and the power to erase any lingering negativity associated with the state.

Despite several years of bad publicity surrounding controversial immigration policies and other proposed legislation that darkened the state’s reputation, Arizona is experiencing an increase in tourism.

“We definitely try and share with everyone we come into contact with that we are a more progressive community than the state is known as being,” says Joanne Hudson, public relations specialist for the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Certain markets, especially the Mexico visitor, have been negatively affected the last few years from the state laws and policies that have come out,” Hudson says. “We share that we are a very welcoming and open community and try to get them here to experience it. Once they get here, they really do sense and feel that. They realize it isn’t what they see and hear in the news.”

Rachel Pearson, vice president of community and government affairs at the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, says, “We are traveling around the world connecting with customers and clients, trying to reinforce who we are as a destination, who we are as a state and ensuring that people understand that we are a very welcoming destination. We offer some unique, rich experiences that you can’t have anywhere else.”

Beyond the state’s scenic beauty, Arizona’s diversity, especially the Native American and Hispanic cultural influences, appeals to international travelers, explains Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.

The rich multi-cultural experiences and gorgeous scenery, combined with outdoor activities, vibrant cities, fine dining and shopping, attracts millions of visitors and brings in billions of dollars.

Industry leaders are looking toward the future with optimism as they strategize how to attract even more world travelers.

“Arizona Office of Tourism has been active in the international market for years starting with Mexico and Canada, and overseas with partners in the United Kingdom, Germany and France,” Henry says, “and just three years ago we launched into emerging markets of China and Brazil.”


Currently, Mexico tops the charts for international travel into Arizona. At the height of the controversy surrounding Arizona’s immigration policies, the influx of Mexican travelers decreased. But statistics from 2013 show a rebound with a total number of Mexican visitors to Arizona at more than 3.6 million. Other countries that rank high on the list are Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and France with 1.1 million visitors collectively. Total international travelers in 2013 reached roughly 5.3 million.

The Arizona tourism industry has been proactive in reaching out south of the border and developing programs to promote and facilitate travel in Arizona.

Jessica Stephens, director of public relations at Visit Tucson, says travelers from Mexico bring in close to $1 billion a year in southern Arizona alone. Visit Tucson has two visitors centers in Mexico that help with hotel reservations and other concierge services. They also help expedite border crossings with a program developed with customs and border patrol that allows pre-approved travelers to obtain a fast pass. This makes traveling to Arizona a 12-minute trip instead of waiting in a car for hours.

Other Arizona cities and convention and visitors bureaus have pooled resources to fund trade offices in Mexico. Today, Henry says, the discussions no longer reflect the challenges of the past, but instead focus on the future. “It’s all about how we can be better partners and how can we develop that area that has such great potential.”


Arizona is now setting sights on China, the number one traveling country in the world. Henry explains that there is so much potential for growth in the emerging markets of China and Brazil, which is also topping the international travel charts. She pointed to a partnership with Brand USA, the marketing arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce designed to develop travel interest in the United States, as essential to increasing global awareness.

“We think Arizona has such appeal,” Henry says. “International journalists are amazed at what they see when they are here, and they bring the stories back to their countries.”

Barry Nakano, director of business development with PacRim Marketing Group and a board member of the Hospitality, Sales and Marketing Association International Arizona Chapter, knows the Asian markets. He recognizes the potential of the China market and points out that other Asian markets also impact our economy. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism statistics, Japan and the Republic of Korea brought in more visitors than China in 2013.

“There’s definitely a lot of interest today in the China market and understandably so. Their 1.3 billion population presents enormous potential and the recent decision by the U.S. government to extend Visa validity for visitors from China should accelerate the growth of that market. We shouldn’t overlook however, that Japan is still the second largest overseas feeder market to the U.S., and South Korea and Taiwan markets continue to grow. Japanese, in particular, have been traveling overseas a long time so tend to be more independent and willing to explore new destinations.”


Nakano offers practical advice for those in the hospitality industry as they prepare for the influx of international travelers.

“The most efficient and cost effective way to reach Asian travelers is online and providing information in the language of the traveler is important,” he says, adding that websites should be an essential part of any marketing toolkit. “When creating an international language website, make sure the content is developed by professionals, not by translation software that has difficulty conveying intangibles we promote in travel like experience and atmosphere.

“For hotels, it’s also important the online booking engine is in the target language to make it easy for travelers to complete reservations, which is the ultimate goal.”

One thing to note when targeting travelers from China is their spoken language is Mandarin and their written language is called Simplified Chinese so any written information should be in that form.

He continued to offer tips for hotels. “To attract Asian travelers, it’s important to show cultural sensitivity and make them feel welcome. Including small touches in guest rooms like slippers and Chinese tea, along with coffee, will be appreciated and can go a long way. Offering other amenities like Asian-language TV channels, newspapers, area maps and dining menus will make guests feel comfortable after they arrive and can also be used as selling points to show you care.

Henry is already seeing changes at the Office of Tourism and in the state. “We’re finding that Arizona is becoming more globally aware. On our staff we have staff members who speak Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese for the folks coming in from Brazil. We are in a global environment now. The whole world has changed and everybody is beginning to think globally.”

Michelle Oden-Huebner, CMP, president of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Arizona Chapter, says the hospitality industry has always been one that supports diversity and inclusion.

As Arizona increases its global visibility, it needs to continue to show that the state is inclusive and promotes diversity in the workplace and marketplace, Oden-Huebner says.

“Tourism is one of the largest export industries in the State of Arizona, providing funding for education and vital services in local communities,” she says.  “This makes Arizona more attractive for new businesses to relocate to the area, thus creating more job opportunities.  The more business we bring into our state, the more money we have to support the greater community improving and increasing services for residents in Arizona.”


Tickets on sale for Pumpkin Patch Train Ride

There is a pumpkin patch that you can only get to by train, where pumpkins for the picking abound. Activities at the historic Grand Canyon Railway Depot in Williams, Ariz., include a haunted railway car, a hay bale maze, and pumpkin arts and crafts in the Harvest Room.

Reserved tickets are now on sale for this very popular autumn activity aboard the Grand Canyon Railway’s annual Pumpkin Patch Train, which runs every Saturday and Sunday in October.

Trains depart Williams for the 90­‐minute holiday experience at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Prices are $15 for kids ages 2 to 15 and $20 for adults 16 and older. Tickets include one pumpkin per child, along with the activities listed above (hay bale maze, haunted train car, pumpkin decorating and crafts). Upon arrival at the secret patch, kids will have 30 to 45 minutes to pick the perfect pumpkin.

Of course, there also will be pumpkin pie, hot apple cider and hot chocolate at the Depot for an additional cost. Children and adults are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween finest for the ride. Train passenger service attendants and conductors are always dressed up, as well. Pumpkin Patch Train reservations can be made by visiting www.thetrain.com/pumpkin or by calling 1‐800-­THE-­TRAIN (1-800‐843­‐8724). Tickets are also available for purchase at the Depot. For more information about the Grand Canyon Railway or to purchase other tickets or packages, visit www.thetrain.com or call 1-­800‐THE‐TRAIN.

Grand Canyon Railway is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

Also taking place in October, the town of Williams will celebrate the Third Annual Alpine Harvest Festival, boasting a pumpkin carving contest, scarecrow judging, barnyard petting zoo, a “Howly, Growly, Owly” guided tour through Bearizona and more. The festival takes place on weekends throughout the town of Williams.

For more information on the Third Annual Alpine Harvest Festival visit www.alpineharvestfestival.com.

pumpkin patch

CORRECTION Grand Canyon Skywalk Road

Road creates easier trip to Skywalk at Grand Canyon

Officials from the Hualapai Tribe held a ceremonial grand opening of a road that had been a major headache for tourists headed to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Crews recently paved the final 9-mile stretch of dirt and gravel road that had tour operators complaining of broken windows, flat tires, missing hubcaps and dust. Motorists now have a smooth drive to the tribe’s premier tourist destination, a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that gives visitors a view of the canyon floor 4,000 feet below.

The Hualapai Tribe had planned to have Diamond Bar Road completely paved when it opened the Grand Canyon Skywalk in 2007. But a legal challenge from a local dude rancher and a lack of funding postponed it.

The tribe paid Nigel Turner $750,000 to settle the lawsuit. Turner later reopened the case, alleging that his guests were being harmed by construction and that amenities included in the settlement were being left out.

The paving project briefly was delayed when Turner began charging tourists to cross a portion of the road on his property and when human remains were found nearby. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs ultimately approved a temporary road to bypass Turner’s property, and he reached an agreement with the government in the federal case.

Tourism is key source of revenue for the tribe that once had a casino near the west rim but discovered gamblers largely were unwilling to travel 21 miles over a then-unpaved road to get to it.

Tourist ventures now include helicopter tours, horseback rides, a dude ranch and a one-day whitewater rafting trip on the Colorado River. The tribe also has hosted stuntmen including Robbie Knievel, who jumped a 200-foot-wide chasm of the Grand Canyon in 1999. Illusionist Criss Angel was shackled and locked inside a crate that was suspended over the edge of the Grand Canyon in 2010. Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy flew his jet-propelled wingsuit 200 feet above the canyon’s rim in 2011.

At over 1 million pounds, the Skywalk is about as heavy as four Boeing 757 jets stacked on top of each other. It was perched at the canyon’s edge using an elaborate system of pulleys connected to four tractor-trailers.

Getting to the Skywalk took 2 ½ hours from Las Vegas, four hours from Flagstaff and five hours from Phoenix, though the newly paved road is expected to reduce driving time.

Some 700,000 people each year visit Grand Canyon West, where the main attraction is the Skywalk. All tourists must buy a permit for tribal land, which costs about $42. The minimum cost of a package that includes a stroll on the Skywalk is nearly $81. The tribe doesn’t publicly release revenue from the Skywalk but said it has supported tribal programs and employees.

The Skywalk is about 90 miles east of Grand Canyon National Park, which attracts some 4.5 million people each year.


EPA ruling may close Navajo Generating Station by 2044

The largest coal-fired power plant in the West will produce one-third less energy by 2020 and is on track to cease operations in 2044 under a proposal that the federal government adopted to cut haze-causing emissions of nitrogen oxide at places like the Grand Canyon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that the owners of the Navajo Generating Station could either shut down one of the plant’s 750-megawatt units or reduce power generation by an equal amount by 2020. The owners would have until 2030 to install pollution controls that would cut nitrogen-oxide emissions by 80 percent.

EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld in San Francisco said a final decision didn’t come easily and required flexibility. Along with meeting energy demands in the West, the 2,250-megawatt plant powers a series of canals that deliver water to Phoenix and Tucson, fuels the economies of the Navajo and Hopi Tribes, and helps fulfill American Indian water-rights settlements with the federal government.

“This is so complex and integrated into the fabric of Arizona,” Blumenfeld said.

The final rule comes five years after the EPA gave notice that it was considering pollution controls for the plant. The agency later released a proposal that would have required the upgrades by 2023.

A group made up of the plant’s operator, tribal and federal officials, a canal system known as the Central Arizona Project and environmental groups said they could do better and came up with their own proposal, which was adopted by the EPA.

Reducing power generation by one-third should come easily because the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and NV Energy have announced their intention to cut ties with the coal plant by 2019. Together, they own almost one-third of the plant near Page, run by the Salt River Project, one of Arizona’s largest utility companies. None of the other owners would lose any power generation as a result.

“On the whole, while we’re increasing our costs associated with the plant, the plant itself is still valuable enough to our customers and Arizona for us to continue,” Salt River Project spokesman Scott Harelson said.

Conservation groups not part of drafting the alternative proposal had urged the EPA to reject it. They said that the best choice EPA could make was to require the plant’s owners to install selective catalytic reduction — similar to catalytic converters on an automobile — by 2018.

The EPA received about 77,000 comments on the alternative proposal.

The final rule means the Navajo Nation ultimately will see less revenue from coal that feeds the power plant. But the executive director of the tribe’s Environmental Protection Agency, Stephen Etsitty, said it provides a better chance of the power plant continuing operations.

“Of course it’s not perfect,” he said. “It’s an indication that EPA is really open to the recommendations of local stakeholders. To me, that’s a good move in the right direction.”

Steve Michel of the environmental group Western Resource Advocates said he would have liked to see faster action to improve air quality. But the group agreed to participate in drafting the alternative proposal because it felt a better outcome would be achieved through negotiation, Michel said.

He’s looking forward to the rule having a positive impact on air quality at the Grand Canyon and other pristine areas in the West.

“You need these kinds of national programs because they can look at this comprehensively, rather than one facility at a time,” he said. “If we do this across the West, it will have a meaningful benefit.”

The EPA’s rule goes into effect 60 days after it’s published in the federal register, which is expected to happen within two to three weeks.

Flight, TapHouse2, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: TapHouse Kitchen

TapHouse Kitchen lives up to its name by providing all of its beers and wines on tap. The new Scottsdale restaurant has achieved a great start with its fabulous patio (equipped with comfy chairs, a fireplace and heaters for cold weather and misters for the summer), delicious appetizers and entrees and of course its long list of beers and wine on tap. If you are looking for something different, you should definitely try the TapHouse sliders or the Lamp Pops. Both are deliciously unique and a great start to a scrumptious burger or sandwich.TapHouse App, WEB

And what goes better with delicious food than delicious drinks? You can try a wide assortment of beers and wines, many of them brewed locally, if you know what you like. Or, if you are like me and can’t make decisions, you can try a prepared flight, like the Harvest Flight that is composed of fruity beers, or you can be surprised with four choices by the bartender! No matter what you choose, be prepared for a delicious food and drink combo!

Happy hour is every day from 3 to 6 pm.

Harvest Flight:
•    Four Peaks Peach Ale – strong peach aroma but not overpowering peach flavor
•    Papago Orange Blossom – mild mandarin orange and vanilla aromas and flavor
•    Stella Artois Cidre – taste of red apple and peach, apricot accents, orange flavor
•    Mudshark Full Moon – orange peel and coriander, aroma of sweet oranges

Bartender’s Choice:TapHouse, Flight, WEB
•    Sleepy Dog – seasonal rotating handle
•    Firestone – heavy hop bitterness, tangerine, grapefruit and basil aromas
•    Grand Canyon – noble hop spice, grain and corn-like sweet undertones
•    Papago – Coconut Joe Coconut Coffee Stout – bite of roasted coffee, hint of coconut sweetness on the finish


Will Brewer keep the Grand Canyon open?

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer must decide Wednesday whether to send more money to keep the Grand Canyon National Park open.

The agreement Brewer struck last week with the National Park Service to pay to keep the park open expires Friday night. The deal requires Brewer to give the park two days’ notice if she wants it to remain open.

Arizona is paying $93,000 a day to keep the canyon open during the government shutdown.

Businesses that rely on the canyon for tourist dollars were hurt during the 11 day closure that ended Saturday morning. Brewer is using money from the state Office of Tourism, the town of Tusayan and businesses to pay for park operations.

Grand Canyon - AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Arizona strikes deal to reopen Grand Canyon

Arizona reached a deal Friday with the Interior Department to pay for Grand Canyon National Park to completely reopen using state and local funds during the federal government shutdown.

The deal means the park should reopen Saturday, allowing thousands of tourists to flock to the natural wonder in northern Arizona, said Andrew Wilder, spokesman for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.

Arizona will pay the national Park Service $651,000 to keep the Grand Canyon open for seven days. The $93,000 a day is less than the $112,000 daily rate the federal government said this week was needed to fund the park operations.

In addition to state money, cash provided by the town of Tusayan and raised from private business would also be included in the funding.

Park spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski said Friday evening that officials at the park hadn’t been notified of the deal and were awaiting word.

Brewer had been pushing to only use state money to open a portion of the park, something the Interior Department said Thursday it would not contemplate because of the complexities of keeping some parts of individual national parks closed while other parts were opened.

National parks in Utah began opening Friday after Gov. Gary Herbert sent $1.67 million to the U.S. government, while Colorado paid $360,000 to reopen Rocky Mountain National Park through Oct. 20.

Brewer and the state’s congressional delegation had been lobbying the Obama administration to allow reopening of the park since shortly after it closed Oct. 1. Three other states also made the request about their parks.

Diane Costantino - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Diane Costantino – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Diane CostantinoManaging partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Costantino has been managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers since June 2004. She helps her clients with acquisition structuring, global expansion and other complex tax matters. She also gives back to the community through her involvement in Boys and Girls Clubs and United Way. She also received the Spirit of Philanthropy Award for her work with the Arizona’s Children Association. She is a Graduate of the University of Arizona.

Surprising fact: “I love being outdoors, am an avid hiker and have hiked the Grand Canyon numerous times.”

Biggest challenge: “To succeed as the managing partner required seeking advice from accomplished leaders, prioritizing what I wanted to achieve, collaborating
with my partners and developing a winning strategy.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>


Kiehl's Since 1851 Arrives in Scottsdale

The Store

Kiehl’s Since 1851, the venerable New York-based purveyor of fine quality skin and hair care preparations, opened its very first retail store in at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Kiehl’s is proud to offer visitors and the Scottsdale community the opportunity to discover the brand’s efficacious skin, hair and body care products, personalized customer service and 162-year-old heritage.

BB Cream_SPF 50“Scottsdale has long been on our wish list for a new store, and our new space at Scottsdale Fashion Square is the ideal location to fully introduce Kiehl’s to Arizona,” said Chris Salgardo, President, Kiehl’s USA. “Our new store allows us to bring Kiehl’s further into the Southwest and share our New York heritage with a whole new community. Each element of our new store, from the design of the fixtures explaining our skin, hair and body formulations, to the historical photographs, mementos and Kiehl’s icons, helps tell the extensive story of our unique company that began as an old-world apothecary at the corner of 13th Street and Third Avenue in New York’s East Village. From design, to customer service, to the high-performing natural ingredients that are the basis of our products, we did everything possible to bring a modern version of our original store to Scottsdale, and I look forward to introducing our new community to our skin care, our customer service and our story.”

Kiehl’s at Scottsdale Fashion Square mirrors the unique ambiance found in the company’s original New York Flagship, which began as a neighborhood apothecary in 1851. The new store brings a modern New York apothecary to Scottsdale, referencing the company’s original East Village roots and blending vintage and antique apothecary fixtures with a modern neon flare. The interior design advances Kiehl’s longtime commitment to the environment with the use of natural, sustainable materials and energy-efficient light fixtures, while enhancing the overall service experience for Kiehl’s patrons.

Kiehl’s at Scottsdale Fashion Square also utilizes natural, sustainable materials and energy efficient light fixtures – and encourages patrons to recycle Kiehl’s packaging with a specially designed recycling bin, promoted through Kiehl’s Recycle and Be Rewarded! program. The program offers customers the opportunity to return empty Kiehl’s jars, bottles and tubes to the store for recycling, in exchange for complimentary products.
Kiehl’s commitment to education through attentive service is accentuated through a dedicated personal consultation area. The enhanced space provides an opportunity for customer representatives and patrons to converse privately about products best suited for the customer’s individual needs. A separate men’s destination offers specialized educationActivatedSun_LotionSpray_SPF50 tailored to the specific concerns of male patrons.  All customers receive the kind of attentive service for which Kiehl’s is known around the world today. In addition, simple, no-frills packaging allows Kiehl’s to formulate its products with high quantities of the most efficacious natural ingredients available.

Generous sampling through Kiehl’s “try before you buy” program offers the complete Kiehl’s line of skin and hair care for men, women, children and babies with a generous offering of its traditional product samples. To assure its customers always find exactly what they need, Kiehl’s offers a 100% money back guarantee on all purchases, and guarantees that customers will see revitalized skin in 28 days or their money back.
Custom gifting 365 days a year allows customers to create personalized gifts year-round. A Kiehl’s Customer Representative will help the customer assemble a personalized, custom gift box, choosing items based on recipient, theme, ingredient or price, from any and all products in the store.


  • A 6-ft table provides patrons a comfortable station for complimentary Healthy Skin Consultations by Kiehl’s Customer Representatives, which helps them determine the formulas best suited for their personal needs.
  • A  space for specialized shaving and grooming education and demonstrations is designed for men. Specially designed accents such as military-style lockers, black subway tile, and props to demonstrate the perfect shave, bring this relaxing stop to life for Kiehl’s male patrons.
  • Black Nero Marquina marble highlights the shop’s exterior façade, honoring the marble exterior of the original Kiehl’s New York Flagship.
  • Carrera marble tables, counters and trim provide a utilitarian, functional approach.
  • Natural, sustainable materials, such as tabletops made from paperstone, a waterproof material made from 100 % post-consumer recycled paper.
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting illuminates Kiehl’s products in an environmentally friendly way.
  • Reclaimed wood floors and exposed brick walls evoke the old-world quality of Kiehl’s East Village neighborhood.
  • A bronze and crystal chandelier is inspired by the crystal chandeliers that have adorned Kiehl’s Flagship store in NYC for years.
  • A custom-painted motorcycle, an icon of Kiehl’s heritage, will be on permanent display, evocative of the passions and adventurous spirit of Kiehl’s founding family.
  • Antique apothecary glassware and vintage props  reference the company’s early years as a neighborhood apothecary.
  • Vintage photographs and mementos – take customers on an exciting journey through Kiehl’s 162-year history.
  • Pop-art inspired graphics – the late Andy Warhol was a long-time Kiehl’s fan, purchasing Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion in bulk from the Flagship, and special graphics were created in his honor.

About Kiehl’s Since 1851: Kiehl’s was founded as an old-world apothecary in New York’s East Village neighborhood. After years as an ambitious apprentice, John Kiehl purchased the business and began operating under the Kiehl name, serving the burgeoning New York community with unique herbal remedies. In 1921, John Kiehl’s apprentice, Mr. Irving “Doc” Morse, purchased the business and expanded it to a full-service pharmacy, stocking medicines, tinctures, and the first Kiehl’s-branded products. Doc Morse, a pharmacist and herbologist, passed the business on to his son, Aaron, himself a chemist and avid motorcyclist and aviator. Aaron’s daughter, Jami, was raised at Kiehl’s amongst the “family” of employees, who together fostered a tradition of attentive, personalized service for every patron. Over the generations, the Morse family committed Kiehl’s to serving the community uniquely efficacious skin and hair formulations made with the finest natural ingredients in the apothecary tradition.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.  For more information about Kiehl’s, please visit www.kiehls.com.


10 Top Arizona Landmarks And Sights

Despite the typical images of a colorless and dry land that the word “desert” brings up in our minds, Arizona has a lot more to offer than varying shades of brown. Arizona landscapes and sights are unique and often breathtaking. They show the long, rich history of Arizona before buildings and people. Here are the 10 top Arizona landmarks and sights that are most eye-catching and jaw-dropping.

Meteor Crater, Winslow


Meteor Crater

It is the world’s best preserved meteor crater, located near Winslow. It is nearly a mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and over 550 feet deep. The crater was formed approximately 50,000 years ago when a piece of an asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour collided with the Earth.

Grand Canyon


Grand Canyon

Tourists come from around the world to see the magnificent sights of the Grand Canyon. It is one of the natural wonders of the world and proves that with its great size and history. The Grand Canyon spans 277 river miles and is up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep.

Canyon de Chelly


Canyon de Chelly

It is the longest continuously inhabited landscape in North America and provides unique sights to anyone who visits. Besides the visual appeal, this area holds a lot of spiritual and cultural significance. There is architecture, artifacts and rock imagery from the past peoples that will amaze anyone.

Flickr: BethinAZ


Oak Creek Canyon

Located near Flagstaff, Oak Creek Canyon offers spectacular scenes with its colorful rocks and unique formations. It is smaller than the Grand Canyon with a length of 88 miles but is no less breathtaking.

Cathedral Rocks, Sedona


Cathedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks is located in Sedona, an area known for its unique and often awe-worthy sights. The best view of this sight is along the Red Rock Crossing, where visitors and residents like to hike and enjoy the outdoors. Sedona, and particularly the areas where hiking is most popular, is also known for what people refer to as vortexes that give off a soothing and healing energy.

Monument Valley


Monument Valley

Monument Valley borders northern Arizona and southern Utah in the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park. Its large sandstone buttes are the main attraction of this sight, and they are one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.

North Coyote Butte


The Wave

This amazing sight is located near the Arizona-Utah border in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. A permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required to visit the Wave, but it is well worth it to see this unique Navajo Sandstone in person.

Papago Park


Papago Park’s Hole-in-the-Rock

This unique sight is closer to home for many Phoenix area residents and far more accessible. Climbing up into one of the series of holes in this hill of red, arkosic conglomerate sandstone gives you a wonderful view of the park and surrounding area.

Corkscrew Canyon


Corkscrew Canyon

This incredible sight is hidden away, just outside of Page, AZ. The only way to get to it is to take one of the tour shuttles that leaves from Page, but once you’re there you know the trip was worth it. You’re surrounded by winding sandstone as soon as you enter, and when the sunlight shines through just right, this sight is very breathtaking.

Flickr: Coconino National Forest


Bell Rock Pathway

Along the Bell Rock Pathway — a hiking trail in Sedona — is an amazing view of the landscape which includes Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. At the right time of the year, you can see just how green Arizona can get and the remarkable contrast of the red soil, as shown above.

Grand Canyon - AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Judge Upholds Mining Ban Near Canyon

U.S. District Judge David Campbell late yesterday denied a uranium industry motion to overturn the Obama administration’s ban on new uranium mining on 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon. The ban was adopted January 2012 to protect the Grand Canyon’s watersheds. The withdrawal prohibits new mining claims and development on old claims that lack “valid existing rights” to mine.

“It’s a great day for the Grand Canyon, and for rivers, wildlife, and communities across the West,” said Ted Zukoski of Earthjustice, one the attorneys representing conservation groups and the Havasupai tribe in the case. “The uranium industry was hoping to cripple the Interior Department’s ability to temporarily protect lands from destructive mining. Today’s opinion upholds the Interior Department’s authority to take such protective measures.”

The National Mining Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, Northwest Mining Association and others last year filed four lawsuits challenging the withdrawal and the underlying federal authority to enact any withdrawals larger than 5,000 acres. The Havasupai tribe and conservation groups intervened to uphold both.

“Today’s decision upheld the government’s important role in preventing private profiteers from poisoning public lands under the authority of an antiquated mining law,” said Grand Canyon Trust’s Roger Clark. “We look forward to the court’s upholding of other federal responsibilities to protect the Grand Canyon.”

Judge Campbell denied industry’s motion to overturn the withdrawal and the underlying federal authority to enact withdrawals larger than 5,000 acres. The industry groups had claimed that the presence of an unconstitutional legislative veto in the subsection that contains the Interior Secretary’s authority to withdraw land parcels larger than 5,000 acres means that the Interior Secretary had no authority at all to withdraw such lands. The judge ruled — as the government, Havasupai tribe and conservation groups had argued — that the unconstitutional veto provision could be “severed” from the law without affecting the Grand Canyon’s watershed withdrawal or the Interior Department’s general authority to protect such lands.

“Today’s ruling protects not only the Grand Canyon’s watershed, but millions of acres of other public land that have been withdrawn to protect natural values from destructive mining,” said Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity. “By upholding the federal withdrawal authority, today’s ruling is good news for public lands, water and wildlife.”

If successful, the uranium industry’s argument would have eliminated the Interior Secretary’s authority to protect large tracts of public lands from mining. Over the last five years, the secretary has used his authority to “withdraw” areas greater than 5,000 acres for up to 20 years to protect lands all across the West. Examples include nearly a half-million acres within national wildlife refuges; habitat for desert tortoises and pronghorns as well as archeological treasures in Nevada; habitat protecting the largest wintering Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep herd in North America (on Wyoming’s Whiskey Mountain); recreational areas in Washington and Wyoming; forests in Oregon; and special features like the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

“Currently, there are limited tools to protect sensitive public lands and wildlife from harmful uranium mining — this is one of them,” said Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “Today’s decision will mean the Grand Canyon watershed and other withdrawn lands throughout the West will continue to be protected from new mining claims.”

The court’s decision does not end the four industry lawsuits challenging the Grand Canyon mineral withdrawal decision. Industry can still raise arguments that Interior Secretary Salazar failed to properly consider environmental and economic impacts of the withdrawal. Those issues are likely to be briefed this spring.

Grand Canyon Google

Google maps now include Grand Canyon trails

Google is giving people a way to virtually hike the Grand Canyon.

The search giant released images Thursday that map the most popular trails at the park’s South Rim and other walkways.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company used a rosette of cameras mounted for the first time on a backpack to gather thousands of panoramic images last yea