Tag Archives: talking stick

New Year Girl

Toast 2014 at these bubbly, luxe and fabulous NYE parties

Did you wait until the last minute to make plans for toasting the New Year? It’s not too late to add planning to your resolution list! In the meantime, we collected a list of loud, elegant and fabulous NYE parties perfect for finding someone to smooch at midnight — or to just dance away the final minutes of 2013.

 

Party Like It’s 1925 @ Sandbar

Grab your pearls and throw on that risqué ankle-bearing dress because the Sandbar is hosting a chic 1920s-themed New Year Eve party. Guests are invited to get all gussied up in their finest flapper dresses, suits and top hats, or other classic Roaring Twenties garb and kick off the New Year in classic style. Of course, this being the Sandbar, the party will still have a distinctively casual beach vibe, including a Coronitas toast at midnight, as well as $5 glasses of Champagne and live music all night long.  It’s sure to be the party of the decade, or any decade. 7200 W. Ray Rd., Chandler//21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix @

Bottles and Bow Ties @ The Mint

Break the bank this New Years Eve, or at least look like you did, at The Mint’s “Bottles & Bow Ties” party on Tuesday, December 31, 2013. Scottsdale’s finest ultra-lounge invites you to don your finest duds and go all out at this exclusive New Year’s Eve bash with live music spinning all night long and a midnight champagne toast to ring in the New Year right. 7373 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale @ 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

El Hefe Grand Opening

Riot Hospitality Group (RHG) will celebrate the grand opening of the contemporary Mexican restaurant-bar El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria in Tempe on NYE. The celebration will take place in the courtyard behind El Hefe and RHG’s newest venue, Public House on Sixth. 640 S. Mill Ave., Tempe @ 5 p.m.

“Luxe Life” New Years Eve w/ Audien @ Maya Day + Nightclub
Guests are invited to ring in the New Year in luxury with bubbles and beats. The nightclub will be decked out in gold and silver decor as we celebrate the first-ever New Years Eve at Māyā Day + Nightclub for a one-of-a-kind experience. DJ Audien will be returning to Māyā on December 31 after his performance at Sound Wave music festival in September to ring in the New Year. The DJ/producer has been producing tracks and remixes for a number of labels making a big mark on the Beatport trance charts. 7333 E. Indian Plaza @ 9 p.m.

New Year’s Eve @ Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

Join Whiskey Row to ring in the New Year! Enjoy live music by Ryan Bexley and delicious drinks all night. No cover and no dress code. 4420 N. Saddlebag Trail @ 11 a.m., DJ set @ 10 p.m.

One Night in Bangkok New Years Eve @ W Scottsdale
Guests will make their way up to the WET deck where paper lanterns will be strung from the balconies and palm trees along with a Buddhist shrine where the walls will be draped in red and gold. The evening will include live entertainment acts, gambling tables and the annual W ball drop that will help ring in the new year. Guests will also have the chance to win a trip to the W Bangkok with airfare included. 7277 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale @ 5 p.m.

New Year’s Eve at Talking Stick Resort

Talking Stick Resort encourages guests to relive the ’80s on Dec. 31 when it hosts “Studio TSR Strikes Back.” The property will kick off the festive celebration with a dinner followed by the sounds of Buster Poindexter and Las Vegas tribute band Loveshack. Fans will feel as though they traveled back in time as Poindexter belts out his popular renditions of “Hot Hot Hot,” “Bad Boy” and “House of the Rising Sun.” But the thrilling extravaganza will not end there. Loveshack is slated to command the stage, performing ’80s classics such as Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” and The Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat.”  Come out and relish in the decade that made leg warmers and shoulder pads must-have accessories.  A large snow and bubble shower will fill the room at the stroke of midnight. 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale @ 6:30 p.m. for dinner and the show. Concert @ 9 p.m.

Raven’s 8th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala

If you’re in the mood for an upscale New Year’s Eve soiree, try Talking Stick Resort’s Raven’s 8th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala. Attendees will be treated to a musical night of bliss in the showroom as Scottsdale-based band, SMASHT performs popular tunes from a variety of genres including Top 40, rock, pop, hip hop, disco and funk. DJ KILO is sure to keep the party going as he plays his mix of dance singles during the band’s intermission. In addition to an appetizer buffet, the evening will include a spacious dance floor, complimentary parking, drink specials and complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Guest must wear semi-formal to black tie attire. 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale @ 8 p.m.

New Year’s Eve at Degree 270

Head up to the 14th floor at Talking Stick Resort and join the party in nightclub Degree 270. Guests are in store for a night of nonstop fun as a live DJ is plays the latest top radio hits. The festive celebration will include dancing on the club’s large dance floor, party favors and champagne toast at midnight. 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale @ 8 p.m.

New Year’s Eve at Casino Arizona

Casino Arizona also is recapturing the essence of the ’80s and everyone is welcome to attend! Come celebrate the New Year with a festive dance party in the Showroom featuring famed tribute act, The Whip-Its. Characters, Dieter and Ivanka Hump, a European dominatrix who dons a whip and leather get-up, will have audiences laughing hysterically as they tell jokes in between musical numbers. Audiences will groove and sway as the performers sing classic ’80s anthems like Blondie’s “One Way or Another,” Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and so many more. A dinner buffet, balloon drop, champagne toast and two complimentary drinks are included in the package. 524 N. 92nd St., Phoenix @ 6:30 p.m. Dinner @ 7 p.m. Concert @ 9 p.m.

New Year’s Eve @ Arizona Room Patio Grill

End the year in the best way possible with live entertainment and delicious delights in the Arizona Room Patio Grill. Guests can prepare to dance the night away as the four-member live band, Sapphire Sky performs a number of festive tunes. The New Year’s Eve bash will include a dinner buffet, complimentary appetizers, champagne toast at midnight and one drink ticket. 524 N. 92nd St., Phoenix @ 6:30 p.m.

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Talking Stick: A Cultural and Entertainment Destination

The Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale is quickly becoming one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Phoenix Metro area. In addition to all of the leisurely activities the resort itself has to offer – including a breathtaking golf course, a luxurious pool and several elegant restaurants – the resort is just a few miles from the Pavilions open-air shopping center as well as the Diamondback’s spring training stadium, Salt River Fields. Check out these upcoming summer events at the Talking Stick Resort and in the surrounding area.

SALT RIVER FIELDS AT TALKING STICK

Fantasy Father’s Day – Saturday, June 15
This event will feature virtual golf, helicopter rides, exotic car driving experiences, batting practice, locker room tours and much more! Space is limited for this one-of-a-kind event!
saltriverfields.com

Brantley Gilbert – Wednesday, July 3
AMC New Artist of the Year will heat up the stage at the 3rd Annual Independence Day Music Festival.
saltriverfields.com/Events.aspx

TALKING STICK RESORT

Talking Stick Resort, Pool Bar

Release Pool Parties
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Enjoy drink specials, promotional giveaways, cabana rentals and more. And don’t miss poolside performances by the region’s best DJs.
talkingstickresort.com/scottsdale-pool-party.aspx

Boz Scaggs
Friday, June 21

Cyndi Lauper, She’s So Unusual Tour
Saturday, June 22

Jim Gaffigan and The White Bread Tour
Thursday, July 11

The B-52’s and The Go-Go’s Live
Friday, July 12

talkingstickresort.com

BUTTERFLY WONDERLAND

Located just east of the 101 freeway on Via de Ventura, Butterfly Wonderland is Talking Stick’s newest neighbor. Come and see what everyone is talking about! Butterfly Wonderland features a solar-powered, glass-enclosed atrium that is home to thousands of butterflies, tropical plants, trees, waterfalls and a large koi pond. Founders Lifetime Memberships are available now through June 15!
butterflywonderland.com/

THE PAVILIONS AT TALKING STICK

Kids Activities at Mountainside Fitness
Mountainside Fitness is offering various kids events throughout the summer! Check out the MKids Adventure Days, Kids in Motion classes, Kids Yoga and Dinner Date Night for parents!

Summer Events at Ultra Star Cinema
The Ultra Star Cinema in the Pavilions is offering a Baby’s Night Out - Movie Option for Parents. They are also hosting a Kids Summer Series. Kids movies are offered Monday-Friday for only $0.50 each!

Kids Workshops at Home Depot
The first Saturday of each month this summer, Home Depot is hosting a FREE Kids Workshop where kids will have the chance to work on various projects using all kinds of fun tools.

thepavilionsattalkingstick.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=37&Itemid=81

Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings is coming soon! It is the first ground-up restaurant built in the former north lake area of the Pavilions at Talking Stick. It is adjacent to Indian Bend Road, just east of Pima Road. Looking to open later this summer, Buffalo Wild Wings features a variety of boldly flavored, made-to-order menu items, including its namesake – Buffalo and New York style chicken wings.
thepavilionsattalkingstick.com/

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT SCOTTSDALE SALT RIVER

Book 2 weeks in advance and receive 20% off your weekend stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Scottsdale Salt River!
marriott.com/hotels/travel/phxpi-courtyard-scottsdale-pima-maricopa-community/

TALKING STICK GOLF CLUB323 yd par 4

Tee up at Talking Stick Golf Club this summer. Juniors play free during June – September when accompanied by a paying adult.  talkingstickgolfclub.com/index.php

 

 

mainbanner_EastHorizon_sunrise_large

Talking Stick: A Cultural and Entertainment Destination

The Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale is quickly becoming one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Phoenix Metro area. In addition to all of the leisurely activities the resort itself has to offer – including a breathtaking golf course, a luxurious pool and several elegant restaurants – the resort is just a few miles from the Pavilions open-air shopping center as well as the Diamondback’s spring training stadium, Salt River Fields. Check out these upcoming summer events at the Talking Stick Resort and in the surrounding area.

SALT RIVER FIELDS AT TALKING STICK

Fantasy Father’s Day – Saturday, June 15
This event will feature virtual golf, helicopter rides, exotic car driving experiences, batting practice, locker room tours and much more! Space is limited for this one-of-a-kind event!
saltriverfields.com

Brantley Gilbert – Wednesday, July 3
ACM New Artist of the Year will heat up the stage at the 3rd Annual Independence Day Music Festival.
saltriverfields.com/Events.aspx

TALKING STICK RESORT

Talking Stick Resort, Pool Bar

Release Pool Parties
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Enjoy drink specials, promotional giveaways, cabana rentals and more. And don’t miss poolside performances by the region’s best DJs.
talkingstickresort.com/scottsdale-pool-party.aspx

Boz Scaggs
Friday, June 21

Cyndi Lauper, She’s So Unusual Tour
Saturday, June 22

Jim Gaffigan and The White Bread Tour
Thursday, July 11

The B-52’s and The Go-Go’s Live
Friday, July 12

talkingstickresort.com

BUTTERFLY WONDERLAND

Located just east of the 101 freeway on Via de Ventura, Butterfly Wonderland is Talking Stick’s newest neighbor. Come and see what everyone is talking about! Butterfly Wonderland features a solar-powered, glass-enclosed atrium that is home to thousands of butterflies, tropical plants, trees, waterfalls and a large koi pond. Founders Lifetime Memberships are available now through June 15!

butterflywonderland.com/

THE PAVILIONS AT TALKING STICK

Kids Activities at Mountainside Fitness
Mountainside Fitness is offering various kids events throughout the summer! Check out the MKids Adventure Days, Kids in Motion classes, Kids Yoga and Dinner Date Night for parents!

Summer Events at Ultra Star Cinema
The Ultra Star Cinema in the Pavilions is offering a Baby’s Night Out - Movie Option for Parents. They are also hosting a Kids Summer Series. Kids movies are offered Monday-Friday for only $0.50 each!

Kids Workshops at Home Depot
The first Saturday of each month this summer, Home Depot is hosting a FREE Kids Workshop where kids will have the chance to work on various projects using all kinds of fun tools.

thepavilionsattalkingstick.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=37&Itemid=81

Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings is coming soon! It is the first ground-up restaurant built in the former north lake area of the Pavilions at Talking Stick. It is adjacent to Indian Bend Road, just east of Pima Road. Looking to open later this summer, Buffalo Wild Wings features a variety of boldly flavored, made-to-order menu items, including its namesake – Buffalo and New York style chicken wings.

thepavilionsattalkingstick.com/

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT SCOTTSDALE SALT RIVER

Book 2 weeks in advance and receive 20% off your weekend stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Scottsdale Salt River!
marriott.com/hotels/travel/phxpi-courtyard-scottsdale-pima-maricopa-community/

TALKING STICK GOLF CLUB323 yd par 4

Tee up at Talking Stick Golf Club this summer. Juniors play free during June – September when accompanied by a paying adult.  talkingstickgolfclub.com/index.php

 

 

Spring Training Stadium Guide

Talking Stick packs in the fun

Come be a part of what everyone is talking about at Talking Stick!

THE PAVILIONS AT TALKING STICK
The Scottsdale Street Fair is now a Saturday/Sunday affair! Beginning this Saturday/Sunday, February 9 & 10, the SSF is going bi-weekly, resulting in twice the fun off the 101! On Saturday, February 9th, The Scottsdale Street Fair will welcome MagiKaria, a fantastic magical experience for children or all ages (11a) and Spring Into Fashion- a fashion show brought to you by the Phoenix Children’s Museum of Phoenix and sponsored by Dillards (1p).

The Big One is Back! February 14th is opening night for Circus Vargas! February 14-18, for tickets visit www.circusvargas.com

SALT RIVER FIELDS AT TALKING STICK
Spring Training begins on February 23rd! The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies will kick off another great season on Saturday, 2/23! The World Baseball Classic will take the field March 5-7 as well. Tickets are on sale now at  http://www.saltriverfields.com/spring-training-tickets.aspx

TALKING STICK RESORT
Love is in the air at Talking Stick Resort! The Spa at Talking Stick is offering several candlelight specials  this month, including a candlelight pedicure for $60. visit http://www.talkingstickresort.com/spa/specials.aspx for more information.

Looking for something to do Valentine’s Day weekend? Talking stick Resort is the place to be! Wynonna & The Big Noise will be taking the stage on Saturday, February 16 and Jay Leno is sure to make you smile on Sunday, February 17. For tickets and more information, please visit http://www.talkingstickresort.com/entertainment.aspx

TALKING STICK CULTURAL AND ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION
Beginning February 23rd, Talking Stick will be offering area visitors complimentary Trolley Service in and around the Talking Stick area and downtown Scottsdale. Service will begin at 11:30am daily and run thru March 28th. Please visit http://talkingstickarizona.com/play.htm for route and a full schedule.

SkySong

Innovation unites Arizona’s economic engines

When Arizona became a state 100 years ago, it was easy to identify its economic engines, those industries, innovators and locations that drove the state’s economy and employment.

They all started with C — copper, cotton, citrus, cattle and climate.
A decade later, it’s not so easy.

“We must find ways to diversify our economy, including investing in bioscience and technology, health science and innovation,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says. “We are coming out of the recession, and we need to move forward in a strategic way.”

Today’s economic engines are doing just that. They innovate, they collaborate, and the only one that starts with C is CityScape, and the only copper you’ll find there is Copper Blues Rock Pub and Kitchen and the cotton is at Urban Outfitters.

But today’s economic engines have to clear vision and direction for driving Arizona’s economy during its second century.

The Biodesign Institute at ASU
What it is: The Biodesign Institute at ASU addresses today’s critical global challenges in healthcare, sustainability and security by developing solutions inspired from natural systems and translating those solutions into commercially viable products and clinical practices.
Economic impact: The Biodesign Institute has met or exceeded all of the business goals set in mid-2003 by attracting more than $300 million in external funding since inception, and generating more than $200 million in proposals advanced in 2011 alone.
Companies it has helped grow: Licensed next-generation respiratory sensor technology to a European medical device developer; executed an exclusive license agreement for DNA sequencing technology to Roche, which includes a sponsored research agreement to develop devices in collaboration with Roche and IBM; and launched two Biodesign Commercial Translation companies.
Latest news: Led by electrical engineer, Nongjian Tao, ASU researchers have formulated a new sensor technology that will allow them to design and create a handheld sensor that can contribute to better diagnosis of asthma.
Michael Birt, director of the Center for Sustainable Health at the Biodesign Institute at ASU: “By establishing biosignatures centers, we hope to build a global network that will provide the scale necessary to overcome scientific limitations while creating a global platform to share methods, results and experiences.”

CityScape
What it is: A highrise mixed-use development in Downtown Phoenix consisting of residential, retail, office, and hotel components. The project covers three downtown Phoenix city blocks and is located between First Avenue and First Street, and between Washington and Jefferson streets.
Economic impact: Officials credit the evolution of Downtown Phoenix — led by CityScape — with helping the Valley land the 2015 Super Bowl, which will bring an economic impact of an estimated $500 million.
Companies it has helped grow: In addition to entertainment venues and top-notch restaurants, business leaders calling CityScape home include Alliance Bank, Cantor Law Group,  Fidelity Title, Gordon Silver, Gust Rosenfeld, Jennings, Strouss and Salmon, PLC, Polsinelli Shughart, RED Development, Squire Sanders and UnitedHealthcare.
Latest news: The 250-room boutique hotel, Hotel Palomar Phoenix by Kimpton, opened in June.
Jeff Moloznik, general manager, CityScape:  “The most progressive and entrepreneurial talent in the Valley have convened at CityScape. The impact our tenants’ businesses have brought to Downtown Phoenix is noticeable and significant. In an area that once lacked a central core, there is now energy, creativity, enterprise and excitement all day, every day in once central location.”

Intel

What it is: Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices.
Economic impact: Since 1996, Intel has invested more than $12 billion in high-tech manufacturing capability in Arizona and spent more than $450 million each year in research and development. Intel is investing another $5 billion in its Chandler site to manufacture its industry-leading, next-generation 14 nanometer technology.
Companies it has helped grow: Intel has been a catalyst for helping to create Chandler’s “tech corridor,” which includes Freescale, Microchip Technology, Orbital Sciences, Avnet, Amkor, and Marvell Technologies.
Latest news: Intel and ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) are developing a customized engineering degree for some of the chip maker’s Arizona-based employees. The program is based on CTI’s modular, project-based curriculum and upon completion will provide a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree from ASU, with a focus in materials science.
Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny: Intel likes the partnership it has with Chandler, likes doing business in Arizona, and they’re a very good corporate citizen.”

Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport

What it is: Formerly Williams Gateway Airport (1994–2008) and Williams Air Force Base (1941–1993), it is a commercial airport located in the southeastern area of Mesa.
Economic impact: The airport helped generate $685 million in economic benefits last year, and the airport supports more than 4,000 jobs in the region.
Companies it has helped grow: Able Engineering & Component Services, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Embraer, CMC Steel, TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc..
Latest news: The Airport Authority’s Board of Directors announced Monday the airport will undergo a $1.4 billion expansion. There is also an effort to privately raise $385 million to build two hotels and office and retail space near the airport.
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith: “Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has gone through tremendous growth and expansion and has truly arrived as a major transportation center in the Valley.”

SkySong

What it is: A 1.2-million-square-feet mixed use space that gives entrepreneurs and innovators the resources they need  to grow and thrive, and provide them an exceptional home for when their businesses begin to take off.
Economic impact: Projected to generate more than $9.3 billion in economic growth over the next 30 years, according to an updated study by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
Companies it has helped grow: Emerge.MD, Channel Intelligence, Adaptive Curriculum, Alaris, Jobing.com/Blogic, webFilings.
Latest news: Jobing, an online company that connects employers and job seekers nationally, relocated its corporate headquarters from Phoenix to SkySong.
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane: “It is hard to think of a business attraction initiative the city has recently used that has not mentioned SkySong as a major attribute. SkySong has a national reputation and as it grows it will continue to elevate Scottsdale’s standing.”

Talking Stick

What it is: This economic engine encompasses a complex that includes the 497-room Talking Stick Resort, Courtyard Marriott Scottsdale Salt River, Casino Arizona at Talking Stick Resort, Talking Stick Golf Club, and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the spring training home of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Economic impact: Salt Rivers Fields аt Talking Stick accounted fоr 22 percent оf the the attendance for Cactus League baseball, which generates more thаn $300 million а yeаr іn economic impact tо the greater Phoenix metropolitan area economy.
Companies it has helped grow: In 2011, nearby Scottsdale Pavilions — which features 1.1 million square feet of select retail and mixed-use properties — became The Pavilions at Talking Stick. Pavilions has added Hobby Lobby, Mountainside Fitness, Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters.
Latest news: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will be one of the ballparks selected to host the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the spring.
David Hielscher, advertising manager, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort: “Our property’s diverse, entertainment-driven culture and convenient locations allow us limitless opportunities for future expansion and development.”

Translational Genomics Research Institute

What it is: TGen is a non-profit genomics research institute that seeks to employ genetic discoveries to improve disease outcomes by developing smarter diagnostics and targeted therapeutics.
Economic impact: TGen provides Arizona with a total annual economic impact of $137.7 million, according to the results of an independent analysis done by Tripp Umbach, a national leader in economic forecasting.
Companies it has helped grow: TGen researchers have collaborated with Scottsdale Healthcare, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Ascalon International Inc., MCS Biotech Resources LLC, Semafore Pharmaceuticals Inc., Silamed Inc., Stromaceutics Inc., SynDevRx Inc., and Translational Accelerator LLC (TRAC). and many others.
Latest news: When TGen-generated business spin-offs and commercialization are included,  Tripp Umbach predicts that in 2012 TGen will produce $47.06 for every $1 of state investment, support 3,723 jobs, result in $21.1 million in state tax revenues, and have a total annual economic impact of $258.8 million.
Michael Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals: “TGen is one of this state’s premier medical research and economic assets, and is a standard-bearer for promoting everything that is positive and forward-looking about Arizona.”

University of Arizona’s Tech Park

What it is: The University of Arizona Science and Technology Park (UA Tech Park) sits on 1,345 acres in Southeast Tucson. Almost 2 million square feet of space has been developed featuring high tech office, R&D and laboratory facilities.
Economic impact: In 2009, the businesses that call Tech Park home had an economic impact of $2.67 billion in Pima County. This included $1.81 billion in direct economic impacts such as wages paid and supplies and services purchased and $861 million in indirect and induced dollar impacts. In total, the Tech Park and its companies generated 14,322 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced).
Companies it has helped grow: IBM, Raytheon, Canon USA, Citigroup, NP Photonics, and DILAS Diode Laser.
Latest news: A 38.5-acre photovoltaic array is the latest addition to the Solar Zone technology demonstration area at Tech Park. Power generated from the facility will be sold to Tucson Electric Power Co., providing power for  about 1,000 homes.
Bruce Wright, associate vice president for University Research Parks:  “By 2011, the park had recaptured this lost employment (resulting from the recession) with total employment increasing to 6,944. In addition, the number of tenants had expanded from 50 to 52 reflecting the addition of new companies in the Arizona Center for Innovation and the development of the Solar Zone at the Tech Park.”

people gambling - AZ Business Magazine Sep/Oct 2010

New Resorts Are Sprouting In The Valley Despite The Shaky Economy

Arizona touts dozens of breathtaking resorts with countless amenities, but there’s still room for more. The Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler opened its doors in October 2009, and Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale opened this past April. What makes the opening of these two new resorts all the more remarkable is that they happened during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Of course no one plans to open a hotel in a tough economy, but who could have predicted this level of devastation a few years back? However, Harold Baugus, CEO of Gila River Gaming Enterprises, the driving force behind the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, is not one to be easily deterred.

“We determined long ago that we needed a better, more sophisticated and more advanced product offering more entertainment value and better food and beverage for our clients,” he says. “In 2005, we started the process, and at that time the economy was on the upswing … but it doesn’t drive what we do. We wanted to build this product for the future of the community. The economy didn’t really play a factor.”

Steven Horowitz, director of sales for Talking Stick Resort, says the venture has proved successful so far, even in this economy.

“Hospitality demand was at its lowest during the majority of our building phase,” he says. “We were due to open when the economy would hopefully begin the cyclical upswing. That has been the case.”

Developed by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Talking Stick encompasses a 240,000-square-foot casino in a 15-story tower that houses almost 500 rooms.

Despite early encouraging signs, Horowitz does think people are continuing to be very careful about how they spend their money.

“While we feel like Talking Stick Resort is opening as the economy is beginning to rebound, some of the initial challenges during recovery would be the lack of demand for resorts, and the overall economic downturn in gaming,” he says. “For obvious reasons, people have been very careful about their discretionary income, and entertainment, until recently, hasn’t been top priority.”

Baugus says his property is competing for all discretionary dollars, not just those targeted to other hotel properties.

“We have created an overall entertainment experience for those with complete discretionary income,” he says. “We are not necessarily concerned with other facilities or casinos, but rather if people are going to take those dollars to a ballpark or the movies.”

These properties offer guests a laundry list of entertainment and luxury options. Besides gaming and lounges, Talking Stick has its signature restaurant Orange Sky, multiple pools, and entertainment venues.

“We are truly an all-encompassing entertainment destination. A guest literally does not have to leave the property,” Horowitz says.

Baugus also is proud of the options and amenities available at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. The 10-story property has 242 hotel rooms with a 100,000-square-foot casino. It also boasts a range of dining options, including the area’s only Shula’s Steak House; a 1,400-seat entertainment venue; the AiRIA nightclub; and pool parties.

“We’ve tried to offer something for every demographic,” he adds.

The two resorts also offer plenty of meeting space for corporate or organizational gatherings. Talking Stick has 100,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and banquet space; Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino has about 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

Along with providing world-class amenities and entertainment, the actual construction of these facilities has given the local economy a much needed boost. The opening of Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino added about 500 jobs. During construction, 1,000 workers a day were employed to complete the facility. Talking Stick Resort added 600 jobs to the economy when it opened, and employed hundreds of additional workers during its construction phases, as well.

Both Baugus and Horowitz are pleased with the resorts’ initial numbers and neither is letting the summer heat slow down that momentum. Talking Stick Resort offers regular gaming promotions and a concert series. Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino has kicked off a comedy series for the summer, pool parties and golf specials.

The Valley’s resorts are often ideal places for staycations during the summer, and both properties appear to be generating interest from the locals.
“There are so many facets of Talking Stick Resort that you just can’t see or get anywhere else, and that naturally sparks interest from folks both locally and those who are out of town,” Horowitz says.

Baugus adds: “We have had a tremendously positive response and have already seen repeat business. People were pleasantly surprised with the opening. They were not expecting this level of quality.”

    If You Go:
    Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
    5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler
    800-946-4452



    Talking Stick Resort
    9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale
    480-850-7777

Arizona Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010