Tag Archives: waste management phoenix open

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An open letter to Phil Mickelson

Dear Phil,

I read your recent comments about the crushing tax burden California has imposed on wage earners like yourself. You said that you might even move out of California. Allow me to suggest Arizona – your former home – as your next home.

Though my time playing golf is usually limited to courses where I try to hit the ball into a miniature windmill, you and I have a lot in common. We’re both left-handers. We’re both Arizona State grads, you with a Bachelor’s, me from the law school. You’re a member of the ASU athletics Hall of Fame. I enjoy watching ASU sports.

More importantly, though, we both understand the impact high taxes have on a state’s economy and its hard working residents. A high-tax environment drives capital and people out of state, which explains why California is currently experiencing an unprecedented exodus of wealth.

It’s apparent you’re not alone in your high-tax sentiments. Even your sometimes rival on the golf course, Tiger Woods, said California’s high-tax environment is why he left the state for Florida.

California’s current top income tax rate of 13.3 percent is a good enough reason to pack up one’s clubs and move on.

Sure, California has sandy beaches and sunshine, but that doesn’t dull the sting of paying out nearly half your income in total taxes. It’s hard to enjoy the ocean when you’re watching your hard earned money float out to sea.

Arizona has sunshine and sand (traps), too. And while California has been pursuing a flawed economic strategy, we’ve been making all the right moves.

Over the past two years, Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature have worked hard to make Arizona a state that is known for job growth and creation. They’ve decreased the corporate income tax rate, lowered the tax on business property and equipment, cut taxes on investment income and have made Arizona’s tax code more attractive to businesses selling goods and services outside our borders.  While California was raising its taxes (again), our voters rejected a massive permanent tax hike. We’ve also balanced our budget.

The per-capita income going to taxes in Arizona is just 8.7 percent, compared to the national average of 9.8 percent and California’s burden of 11.8 percent. That leaves more money for vacations to your favorite beaches (including those in California) or for purchasing a Major League Baseball team.

We’ve also cut back on unnecessary regulations, freeing up businesses to expand without the worry of frivolous government interference.  You can’t even go into a Starbucks in California without a Proposition 65 warning of the dangers of coffee.

All of these efforts have resulted in Arizona’s move up the leaderboard.  Arizona received the title of number one state for entrepreneurial activity in 2011 and was ranked a Top-10 state for business in 2012. We also ranked second – just behind North Dakota – for states with the best job-growth forecast.

I’ll put this all in terms you can appreciate:  If Arizona competed in The Masters of economic competitiveness, we’d end up with the coveted green jacket.

Phil, you know better than anyone that you can’t beat the golf here. You’re already a crowd favorite come Waste Management Phoenix Open time. So go pack your clubs and call the movers.

Just don’t take too long. I could really use some tips on my swing.

Sincerely,

Glenn

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

Phoenix Open

Waste Management Phoenix Open: More Than Just A Golf Tournament

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is an event that draws hundreds of thousands of people to the Valley each and every year. It may boast the largest attendance of any golf tournament worldwide and has an overall economic impact of more than $220 million, but the real conversation piece should be about the millions of dollars the tournament raises for Arizona charities — and the 55 men who make it happen.

Tom Altieri, Photo: wmphoenixopen.comI had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Altieri, this year’s 2013 tournament chairman and 8th year Thunderbird, who gave me the 411 on exactly why the Thunderbirds do what they do.

Where they came from and what they do: the charity of the Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds began back in 1937, when they selected five committee members to fulfill the role of a special events committee to accommodate the expansion of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. The Phoenix Chamber of Commerce suggested that the committee become an “official” group and expand its membership. Each of the five then selected 10 additional members to make up a committee of 55. The Thunderbird name was chosen because the emblem of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was, and still is, a Thunderbird derived from American Indian symbols.

Since its creation, the Thunderbirds have raised more than $79 million for charity.  Last year alone they raised an impressive $5.5 million, which was given to charities like The Boys and Girls Club, Valley of the Sun United Way and, most notably, the amazing athletes of the Special Olympics Arizona.

An official spokesperson for the Thunderbirds commented on their love for the Special Olympics, saying, “As the premier sponsor of the Special Olympics Summer Games, the Thunderbirds are providing an outlet of athletic expression for these challenged competitors. Nowhere will you witness the absolute joy and enthusiasm of a runner as he or she crosses the finish line — not in first place, but in the arms of his or her greeter. This unbridled passion for competition speaks volumes of the Thunderbirds’ commitment to these determined individuals.”

As if being the premiere sponsor for the Special Olympics isn’t fantastic to begin with, the Thunderbirds have a dedicated day to honor the Olympians at the Waste Management Phoenix Open itself. On Tuesday, January 29 at 11 a.m., they will host the CBS Outdoor Special Olympics Open. This is a chance for celebrities, sports stars and prominent business leaders to participate in a putting contest with children.

“The event offers a really unique and special opportunity for all involved,” says Altieri.

And for our military service members, a new element has been added this year. A free ticket and a private tent for military service members and a guest.  The Patriots’ Outpost is located on the 18th fairway and offers anyone with a military ID the VIP treatment with food and beverage. Just walk up to the ticket booth, show your military ID, and you are in for free! This is just another way the Thunderbirds are giving back.

What it takes to be a Thunderbird

When I asked Tom why he wanted to be a Thunderbird, his response was, “To help promote the community grow and assist Arizona-based charities. We don’t get paid, we all volunteer. We are out here giving up our lives during tournament week and for most of the year. It’s time consuming, but a labor of love. And we all have the same goal and objective: helping those in need.”

Even though the position is strictly volunteering, you still must be chosen to be a Thunderbird. Those who are selected and asked to join have demonstrated a sincere interest in sports and a dedication to community affairs. All Thunderbird activities and events are the prime responsibility of these Active Thunderbirds and are under the watchful eye of the Big Chief and Thunderbird Council. When a Thunderbird reaches the age of 45, his status changes from Active to that of Life Member. Each year, they receive hundreds of requests from charities who can use assistance. Tom assured me each and every single request that comes through is looked at, evaluated and carefully considered to receive funds. And although the charity component is the main focus of these great community leaders, they have one big job we can’t forget about: running and organizing the details for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

How you can help

“Although there are 55 Thunderbirds who run the Open, we can’t run it alone,” Altieri explains. “The entire success of the event is based upon volunteers. We have thousands of volunteers who come out, from all over the Valley from places like Tucson, Sun City and Flagstaff to contribute. Whether it’s working a concession tent or standing by a rope or working a tee at the tournament, or working the Birds Nest, each person counts and helps make this event the success it is.”

Altieri encourages anyone to get involved and to call the Waste Management Phoenix Open’s office.

“We will make sure to find a way for you to get involved,” he says.

If you are unable to volunteer, Altieri mentioned another way you can help contribute to the Valley’s local charities — and it’s pretty simple, and even fun.

“Just attend the Open,” Altieri says. “Our primary source of fundraising is derived from the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Everything from buying a general admission ticket to a Greenskeeper pass to the purchase of any food and beverage at the event helps Arizona-based charities.”

Be sure to grab your ticket and a friend and head out to this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, January 28 to February 3. You can purchase tickets online and stay up to date with event info and schedules by visiting wmphoenixopen.com.

And, if you see a gentleman walking around the Open wearing one of the iconic Thunderbird necklaces, take a second to say “thank you” for their hard work and dedication to our Arizona-based charities.

2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open

All About The 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open

It’s back — the Greatest Show on Grass. One of the PDA Tour’s most popular tournaments, the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open consists of an entire week of golf, drinks and live entertainment, taking place from Monday, January 28 through Monday, February 4.

2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Who: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and several other prestigious golfers (view the entire list of committed players here)
What: Events include R.S. Hoyt Jr. Family Foundation Dream Day Activities, CBS Outdoor Special Olympics, the Phoenix Suns Charities Shot at Glory, Coors Light Birds Nest entertainment, Waste Management Phoenix Open and more (view the calendar of events here)
When: January 28 – February 3, 2013
Where: Tournament Players Club (TPC) of Scottsdale, 17020 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale

Places to eat, play & stay around the Open:

Eat

True Food Kitchen
Bourbon Steak
Cantina Laredo

Play

Bobby’s Restaurant & Jazz Lounge
Scottsdale Fashion Square
A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale Food Tour

Stay

Zona Hotel & Suites Scottsdale
Fairmont Scottsdale
Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains

The Birds Nest at the Phoenix Open

If golf isn’t really your thing, that doesn’t necessarily mean the 2013 Phoenix Open isn’t for you. The Coors Light Birds Nest party features several talented musical acts. Purchase tickets to the Bird’s Nest here.

  • Wednesday, January 30: The Bird’s Nest party begins with video DJ Roonie G, Kelley James and local band Smasht.
  • Thursday, January 31: Dierks Bentley will be headlining the Bird’s Nest. Concertgoers can expect to be treated with his popular country hits like “Am I The Only One” and “What Was I Thinking.”
  • Friday, February 1: O.A.R. will be making a return to Bird’s Nest after taking a year off from preforming at the Phoenix Open.
  • Saturday, February 2: Bird’s Nest will conclude on February 2 with DJ Roonie G once again and Metalhead, another band indigenous to Arizona.

Before and After Party: El Santo Cantina

El Santo Cantina will serve as the ultimate hangout before and after an exciting day at the Phoenix Open. This 25,000-square-foot venue will even pick you up and drop you off with its complimentary El Santo Party Bus shuttle scheduled to run every 30 minutes Thursday through Sunday.

  • El Santo Cantina
    Where: 7301 E. Butherus Dr., Scottsdale
    Contact: 480-584-3801
    Online: elsantocantina.com

Tickets

Ticket prices range from $25 to nearly $6,000 and can be purchased at the gate during WMPhoenix Open or online. Purchase tickets here.

General Admission | $25

  • Ages 17 & under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Sponsor Packages | $300

  • 4 transferable badges good for all week
  • 4 daily general admission tickets on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
  • 1 reserved parking pass for the week
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open souvenir program

Members Club | $1,800

  • 4 Members Club badges per day each of the 7 days
  • 4 general admission tickets per day for each of the 7 days
  • Complimentary beverages and light snacks in the on-course Members Club locations on 9, 12, 17 & 18
  • 1 reserved parking pass (good all week)

Greenskeeper | $3,300

  • 4 Greenskeeper badges per day each of the 7 days
  • 4 general admission tickets per day for each of the 7 days
  • Complimentary food & beverages
  • 1 valet parking pass (good all week)

Clubhouse | $5,900

  • 6 Clubhouse badges each day (Wed. – Sun.)
  • Complimentary buffet lunch and open bar
  • 6 Greenskeeper badges per day (Mon. – Tues.)
  • 10 general admission tickets each day for all 7 days
  • 3 valet parking passes (good all week)

Chairman’s Club | $5,000

Access to six venues, all week long:

  • Greenskeeper
  • Members Club
  • Clubhouse
  • Skyboxes
  • Corporate Village
  • Birds Nest VIP
  • Valet parking

Birds Nest General Admission

  • $35 (Wed. – Sat.)

Birds Nest VIP Admission | $150

  • Hosted bar and catered buffet each night of the Birds Nest (Wed. – Sat.)

 

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Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson set for Phoenix Open

Two-time champion Phil Mickelson and Masters winner Bubba Watson have committed to play in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The news of the popular PGA players’ participation should be an economic boost for business. 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.

Defending champion Kyle Stanley, 2011 winner Mark Wilson and 2010 champion Hunter Mahan also are entered in the Jan. 31-Feb. 3 event along with Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney, Carl Pettersson, Nicolas Colsaerts and Lucas Glover.

Mickelson won at TPC Scottsdale in 1996 and 2005. The former Arizona State star will open his season Jan. 17-20 in the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif.

TFT_14

First Tee of Phoenix adds 5 affiliates

The First Tee of Phoenix Executive Director, Hugh Smith, announced that the organization will open new programming sites at all five City of Phoenix golf courses in 2013 including Cave Creek Golf Club, Encanto Golf Course, Palo Verde Golf Course, Maryvale Golf Course and Aguila Golf Course. Expansion will begin at Cave Creek Golf Club in January of 2013 and will continue with the remaining four courses throughout the year. These five new City of Phoenix courses will join the existing facilities located at Lone Tree, South Mountain, Desert Mirage, Papago, Longbow and Falcon Dunes.

“This is an amazing time for us,” said Smith. “The number of Valley youth interested in golf is constantly growing and in order to accommodate that demand we need to expand. By this time next year, The First Tee of Phoenix will have 11 affiliate locations here in the Valley.”

A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, January 5th at Cave Creek Golf Club from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and will include: special guest appearances; a trick shot show from Peter Longo the “King of Clubs”; a junior clinic; free lunch and giveaways for all who attend.  Multi-level programming will begin shortly thereafter and will be available year-round, both during the week and on weekends with registration beginning on December 4th. The First Tee of Phoenix—created and supported by The Thunderbirds—is open to all youth ages 7-17 at a modest cost of $60 per year.

“This is a great opportunity for youth in our city to learn valuable life skills as well as golf, especially for those who might not have the opportunity otherwise,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “The future of our city depends on our youth and we need to do everything we can to make sure they have positive experiences and become civic leaders of the next generation.”

The programming sites at each of the City of Phoenix courses are community driven with volunteer assistance coming from the Men’s and Women’s Clubs at each course as well as the surrounding community. Those interested in volunteering can attend one of The First Tee of Phoenix Volunteer Training Session scheduled throughout the year. The training is free of charge and includes details of The First Tee program and The First Tee coaching philosophy. For more details about volunteer opportunities or to RSVP for one of the training sessions, call 602.305.7655.

“As a junior golfer, I was fortunate to play many rounds at Cave Creek Golf Course,” Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates said.  “Not only did my game improve as a result of playing golf on City of Phoenix courses, but I also learned many life lessons that I carry with me today. Thanks to this partnership between The First Tee and the City of Phoenix, many more young people in our community will have the opportunity to play golf and experience the countless benefits that the game delivers.”

The First Tee of Phoenix is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created and funded by The Thunderbirds for the purpose of providing affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people in Maricopa County from all walks of life, particularly those who otherwise might not have an opportunity to play.  The organization offers classes, special monthly family events and tournaments throughout the year.  With 11 locations in the Valley – South Mountain, Desert Mirage, Papago, Longbow, Falcon Dunes, Lone Tree and now all City of Phoenix courses – The First Tee of Phoenix programming sites serve as a place for participants to learn valuable life skills and character lessons through creative activities and instructional programs that incorporate the fundamental teachings of golf.  For more information on The First Tee of Phoenix, call (602) 305-7655, or log on to their website at www.thefirstteephoenix.org.

The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports.  Consisting of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members, The Thunderbirds host the Waste Management Phoenix Open; the best-attended golf tournament in the world, which to date has raised nearly $80 million for Valley charities, including the First Tee of Phoenix. With its unmatched fan participation and rich history dating back more than 78 years, The Waste Management Phoenix Open has gained legendary status for being a unique stop on the PGA TOUR. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the Waste Management Phoenix Open, call 602.870.0163 or visit www.WasteManagementPhoenixOpen.com.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Waste Management Phoenix Open 2012 [PHOTOS]

Sunshine, well-groomed grass, cold drinks and plenty of interesting people — all found at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

I had been hearing about the Phoenix Open for as long as I can remember, but I never had a chance to see it for myself. This was my chance to finally dive in and enjoy the festivities.

As soon as I walked into the gate, I was greeted by a number of friendly vendors, all happy to give me a free sample of their product. There was everything from cheap pens to alcoholic ice cream. People were testing their skills on simulation golf games and others were looking through designer clothes.

As soon as I got enough swag to last me through the day, I continued on in search of some golf!

It was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed taking in the scenery, the smell of food and all of the interesting people that had come to enjoy the weekend.

After a number of hours without shade, I was happy to see the sun begin to set, and I made my way over to the Birds Nest. Here the theme went from “leisure” to “let’s party!”

After a couple excellent cover bands, DJ Ronnie G took the stage to get everyone moving with his combination of dance music and a custom visual production.

After a full day and night of sightseeing and energetic dancing, I was very tired and very pleased with my stay at the Phoenix Open, as I’m sure the rest of my fellow attendees were as well.

Photos from the Waste Management Phoenix Open:

Phoenix Open

View the entire album on Flickr.