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Fairmont.Princess

There is still time to book a memorable holiday party

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a party. With the economic downturn slowly starting to appear in the rearview mirror, the office holiday party might be something that slipped your mind because it hasn’t been in the budget in years past. So if you still need to place to host your happening, here are a variety of options to create a memorable holiday event for employees.

Bar North at the Kierland Commons
With a gorgeous view of the main Kierland Commons courtyard, Bar North can host up to 60 guests reception style. The inside dining area is perfect for cocktail parties or lavish business dinners for up to 50 people.
How to book: 480-905-3278 or email asomers@foxrc.net

Blanco Tacos + Tequila at The Biltmore Fashion Park
Blanco’s private dining has the perfect spot for your fiesta. The private dining space is a hacienda style and comes complete with its own bar. Guest can mingle reception style up to 75, or sit down family style for up to 60 guests.
How to book: 480-905-3278 or email asomers@foxrc.net

The Clubhouse at Tonto Verde
The Clubhouse is just minutes from North Scottsdale and offers both indoor and outdoor event venues. Its experienced staff and culinary team will customize and handle every detail of your holiday party to assure that it is worry free.
How to book: 480-471-2582 or tontoverde.org

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
You will enjoy a one-of-a-kind, high-energy experience in our warm and inviting space. Guests are welcomed to savor Whiskey Row’s award-winning, made from scratch menu. Features also include: live bands and DJs, karaoke, liquor and beer tasting, personal beer taps, decorations, games and more.
How to book: 928-710-8985 or email tinapeterson@riothg.com

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
With two 23,000 square-foot ballrooms, outdoor courtyards and three distinctive restaurants (Michael Mina’s Bourbon  Steak, La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval and the new Toro Latin Restaurant opening at the TPC Scottsdale) plus The Plaza Bar in the main plaza, there are endless possibilities for holiday parties, from intimate gatherings to grand galas.
How to book: 480-585-4848 or scottsdaleprincess.com

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Old Town
With Frank Sinatra crooning in the background and the tantalizing aromas of over 100 years of pizza-making tradition in the air, Grimaldi’s combines classic pizzeria charm with a modern, stylish, loft-like atmosphere. Grimaldi’s is an excellent cost effective way to feed large parties and intimate gatherings, alike.
How to book: 480-874-8209 or email events@grimaldispizzeria.com

The Henry   
From the large private room with industrial touches, to a private kitchen that feels like the best home chef’s kitchen, The Henry is set to accommodate 10 to 100 guests. Like any seasoned host, The Henry offers reception menus or limited coursed menus of its tried and true favorites.
How to book: 480-751-2934 or email lbyke@foxrc.net

Hotel Valley Ho
Downtown Scottsdale’s historic icon offers fabulous fare for holiday parties and hip venues like the panoramic Sky Line Rooftop, high-tech SoHo Ballroom, and Sands, a private indoor-outdoor event space. Hotel Valley Ho has you covered, whether you’re hosting 50 guests or 500.
How to book: 480-248-2017 or hotelvalleyho.com

Kelly’s at SouthBridge
Located on Sixth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale, the 8,000-square-foot swanky pub offers traditional pub classics mixed with exceptional modern cuisine. Their private and semi-private dining spaces and patios offer a variety of options for any event. They can accommodate groups between 10 and 300 people.
How to book: 480-393-3205 or email events@kellysatsouthbridge

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix
Savor holiday fare and craft cocktails at this Downtown Phoenix boutique hotel. Choose from three different party packages to create a custom event including a holiday mixer, a festive buffet or the fare with flair package. Invite your guests to take the elevator home and spend the night while enjoying 20 percent off the best available rate when you book an event.
How to book: 480-478-1730 or email catering@hotelpalomar-phoenix.com

North in Arcadia
North has turned a modern lens on Italian cooking. Transport your guests to what feels like a charming Italian side street culinary gem with a patio event that seats up to 55, or can accommodate 70 guests reception style. The warm glow of the fireplace with set the mood and heaters will keep guests warm throughout the winter months.
How to book: 480-905-3278 or email asomers@foxrc.net

Octane Raceway
Octane Raceway offers the 45 mph Sodi-RTX karts, a Segway obstacle course, rock wall, video games and billiards. Octane also offers state of the art conference rooms with full A/V hookups, as well as a full kitchen and bar.
How to book: 602-302-7223

Olive & Ivy
At Olive & Ivy, discover an enticing selection of unexpected and familiar dishes in a rich, elegant, laid-back atmosphere. For special occasions or business meetings, the restaurant offers two private dining areas and beautiful patio space accommodating a varying number of guests.
How to book: 480-905-3273 or email nlasker@foxrc.net

The Phoenician
From grand ballrooms to intimate salons to a variety of signature dining venues, The Phoenician designs elegant holiday events for gatherings of all sizes.
How to book: 480-423-2722

Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse
Rawhide Western Town promises to deliver up a true western experience with 14 unique venues within town to host your private events perfectly along with multiple Wild West attractions and shops. Features include live action stunt shows, stagecoach rides and mechanical bull rides.
How to book: 480-705-2946 or email toni.mennuti@rawhide.com

Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy
Forget about Ho! Ho! Ho! and say Ha! Ha! Ha! Join Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy and make this holiday the merriest yet. They can accommodate groups of 10-300 and do it all — drink, dine and laughs. They will even pick on the boss for you!
How to book: 480-420-3553 or email az@houseofcomedy.net

The Rocket
Let the party come to you. The Rocket, the food truck brought to you by North Italia, is a 700-degree wood burning pizza oven on wheels. It’s built to turn fresh ingredients and hand-stretched dough into a piping hot pizza pie in less than eight minutes. With five different signature pizzas, fresh salads, charcuterie and bruschetta, you can proudly cater a private party or corporate event for up to 300 people.
How to book: 480-751-2202  or email kmahoney@foxrc.net

Royal Palms Resort & Spa
For 12-18 people, the historic resort offers a variety of venues including the Delos room at T. Cook’s, The Study at The Mix Up Bar or the architecturally rich Vernadero boardroom overlooking the lawn and reflecting pool. The resort, built in 1929 as a private mansion, has cobblestone pathways, tucked-away courtyards with fountains and an enchanting atmosphere.
How to book: 602-808-3206 or email wstark@destinationhotels.com

SOL Mexican Cocina
Add a little Baja flavor to your holiday festivities. From sit-down, coursed meals to family style sharing or the more informal cocktail style party, SOL Mexican Cocina in Scottsdale Quarter can cater any holiday event to your needs. Available for private events are the patio and the private dining rooms.
How to book: 480-245-6708 or email scottsdaleevents@solcocina.com

Stand Up Live
The downtown Phoenix comedy club offers all-inclusive holiday packages to fit any budget that include show ticket, plated three-course dinner or appetizer, one top-shelf cocktail, tax, and gratuity. Stand Up Live can accommodate groups ranging from 20-500 guests with no waiting in line, waived service fees and all-inclusive pricing.
How to book: 480-467-3162 or email justine@standuplive.com

Taco Guild
Taco Guild’s Key Room holds 24 people, offers full kitchen, bar and wait staff. The innovative tacos at the celebrated restaurant in North Central Phoenix were recently named by Travel + Leisure Magazine as among the best in the United States.
How to book: 602-264-4143 or tacoguild.com

Talking Stick Resort
Talking Stick Resort invites guests to end the year in style when it hosts its Fire and Ice New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31. Kicking off at 6:30 p.m. in the Salt River Grand Ballroom, the two-day celebration will feature an all-you-can-eat buffet, cocktail specials and live performances by the legendary Sam Moore and Boogie Knights.
How to book: 480-850-7734 or talkingstickresort.com.

Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill
Whether your group’s small or large, Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill can provide a great experience and value for any holiday event. They feature multiple options including a private event room and bar. Enjoy your choice of their 52 local, craft, import and domestic beers on draft or one of their unique specialty cocktails.
How to book: email ashelton@ceghospitality.com

Uptown Alley
Uptown Alley has 60,000 square feet of fun for everyone including 40 lanes of state-of-the-art bowling, an upscale, casual full service restaurant, two high-energy bars, a sports theater, billiards, laser tag, over 80 video and prize games, live entertainment, private party rooms and much more. Special packages that include game play, rock and bowl, holiday menu and laser tag are available.
How to book: email kjovic@uptownalleysurprise.com

Wrigley Mansion
The Wrigley Mansion Venue and Restaurant, a landmark building constructed between 1929 and 1931 by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., offers breathtaking views of the Valley and can accommodate private events ranging in size from 10 to 1,200.
How to book: 602-553-7295 or wrigleymansion.com

Meet Market: More business leaders seeking atypical event solutions

Competitors always seek an edge over an opponent.

That’s especially true in business where corporate meetings and team-building events are taking competition to a whole new level.

“We will do more than 1,000 corporate events this year,” says Scott Sanders, founder and president of Octane Raceway, which offers high-speed kart racing on an indoor-outdoor track in Scottsdale.

Octane is part of a growing trend that has seen a growing number of companies move away from staging their corporate events at the nearest airport hotel meeting room and evolving their events into more unique, fun and fresh environments.

“Companies are looking for different ways to engage their employees,” Sanders says. “One of the things we pride ourselves on is creating a memorable event. It’s not like people leave and say, ‘We went to a meeting and accomplished our business objective.’ When they come to Octane, they get to go off site, experience something together and get their competitive juices flowing. Companies are starting to recognize that team building not just as a line item on their budget, but something that has a true return on investment when it comes to having productive teams and having employees who feel appreciated.”

Octane Raceway isn’t the only place in the Valley where business leaders can effectively mix business with pleasure and team building. Here are just a few options:

casino-del-solCasino del Sol
In addition to its 18,000-square-foot ballroom that divides into five smaller rooms to allow meeting planners to hold multiple events side-by-side throughout their stay, Casino Del Sol Resort offers its corporate visitors world-class gaming, a Ty Butler- and Notah Begay-designed golf course, scenic hiking trails, mountain bike trails and horseback riding. casinodelsolresort.com

tontoClubhouse at Tonto Verde
The Clubhouse at Tonto Verde offers companies a unique way to recharge after a half-day or full day executive meeting on its 18-hole natural grass putting course, offering a fun alternative event for golfers and non-golfers alike. The Clubhouse at Tonto Verde has customized programs to meet your business needs that include a variety of food and beverage packages. tontoverdeweddings.com

dave-and-bustersDave and Busters
With all the amenities of a hotel plus customized team building options, D&B guests attend an experience, not just a meeting. By-products of a D&B event result in building team cohesion, melting strong personality types and re-energizing your strongest asset – your employees. Now that’s a way to justify your meeting dollars. daveandbusters.com

hardrockHard Rock Cafe Phoenix
The Hard Rock is the perfect venue for parties and special events, large and small. Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, Hard Rock can host a variety of events, from corporate meetings to elegant galas, each with a custom design to fit clients’ specific needs. The venue provides guests with a legendary culinary experience, along with a one-of-a-kind memorabilia collection, giving each event its own built-in vibe. hardrock.com

Hot-AirHot Air Expeditions
Hot air balloon flights and tethered rides are fun and unique activities for meetings and events. Tethered rides are a great addition to an event and balloon flights are perfect for bonding outside of the office and showcasing the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Post-flight gourmet cuisine and optional teambuilding events and activities are available. hotairexpeditions.com

MastroMastro’s
Mastro’s private dining space offers corporate clients an exclusive, fine dining experience in a business-minded atmosphere complete with audio-visual capabilities and high-level service. Options include Mastro’s Steak House, Mastro’s Ocean Club and Mastro’s City Hall. mastrosrestaurants.com

mimMusical Instrument Museum
MIM offers a stunning and unique setting for events, with world-class service, sumptuous cuisine, magical entertainment, and incomparable musical and cultural exhibits. Displaying more than 5,000 musical instruments and artifacts from around the world, MIM provides a one-of-a-kind event experience for seated dinners, cocktail receptions, corporate meetings, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, fundraising galas and other special events. mim.org

octaneOctane Raceway
Companies can do a couple races per person with a catered breakfast, lunch or dinner. Off-track activities that can supplement the experience include a rock wall, Phoenix International Raceway Pit Crew Challenge, Segway course and other games. Expect to pay just $30-$60 per person or go all out and do the Octane Olympics for $100 per person. octaneraceway.com

rawhideRawhide Western Town and Steakhouse
at Wild Horse Pass

Rawhide offers companies an opportunity to enjoy a unique memorable experience with a true taste of the Old West. Rawhide can accommodate groups from 20 to 7,500 and has more than 14 different private Western-themed venues so corporate groups can enjoy a unique journey back in time. rawhide.com

stratumStratum Laser Tag & Event Headquarters
Stratum specializes in “meetings with a mission;” out-of-the-box programs with an out-of-the-ordinary and affordable setting. Teams will incorporate their meeting message, team-building effectiveness, entertainment, camaraderie and fun along with upscale food and bar packages, all at a lower cost than a hotel and within a unique setting. stratumhq.com

tpcTPC Scottsdale
TPC offers word-class golf accommodations for all corporate groups. Besides golf, TPC offers post0event function spaces, private meeting spaces and banquet areas that allow for corporate groups to enjoy a round of golf while including business activities. This can include a power point presentation before teeing off or a large post-event function area to entertain clients before or after their round. pgatourtpc.com

wild-horse-passWild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
With 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, Wild Horse Pass offers a great option for memorable meetings, epic events and special celebrations. Its showroom features amazing production possibilities for a general session for up to 1,400 people or a meal for up to 300. The venue also boasts five unique spaces from swanky lounges – including the popular AiRIA Unplugged — to a sports bar. wingilariver.com

Wrigley-MansionWrigley Mansion
The Wrigley Mansion is a breathtaking landmark built in 1932 by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. as a 50th anniversary gift to his wife. Now celebrating its 20th year under the Hormel family’s ownership, the Wrigley Mansion offer a historical venue that specializes in meetings, conferences and every milestone celebration from a sit-down event for 20 to 300 to a reception-style event for up to 1,500. wrigleymansionclub.com

Noche de Gourmet

Noche de Gourmet: Dining, Entertainment And Charity

Ready for a night of looking your best, enjoying some of the Valley’s best foods and helping out those in need? If so, Noche de Gourmet’s the place to be.

Noche de Gourmet

The Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix is holding its 28th annual Noche de Gourmet event on Friday, November 4th, at 7:00 p.m. at the famous Wrigley Mansion. The event is semi-formal, with all the proceeds helping the Children in Need Foundation. Noche de Gourmet is expected to draw more than 1,000 people, based on attendees from previous years.

Todd Sommers, one of the event chairmen, says that the event is “different from other black tie events you’d see.” More than 20 restaurants from all over the Valley will be contributing to the event, offering some of the best dishes and drinks to the guests. In addition to that, there are a few other attractions to entertain everyone who attends.

The restaurants contributing to the event will be offering a wide variety of foods, including but certainly not limited to steak, sushi, seafood, Italian, Asian, southwestern and many others. The restaurants themselves are just as diverse and include noteworthy Valley eateries, such as Phoenix City Grille, Sushi Roku, The Melting Pot and the renowned Il Terrazzo.

Noche de Gourmet

One of Noche de Gourmet’s side events is a silent auction, and this year’s offerings are nothing to sneeze at; among other things, there’s almost always at least one destination trip being sold in these auctions, and this year, guests have a chance to win a plane trip to Las Vegas. Sommers says that the prizes in these silent auctions “try and support local businesses as much as possible.” So by participating, you would help out both children in need and the Valley itself.

There will also be an art exhibit held during Noche de Gourmet, and according to Sommers, the venue itself is part of that exhibit. He says that guests of previous years have “found Wrigley Mansion itself a piece of art,” and this year’s attendees will no doubt enjoy being able to sample fine foods and drinks within such a notable Valley location.

“We’re very proud to be able to carry on this tradition,” Sommers says.

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If You Go: Noche de Gourmet

November 4, 2011
7:00 p.m., Wrigley Mansion
2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix
Please visit Noche de Gourmet’s website for more information.

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The annual Taste of Biltmore - Seasons 52 had just the right treat. A unique twist on traditional desserts, the restaurant was offering little shot glasses filled with sweet treats such as old-fashioned carrot cake and rocky road.

Plenty Of Food And Fun At The Taste Of Biltmore Culinary Event

At the annual Taste of Biltmore held Oct. 7th 2010 on the front lawn of the National Bank of Arizona headquarters in Phoenix, guests gathered to sample cuisine from 14 premier Biltmore-area restaurants.

Created in 2007, the 4th annual block party brought together residents to try local food favorites while enjoying the sounds of jazz vocalist Laura Fial & Friends. There was plenty of food and fun to go around with dishes ranging from some old school favorites: grilled cheese and tomato soup from Frank & Albert’s to refreshing yogurt desserts courtesy of Mojo Yogurt. With such an eclectic mix there was truly something for everyone.

Other notable dishes included the smoked salmon on crispy bruschetta from Houston’s; shrimp ceviche over cucumber panna cotta from the Wrigley Mansion; and the delicious seared black Ahi tuna on a bed of wakame salad and fried wonton with wasabi cream sauce from McCormick & Schmicks. The tasty combinations were endless.

For those with a sweet tooth but trying to curb their calorie intake, Seasons 52 had just the right treat. A unique twist on traditional desserts, the restaurant was offering little shot glasses filled with sweet treats such as old-fashioned carrot cake and rocky road. The catch? It’s all under 475 calories, as is everything that is served in this restaurant. Definitely worth checking out for the health-conscious foodie. All the mini-dishes presented by the restaurant were palate-pleasing and allowed guests to sample just enough to leave them wanting more.

Featured restaurants included Aiello’s, Donovan’s Steakhouse, Hava Java, Houston’s, McCormick & Schmicks, Omaha Steakhouse, Ruth’s Chris, Mojo Yogurt, Seasons 52, Frank & Albert’s, The  Wrigley Mansion, Bluewater Grill, The Melting Pot and Adobe Restaurant.

The intimate event also served as the debut for We Are The Valley, a joint-fundraising program benefitting 11 local charities. Attendees had the opportunity to purchase special edition GivingBands, featuring the logo of a participating charity, made from recycled pewter and assembled by Arizona residents with disabilities.

The evening was a great success, promoting the delicious cuisine local restaurants have to offer and supporting a great cause.