AZ Business Magazine January/February 2013

Tourism hits a home run

Michael GossieOne of the greatest holiday gifts I will ever get my parents were tickets to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and Boise State. My parents are tough to buy for, they don’t need anything, but they love sports. So even though they aren’t fans of either team, they love live sports.

What they got from that gift was the experience of seeing one of the greatest games in college football history — the teams scored 22 points in the final 1:26 of regulation and 15 points in overtime, culminating with Boise State completing three do-or-die trick plays to win the game in an upset.

What’s great for the tourism industry in Arizona is that we can give those memories to visitors on a regular basis. Between Cactus League baseball, college football bowl games, the Waste Management Open, NASCAR events at PIR and the Super Bowl coming again in 2015, the Valley is a sports memory-making machine. Sports also have an economic impact on Arizona that adds up to billions of dollars annually.

In this issue of Az Business magazine, we talk about the merger of the Arizona Tourism Alliance and the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association to form the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA), the political and economic power the new group will have, and how they will continue to utilize sporting events as a catalyst to attract more tourism dollars to the state.

Their initiatives are working. My father has already told me he’s coming in from New York this month to play some golf and check out the Waste Management Open.

Michael Gossie Signature

Michael Gossie, Managing Editor

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