Unconventional venues for off-site meetings

Lifestyle | 4 Oct, 2014 |

Whether you’re a meetings and event professional or the CEO of a company who is trying to organize a one-of-a-kind event for your employees, it’s time to think outside the hotel box. Arizona offers a variety of non-hotel options for meetings, conferences or off-site events and activities that may have never crossed your mind.

Imagine your company’s next meeting being held behind the wheel of a race car. Why not see who can last the longest on the “Widowmaker,” a mechanical bull? Or instead of spending the day in the office trying to boost your bottom line, what if your entire office was trying to save the lives of the residents of the Caribbean island?

Before you book your next event, here are 20 off-site, offbeat options to consider:

Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
The experience: How fast do you want to go? You’ll be the one driving. For more than four decades, Bondurant has been hosting corporate and group events and team-building exercises that make for a lasting impact on employees or friends. So buckle up and hold on for the ride of your life.
Information: bondurant.com

Casino del Sol
The experience: 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.
Information: casinodelsolresort.com

Challenger Space Center
The experience: During Operation Montserrat, your group will be entrusted to save the lives of the residents of the Caribbean island of Montserrat, home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Based on a real life scenario, this team building program will have your group tracking the lava flows of the volcano, estimating the path of a Category 5 hurricane, and devising a plan to get the residents out of harm’s way, while communicating with a command central to make the rescue operation run smoothly.
Information: azchallenger.org

Clubhouse at Tonto Verde
The experience: With two distinctly different and challenging 18-hole golf courses, Tonto Verde is a desert gem with recognition for its charm and playability with views in every direction. Guests may recharge on its 18-hole natural grass putting course, a fun alternative team building event for golfers and non-golfers alike. The facility offers indoor and outdoor event space with customized programs to meet any taste or budget.
Information: tontoverdeweddings.com

Desert Belle
The experience: Originally launched in 1964, the Desert Belle has been plowing Arizona’s waters for more than 40 years and allowing passengers to see exotic Arizona wildlife, towering canyon walls, and dramatic desert vistas. The Desert Belle is a unique way to create a memorable office party or meeting.
Information: desertbelle.com

(subhead)Desert Botanical Garden
The experience: The spectacular surroundings of the Desert Botanical Garden are ideal for unique and beautiful events. From open-air pavilions, scenic courtyards and historic settings, the Garden offers and unforgettable experience for groups of all sizes. With its Southwestern appeal, this enchanting location is the natural choice for your event.
Information: dbg.org

Hard Rock Cafe Phoenix
The experience: Sophistication infused with funk, the Hard Rock Cafe offers stellar service and rock star experiences. Day or night there is something to fit every mood and satisfy every impulse. Hard Rock Phoenix specializes in events everyone will be talking about. “Whether you have a group of 15 or 300, we serve it up with a dramatic flair, only reserved for rock royalty,” says Rochelle Barton, sales and marketing manager for Hard Rock Cafe Phoenix. “From breakfast, dinner, after hours or live music events, our staff will be on hand to anticipate and fill every need. Come partly like a Rock Star.”
Information: hardrock.com/phoenix

Hot Air Expeditions
The experience: Arizona is known for its beautiful weather, wide open spaces and The Sonoran Desert. When you see it from a hot air balloon, you are experiencing it all. Whether it’s a team building meeting, a wedding in the air or a corporate group, it’s an event that the passengers walk away from remembering for a lifetime and many checking an item off their bucket list.
Information: hotairexpeditions.com

Mesa Convention Center & Mesa Amphitheatre
The experience: Featuring 15 meeting rooms, and a 19,000 sq ft exhibit hall, the Mesa Convention Center offers the largest meeting space in the East Valley. The 5,000 capacity Mesa Amphitheatre is a fun, unique outdoor venue for events, festivals and concerts. The facility also boasts 15 flexible meeting rooms with 19,000 square feet of meeting space and an additional 19,000 spare-foot exhibit hall. Hohokam Stadium and Dobson Ranch Golf Course can also be booked with the Convention Center for off site events and activities..
Information: mesaconventioncenter.com or mesaamp.com

Musical Instrument Museum
The experience: The Musical Instrument Museum 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 and other special events.
Information: mim.org

Octane Raceway
The experience: 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.
Information: octaneraceway.com

Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse
The experience: Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse is the valley’s premier western venue offering groups a unique journey back in time. Take a ride back in time on Rawhide’s Butterfield Stagecoach to get a real feel of old West transportation in a classic Arizona environment that can host a private event whether you are a group of 10 or 10,000.
Information: rawhide.com

Rustler’s Rooste
The experience: Looking for an “authentic” Arizona location for your next roundup, look no further than Rustler’s Rooste. Horney the Bull will meet you at the entrance of the mine shaft, a hostess will greet you with a view of the saloon and the whole Valley, then on to the waterfall walkway over to the tin slide into the main dining room. The Rooste can accommodate 30 to 1500 guests in a spectacular mountain-top setting. Whether you choose a scenic outdoor patio, the spacious Crystal Barn or the novel Branding Iron Room, you will find the Rooste offers a big helping of western hospitality and an eye for detail.
Information: rustlersrooste.com

Stand Up Live
The experience: Is there any better way to create a memorable event than with laughter? Stand Up Live is the perfect venue for private parties, receptions, luncheons or any other special occasion that needs a unique backdrop. Stand Up Live is available during daytime or nighttime and a comedian from Stand Up Live makes a great addition to any special event.
Information: standuplive.com

Stratum Laser Tag
The experience: 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.
Information: stratumhq.com

The Clayton on the Park
The experience: A hidden jewel located in the heart of Downtown Scottsdale, The Clayton on the Park is a full service private event venue which includes the first floor Clayton Room, second floor Gallery and our private outdoor patio. Both floors feature floor to ceiling windows with stunning views over the park.
Information: theclaytononthepark.com/

The Venue Scottsdale
The experience: The Venue Scottsdale is one of those rare event venues that is so flexible that it can transform itself into anything. The Venue Scottsdale can accommodate day meetings, with our built in stage and production or live entertainment. The facility can do team building activities, incredible food stations, formal dinners and The Venue’s retractable roof allows it to offer and indoor/outdoor atmosphere.
Information: thevenuescottsdale.com

Topgolf
The experience: TopGolf is a golf entertainment complex that can be enjoyed by all ages, all skill levels, all year round. It offers events for groups of 12 to 1,200. TopGolf offers private banquet rooms, A/V equipment, food prepared from scratch, golf lessons, games, music and, of course, top-notch hospitality.
Information: topgolf.com

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
The experience: 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.
Information: wingilariver.com

Wrigley Mansion
The experience: The Wrigley Mansion is a breathtaking landmark built in1932 by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. as a 50th anniversary gift to his wife. The Wrigley Mansion offers a historical venue that specializes in meetings, conferences and every milestone celebration for a sit-down event for 20 to 300 or a reception-style event for up to 1,500.
Information: wrigleymansionclub.com

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