This information comes to us from Douglas MacKenzie, Director of Communications and Trish Hendrickson, Communications Coordinator. We always are happy to share the updates of what is happening in the Greater Phonex Area. You can find out more at

What’s New in Greater Phoenix?
August 2010


    • Aaron Chamberlain’s St. Francis is nominated as the “Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation.
    • 10 Arizona residents will be honored making a positive impact on the state’s history, culture, environment and/or economy at the 2010 Arizona Culturekeepers ceremony.
    • Gearing up for Arizona Restaurant Week featuring more than 150 restaurants from both Phoenix and Tucson and celebrating some of state’s most noteworthy chefs.


Fab Faux, the renowned Beatles tribute band, will rock the Arizona Biltmore when it takes the stage over Labor Day weekend, September 4 and September 5, to perform two live concerts. The concerts are the Grand Finale of a summer-long blockbuster festival at the Arizona Biltmore called Hollywood & Wine.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, a leader in wellness education, has announced a new women’s retreat program. Sponsored and led by Dena Patton, CEO of the award-winning events and inspirational company, Chat, Chew & Chocolate, the Mind, Body, Spirit Boot Camp will take place October 1-3 and seeks to alleviate the worries and stress of the over-burdened and over-booked business woman/full time mother. Attendees will spend time with and learn from modern-day superwoman, Ali Vincent, and Martha Beck, while staying in Sanctuary’s exclusive private Mountain estates.

In conjunction with the Sharlot Hall Museum, Arizona Historical Society, and State Historian Marshall Trimble, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa will honor 10 Arizona residents for making a positive impact on the state’s history, culture, environment and/or economy. The 2010 Arizona Culturekeepers honorees will be recognized at a luncheon ceremony on September 19 at the resort. At the 2010 Arizona Office of Tourism”””s Governor’s Tourism Awards, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa’s annual Arizona Culturekeepers Induction took home the Arizona Preservation Award.

TRAVEL + LEISURE announced its 2010 World’s Best Awards at the beginning of July, and InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa was named to its Top 50 Resorts in the U.S. and Canada. Ranked #13, the Resort is the highest rated property in the state of Arizona. This year marks the first time InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa has achieved this distinction. The list, comprised of the fifty best resorts in the U.S. and Canada, names three other Arizona properties, L’Auberge de Sedona, Royal Palms Resort & Spa and The Phoenician.

The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa is committed to further reducing our environmental impact by creating a partnership with group meeting planners and their attendees, allowing them to participate in these important initiatives.  The resort’s new “Meet and Be Green” program asks each group to follow ten “green” initiatives that will provide important benefits to our environment. New meetings booked by December 31, 2010, and held by March 31, 2011 will be eligible for a 3% rebate on qualifying charges on the master bill.

Few people need peace and quiet more than teachers. For hors-classroom relaxation and fun that’s in style and within budget, Kimpton’s FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale is offering teachers a special $75 per night room rate (two-night stay required) from May 31, 2009 through Sept. 12, 2009; Nov. 22 through Nov. 28, 2010; and Dec.17 through Dec. 26, 2010.

Escape to Arizona’s cooler climates and enjoy a long weekend in Sedona’s red rocks this Labor Day. Enchantment Resortwill be bustling with activities including dive-in movies for the kids, family yoga, and a bocce ball tournament. And on Saturday, September 4, guests will enjoy a private performance by Gabriel Ayala featuring a mix of tango, flamenco, classical, jazz and contemporary music along with traditional and storytelling

Get your fourth night free when you stay for three at Enchantment Resort. Enjoy more time to discover why Travel + Leisure 2009 readers named Enchantment one of America’s “Top 3 Resorts”‘ and Mii amo the “World’s Best Destination Spa.” This offer is subject to limited availability thru Sept. 9, 2010

A new exhibit straight from the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows, will be opening to the public on Sunday, October 17, 2010 and will continue through February 6, 2011 at the Heard Museum. The unique interpretations of Tlingit myths and legends take shape in the stunningly beautiful works of contemporary glasswork by Singletary. The opening event for the exhibit will feature local artist Joshua Dopp and Adam Frus as they blow glass on the Heard Museum grounds in their mobile glass studio, the “Highway Hotshop.” In addition to the exhibit, the Heard will host a special series on glass art featuring six expert speakers, including the exhibit’s curator, on specific Sundays in October and November 2010, and in January 2011.

The Arizona Science Center is featuring a few incredible exhibits. Until September 6, guests can experience Goose Bumps- The Science of Fear. Visitors will face common fears in a controlled and safe environment, and discover the scientific explanation behind some of the body’s most dramatic responses. Or, until September 30, go under the hood and explore the science of the cars of the future, delve into design and mechanical processes, test auto aerodynamics and more in Revved Up Science.

Strolling mariachis and artwork by Hispanic artists from Arizona and New Mexico highlight Heard Museum Spanish Market, which is the largest of its kind in Arizona. Chat with more than 75 artists as they sell a variety of artwork including santos, pottery, jewelry, embroidery, paintings, furniture, silver and tinwork. The signature artist for this year’s event is Jeweler and Scrimshander, Michelle Tapia. The Market is open November 13 & 14, 2010, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Along with the fascinating and beautifully crafted world musical instruments on exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum this August, concert goers will witness live performances by master global musicians who play them. On August 17th, the African kora comes to life in the hands Toumani Diabate, one of the world’s foremost players of this beguiling harp-like instrument. And on Aug. 21st and 22nd, check out the sounds of the Middle Eastern lute called the oud, played by virtuoso musician, Rahim Alhaj.

If you’re looking for “the experience of the lifetime” -one that’s “happening right now” – get on board withRainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Company. New to the friendly skies of Phoenix this spring, the company has plenty of sky credibility – as it has been flying over Albuquerque for more than 27 years and is the official balloon operator of the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Pair your Om with the tranquil chirping of desert quail or the tantalizing scent of a saguaro blossom at Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa. Guests can enjoy top-level yoga instruction in a relaxing and stunning atmosphere – the Sonoran Desert. The all-level classes are offered weekly and offer an opportune way to get ready to take on desert activities, like hiking, mountain biking or running the many trails at the park. Instructors vary their teaching locations throughout the park’s many pavilions and trailheads with most classes taking full advantage of the panoramic views of the lower Sonoran Desert.

The Mesa Arts Center is offering claycations for travelers seeking an immersion into the arts with a variety of classes and workshops taught by talented instructors and nationally known artists in their state-of-the-art 8,000-square-foot ceramics studio. The three-day claycation workshops are tailored to all skill levels and offer a great introduction into the art form for guests that have never touched clay. Offered this fall (Oct. 13-15), the popular claycation course will teach functional pottery and basic ceramic sculpture.


Summer means opportunity in Phoenix. Seize the day and experience some of Arizona’s most celebrated golf courses at half the price with the “Round On Us”‘ golf promotion, courtesy of Diageo Spirits.  Simply purchase a 750 ml or larger bottle of Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker Scotch, Don Julio Tequila, or Ketel One Vodka at your local grocery or retail store and enjoy “Two for One”‘ golf at the Kierland Golf Club at Westin Kierland ResortThe Phoenician Golf Club at The Phoenician or Whirlwind Golf Club at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa. This promotion is valid through September 30, 2010.

The Phoenician brings “golf and grub”‘ together in its signature AAA Five Diamond fashion with this summer’s Twilight Golf Derby at The Phoenician Golf Club. Every Wednesday through September 15, 2010, registered players are paired in twosomes for competition on the resort’s championship golf course.  Phoenician prizes are presented each week to the top teams. Following play, a selection of specialty appetizers is offered at the new Relish Burger Bistro.

Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is offering a cool twilight golf rate of $49 on its Faldo and Palmer courses through Sept. 16. The par-71 Faldo Course was designed by three-time Masters and three-time British Open champ Nick Faldo and features a total of 6,846 yards, generous fairways and ample landing areas. The 7,145-yard, par 72 Palmer Course, designed by Arnold Palmer, is situated in the rugged Sonoran desert and meanders through picturesque arroyos with centuries-old Saguaro cacti and sweeping views of the McDowell Mountains.

The Boulders Resort Golfcation Package for the autumn season not only includes playing 36 holes of golf at one of the country’s top golf courses, but it also includes custom golf club fitting. Hot Stix Performance Center provides a personalized golf fitting that includes a complete six-hour station circuit fitting.  The Boulders Golfcation Package includes: Two night’s casita accommodations, Two rounds of golf at the Boulders, Complimentary cart rental, Hot Stix Performance Center Game Fitting, Unlimited use of the Golden Door Spa steam rooms, saunas, O’furo baths, fitness facilities and unlimited fitness classes.

For those looking to play more affordable golf and have limited time to spare, Troon North Golf Club has created an innovative executive 9-hole golf course called Monument Express. Designed within the full layout of the famed Monument course, Monument Express measures around 1,500 yards long and offers two different PAR options based on the skill level of the player. The course can be played quickly due to its length and can be played for a very affordable price of $20, until September 13, 2010.


Joya Spa at the InterContinental Montelucia offers guests an opportunity to live as the Moroccans do with new authentic Moroccan Retreat treatments designed to evoke the images and sensations of spending an afternoon in a traditional Moroccan home. Each treatment begins with a traditional welcoming tea ceremony and allows guests to choose a scent of northern Africa to infuse into their experience. Joya Spa offers two options for the Moroccan Retreat, an 80-minute Cleansing and a135-minute Rejuvenation. These treatments are a wonderful compliment to the Hammam Ritual, a traditional Moroccan cleansing practice offered at Joya Spa.

The Golden Door® Spa at The Boulders Resort introduces a new spa service that reveals fascinating personal discoveries and soulful understanding of self.  The Astrological Soul Reading allows spa guests to gain insight into the story of their soul’s journey through the astrological chart which is calculated by the spa guest’s birth date, birth time and birth place.  During this 50-minute service, the Astrological Consultant doesn’t talk to the head; rather he speaks to the soul. The Astrological Consultant connects each person with the unconscious elements of behavior and brings it to consciousness.

The new RAW Man facial at Jurlique Spa at Kimpton’s FireSky Resort & Spa is an active facial for the active man – because, hey, dudes want to put their best face forward and fight aging, too. This gentle, corrective treatment is specifically designed to work with men’s pH levels and thicker skin, catering to dry or oily kin. The facial treatment’s products feature a unique blend of ingredients indigenous to the Southwest – blue agave, yucca, two different types of cactus and hematite

The Golden Door® Spa at The Boulders Resort, renowned for a wide array of treatments that combine natural regional ingredients with Native American traditions, announces Ms. Razel Wolf as the resort’s Shamanic Ceremonialist.  To share the joy and find alignment with all the worlds on this planet, Wolf introduces two new “experiences”‘: Energy Field Balancing with Pulsors, a 60-minute relaxation session which allows the body to re-balance itself through the use of pulsor energy triangles that are placed in different configurations on your body, and Talking Tree Reading, a 60-minute reading that uses the Twenty Powers Talking Trees runes (an ancient alphabet where each rune had its own magical significance).


Arizona Restaurant Week launched their complete website for the 2010 event,, making it the one-stop shop with a complete list of participating restaurants, pricing and detailed menus. From Sept. 18-26, more than 150 restaurants from both Phoenix and Tucson will participate in the event celebrating some of state’s most noteworthy chefs.  The event provides attendees the opportunity to partake in Arizona’s finest fare at a special rate.  Each participating restaurant offers a three-course meal of signature dishes, and this year’s prices $29 or $39 per person.

Foodies anticipating former Sea Saw chef-owner Nobuo Fukuda’s comeback no longer have to wait. Chef Fukuda unveiled a lunch menu of short rib and pork belly buns, sandwiches and gourmet salads at his new restaurant, Nobuo at Teeter House, in Phoenix’s Heritage Square last week.

St. Francis, one of the new Phoenix restaurants opening in a restored historic building, has drawn people back to the uptown area dining scene that was once popular 20 years ago. The James Beard Foundation already nominated the restaurant as “Best New Restaurant”. Great pleasure awaits patrons of St. Francis at the hands of Chef Chamberlin. His intuitive cuisine respects the integrity of each food, encouraging unique flavors often through wood-firing and his French/Mediterranean training.

They’re the best in the nation and now they rank among the best in the world. JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort’s Pastry Team USA earned a bronze medal at the Amoretti World Pastry Team Championship recently held at the resort. Competing against top international pastry teams, the contest theme was “childhood,” and the criterion was based on creativity, taste, artistic beauty and teamwork. To compete in the World Pastry Team Championship, each team was required to create multiple pastry pieces.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, T. Cook’s Sous Chef Sarah Baer dreams up a specialty taco at Royal Palms Resort and Spa.  For just $2 each, the tacos vary from night to night “as the spirit moves her” – everything from shrimp or mahi to lamb, pork and Kobe flank steak.

In addition to the classic Mojito and Muddle Drinks guests can enjoy at The Muddle Bar at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant, deseo, The Rim Lobby Lounge is now offering a selection of refreshing Superfoods-inspired Mojitos.  Each handcrafted cocktail is made with key SuperFoods ingredients including kiwis, oranges, ginger, green tea and honey.

The Arizona Republic’s restaurant critic, Howard Seftel, has named Deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa as one of the Top 10 Resort and Hotel Restaurants.  Deseo is listed in’s Things to do: Dining section, the critic notes, “the Nuevo Latino inspired restaurant’s ceviche bar as a place for people to snag a seat and watch the kitchen talent go to work.”

Realist painter and sculptor Gary Carter will be the featured artist at Four Diamond Lon’s at The HermosaArtist in Residence dinner on Oct. 13. Guests attending the artist in residence event will enjoy a sumptuous four-course dinner with wine pairings, showcasing Executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco’s artful American culinary style.

It’s summertime, and the drinking is easy – at least if you’re at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, where Mixology Classes are offered every Saturday through September 7. Cost is $39 per person, which includes noontime lunch at Blue Sage followed by a 2-hour hands-on cocktail tutorial with one of the resort’s master mixologists.

Chef Aaron May recently unveiled Iruña, a Spanish-influenced tapas restaurant in Scottsdale. Named after the Basque word for the town of Pamplona as featured in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Iruña’s menu offers Sol y Sombra favorites along with new seafood, steak and pork dishes and creative cocktails. Like Sol y Sombra, Iruña will have a core menu of favorites including Tortilla Espanola complemented by seasonal selections like scallops with ajo blanco sauce which May says he will swap out for more tomato-heavy dishes as the summer season wanes and we get closer to Spain’s famed La Tomatina festival.

The Latilla, the four-diamond restaurant, at The Boulders Resort known for keeping its “regional roots,”‘ introduces a new menu for the fall season. The Hunt is a special “All game” menu paired with autumn vegetables freshly picked from the resort’s Organic Garden.  The five-course menu, created by the Latilla’s talented culinary team of Executive Chef Michel Pieton and Executive Sous Chef Gregory Wiener, includes a delicious first course, second course, intermezzo, main course and dessert. The autumn menu will be available the last two weeks in October.

Renegade Canteen, the new restaurant from James Beard award-winning chef Robert McGrath, has garnered an incredible amount of praise after just a few short weeks of opening. Chef McGrath’s menu is a creative and decadent expression of traditional western fare, aptly defined as Arizona cuisine. The restaurant is outfitted with locally-sourced woods and a custom chandelier constructed of rusted pipes and old-time clear bulbs, and McGrath’s menu includes blackened catfish with blue crabmeat & shrimp “fondeaux” pot roast braised in ancho chile and fresh veggies, and red beet root cake with carrot-vanilla gelato, candied pistachios and carrot & beet powder.
Primebar, the stylish and sophisticated outpost from famed hospitality group Restaurants-America, is the newest addition to the Scottsdale Quarter, a rapidly expanding new city district located in North Scottsdale. Incorporating a full stage for live bands, three unique bars and a regionally focused menu, Primebar exudes unparalleled energy seven nights a week. The 250-seat restaurant also offers views of the bustling North Scottsdale entertainment district, while remaining lavishly cozy with wood adorned walls, salvaged lighting and oversized leather booths.
The bison are coming. Well maybe not the herds, but loads of ribs. Bryan’s Barbeque is bringing Bison Ribs to Cave Creek this fall. With a new vegan specialty too, fried artichoke po’boy with smoked tomato remoulade, everyone will find something to tickle their taste buds.
Chef Ted Cizma brings 25 years of culinary expertise in his new role as Enchantment Resort’s Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director. Chef Cizma is currently working on enhancements to the Yavapai and Tii Gavo menus, and will be incorporating new items throughout the summer. New dishes on the horizon include cast iron skillet roasted scallops with heirloom bean succotash and house cured and braised pork with ancho chile root beer glaze.

Secreto, a new restaurant in the former Havana Cafe spot, flew under the radar before opening quietly recently. Inside, the kitschy tropical decor of Havana has been replaced by stained concrete booths, a large copper-topped bar and a warm color palette. The menu features New Mexican-inspired dishes such as carne adovada, Southwestern crab cakes, stuffed poblanos and lots of meat-heavy entrees including a 12 oz. prime steak with chimichurri sauce. Eggs Benedict and huevos rancheros round out the weekend breakfast offerings.
Last year Toby Keith helped put Mesa on the country music map in Phoenix with his bar and grill, and now the city will boast another unique country venue, AZ Country USA.  This steakhouse, sports bar and dance venue will feature a loaded menu of American favorites, a billiard room and an event hall, featuring live country music talent and a dance floor. Brian Weymouth, known for launching his first celebrity Restaurant,Coopers’Town, with rock legend Alice Cooper, is developing the $4.5 million facility. This new restaurant/entertainment concept for Mesa will focus on celebrating Arizona talent and offer live music every Friday and Saturday evening.
Arizona Food Tours finishes its first season as the #1 attraction in Scottsdale on  The tour, A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale, is a walking food and historical tour full of stories of the old west, demonstrations and delectable food and wine sampling from some of Scottsdale’s unique and exciting restaurants. They take their guests on a three hour adventure through location and time, starting with the wild west and how Scottsdale was established, to all the ways it has changed over the years, and, of course, to all of the great things that it has to offer today.

On October 16th, Outstanding in the Field brings its international farm-to-table dinner tour to Double Check Ranch, a grass-fed cattle ranch located in Winkelman, Outstanding in the Field is a culinary road show created by nomadic chef Jim Denevan that brings together world-renowned chefs, local farms and ranches, iconic and decorated picnic tables, and foodies for a night where the soil is truly the star.

For more information on any of these events or updates, please contact
the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau Media Department.

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