by Andrea Doyle | January 01, 2018
Western charm meets vibrant modern life in Tucson, AZ. This Southwestern destination boasts many attractions for groups: horseback rides, cattle drives, spas, resorts, and a championship golf course, among other offerings.

Among the meetings-ready properties here: JW Marriott Starr Pass, Loews Ventana Canyon, Westin La Paloma, Omni Tucson National, and Westward Look Wyndham Grand. Tucson's newest downtown hotel, the AC Hotel Tucson Downtown, opened in September 2017, making it the first hotel to be built in downtown Tucson in over 40 years. It features 136 rooms, a rooftop pool and poolside bar, a restaurant, nearly 6,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, and almost 2,000 square feet of event space.

Ranches and boutique properties are popular, and the 34-acre Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort recently completed a multimillion-dollar expansion, adding 32 new guest rooms and suites for 59 total, an infinity-edge pool, and the new Casa Luna Ballroom featuring more than 5,100 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. Also, the El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort, has renovated its 428 rooms and offers 100,000 square feet of flexible function space.

The resort is building a free-standing spa on site that will feature eight treatment rooms, a couples massage room, and a private pool with views of Pusch Ridge. It is scheduled to open by the end of 2018.

Another noteworthy Tucson resort is Canyon Ranch, a pioneer of wellness hospitality. One of its newest features is CR Aesthetics, a program offering advanced, nonsurgical facial treatments such as Botox and Latisse, coupled with opportunities for pre- and post-care treatments. A guest room renovation is underway.

City Park, a downtown Tucson mixed-use complex, is scheduled to open later this year, with a food hall, restaurants, bowling alley, pinball arcade, bar, and a 2,600-square-foot deck for events. The Mercado San Agustin (MSA), a retail and restaurant development on the west side of downtown, has expanded with a container village that opened in December 2017. The MSA Annex, south of the Mercado, features a festival grounds space with seating for 500.

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, Arizona's oldest visual arts institution, is a popular special event site. Located in downtown Tucson's historic Presidio District, the museum reopened in October 2017 after a three-month, roughly $750,000 renovation across its existing four-acre campus. The updated space will be used to show more of the museum's 9,000-piece permanent collection, much of which was previously in storage, and to exhibit traveling exhibitions. The renovation has resulted in more room for the museum's Art of the American West collection, which includes works by artists that currently live or have lived in the American Southwest.

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This article appears in the January 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.