SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS November 2007 What's the Latest: The 279-room Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa is in the midst of a $57 million renovation and expansion to its guest rooms and 22,000 sf of meeting space, done by late next year. New space available: The Tohono O'odham Nation's new Desert Diamond Hotel-Casino features 150 guest rooms, an 8,000-sf conference center, and the 2,400-seat Diamond Center for entertainment and special events.
Essential Tool Box
Convention Centers: Tucson Convention Center, 205,000 sf of meeting space, nine meeting rooms, largest holds 9,275 theater-style. For complete listings, visit Facility Quick Search at www.mimegasite.com
Total Hotel Rooms: 16,000 (1,000 rooms are one mile from convention center)
Average Daily Business Travel Costs*: Hotel $150.32 F&B $76.30 Car Rental $86.57
From Airport to Center: 11 miles from Tucson International.
2007 Pinnacle Award Winners: JW Marriott Starr Pass, Hilton Tucson El Conquistador
For More Information: Metropolitan Tucson CVB www.visittucson.org
*Business Travel News 2007 Corporate Travel Index
The Tucson city council recently gave the green light to a massive $194 million downtown renovation project that would include a new multipurpose arena, a major meetings hotel, and expanding and upgrading the Tucson Convention Center via new meeting rooms and a larger, revamped exhibit hall. While groundbreaking is still a year or two away, the centerpiece of Tucson's ongoing Rio Nuevo revitalization project will complement what's currently happening at the city's bustling hospitality properties.
* Several meetings hotels are in the midst of or have just wrapped their redos, while a slew of mid-range properties have recently debuted, including an Embassy Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn.
* The Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, familiar to many via the film Tin Cup, has added 30 upscale haciendas, a wedding chapel, and a 4,000-sf spa.
10 venues For Group Dining: These were selected from the Zagat list of area restaurants: Gold Room, Grill at Hacienda del Sol, Ventana Room, and Wildflower (New American); Anthony's in the Catalinas and Arizona Inn (continental); Pastiche Modern Eatery (eclectic); Janos (southwestern); Jonathan's Tucson Cork and McMahon's (steakhouse).
A Free Spirit
Southeastern Arizona's beautifully remote landscape provides a great resource for group adventures. The Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum places visitors right in the heart of things, with desert flora and fauna and a crowd-pleasing snake exhibit. Kartchner Caverns, a surreal maze of stalagmites and stalactites discovered only 30 years ago, sits just an hour's drive southeast of town, near Benson. Besides its posh golf resort, sleepy Tubac, just off I-19, is a collectibles shopper's delight, home to dozens of stores, studios, and galleries. These days, mile-high Bisbee is a favorite for its craft shops and art galleries, but the eye-opening draw remains a tour of the Queen Mine, complete with helmet, headlamp, and slicker.