The preservation and enhancement of a wealth of cultural attractions is one important goal in New Mexico, where both Albuquerque and Santa Fe are expanding the infrastructure needed to make the destinations more accessible to groups. The mission for Santa Fe's new convention center is to build it and operate it in as “green” a manner as possible. Measures taken to reduce the environmental impact of the 72,000-square-foot facility for events of up to 2,000 attendees included utilizing the same building site as the old center and recycling 88 percent of demolished materials.

Having celebrated its tricentennial in 2006, Albuquerque is embracing its future with the completion of a $6 million-dollar enhancement of the city's 600,000-square-foot convention center; a group-friendly new zoning ordinance for events held in Old Town; and easy access to Santa Fe via a modern light-rail system.

December in Phoenix will mark the debut of the new Phoenix Convention Center following a $600 million expansion of the former Phoenix Civic Plaza. When the center welcomes its first groups in January 2009, it will feature nearly 900,000 square feet of exhibition and meeting space, and ecologically friendly features such as solar paneling and a water-harvesting garden. Making their concurrent debuts in the heart of the city will be a light-rail system, the 175-room W Hotel, and the 1,000-room Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, with 80,000 square feet of meeting space.

Downtown Scottsdale is creating a buzz of its own with more than $3 billion of development under way in the form of new hotels, restaurants, retail, and entertainment venues. New properties opening in 2008 include the 224-room W Scottsdale and the 293-room InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, offering 27,000 square feet of meeting space and a 31,000-square-foot spa at the base of Camelback Mountain.

Meanwhile, the neon lights of Las Vegas are beckoning groups to Megacenter, a complex of meeting space, eateries, and hotels that includes the new 3,025-room Palazzo.

  • Facilities Update

    Arizona — Phoenix Area

    An expansion completed in April at the 950-room JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix added a $21 million, 24,420-square-foot ballroom and a 14,000-square-foot pre-function area.

  • A $50 million expansion and renovation of the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch should be complete late this year.

  • At Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, a $17 million project saw the renovation of all 210 guest rooms and the addition of a private wine-tasting room.

  • A $70 million transformation at Scottdale's The Phoenician encompasses the recently completed refurbishment of all 647 guest rooms and the construction of a new $40 million conference facility, scheduled to debut in late 2009.

  • Casino Arizona Resort & Spa, on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community adjacent to Scottsdale, is scheduled to open in early 2010 with 497 guest rooms, 21 meeting rooms, a 24,000-square-foot ballroom, a spa, and a casino.

  • Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley will undergo a $44 million renovation, remodeling 35 suites and adding two meeting rooms, 14 new guest accommodations, and a spa. Completion is set for fall 2009.

  • The Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa in Phoenix recently unveiled a new 6,200-square-foot ballroom.

  • In Scottsdale, Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa, has completed a $45 million project that includes upgraded guest rooms and a new 20,000-square-foot ballroom.

  • The 219-room all-suite Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa has completed a $4.2 million renovation of guest rooms, spa, and fitness center.

  • When completed in late 2009, the 250-room Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, in northwest Tucson, will be the hotel company's largest golf and spa resort. It will feature two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, with a clubhouse and 27 holes slated for completion in late 2008 and an additional nine holes planned for 2010.

  • Encore Suites, the new luxury resort at Wynn Las Vegas, is now booking meeting space for dates beginning January 2009. The 2,034-room resort will offer 60,000 square feet of meeting space, five restaurants, and a spa.

  • Nevada

    Slated for completion in early 2009, a $1 billion expansion of Caesars Palace includes 110,000 square feet of meeting space and a 665-room hotel tower, bringing total guest rooms to 4,512.

  • The Platinum, a new nongaming, nonsmoking boutique hotel just off the Strip, offers 255 suites and 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

  • Red Rock Casino Resort Spa expanded in 2007 by adding 400 new guest rooms. The resort offers 814 guest rooms and suites and 70,000 square feet of meeting and event space that includes four ballrooms and 10 breakout rooms.

  • Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa, Casino in Las Vegas has completed a $110 million expansion that includes new gaming facilities and 15,000 square feet of meeting space, bringing total space to 65,000 square feet.

  • A $750 million expansion and renovation of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Vegas includes updating 650 guest rooms and the addition of 950 rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space. It is scheduled for completion by summer 2009.

  • In early 2008, The Mirage in Las Vegas began a year-long, $110 million renovation of 2,765 guest rooms and suites.

  • Vegas' 5,034-room MGM Grand has unveiled a new pillarless, 92,000-square-foot ballroom adjacent to MGM Grand Conference Center. The Signature at MGM Grand, a new all-suite hotel, offers three 576-room towers.

  • A $150 million makeover in Las Vegas of Mandalay Bay's 2,791 guest rooms and suites has been completed, offering five new choices for accommodations.

  • Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, formerly Aladdin Resort and Casino, now offers 2,518 guest rooms and suites and 75,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function facilities.

  • A $100 million guest-room renovation was completed in 2007 at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

New Mexico

  • Following a $30 million renovation, La Posada de Albuquerque Hotel will reopen in late 2008 as Andaluz. One block from the convention center, the 107-room hotel will offer more than 7,000 square feet of meeting space.

  • In a secluded setting near the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, the 228-room Sandia Resort & Casino offers 50,000 square feet of meeting space, an 18-hole championship golf course, and a spa.

  • The Radisson Hotel Albuquerque recently completed a $20 million renovation of 312 guest rooms and 26,000 square feet of meeting space.

  • Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown is undergoing a multiphase $20 million renovation program, scheduled for completion this fall, that includes the hotel's 295 guest rooms and suites and 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

  • The Albuquerque Marriott offers 411 recently renovated guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

  • Hyatt Regency Albuquerque completed a multimillion-dollar guest room renovation this spring.

  • La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa will complete a $6.2 million renovation this May of 157 guest rooms.

  • In late 2007, Eldorado Hotel & Spa in Santa Fe completed a $10.5 million renovation of 219 guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

  • Santa Fe's 167-room La Fonda on the Plaza recently unveiled a landscaped rooftop garden offering 14 new guest rooms and event space for up to 180 guests.

  • Santa Fe's Inn and Spa at Loretto has completed a $7.5 million renovation of all 134 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

  • Trip Tips

    Scottsdale is 31 miles in length and offers dramatically different experiences at each end of the city. Resorts in the northern area have tranquil desert views, golf courses, and cooler temps than the city's vibrant downtown, where boutique hotels, chic nightclubs, trendy restaurants, and shopping attract lively crowds.

  • The difference is in the desert. A visit to Tucson (elevation: 2,389 feet) reveals a valley offering spectacular mountain views, lush vegetation, and temperatures that are as much as 10 degrees cooler than in Phoenix (elevation: 1,086 feet).

  • According to the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, on average, attendance increases 18 percent when conventions rotate into the city of neon lights.

Ask the CVB

Arizona


Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau
(602) 254-6500
877-CALLPHX
www.visitphoenix.com
Total Hotel Tax: 12.07%

Scottsdale CVB
(480) 421-1004
800-782-1117
www.scottsdalecvb.com
Total Hotel Tax: 11.92%

Metropolitan Tucson CVB
(520) 624-1817
800-638-8350
www.visittucson.org
Total Hotel Tax: 12.05% to 14.05%

Nevada

Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
(702)892-0711
877-847-4858
www.lvcva.com
Total Hotel Tax: 9%

New Mexico

Albuquerque CVB
(505) 842-9918
800-733-9918
www.itsatrip.org
Total Hotel Tax: 12.87%

Santa Fe CVB
(505) 955-6200
800-777-2489
www.santafe.org
Total Hotel Tax 14.93%

  • Special Venues

    Santa Fe's Museum Hill is a treasure trove of four world-class museums showcasing the art, history, and culture of the region's Native American and Spanish colonial heritage and folk traditions from around the world. Facilities include exhibition galleries, indoor and outdoor private event venues, meeting space, generous patios, a sculpture garden, and a café offering mountain vistas. (505) 476-1203 www.museumhill.org

  • Constructed in 1932 atop a knoll in Phoenix, Wrigley Mansion originated as a 50th wedding anniversary gift from the famous chewing gum magnate. Today, the estate offers commanding city-light views and is a prized venue for private events. Thirteen rooms accommodate up to 1,500 guests, with catering provided on site. (602) 955-4079; www.wrigleymansionclub.com

  • For an evening reception, an outing to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History in historic Old Town will making a lasting impression. The museum, which recently added an 8,000-square-foot gallery, a large multi-function event space, and an outdoor amphitheater, offers tremendous mountain views from a new balcony. (505) 243-7255 www.cabq.gov/museum