New Happenings in Downtown Scottsdale

I've been to Scottsdale, Ariz., a handful of times to visit family, mostly during the summer months. For someone who’s spent his whole life in the San Francisco Bay Area, that kind of heat is so intense it’s almost a novelty (it’s a dry heat, right?). But every time I've left Arizona, it’s with a sense of having been in one of the truly great U.S. destinations.

Meetings Today
 was recently invited to an event hosted by representatives from the Scottsdale CVB and several of the area’s properties at AT&T Park in San Francisco. My beloved Giants were home for a series against the Rockies (both teams are currently in a neck-and-neck freefall for last place in the National League West, but the Giants still won 3-2 in the 10th inning), and it was one of those typical late-summer nights at the ballpark. Windy, not too chilly, but by the fifth inning the fog was beginning to pour over the stands and into the outfield. Along with the Seventh Inning Stretch came the park’s army of resident seagulls, right on queue. 

Short presentations were given by the reps, but the real value came in being able to network with them one-on-one. The theme of the night from Scottsdale definitely was expansion and revitalization. Every hotel, spa or golf course rep I chatted with had either just finished a project or had one in the works for their location. Growth is sweeping through many U.S. cities post-recession, and Scottsdale certainly isn’t being left out. Also happening as part of Downtown Scottsdale’s current boom is the birth of the city’s downtown club hub, which features several clubs unique to the area. Below are just a few of the many highlights.

Downtown Scottsdale is currently experiencing a huge, $3.3 billion, post-recession revitalization. During the busy seasons, downtown Scottsdale’s 50-or-so bars and lounges and some 100 restaurants receive about 30,000 visitors during the weekend. The $41 million SouthBridge neighborhood in the downtown area is home to a variety of independent restaurants and boutiques, and is completely devoid of any chain retailers, preserving its distinct local feel.

Opened in May of this year, Butterfly Wonderland is the largest butterfly pavilion in the United States. Currently, a $170 million, 35-acre, expansion is underway that will include the addition of the largest aquarium in the southwest, OdySea in the Desert, which is slated to open in November 2013.

Smaller groups can now enjoy Scottsdale’s first bed and breakfast, BeSpoke Inn, Café and Bicycles, which opened in January 2013. In June, the in-house restaurant, Virtu Honest Craft, opened. Executive Chef Gio Osso has created a rotating menu that ranges from pastas to braised oxtails and house-made sausages.

Scottsdale’s popular Montelucia Resort and Spa just expanded with the new CENTRO Lounge, a 1,500-square-foot indoor/outdoor space that features a nine-panel media wall of 60 inch LCD screens and a modern, yet casual, atmosphere. 

And what’s Scottsdale without golf? This fall, the Camelback Golf Club will debut its new Ambiente course, which is a complete redesign of the club’s Indian Bend Course. SunRidge Canyon Golf Club also has upgrades, the centerpiece of which is an upgraded practice facility that includes a 1,600-square-foot performance center.

Read more about the happenings in Scottsdale from Meetings Today:

Scottsdale Welcomes New Small Meetings Property

Scottsdale offers up ample Spring Training facilities for meetings and events

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