By Glen Turk
The golf scramble format must have been invented with corporations in mind. For the team aspect of scrambles is a great way to develop bonds, strategize together toward a common goal, and simply have fun while being outdoors.
When it comes to The Grand Canyon State, there are bevies of top-end golf properties that include diverse meeting spaces perfect for hosting your next cooperate function. Arizona Meetings & Events Magazine has scoured the state and offers the following multipurpose venue suggestions.
GREATER PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE AREA
TPC Scottsdale & The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
As home to the most well-attended golf tournament on the PGA Tour (The Waste Management Open), TPC Scottsdale elicits energy and excitement 365 days a year. Your group can experience this enthusiasm by attending one of their individually tailored nontraditional golf events. Our favorites include glow-in-the-dark target golf, Rock N’ Range (practice time with music, food & beverages), and the opportunity to play the world-famous par-3 16th hole complete with grandstands and pumped in crowd noise! To learn more about these out-of-the-box offerings, log on to https://tpc.com/scottsdale/non-traditional-outings/.
The adjacent Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a thriving mini-city complete with a massive conference center, three pools, six tennis courts, six restaurants, and a two mile walking trail that encompasses the entire property with stunning views of the golf course. La Hacienda, Chef Richard Sandoval’s perfect invention, is a must-dine experience after your meetings are concluded for the day. For more information on The Fairmont Scottsdale, visit their website at www.fairmont.com/scottsdale.
We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center
It is always a good sign when the phrase “Conference Center” is within a property’s name. “We typically host 150 to 200 corporate meetings per year, and consistently receive positive feedback on how well-designed and guest-friendly our property is,” states General Manager James Kinzer. “Finally, it’s important to note our golf, rooms and meeting space are well-positioned so that they’re spread out yet still within walking distance,” he concludes.
Kinzer also points out that We-Ko-Pa is home to 18,000 square feet of ballroom space and 16 different room combinations, allowing them to make any size group feel at home. The adjacent Fort McDowell Casino is just a pitching wedge away, plus you can book exciting outdoor activities at Fort McDowell Adventures that include desert jeep tours, Segway tours and an authentic cattle drive across the Verde River. For more information on all that We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center has to offer, visit www.wekoparesortandconferencecenter.com.
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
If your group is looking to be part of a public golf course that elicits a private country club experience, then Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is for you. Thanks to hosting over 400 corporate groups per year, the Scottsdale resort has meetings down to a science. “Corporate meetings are a significant part of our business,” states Jennifer Franklin, Director of Communications. “The resort has more than 200,000 square feet of meeting and event space, which creates a host of flexible options for those planning meetings. Our on-site, 27-hole course is able to offer virtually private access for corporate golf outings.”
Recent acknowledgements at Westin Kierland include the 2016 Award of Excellence from Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine, the 2016 Annual World Class Award from Insurance and Financial Meetings Management and a #12 ranking on CVENT’s 2016 list of Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the United States. For more information on Westin Kierland, log on to www.kierlandresort.com.
The Boulders Resort & Spa
Creativity abounds at Boulders Resort & Spa in Carefree. With over 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, the Boulders capitalizes on the spectacular high Sonoran Desert to take meetings out of the conference room and into a selection of unparalleled outdoor settings. Case in point, their Night Glow on the 6th Fairway might be one of the coolest meeting ideas ever invented. “One of our most popular meeting themes features a private hot air balloon that glows throughout the evening offering guests ‘vertical rides’ with views beyond imagination,” explains Debi Bridges, Director of Public Relations.
Another smashing idea is their Mixer Mixology which gives meeting guests the opportunity to craft their own cocktail concoction with a bevy of garden fresh aromatics and herbs snipped from the resort’s own organic garden. Supervised by the resort’s resident Mixologist, the program is a perfect ice-breaker and conversation-starter for meeting groups. For a list of all The Boulders’ first-class amenities including two championship golf courses, visit www.theboulders.com.
Gainey Ranch Golf Club
Located in the heart of Scottsdale, just off the 101 Loop, Gainey Ranch Golf Club can comfortably accommodate groups from 10 to 250 in their spacious meeting rooms. Whether you are looking to execute a casual breakfast or an all-day business meeting, Gainey Ranch has the amenities to get the job done. The facility features 27 holes of golf, so their friendly staff can create 9 or 18 hole events that include in-house prepared meals. For more information on Gainey Ranch, visit www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/Gainey-Ranch-Golf-Club.
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Resort & Spa
JW Marriott’s meeting philosophy is simply stated through their Plan Your Meeting with a Purpose Campaign. Not only has Marriott created their own website just for meetings at www.meetingsimagined.com, but they also offer a list of meeting themes that have been successful. Camelback’s meeting amenities are off the chart, with 20 event rooms equaling over 91,000 square feet of space. Top on-site amenities include two championship golf courses and a series of golf professionals that can arrange and execute golf clinics for guests. Information on all nationwide Marriott properties can be gleaned by heading to www.marriott.com.
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Less than 30 minutes from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport resides JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, a stunning locale for your next business function. Highlights of Desert Ridge include two championship golf courses, stellar outdoor dining, and “flexible, intelligently appointed meeting rooms showcasing contemporary design touches,” according to their website. They also feature an on-site catering team that will design a menu sure to impress.
Casino Del Sol
As Arizona’s one and only Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star and AAA Four Diamond casino resort, Tucson’s Casino Del Sol, The Sol of Tucson, is an entertainment oasis in the Sonoran Desert. The property is excited to offer a corporate rate agreement which includes 10% off the lowest rate at Sewailo Golf Club and 15% off 50+ minute spa treatments at Hiapsi Spa.
Veronica Martinez, Senior Sales Manager at Casino Del Sol discusses why corporate staffers will never run out of things to do. “Whether it’s a sunrise round of golf at the 18-hole championship Sewailo Golf Club, an afternoon of relaxation at the award-winning Hiapsi Spa, dinner at PY Steakhouse, a night of table games in the casino, or a concert at AVA Amphitheater – Casino Del Sol’s impressive collection of options makes it the ultimate destination for group trips,” she explains.
JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa
Starr Pass Resort & Spa, with over 78,000 square feet of meeting space, features a host of amenities designed to wow. At the forefront is The Arizona Ballroom, which offers room for up to 3,300 guests. Starr Pass is also known for the versatility of their spaces, as groups can experience indoor/outdoor events, along with themed venues buoyed by custom menus. On the golf side of things, Starr Pass can facilitate a scramble golf outing, or create learning opportunities with their professional staffers.
Sedona Golf Resort
Two hours north of the hustle and bustle of Scottsdale resides the tranquil destination of Sedona. Majestic local beauty is the hallmark of Sedona, thanks to the Upper Sonoran Desert that rises 4,500 feet above sea level. “Our resort is known for its amazing scenery, great layout and conditions,” begins General Manager Jeremey Hayman. “Plus we have tons of adventure activities to do after golf that include mountain biking, hiking, jeep tours and fly fishing on Oak Creek. Corporate groups also love checking out our local breweries that include Oak Creek Brewery and Historic Brewing.”
Sedona Golf Resort is very flexible on meeting sizes thanks to their partnership with the adjacent Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock, which offers numerous large meeting spaces. At the resort, meetings of up to 150 people can be held in their elegant dining room, which is highlighted by large glass windows overlooking their signature red rocks. For more information on all that Sedona Golf Resort brings to the table, visit www.sedonagolfresort.com.
The great state of Arizona has long been the perfect spot to host corporate meetings thanks to its remarkable weather and ideally suited venues. We hope that mixing in creative golf-themed outings is a great way to energize businesses statewide.