Beyond the Border: Get to Know Arizona

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The beauty of both mountains and desert surround the three JW Marriott properties in Tucson, Phoenix and Scottsdale. All are part of Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network, providing an easy way to visit Colorado’s neighboring state regularly and impress guests with new experiences and different properties without starting from scratch each time. It’s also easy to stay at two properties during one visit, getting a taste of both Tucson and the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. In Colorado, the Denver Marriott City Center and Gaylord Rockies Resort & Conference Center, set to open in winter 2018, are part of Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network. 


JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa is nestled on 50 acres in the saguaro-covered foothills of Tucson National Park. The property has 575 guest rooms, 88,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, six dining experiences, a 20,000-square-foot spa, 27 holes of golf, swimming pools, and immediate access to hiking and biking trails.

DON’T MISS: Complimentary tequila toast ritual every evening at sunset on the large outdoor patio where more than 100 tequilas, signature margaritas and handcrafted cocktails can be ordered. 


JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is located on 316 acres in the heart of the Sonoran Desert with mountain vistas. The property is just north of where Phoenix meets Scottsdale and features 950 guest rooms, 240,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, seven dining experiences, a 28,000-square-foot spa, pools, and 36 holes of golf.

DON’T MISS: Two off-the-charts dining experiences are breakfast in the Chef’s Garden and dinner at Studio 26 also known as the “Chef’s Office,” a small, behind-the-kitchen space for exclusive VIP experiences. 


JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa opened in 1936 and was acquired by Marriott Corporation in 1967. Camelback Inn was one of J. Willard Marriott Sr. and his wife’s favorite places to visit and became the company’s first resort. Set on 125 acres of Sonoran Desert terrain, the property has expanded from 118 to 453 guest rooms—each with a private entrance and patio or balcony—and 91,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Groups also can enjoy 36 holes of golf, a 32,000-squarefoot spa, swimming pools and seven restaurants and lounges.

DON’T MISS: The venue at the base of Mummy Mountain provides groups with a taste of the Wild West and lunch on the deck of Rita’s Kitchen overlooking one of the pools can include guacamole prepared tableside. 

How much is too much? At many meetings and events, frazzled and fractured attention spans are put in hyperdrive with a wall-to-wall, dawnto-dusk agenda.

“Things are so rushed in today’s world,” says Angela Coleman, manager of events and meetings for KPMG, LLC in Denver. “Everybody’s got to do five things at once. We’re learning quickly that it doesn’t always benefit our attendees or conferencegoers.”


Denver’s McNichols Civic Center Building was decked out Willy Wonka style on June 20, 2017, for the ninth annual International Live Events Association (ILEA) Denver Excellence Awards. Members and guests celebrated the accomplishments of their peers and enjoyed cocktails, dinner and dancing. A team of judges from the Chicago chapter of ILEA selected the winners.


For the past five years, Destination Colorado has been switching up its Customer Appreciation Event from golf to experiential. This year, partner suppliers helped host planners for a private dinner reception at Red Rocks Amphitheatre followed by a 1964 Beatles tribute band performance. Nostalgic costume items, a photo booth and a roped-off seating section at Red Rocks were part of the fun.