CITY NEWS

Starting February 3, Artlink will launch a new First Friday transportation plan. Three intersecting trolley routes will provide patrons more direct access to districts. To give visitors better access to the increasingly popular arts and culture offerings during First Fridays, Artlink Inc. redesigned the paths taken by free trolleys circling Phoenix’s central core into three routes.  The new routes will serve the Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Row/Central Arts and Warehouse/Downtown districts, and become effective on the next First Friday, Feb. 3. They will also be accessible during Art Detour 29, March 17-19. Each trolley route offers a self-guided tour of the districts, allowing patrons to hop-on hop-off at the stops they choose. Volunteer docents staff the hub stops and the trolleys, providing information on the night’s arts and culture offerings. The trolleys run from 6 -10 p.m. every First Friday, and each route will take about 20 minutes to travel it in its entirety. The trolleys, provided by Dunn Transportation, Artlink’s official transportation partner, have been serving First Fridays for several years.

 

RESORT NEWS

Bring your Valentine to downtown Phoenix this year, and the Westin Phoenix Downtown will make sure the night is special. Book the Romantic package and you and your loved one can enjoy: overnight accommodations; Valentine's Day dinner for two with champagne toast at Province Urban Kitchen & Bar (tax and gratuity included); and champagne and chocolate truffles delivered to your room. Rates starting from $500.

Batter Up -- The Spring Training Getaway special at The Camby is the perfect way to relish the spring training season. Upon arrival, guests will enjoy the “Ball Game Grand Slam” amenity. It includes craft beers, premium nuts and caramel popcorn. The package includes a $30 property food & beverage credit. The package starts at $299. The Camby’s welcoming atmosphere makes it a go-to for spring training fans.  Valid for stay dates from February 24 thru March 28, 2017.

The Sheraton Grand Phoenix welcomes baseball fans with its Spring Training Package. The package includes complimentary self-parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, and 1,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points per night. The package requires a two night minimum length of stay and rates start at $259 per night. Get some fresh air, enjoy some baseball, kick off your shoes and take delight in a relaxing stay at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. Valid for stay dates from February 25 - March 29, 2017.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tempe completed a renovation of its lobby, food and beverage area, meeting space, 24-hour fitness center and hotel exterior conforming to the sleek and modern “Formula Blue” design specifications on October 2016. New furniture, fixtures and equipment refreshed the swimming pool and patio area. The updated 888 square-foot meeting space includes flip charts, whiteboard, LCD and digital projector, DVD player and podium. The first phase of the Formula Blue renovation for the 128-guestroom hotel started in July 2016 and ended in October 2016. The second phase will consist of a total hotel room renovation which is scheduled for completion by September 2017. The hotel renovation was managed by San Diego-based hotel management company, RAR Hospitality which assumed management of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tempe in September 2015.

Now the whole family can enjoy ‘date night’ thanks to The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. The hotel’s PlayDateNight program welcomes parents to enjoy a date night dinner while the kids have fun at the Kid’s Club Pajama Party. Open to locals and resort guests, PlayDateNight allows parents to enjoy Latin cuisine at deseo or the mouthwatering dishes at Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Café. While the adults are dining, children will enjoy endless fun at the Kid’s Club Pajama Party where kids can wear PJs and partake in games, crafts, movies and a kid-friendly dinner. PlayDateNight is priced at $120 per family, Sunday through Thursday evenings, with the parents using a $120 credit when they dine at deseo or Nellie Cashman’s. On Friday and Saturday evenings, PlayDateNight costs $120 and the parents enjoy a $100 credit for the restaurants. 

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is pleased to welcome Executive Chef Chuck Kazmer. Kazmer, who will assume responsibility for culinary efforts at the hotel’s Talavera, Proof, Onyx bar & Lounge and Saguaro Blossom, is a 25-year veteran of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. He is arriving most recently from a sister property in Amman, Jordan, so Kazmer is eager to immerse himself in the city’s culture and explore the city’s famer’s markets and restaurants. Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North delivers impeccable, highly personalized service and is delighted to welcome an executive chef who will maintain its service standards.

The Hermosa Inn, a AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Paradise Valley, recently completed the second phase of a $5.5 million dollar renovation and expansion. Situated on six pristine acres of Sonoran Desert landscape with panoramic mountain views, the renovation included the addition of 10 deluxe hideaway casitas, the complete renovation of 12 historic rancho casitas and an expansion of LON’s Last Drop bar and patio, increasing the hotel's number of hacienda-style accommodations and casitas to 43. Phase one of the expansion began in 2015, shortly after the resort was purchased by Allred Capital LLLP, a partnership led by Ron and Mike Allred, who are passionately committed to retaining the legacy and historic charm of the original home and studio built by Arizona's famed and first cowboy artist, Lon Megargee, in the early 1930's.  In 2016, all of Hermosa Inn's existing accommodations underwent a complete renovation, including the installation of wood floors; new and luxurious bedding, soft goods and leather furnishings; reupholstered benches and completely remodeled bathrooms.

What’s better than relaxing by the pool and enjoying delicious food and beverages after Spring Training games? The We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center is offering a Cactus League Spring Training 2017 package starting February 24 -March 30. The package rates start at $289 per night and include a deluxe guest room, $75 food and beverage credit (valid at Ahnala Mesquite Room), one iPhone selfie stick, $10 casino free play per stay, and a 2 p.m. late checkout. This is the perfect package for any baseball fan. In addition to watching baseball, guests can dine on delicious food, sip on beverages, and relax poolside and so much more thanks to We-Ko-Pa’s Cactus League Spring Training 2017 package.    

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia is offering the ultimate romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day weekend. The Retreat to Romance package will include luxurious accommodations, a $100 cuisine and cocktail credit (per stay), a bottle of Chandon sparkling wine delivered to room upon arrival, concierge pre-call to assist with special romantic touches and personal requests, a late checkout at 1 p.m., and a romantic evening turndown service including robes, music and lighting. The Retreat to Romance package is subject to availability through December 31, 2017.

There’s something for everyone this Valentine’s at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Offering spectacular views of the McDowell Mountains, the passionate sounds of live entertainment in Center Stage Bar, crackling fires and starlit nights, trickling fountains, cascading waterfalls and gondola rides along the resort’s waterway. Book the Romance package (exclusively available February 11-14). Enjoy a Deluxe guestroom accommodations including breakfast for two; truffles and champagne; and a 2 p.m. late checkout -- all from $449, not including tax or resort fee.

 

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

Top American Indian and Canadian First Nation hoop dancers will compete at the Heard Museum during the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. Over time, the intertribal hoop dance has expanded to incorporate new and creative designs and extremely intricate footwork. Each dancer presents a unique variation of the intertribal hoop dance, weaving in aspects of his or her distinct tradition and culture. Individual routines are presented using as few as four to as many as 50 hoops, which are manipulated to create a variety of designs including animals, butterflies and globes.  This event showcases a unique sport. Prepare for stunning performances of the men and women who are vying to call themselves World Champion Hoop Dancer.  Dates are February 11 – 12, 2017.

Viva PHX will once again fill downtown Phoenix with live music on March 11. The fourth annual music festival will feature over 70 national, regional and local acts, playing on 15 stages. This year’s lineup includes DJ and mashup master Girl Talk, recently reunited rock band American Football, indie pop band The Drums, emo rock band Joyce Manor, pyschobilly trio Reverend Horton Heat, rappers Mystikal, Warren G and Tone-Loc, and plenty more. Doors open at 6 p.m. and general admission tickets are $25.

A romance that’s sure to set your heart astir, join Ballet Arizona for Romeo & Juliet at The Phoenix Symphony. The most famous love story of all time is performed just in time for Valentine’s Day. Set in 16th century Verona, Romeo & Juliet chronicles Shakespeare’s tale of two passionate teenagers from great families on opposing sides of a bitter feud. With its sweepingly regal ballroom scenes, vivacious swordplay and poignant pas de deux, Ib Andersen’s production is a feast for the eyes and ears. Show dates are from February 9-12, 2017.

Join National Lampoon’s Tommy Koenig for Baby Boomer Baby at the Herberger Theater. Guests will enjoy a knee-slapping flashback through baby boomers’ times and its music. Original music and lyrics along with his rendition of The Beatles, Elton John, Duran Duran, Neil Young and many more sounds will be featured at the show. Main Floor and Mezzanine tickets are priced at $59 and Balcony tickets are priced at $53. Show dates are February 2-26, 2017.

The Propeller Group’s exhibition will be at Phoenix Art Museum. The Propeller Group—an artist team based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam—blurs the boundaries between fine art and media production. Their ambitious projects are frequently anchored in Vietnam’s history or its current dynamics as a growing capitalist market, and yet they extend to address global phenomena, whether international commerce, the tools of war, or shared traditions across cultures.  A number of multi-part projects from the past five years will be presented -- comprised of videos and related objects. Fade In tracks the fake antiques trade in Vietnam. The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music is a film that weaves together funerary traditions from Ho Chi Minh City and New Orleans. This is the first time that these projects have been shown together since the group was formed in 2006. The Propeller Group is not to be missed, and will be on view in the museum’s Anderman, Marshall and Hendler galleries from February 18 – May 14.

The Theater League will present Dirty Dancing at the Orpheum Theatre February 10 -12, 2017. The show will be presented during the evening on Friday and during matinee and the evening on Saturday and Sunday. The Orpheum Theatre hosts a variety of live performances, such as theatrical productions, concerts, Broadway shows, comedy shows and other small scale performances.

 

SPA

Agave, The Arizona Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort is pleased to welcome guests with its Valentine’s Day specials. This romantic spa escape allows couples to celebrate with their Valentine by enjoying the Romance Revival Package and Roses and Chocolate Facial. The Romance Revival Package, priced at $289 and available from February 10-19, allows couples to partake in a side-by-side massage accompanied by soft lighting, music and candles. The guest can choose from a 50-minute Agave master massage, Rollerssage or customized Therapeutic Massage. Following the relaxing massage, the couple will enjoy a glass of champagne while unwinding in their own poolside cabana. The Roses and Chocolate Facial, priced at $149 and available from February 1-28, includes Éminence’s luxurious products to leave guests’ skin looking smooth and refreshed. Agave’s relaxing, pleasurable Valentine’s Day offers are limited.

Pamper yourselves with a treatment at AjiSpa at Sheraton Grand Resort at Wild Horse Pass. Create lasting memories with a luxurious couple’s massage alongside your loved one or choose from one of their many treatment options available at  during Valentine’s weekend. Plus, Aji Spa will be offering a trifecta of fun, flirty cocktails to celebrate your love.  Offerings include; “Rosey Cheeks” with champagne, rosewater and strawberries, “Awake” with gin, agave nectar, club soda, muddled strawberries and lime, or “Prickly Pear Passion” with champagne, passionfruit, and prickly pear liqueur.  Pricing for these specialty beverages starts at$12.

Find your romance ritual at Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. The enticing Romance Ritual package includes a tranquility massage and facial, along with a decadent dessert, champagne to enjoy by the relaxing fireplace and a “Comfort Zone Tranquility Gift Set” to use at home. This irresistible package is available for couples for $600, or individually for $330.  Spa experiences are synchronized to the time of day and include access to the fitness facility, steam and sauna, inhalation room, hot and cold plunges, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas and the French Celtic Mineral Pool. The Romance Ritual package is available February 10- 17, 2017.

Enjoy a Valentine’s Day weekend getaway at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess with its Galentine’s Girls’ Night package or Night Out, Morning In Couple’s package. The gal pal-focused Galentine’s Girls’ Night package includes accommodations in a luxuriously appointed Fairmont room, one complimentary bottle of bubbly upon arrival, and evening access to Well & Being Spa’s facility and amenities. The package is only available from February 10-12. Rates start at $299 per room, per night based on double occupancy. The romantic Night Out, Morning In Couple’s package includes accommodations in a luxuriously appointed Fairmont room, two fireside cocktails to be enjoyed at any of the resort’s restaurants and bar patios, in-room dining breakfast for two. The package is only available from February 10-12. Rates start at $369 per room, per night based on double occupancy.

 

DINING

The Devour Culinary Classic, formerly known as the Devoured Culinary Classic, is the region’s premier week long annual culinary celebration showcasing Arizona’s celebrity culinary talent as well as its fine food and drink producers and purveyors, all while furthering metro Phoenix as a dining destination worthy of international prestige. The Devour Week of events will be held February 26 - March 5 with a series of events celebrating Arizona’s unique culinary talents. The main event, the Devour Culinary Classic, will be held on March 4 and March 5, at Phoenix Art Museum, where the Dorrance Sculpture Garden will come alive with tastings of food, wine, beer, and cocktails, as well as cooking demonstrations and interactive stations where attendees will have a unique opportunity to meet and interact with Arizona chefs.

MATCH Cuisine + Cocktails at FOUND:RE Phoenix has announced its Spring Training CUB HUB menu. The CUB HUB was created by Executive Chef Akos Szabo and features Chicago-inspired food to please Cub fans and just about anyone in search of good eats. The CUB HUB menu will be offered from 4:20 p.m. – 6:20 p.m. before and during the entire Cactus league Spring Training Program. In addition, guests who show their game-day ticket stub will receive 10 percent off their bill for food purchases only. When the Cubs win, guests receive one complimentary “Chef’s Choice” appetizer, with any food or beverage purchase.  MATCH Cuisine + Cocktails at FOUND:RE Phoenix is the place to be for Cubbies fans, and anyone who wants to experience a welcoming atmosphere and delicious food and drinks.

Join Chef Michael Rusconi for a special February Luncheon and Cooking Class at Rusconi’s American Kitchen. Chef Michael will instruct the preparation of these signature dishes: Key West shrimp with fennel, winter citrus and arugula salad; Blackberry glazed pork tenderloin with butternut squash, wilted kale and balsamic jus; and Dark chocolate bread pudding. The flavors will be fresh and incorporate unique ingredients with Rusconi's signature flair. This class is February 25 from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., and the cost is $65 per person which includes instruction, recipes and a 3-course lunch to follow. Wine pairings with lunch available for a $12 supplement.

Ellure Lounge is eager to welcome guests after its grand opening at the end of January. Ellure Lounge offers a trendy, entertaining atmosphere with its sleek décor, plush booths, ideal seating, live entertainment stage and dance floor. It provides the perfect setting for socializing with friends and meeting new people. Head to Ellure Lounge and enjoy music, bottle service and an experience you will not forget.

 

SPORTS/GOLF

The Cactus League has long been a cherished Arizona tradition for locals, tourists and, of course, baseball fans! Millions of folks of all ages have walked through the turnstiles over the years to find the most pastoral of baseball pastimes, spring training. For baseball lovers, it doesn’t get much better than this: sunny weather, affordable tickets and unparalleled proximity to the best players in the game.The 2017 Cactus League season features 15 major league teams and more than 200 games from February 24 - April 1.

The Westin Kierland will tee off its weekends with its Friday Night Lights beginning on February 17. The resort’s Fun team and The Westin Kierland Golf Club are partnering to offer Friday night fun for golfers of all levels and all ages. With golf games, SNAG® golf for kids, 20-minute clinics led by Kierland golf professionals, a nine-hole glow putt course, music and a beverage cart service on the driving range, guests will be able to enjoy endless fun with friends and family while partaking in a variety of golf activities. Friday Night Lights will be offered every Friday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. from February 17 to April 25. Admission to these fun-filled Friday nights is priced at only $10, and children age 6 and under are free with a paying adult. So join the Westin Kierland Golf Club for entertainment, beverages, fun and unforgettable Friday nights.