CITY NEWS

ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus continues to expand as the Thunderbird School of Global Management will relocate from Glendale to the growing urban campus in downtown. The building for the school will be located between First and Second streets, adjacent to the recently built Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. It is slated for completion in January 2021. The building will include classroom, meeting and office space, as well as two executive education floors and a rooftop function space. 

American Airlines is adding two destinations from Phoenix and amping up service on another route. The carrier will begin flights to Oklahoma City and Amarillo, Texas, on April 3. American also is adding an extra daily flight between Phoenix and Edmonton International Airport in Alberta, Canada, for the peak winter tourism season. It will offer two daily non-stops between Dec. 15 and April 2. The new flights will be operated by American regional airline partner Mesa Airlines, flying as American Eagle.

Good news for all those wishing to escape the desert weather – Air Canada will be adding connecting flights between Phoenix and Montreal in early 2018. The seasonal service will run from Feb. 22 – May 28, 2018. The nonstop flight will run service through Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, operating three times a week on a 136-seat Airbus 319.

 

RESORT NEWS

It’s almost that time of year again. Get ready for Spring Training at Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel with the Spring Training, Sip & Stay in Downtown Phoenix Package. The offer includes a guest room, two cocktails per night and late checkout with rates beginning at $309 with the cluster code SPO.

Wind down from the excitement of Spring Training games at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. With dates from Feb. 23 to April 1, book using the code LCPKG1 to receive the Spring Training 2018 package at the property. The special includes a daily rate of $139+ for deluxe accommodations, complimentary wifi and free kids meals with the purchase of an adult meal.

Learn to create your own masterpieces, no matter your skill level at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. The resort’s curated Artist in Residence program lets guests rub elbows, paint brushes and other artist’s tools with some of Arizona’s most talented artists in a host of different mediums.  The program opens with a sunset reception with each artist on Sanctuary’s Paradise Views Patio. It continues with an Artist Workshop in another private venue called Praying Monk after the signature rock formation on Camelback Mountain. The workshop, priced at $125 per person, is designed for all levels of artistic accomplishment, from beginner to advanced.  Guests will get professional instruction, insights on technique and the creative process, and materials to create a finished work of art. Following each workshop, participants are invited to join the artist for lunch in elements restaurant. Featured artists include Beth Ames Swartz, nationally recognized artist featured in the PBS film Reminders of Invisible Light; Rembrandt Quiballo, professional photographer who will teach participants to take impressive photos on their smart phone; and Rosa Kilgore, who will lead an exciting workshop using sterling silver, semi-precious charms and amulets to create wearable art. Event dates will be announced in the New Year.

The acclaimed Storytelling & Song program, now in its eleventh year, returns for the winter season at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. Storytelling & Song aims to protect and share the ancient cultures, traditions and meaningful history of the Pima and Maricopa People.  Enrolled members tell a combination of Pima and Maricopa legends based on desert wildlife, typically with a moral lesson, as well as personal stories about their experiences growing up on the surrounding Tribal lands. Traditional and social songs are also shared during the one-hour presentation that will take place from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. It is held at the resort’s outdoor fire pit and is complimentary to all resort and resort restaurant guests. The program opened with a ceremonial blessing on Dec. 7 and will continue until the closing blessing on Feb.  17.

Hilton Phoenix/Mesa is known for its unbeatable amenities, spacious rooms and suites, and its proximity to Phoenix attractions. Now it is pleasing guestswith a complete property renovation. Renovations included all guest rooms, exterior paint, meeting space, lobby and the restaurant. It also included a Starbucks and the Executive Lounge relocated to the lobby area. The complete property renovation was completed in December 2017.

Kick off the New Year with a new approach to fitness and wellness at Boulders Resort. 12 Weeks to Wellness is a new fitness program that will be offered throughout 2018 and includes two fitness assessments with the spa’s certified fitness instructor; weekly sessions with the spa’s certified personal trainer; customized healthy eating programs by the spa’s certified nutritionist. The program also includes all fitness classes and 15 percent off meals at the Spa Café. 12 Weeks to Wellness is available for both resort guests and local residents.

 

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

The Churchill, a new micro marketplace built out of old shipping containers, started construction in November 2017. Named for the Evans Churchill neighborhood where it will reside, it brings a community-driven mantra and attitude, requiring tenants to complete four volunteer hours monthly and encouraged to create community events. Inside The Churchill, visitors can shop, dine and enjoy a total of 10 locally owned and operated concepts, including Pobrecito, a new cocktail concept from Barter & Shake, the first brick and mortar location of the Freak Brothers Pizza food truck, Cosas, a container boutique offering unique gifts made by local artisans from various regions of Mexico, Pedal Haus Brewery, the world-class Tempe brewpub and State Forty Eight, the homegrown lifestyle brand offers stylish apparel for sports fans, outdoor explorers and the more fashion-forward.


A local pop up shop has found a permanent home on Phoenix’s iconic Roosevelt Row. POP PHX is a pop up retail shop that showcases goods from local vendors. POP PHX was founded by Ashley Bourget and it has a very interesting way of doing business. They do not sell any merchandise of their own; instead, they use their space for small vendors to sell their own products. POP PHX charges vendors just to use the space, and not a percentage of their sales. The new site on Roosevelt Row is set to open on Jan. 5th, 2018.

The Nash, one of the top jazz venues in the world, will unveil a new exhibit of work from three local artists: mixed-media collage artist Aileen Frick and painters Abe Zucca and José Andrés Girón.  The exhibit, "Home:  Celebrating Community reflects the artists' impressions of community through iconic paintings of our downtown Phoenix neighborhoods, displayed from Jan. 3 - March 31, 2018.  The work on display will include mixed-media images of neighborhoods, paintings of iconic Phoenix scenes, and a selection of paintings featuring jazz centenarians.

See a selection of remarkable, acclaimed foreign films at the 22nd Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival. Rejoice in this annual crowd-pleasing two-week annual event with 21 new films and five short films ranging from defiance and struggle to laughter and love, with stories that engage both mind and heart. In addition, The Arizona premiere of Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel, featuring former and current Jewish Major League Baseball players who played for Israel in the World Baseball Classic, coincides with the start of Cactus League Spring Training, featuring a few familiar ballplayer faces that will grace the big screen and baseball diamonds across the Valley. Guest speakers with knowledge of specific topics applicable to the films will moderate discussions following many of the screenings. All three screening locations will hold Valentine's Day screenings of the film An Israeli Love Story on Feb. 14 with special Valentine's Day promotions. A special Jewish folk music performance by the Rural Street Klezmer Band will precede the Tempe screening of ITZHAK on Feb. 15 in Tempe. The festival will take place Feb. 11 - 25, 2018.

The beautiful winter weather makes for the perfect time to enjoy local eats at Grazing Arizona: Street Eats Food Truck Festival. Hosted at Salt River Fields, savor over 60 of the Valley's finest food trucks while enjoying live bands, lawn games, eating contests, local vendor marketplace, kid's zone, cooking classes, and more! Unspooling across the endless grass lawns at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11, 2018, this family-friendly festival is open from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily. Tickets to the 2018 Street Eats Food Truck Festival are on sale now for $12 ($15 at the gate), or $65 for VIP access, including six beverages and four food tokens, private restrooms, plus access to VIP Lounge. All food trucks accept cash and most accept credit cards. Most importantly, all food trucks will be serving up $2 samples so you can graze the day away.

Explore the photographic revolution at the Phoenix Art Museum. The Logic of Copy: Four Decades of Photography in Print delves into the fusion of printmaking and photography that transformed the art world beginning in the 1960s.  It highlights the influence of artists as Robert Heinecken, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, James Turrell and Tacita Dean. The exhibit is open until April 22, 2018.

Kick off 2018 with Pueblo Grande Museum for a variety of not-to-be-missed activities. At the Behind the Scene Tour on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m., take an intimate tour of the lab, storage, and archival areas not open to the public and see how museums process, organize, and care for their collections. Cost is $5. Space is limited, register at front desk in Museum Lobby. The Petroglyph Discover Hike on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., the whole family will enjoy short one mile Hohokam petroglyph discovery hike at South Mountain for an easy but also petroglyph rich hiking experience. Space is limited and registration is required by Jan. 18, 2018 cost is $5. At the Park of Four Waters Tour on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m., take a walk through undeveloped, natural desert to the ruins of prehistoric Hohokam canal systems. Cost is $5; Space is limited, register at front desk in Museum Lobby.

Calling all fans of action and adrenaline. Monster Jam is back for another exciting weekend event with even bigger trucks and more excitement. On Feb. 3, 2018 Monster Jam takes center stage in at the University of Phoenix Stadium, sporting meticulously manicured dirt tracks created with the sole purpose of pushing these perfectly engineered larger-than-life 12,000 pound trucks to the limit.   Monster Jam is one of the only sports where male and female world-class drivers, some generational rivals, are equals competing for the same championship on the same track. New in 2018 across all Monster Jam events, fans will have the chance to vote for the truck winner in the donut, wheelie and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-arena fan voting on their smartphones.

Art and nature are intertwined during the enchanting return of MOMIX’s Opus Cactus. With only three performances from Jan. 12-13, 2018, Ballet Arizona and Desert Botanical Garden invite audiences on a dynamic journey where MOMIX’s dancers’ bodies become towering cacti and bring the landscape of the American Southwest to life through the illusionistic style of critically acclaimed Opus Cactus. Tickets start at $35.

What better way to enjoy Phoenix’s fabulous winter weather than at the seventh annual Arizona Cocktail Week-End? From Feb. 17-19, 2018, shake up some fun at the festival’s new location in Downtown Phoenix. The 2018 Arizona Cocktail Week-End kicks off on Saturday, Feb.  17 with an all-new opening night party "The Cocktail Jam,” hosted at The Van Buren. The Cocktail Jam will pair trending spirit brands, amazingly crafted cocktails with live music to create a one of kind experience. 

Join Phoenix New Times to celebrate everyone’s favorite street food – tacos. At Tacolandia on Jan. 27, 2018, guests can enjoy an endless selection of tacos from the Valley’s favorite taquerias. General admission is $25, and includes entry, unlimited taco samples, entertainment and access to the festival’s cash bars. For those wanting an extra memorable experience, a VIP ticket is available for $45. VIP ticketholders will have access to the private VIP entrance, VIP lounge and two drink vouchers. Tickets are available now.

Vroom, vroom. Calling all automotive enthusiasts.  Barrett-Jackson, The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions, will be in the Valley this January. Head to WestWorld of Scottsdale and gaze at stunning cars and chat with fellow car lovers. The show will take place Jan. 13 – Jan. 21, 2018.

Downtown Chandler’s newest shopping destination, Overstreet, announced two exciting (and delicious) new tenants for the center, which is expected to open in early 2018. Local dining concepts Over Easy and Camp Social will join the Valley’s first Flix Brewhouse as the first occupants of the venture. Over Easy, featured on Food Network and other national media outlets, is a favorite for eggs, pancakes and a modern twist on breakfast classics. Camp Social, a camping-themed dining experience, will be opening its second location at Overstreet. With delicious “trail snacks” and main dishes such as Smoked Steak Tartare, Camp Social will bring all the comforts of scrumptious dining and camping into one.

 

SPA

Start off the New Year with a rejuvenating Comfort and Jon Cranberry Body Wrap treatment at The Spa at Camelback Inn. Rejuvenate your body and spirit with moisturizing ale while wrapped in linen sheets steamed in cranberry and pomegranate, intended to aid in circulation, relax muscles and improve skin. Plus, a mask of cranberry, orange blossom water, lavender oil and mandarin moisture will restore your skin’s natural bright glow. Enjoy the 60 minute treatment for $165 until Jan. 31, 2018.

Specials are abound at the Well & Being Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess! Treat yourself and a loved one to any two 90-minute treatments, and receive a $45 discount for both of your sessions, book the Let it Glow package for a facial or body scrub, express manicure and lunch for $299, receive a $35 customized aromatherapy blend to be used for a massage or body scrub treatment, or enjoy assisted stretching or acupuncture to revitalize following the holiday stress.

 

DINING

Fans of healthy eating rejoice. Fox Restaurant Concepts’ Flower Child, a dining spot dedicated to healthy and wholesome ingredients, will open its newest location at Desert Ridge Marketplace in spring 2018.  Flower Child’s bowls, wraps, grains and greens are all made from scratch every day. The location will be the 11th for the concept. Flower Child at Desert Ridge Marketplace will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, and will be located in the southwest corner of the shopping center near Target. The restaurant joins three culinary favorites that have been added to Desert Ridge Marketplace in the last year, MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company, Barrio Queen and Sizzle Korean BBQ.

Transform your home cooked meals into delicious restaurant dishes following a cooking demonstration at MATCH: Kitchen and Cocktails.  For $50 a person, up to 15 attendees can learn how to cook like a professional with Chef Alex Stratta, plus receive a complimentary reception beverage. The classes, held on the first Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will range from healthy and light dishes, delightfully indulgent meals, and a session on how to improvise using what’s out at the market.

Good news for all those who love Gadzooks' customizable Mexican fare – the fast-casual Mexican restaurant is now open in the heart of the Arcadia/Biltmore areas just east of 40th Street on Camelback. This all-new Gadzooks boasts the same gourmet menu of bold, from-scratch Mexican favorites served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, highlighted by an infinitely-customizable selection of enchiladas (plus tacos, nachos, salads and breakfast fare) made with cooked-to-order tortillas, slow-braised meats, vegetables, Mexican cheeses and a variety of house-made sauces and salsas. However, unlike the original Gadzooks, this new location is housed inside a custom-built space with an expansive al fresco dining patio off the adjacent Arizona Canal. Plus, this new location also serves up a custom craft beer that pairs perfectly with spicy foods, a proprietary Bavarian-style Hefeweizen named Casa Blanca and locally made by Wren House Brewing Co.

Arizona is no stranger to craft beer, but how many craft ciders have you seen? Well, you’re in luck as Cider Corps has recently begun distributing craft cider from Mesa. The cidery, owned by two brothers, distributes to over 40 restaurants and bars across the state, offering about a dozen different flavors including hopped prickly pear, cold brew coffee and mango habanero. In addition to distribution, the cidery also operates a taproom in downtown Mesa, open from noon to midnight every Saturday.

 

SPORTS/GOLF

The 2018 Cactus League schedule has been announced Cactus League Spring Training, a seasonal rite in Greater Phoenix, roars to life every spring with the iconic sounds of cracking bats, snapping mitts and happy fans. 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 2018 Cactus League season features 15 major league teams and more than 200 games from February 23 to March 27, 2018.

Don’t miss out on “The Greatest Show on Grass”, also known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Watch your favorite golfers hit the links and get rowdy at the 16th hole Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2018 at TPC Scottsdale. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the most attended golf tournament around the world for a reason; check it out for yourself and see why this golf open is not to be missed.