PHOENIX (April 23, 2009) — Not all Facebook friends are created equal.

Some are clever. Some are thoughtful. Some are irreverent. And, well, some blithely populate their walls with invitations to discover your inner cartoon character and too-frequent status updates in the vein of, “Jane isn’t crazy about the grittiness of the new toothpaste she just bought.”

The Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau is committed to being the sort of Facebook friend anyone could love. Starting April 29, fans of the CVB’s “Visit Phoenix” Facebook page can win multiple-night stays, dinners for two, spa treatments and rounds of golf at some of Greater Phoenix’s most renowned resorts.

First up: A two-night stay at Royal Palms Resort and Spa and candlelit dinner for two at the resort’s signature restaurant, T. Cook’s. To win, Facebook users simply must be the first to post the correct answer to a trivia question about the resort on the Visit Phoenix wall.

In subsequent weeks, Facebook fans of Visit Phoenix can expect to find similar packages from the Ritz Carlton, Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, Montelucia Resort and Spa, The Fairmont Scottsdale, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa, The Westin Kierland, The Phoenician, the Arizona Grand and more.

These giveaways highlight a social-media marketing campaign by the Greater Phoenix CVB that also includes a new blog, Twitter and Flickr accounts, and an online video series.

The Facebook and Twitter accounts give Visit Phoenix followers the inside scoop on fresh things to see and do in America’s sunniest metropolis (and facilitate the process with the aforementioned freebies).

The blog, called The Hot Sheet (, is a frequently updated compendium of restaurants, shops and activities not typically found in the Greater Phoenix CVB’s membership rolls or Official Visitors Guide.

“The Hot Sheet is atypical of tourism-bureau blogs in that it isn’t self-promotional,” said Kelley Cooper, Internet Marketing Manager for the Greater Phoenix CVB. “What we’ve created instead is an online hub for locals and visitors who crave information about independently owned businesses and urban success stories — the sort of underground stuff that gives Phoenix its character.”

Among the many subjects so far covered by The Hot Sheet are new neighborhood eateries such as Postino Central and Tuck Shop, and funky shopping spots such as Hollywood Regency and Bunky Boutique. Recurring “Weekender” posts offer the blog’s readers ideas about things to do over the weekend, and a “Free Phoenix” post lists activities that promise fun without a price tag.

In the Greater Phoenix CVB’s new web-video series “Phoenix Dream Days,” Phoenicians of local and national renown take viewers on a daylong tour of their favorite local hangouts. The inaugural video, hosted by celebrity chef Mark Tarbell, can be found at, and on YouTube and iTunes.

“The goal of all our new social-networking initiatives is the same: to engage locals and visitors in an organic and entertaining way,” Cooper said. “The blog posts and updates and videos are like little love notes about Phoenix, written by locals for locals. And if you’re a visitor, you can only benefit by taking a peek.”

Or search “Visit Phoenix” on Facebook page