CITY NEWS

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is now offering CLEAR biometric identity platform at PHX Terminal 4 and will soon be available at all terminals. Launched during a record summer travel season, bringing CLEAR to PHX means travelers can now count on a fast, predictable security experience every time they fly. CLEAR members move through a dedicated lane at airport security where they instantly validate their identities with just the tap of a finger or blink of the eye before moving on to the bag checks and metal detectors. Sky Harbor also ranks no. 3 in the nation for business travelers with affordable public transportation, average $12 Uber fares to downtown and competitive parking fees.

A new daily international flight is coming to Sky Harbor. American Airlines announced it will continue to partner with British Airways to offer travelers a nonstop route between Sky Harbor Airport and Heathrow Airport in London. The seasonal route will begin March 31, 2019 and will run until Oct. 26, 2019.  Passengers on the new flight will board a Boeing 777 which provides over 270 seats, each equipped with Wi-Fi and screens for entertainment. Ticket sales open on Aug. 27th.

The 2018 Cactus League season generated $373 million for Arizona's GDP, according to a study by the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. The study found that the Cactus League created 6,439 annual jobs paying $224.6 million in 2018. Spring training also directly generated a total of $31.9 million in taxes for the state ($24.2 million) and local governments ($7.7 million).

 

RESORT NEWS

The all-new AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix Biltmore is opening Oct. 3 in the heart of Phoenix. The hotel blends “European soul” with sophisticated style to provide guests with a unique perspective and stay here in the Valley of the Sun. AC Hotel Biltmore offers comfortable rooms, fresh European-influenced breakfast including signature French croissants and artisan-cured meats, a hip social lounge, complimentary Wi-Fi and more.

Kick off your weekend with a happy hour like no other at Arizona Biltmore’s Happy Hour History Tours. While enjoying refreshing libations, the resort’s Historians will then share highlights of this Arizona landmark’s storied past since opening in 1929 involving celebrities, worldly dignitaries and U.S. Presidents. It is priced at $20 and includes two cocktails and a 45-minute tour, and it takes place every Friday at 6 p.m.

The Moxy Phoenix Tempe Hotel is introducing its new schedule. The programs will take place in the plug-and-play Moxy living rooms, which serve as the social hub of the hotel, offering communal tables and flexible seating along with a bevy of game tables. Some happenings will take place at the lively pool area - replete with private, shaded cabanas - and, the bar, which is the center of attention at Moxy Tempe, acting as the check-in counter while also serving up cocktails, well-sourced wines and local beers, grab-and-go bites and handcrafted coffee at all hours. Beyond the programming, Insta-worthy experiences abound through innovative hotel features from the Moxy Digital Guestbook to a one-of-a-kind vending machine, offering a playful coterie of items including selfie sticks, fidget spinners and Kylie lip gloss. Activities include themed movie Mondays featuring $7 drink specials, Taco Tuesdays from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. with $5 margaritas and all-you-can-eat chips and salsa, Wednesday’s Live & Local showcasing the area’s emerging talent, Blacklight Bingo on Thursdays from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m., Karaoke on Fridays from 7 p.m. -10 p.m., Saturday Game Days and Sunday Funday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Looking for a little bit of paradise? Then look no further than the JW Marriott Camelback Inn. The resort’s new Paradise Ballroom features breathtaking décor and a welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect place to host an event. 

 

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

It's all about first impressions- and the Musical Instrument Museum is doing it right. When guests visit the museum, they will be welcomed by the hard-to-miss eleven-foot totem pole and large box drum on display at the Northwest Coast and Plateau exhibit. Commissioned from master carvers Calvin Hunt and John Livingston, this Kwakwaka’wakw totem pole and box drum set include family crests in the form of supernatural and animal beings that come to life through music, dance, and song. Both objects illustrate the central role of music in Native American ceremonial settings.

Break a leg! The Herberger Theater Center (HTC) and Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) continue their successful co-presenting partnership with the launch of the "Broadway at the Herberger" series to be presented at HTC during the 2018-2019 season. HTC and ABT will open the new series of shows this September with Stephen Sondheim's musical theatre masterpiece, Sweeney Todd, running Sept. 4-16, 2018. Filled with diabolical humor and extraordinary music, this eight-time Tony Award-winning musical tells the tale of an exiled barber’s quest to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family by a lecherous judge.

Celebrate great beer and all the amazing local bars and restaurants downtown Phoenix has to offer Saturday, Sept. 15 from 1-6 p.m. at the Urban Ale Trail. Participation is free and the tour is self-guided across downtown, with dozens of locations offering three 4-ounce samples of beer for $1 or $2 each, paired with a delicious and complimentary bar snack.

The one-day outdoor Children’s Festival is geared toward kids 3-12 years old, featuring multiple adventure zones with group-specific activities Saturday, Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, game tickets cost $25 for an all-day pass.

Chile Pepper Festival is a kid-friendly celebration on Sept. 29, featuring local food, music, family-friendly activities, dancing, local vendors and delicious chile-inspired cuisine. Located on Roosevelt Row from 5-10 p.m., general admission is $10, food and drink tickets are additional.

Lace up your lederhosen and hit the Bavarian dance floor after sampling some German bier, brats, schnitzel, pretzels and more. Going on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 4-10 p.m. at CityScape in downtown Phoenix, Oktoberfest admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and includes access to the festival, entertainment, games and contests. Food and beverages are sold separately (must be 21 and over).

All Things Comedy Festival is a weekend packed with comedy shows, live podcasts, musical performances and all kinds of activities, including an outdoor block party on Central Avenue. Some additional stand up shows will be held at Orpheum Theatre and Comerica, so be sure to check out the full lineup. Most shows sold separately.

Celebrate the arts in Phoenix with performances by more than 25 local organizations, live music, children’s activities, great food, pet adoptions, wine tastings and more. Festival of the Arts is Saturday, Oct. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Admission is free.

PHX Zine Fest brings people together through a shared love of DIY small-press publications, comics, photo books and art on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m at the Unexpected Art Gallery in downtown Phoenix. It’s a family-friendly day filled with guest speakers, music and paper. Lots of paper. Admission is free.

Don your costume and bring your four-legged best friend to a fun, dress-up day at the park featuring bands, DJs, games, craft cocktails and a costume parade Saturday Oct. 28 from 1-5:30 p.m. The Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade, held at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, starts at 3 p.m. and is $20 to participate (with proceeds benefiting local charities). Festivities at the park are free. More details coming soon.

Fall Fest is a free and family-friendly celebration of everything Arizona, featuring samples from local restaurants, a beer and wine garden, awesome vendors from all over the state, and live entertainment Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Free to attend, food and drink tasting tickets sold separately.

Taste beers from dozens of local and national breweries while enjoying great food and live entertainment Saturday Nov. 10 from 1-5 p.m. on Washington Street between First and Third avenues in downtown Phoenix. General admission ticket prices to NovemBEER start at $25, which includes up to 30 samples and a commemorative tasting mug. Must be 21 years and older.

This year, Arizona Hip-Hop Festival is a family friendly affair (free for kids 5 years and under) and features more than 300 DJs, rappers and artists across multiple outdoor stages. The festival starts at 12 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11 in downtown Phoenix with lots of vendors, food trucks, live painters and more. Tickets start at $25. Artist lineup and venue information coming soon.

The Grand Avenue Festival is fun for the whole family featuring indoor and outdoor art installations, historic building tours, music, food trucks and more. The festival, held on historic Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix, is from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 10 and free to attend. More details coming soon.

More than a dozen local pizza makers come together for a day of cheesy celebration at Phoenix’s annual Pizza Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park. This year’s festival takes place Saturday, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Slices are $2-$4. Pizza Festival general admission tickets are $10 (infants and toddlers are free).

Devour delicious donuts from more than 15 local purveyors while enjoying craft beer, mimosas, coffee, music and activities for the little ones. The Downtown Donut Festival is Sunday, Nov. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Admission is $8 (infants and toddlers are free). Food and drink tickets are for purchase.

Celebrate The Phoenix Chorale’s 60th Anniversary Season Sept. 28-30 with the Desert and Rivers concert series. This season celebrates Arizona’s beauty – twisting rivers, canyons, starry skies and desert vistas – featuring guest conductor Jenny Wong.

Join the Arizona Territory Gourd Society for the 19th Annual Veterans Day Gourd Dance on November 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pueblo Grande Museum. This annual event held at the museum, honors the memory of all the men and women who have served our nation. Gourd dancing is conducted by the Arizona Territory Gourd Society, a non-profit group of American Indian United States War Veterans and their families who celebrate and support the local Arizona veteran community. The event is free and open to the public.

 

DINING

The highly anticipated shipping container marketplace, The Churchill, opened Sept. 1. Get ready to eat, drink and shop your way through local businesses. 10 brands have signed up to set up shop inside: Breadwinner, a brand-new restaurant concept by Culinary Mafia Group; the talented team behind Scottsdale’s EVO; Pedal Haus Brewery, the second installment of the world-class Tempe-based brewpub; Pobrecito, a new cocktail concept from the innovative team behind Counter Intuitive and Undertow; Provecho, a food concept that offers bold flavors from Central Mexico; Freak Brothers Pizza, a food truck turned brick and mortar, which cooks up Neapolitan-style pizzas in 90 seconds using a 1,000-degree oven; Foxy Fruit, a health-conscious spot serving smoothies and acai bowls; Sauvage, a bottle shop offering honest wines at an approachable price; State Forty Eight, a homegrown lifestyle brand that caters to sports fans, outdoor enthusiasts and the fashion-forward; Cosas, a container boutique that will feature the work of local artisans from various regions of Mexico; and Gather, a mindful retail spot offering home and lifestyle goods.

A welcoming Italian-style tavern with craft cocktails with irresistible food? Yes, please. Fellow, set to open this September, will serve a compact yet irresistible menu of pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner. Fellow will also offer premium coffee drinks and freshly-prepared grab & go meals at breakfast, as well as gourmet ice cream. Not to mention a globe-spanning menu of wines by the bottle and glass, as well as craft beers and hand-shaken cocktails. Open daily, Fellow will serve as an all-day hangout, including fun bar games such as standup shuffleboard. Plus, the state-of-the-art kitchen will also offer catering services to surrounding business and SkySong events. 

North Phoenix seafood and steak restaurant Ocean Prime announces its newest feature — a trip to Oregon’s Willamette Valley by way of salmon and wine. Ocean Prime is serving up the season’s first catch of wild salmon from the Columbia River, line-caught and delivered next day to Ocean Prime’s Phoenix location, paired with two Oregon Pinot Noirs — one from Penner Ash and one from WillaKenzie Estate.

Calling all seafood lovers. Famed local fishmongers, Jon Heflin and Hogan Jamison of Chula Seafood Fresh Fish Market + Restaurant recently announced an all-new storefront coming to Phoenix's Uptown Plaza. Chula Seafood Market at Uptown Plaza will offer a wide selection of never frozen, sustainable fish-by-the pound, including additional shellfish options and mouthwatering house-smoked seafood. It is set to open this fall.

The team behind Phoenix favorite The Clever Koi is expanding their reach with a new craft cocktail bar, Across The Pond.  Across The Pond (4236 N. Central Ave #101), an intimate craft cocktail bar, reclaims the old Central Wine space just across the walkway from the Clever Koi's Phoenix location. Now under construction, Across The Pond (ATP) will feature a compact, ever-changing menu of 10 different custom cocktails, plus an extensive selection of Japanese whisky, craft beers and wines, all paired with the Valley's freshest sushi and bar bites served off the Clever Koi menu next door.

Learn how to cook a five-star meal at home at Match Restaurant & Lounge’s latest cooking class led by Executive Chef Alex Stratta. The class features a welcome cocktail along with a demonstration and tasting of three fungi-inspired recipes. You’ll learn to make maitake mushroom and chicken liver crostini with raisins and green apples, shiitake and porcini gemelle with parmigiano and butter, and chicken and chanterelle fricassee with artichokes, bacon and shallots.

On your mark, get set, grill! The Slider Throwdown returns this year to grill up some burgers while supporting local foster children. The competition will be held at Kierland Commons from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. Admission is $35 and includes samples of all sliders plus three non-alcoholic drink tickets. All proceeds from the event benefit the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF), which is dedicated to giving foster children the opportunity for “normal” childhoods and prepare them for successful adulthoods through programming and scholarships. To date, the organization has awarded more than $5.7 million to 26,000 children —and counting — in foster care in Arizona.

Granada Bar & Grill, located in the Embassy Suites Scottsdale Hotel, is now serving up a new, fresh menu. Enjoy dishes like vegan wraps, blackened salmon, half-rack BBQ pork ribs and so much more. Plus, wash down your meal with a custom cocktail like the La Belle Fleur that incorporates hibiscus-infused vodka made in house. 

 

SPORTS/GOLF

Take us out to the ballgame because the Arizona Diamondbacks have announced the start of their 2019 season. The D-Backs will host the Red Sox for the second time in franchise history at Chase Field on Friday, April 5. If you want to catch a game (and a fly ball) sooner, the D-Backs are concluding the 2018 season Sept. 30.

The Arizona Cardinals have awarded naming rights for the University of Phoenix Stadium to State Farm insurance company. As a result of the 18-year agreement, the venue will be known as State Farm Stadium. The partnership will also focus on community programs to bring about a positive impact across Arizona.  The stadium recently completed $28 million in renovations to their club level earlier this year and was recently selected to host Super Bowl LVII in 2023 and the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball finals in 2024.