PHOENIX (Feb. 24, 2009) — Taking a cue from the federal government, the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau has put together a stimulus package designed to help visitors — and locals — take advantage of unseasonably low prices at several of metropolitan Phoenix’s hotels, resorts and restaurants.

From now through April 30, 2009, visitors who log on to the Greater Phoenix CVB’s “Spring Stimulus” page can find room rates as low as $36 and resort packages that include free night stays and golf rounds. Meanwhile, local fine-dining establishments are offering dinner-for-two specials for less than $50 and three-course meals for as little as $25.

“Just because the economy is in a funk doesn’t mean you have to be,” said Kevin Kamenzind, senior vice president of sales and marketing at the Greater Phoenix CVB. “That’s our message to visitors, and especially locals. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Arizona can save money on spring getaways and stimulate the local economy by enjoying the beauty in our own backyard.”

Spring is the peak season for tourism in America’s sunniest metropolis, and that typically translates into peak room rates. But as part of the Spring Stimulus program some hotels and resorts are advertising summer-like rates for springtime dates.

The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa is offering rooms for $179, a rate reminiscent of summer weekend specials at the famed resort. Other Phoenix-area resorts are advertising next-night discounts. Guests who book two nights at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa can stay the third night for free, and those who pay a regular rate for one night at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa get the next night for half off.

Golf-loving guests can book a studio suite at the Legacy Golf Resort for $99 and get a 20 percent discount on greens fees, or enjoy complimentary round with a $199 stay at Arizona Grand Resort.

Hotels and resorts are also tossing in summer-style dining and beverage credits. The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass’ package includes a $25 food credit and complimentary breakfast for two, and the Embassy Suites Phoenix Biltmore is giving guests a $50 credit to Omaha Steakhouse plus a coupon book packed with $750 in savings at area Westcor malls.

Foodies looking for a spring break in Greater Phoenix visit the Spring Stimulus page to find out about specials on both fine cuisine ($35 for a three-course prix fixe menu at Roy’s Desert Ridge) and midweek wine (half-price bottles on “Wine Down Wednesday” at 1130 Restaurant).

“It’s not enough to remind residents how important tourism is to Arizona’s economy; we also want to illustrate the value of the visitor experience here and provide incentives for taking advantage of it,” Kamenzind said.

“If you’re thinking about coming in for spring training, or you’re a local who has friends and family who are contemplating to visit, we want you to know that, even in this economy, a Phoenix getaway is incredibly accessible. The desert always provides a gorgeous spring; now our hotels, resorts and restaurants are providing the stimulus.”