March 15, 2010, PHOENIX — Twenty meeting professionals representing more than $6 million worth of potential annual meeting-and-convention business will visit Greater Phoenix this week to consider the many possibilities available to them at hotels, resorts and the conference facilities at the Phoenix Convention Center. These clients often book multiple meetings during the year.

The Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau and several of its hotels, resorts, and partners are teaming to host these special visitors, who arrange meetings for businesses, trade groups and national associations across the United States.

The Arizona Biltmore will serve as the headquarter resort for the meeting planners during their March 17-20 tour of the Phoenix area — a tour that will include a short daytrip to the famous red-rock landscape of Sedona.

Known as the “Jewel of the Desert,” the Arizona Biltmore has been elegantly hosting events in Phoenix for 80 years, and recent renovations have expanded its meeting space to 100,000 square feet. But it is just one of nearly two-dozen hotels and resorts the meeting professionals will explore. The others:

  • Arizona Grand Resort
  • Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa
  • Hyatt Regency Phoenix
  • JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
  • The Phoenician
  • Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
  • Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
  • Phoenix Convention Center West
  • Royal Palms Resort and Spa
  • Sheraton Crescent Hotel
  • Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel
  • Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
  • Wigwam Resort and Spa
  • Wyndham Downtown Phoenix
  • The Buttes, a Marriott Resort
  • Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Golf and Spa Resort
  • Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort
  • Enchantment Resort (Sedona)
  • Fiesta Resort Conference Center
  • Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas
  • Hilton Sedona Resort
  • InterContinental Montelucia Resort and Spa
  • Scottsdale Plaza Resort
  • Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa
  • Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and Conference Center
  • W Scottsdale

 In addition to touring the accommodations and meeting facilities at these hotels and resorts, the visiting meeting planners will sample local cuisine and get a chance to bask in Phoenix’s sun-warmed spring weather.

“As a hotel-and-resort meetings destination, Greater Phoenix’s reputation precedes it,” said John Harmon, director of resort sales at the Greater Phoenix CVB. “But we can’t rest on reputation alone, especially in this market. This tour gives our hotel and resort partners a chance to communicate the overall value of their facilities in a ‘you’ve got to see it to believe it’ way, and it gives the meeting planners a chance to evaluate a broad spectrum of meeting options in one fell swoop.”

This sort of tour doesn’t just benefit national meeting planners and area hotels and resorts; it’s a potential boon for Greater Phoenix’s economy

According to the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association, group meetings and incentive business account for 70 percent of the revenues and occupancy at most of the state’s resorts. And a survey conducted last year by the Greater Phoenix CVB showed that the average guest room in the City of Phoenix generates $1,710 in property taxes — or 8 percent more than the median household in the city.

“The potential direct spending for the city that these valued clients represent is just part of the story,” said Steve Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix CVB. “In a larger sense, meetings like these keep our hotel industry healthy and our taxes lower.”