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Tempe Tourism Blog

Spotlight on Jack Minetti – Conference Concierge at Tempe Mission Palms

February 20, 2018

The Tempe Tourism Office team is fortunate to work with some outstanding hospitality professionals. These professionals help shape the guest’s experience, provide information about what to see and do in Tempe, and help make a conference run smoothly. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jack Minetti, the Conference Concierge at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in the heart of Downtown Tempe. He is the only Conference Concierge in Tempe. It is evident when you meet Jack that he has a real love for people, which shows in his work. Jack is originally from Pittsburgh and set his sights on the sunny state of Arizona in the 1980s. He quickly found a job in the hospitality industry. Jack’s work experience in Arizona includes working for InFlight Food Prep, the famed Estelle’s Jazz Club and the Hyatt Regency as Lead Food Captain. Winning multiple awards for industry excellence, Jack continued to grow and expand his horizons. In 1999, Jack found his way to the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel as Lead Food Captain. While working several key events, Jack began to recognize that guests had many questions and needs. Jack brought his observations to Cheryl Martin, his supervisor, and said “I want to help these people have a meaningful experience during their stay here.” Recognizing Jack’s knack for impromptu action and ideas, the department of Conference Concierge was created. Jack’s mission is to assure that your conference or meeting goes as smoothly as possible. Jack and the staff at the Tempe […]

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How to choose the right speaker for your conference

December 28, 2017

You’ve secured the destination and completed negotiations with the host property, now it is time to focus on the content of the meeting and how you will exceed your attendees’ expectations. As with many meetings, choosing the right keynote speaker to enhance and compliment your program is often times one of the most difficult challenges. Here are some tips to hiring your next speaker and ensuring you find the right fit for your group. Watch your prospective speakers perform When you watch a speaker live, you are able to see how well they are received by the crowd, as well as how they interact with the audience. Are they able to read the crowd reactions and adapt quickly to the responses they are getting? A keynote speaker should absolutely be able to supply you with a video of past sessions and make sure you watch the entire segment so you can determine if they held the audience’s interest for the whole time. Look for speakers who research and prepare thoroughly For your meeting, you want a tailored presentation that will appeal to the specific audience attending your event, which means the speaker will need to put in time either creating a speech from scratch or repurposing an existing speech with your audience in mind. Gauge the speaker’s understanding of the topics, industry and your audience. Make sure to put it in writing in your contract with your speakers that they know and understand you require input and progress updates all […]

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Tempe celebrates equality and diversity

ASU Art Museum in Tempe
October 20, 2017

All cities have a sign welcoming their visitors and residents to the town. Tempe’s sign on Mill Avenue takes it one step further as it states, “Welcome! Our city is an inclusive community.” Tempe has always been an open, inviting and welcoming community. Our city has a rich history of diversity of people and cultures. We celebrate that diversity in our events and festivals, such as the Arizona Dragon Boat Races and Tempe Tardeada. Tempe’s own Arizona State University, one of America’s largest universities, has more than 60 different nations represented in the student body, faculty and staff and has some of the most progressive inclusion policies in the country. Tempe’s appreciation of diversity is reflected in City policies and the Tempe Tourism Office has endeavored to reach out to our visitors from across the country and across the globe, including the LGBTQ community and travelers with disabilities. As part of its progressive vision, the City of Tempe has offered benefits for Domestic Partners of City employees since 1999. In 2014, Tempe further strengthened its stand on non-discrimination with four major milestones: The Tempe City Council unanimously approved an anti-discrimination ordinance that makes in unlawful to discriminate against residents and visitors on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, U.S. Military veteran status, race, color, national origin, age, religion, and disability. The city ordinance bans discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels. Tempe voters unanimously approved (with more than 68 percent approval) an amendment to the […]

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Discover Tempe, AZ – on us!

AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe/Downtown
October 18, 2017

Our goal at the Tempe Tourism Office is to save you time and money when you are planning your next event. How can we accomplish that? We’ve developed a new Tempe Destination Experience program, designed specifically for meeting and event planners. You have many options of where to host your next program and we’ve created a better way for planners to explore Tempe. Forget what you know about FAMs and site inspections. Our Tempe Destination Experience program is focused on your individual needs, allowing you to confidently make decisions about where to host future events. Key program highlights: Flexible date options Flight reimbursement complimentary accommodations Customized itineraries Partnering with area CVBs Free time to experience the destination You can select convenient dates for a visit to our sunny city. You may choose to visit during Cactus League Spring Training, the Tempe Festival of the Arts, Ironman Arizona, or several other exciting events held annually in Tempe. Our team will customize a personal itinerary with tours of local properties and venues that will make your next meeting a success. We partner with Arizona CVBs including Visit Phoenix, Experience Scottsdale, Visit Mesa and more to ensure you see all the properties being considered during your trip. With an efficient itinerary, you will now have time to experience our city like your guests will. Visit our website and fill out the online form to start your Tempe Destination Experience game plan. Or, contact our group sales team directly. We’ll look forward to seeing […]

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The Journey before Ironman: Brent Scholar

October 2, 2017

For the special and accomplished few who cross the finish line at an Ironman race, there are no sweeter words than those from Ironman announcer Mike Riley: “You are an Ironman!” Brent Scholar hopes to hear those words for the first time on November 19, 2017 at IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe. Brent will be competing in his first full Ironman after a journey filled with many challenges that have molded him into who he is today. After November 19th he hopes to add Ironman to his list of accomplishments. Brent began his journey after a bout with vertigo in 2011. He weighed 193 pounds and decided to make a change in his life. He started doing P90X workouts at home and began noticing a difference. He quickly wanted a new challenge, something that allowed him to set a goal. He chose running, and metaphorically he hasn’t stopped since. On his 40th birthday, Brent ran four miles. He began running more and more every day and in 2013, he completed his first half-marathon. He has completed seven full marathons across the country since then. Each time he finished faster than the time before. Looking for a new challenge, Brent decided to purchase a bike and began training for a triathlon in 2014. The Santa Cruz 70.3 was his first triathlon event. Upon completing the 70.3, he circled IRONMAN Arizona as the first full triathlon he wanted to complete. He registered and began his training. Brent ran, swam, and rode his bike […]

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Tempe Fall Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

Four Peaks Octoberfest
August 11, 2017

With 330 days of sunshine each year and a vibrant downtown community, Tempe is the perfect festival location. Fall through spring, you will find a variety of fun festival events in our city. In Tempe for a meeting? Don’t forget to check the calendar and make it a point to mix in a little entertainment as you take a break from a busy day of meetings. Festival season kicks off with the annual Four Peaks Octoberfest at Tempe Town Lake, October 13-15, 2017. A tradition in Tempe going back more than 40 years, this three-day outdoor festival at Tempe Town Lake features beer (of course!), polka dancing and lots of food! What more could you ask for?   Fall brings cooler days to Tempe and it is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran desert at the Desert Botanical Garden.  They welcome fall with a Dia de los Muertos celebration on November 4 and 5, 2017 which offers fun for the whole family. On November 11, 2017, the garden spices things up with the Chiles and Chocolate Festival – offering the best chiles, chocolates, salsas and other Southwestern favorites.  And in addition to tasty treats the festival also has a bar, DJ and live performances. The holiday season kicks off just after Thanksgiving with our annual Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade, November 24, 2017, and the lighting of the Christmas tree. On December 9, 2017, enjoy dazzling lighted boats float across Tempe Town Lake at the […]

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Hot Deals for Summer Meetings

July 13, 2017

Arizona is known for sizzling summer days.  Stay cool this summer with some great offers from our local partners.  Don’t miss out – book a meeting in Tempe by September 15, 2017 and take advantage of some amazing deals!  Already finalized your 2017 planning? Contact our team today and learn the best time of year to plan a cost-effective event in Arizona. Arizona Outdoor Fun & Adventures 15% off Adventure Tours Book your group’s summer desert adventure with Arizona Outdoor Fun and receive 15% off the price of their private two or three-hour guided tours. Call 480-622-1289 for more information and reference the Sizzling Summer Promo to receive the discount. Tempe at the Buttes has 3 group sales specials right now for meetings.  Contact them at 602-225-9000 to see which one is right for you. Say YES to “No” – “NO” Standard Points – Earn DOUBLE Marriott Points Your Destination For Inspiration Select One (1) Complimentary Creative Culinary Team Building Event Make The Season Sparkle Complimentary Dessert Display 75 max count, Chef’s Choice Tempe Mission Palms Summer Sale – more details available by calling (480) 894-1400 today. Don’t miss this awesome deal! Pick 3 Package Pick any 3 specials for your group, including discounts on AV, F&B, comp rooms and more! The Graduate Tempe Summer Special available by calling today at (480) 967-9431 and save when planning your next event. 20/20 Special Enjoy this hot spot for both lodging and culinary delights! 20% off group rates and 20% off F&B, […]

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Happy Hour in Tempe

Postino Annex
June 21, 2017

Are you visiting us from out of town and meeting up for Happy Hour? We’ve got you covered. Here is your summer guide to some of the best Happy Hour specials in Tempe. Keep this in your back pocket and impress all your friends with these great finds: Postino Annex 615 S. College Ave. Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 927-1111 From 11am to 5pm every day of the week they offer $5 wine by the glass and pitchers of beer. If you are still there after 8pm on a Monday or Tuesday, they have any house bottle of wine and bruschetta for only $20. Save $9 off any bottle of wine to go…take happy hour home with you! This Postino location has a beautiful, huge patio and indoor/outdoor bar. The vibe is perfection. Salut Kitchen Bar 1435 E. University Dr. Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 625-3600 Voted Best Happy Hour in Tempe, how can you go wrong? From 3-6:30pm daily take 50% off bottles of wine, $2 off craft cocktails, house wine and craft beer, and $2 off all tapas and s’mores. They have a cute, dog friendly patio and a long bar inside to cozy up to. Did you read the 50% off bottles of wine part? One of the best deals in town. Bar Louie 2000 Rio Salado Pkwy., Ste. 1220 Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 658-1600 This fun spot at Tempe Marketplace is known for their happy hour specials including $3.50 drafts, $4.50 wines and $5.50 signature martinis. You’ll all […]

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What do travel professionals love about Tempe?

Travel professional testimonials for Tempe Tourism Office
March 20, 2017

The Tempe Tourism team strives to give our out of town visitors, meeting planners, meeting attendees, travel writers, and tour operators an experience that highlights the very best of Tempe. While we like to talk about why we love this fun and vibrant city, sometimes it’s nice to hear what others have to say. Check out what some travel professionals recently said about working with our team and their experience while visiting Tempe:  “I’ve had many great experiences in the past, and I’m rarely wowed – but I’ve got to say – WOW – who knew?  Tempe is fabulous!  I especially love the shopping area near ASU.  The properties shown were amazing and the restaurants magnificent.  I absolutely loved the botanical garden and thought the Tempe Center for the Arts is an amazing place. The “Snack Shacks” at Tempe Mission Palms just blew me away, as did the unusual themes of both the Moxy and Graduate properties. As for the Tempe team, what a wonderful working family they are.  You are very lucky to have them.  I salute you all for the wonderful job you did in bringing knowledge about Tempe to us all and in letting us know what a great place it is and will be for future events.” – Carol A. Marotta, Executive Assistant to Chris Casey – EVP, Product Leadership at Nielsen “Thank you, thank you, thank you for such an amazing four days exploring the Tempe and Chandler areas! I feel like we were shown around […]

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State-Of-The-Art Facilities Make Tempe a Sports Destination

Mona Plummer Aquatic Center
January 19, 2017

State-of-the-art facilities make Tempe, Arizona a sports destination for pros and weekend warriors alike. After becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time with his 28 total (23 Gold) medals, Michael Phelps did what a lot of people choose to do upon retirement, move to Arizona. While Arizona’s climate, standard of living, and world-renowned golf courses were an obvious selling point for the gifted swimmer on his next home post-Olympic career, it was his relationship with new Arizona State University’s Swim Coach Bob Bowman (Michael’s own coach) and the wonderful facilities at ASU’s Mona Plummer Aquatic Center that truly intrigued Michael Phelps enough to give coaching a try and move with his family to Arizona. With the addition of Phelps and Bowman, interest in ASU Swimming started to skyrocket. Top high school swimming talent began committing to ASU. As a result of the attention being given to ASU Swimming, the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center has become a destination facility for swimming and diving events on the amateur and professional level. Mona Plummer Aquatic Center was already highly regarded as one of the country’s finest outdoor swimming and diving facilities.  With a seating capacity of 2,000 and an Olympic size, 50 meter by 25 yard, seven foot deep competition pool with a movable bulkhead, the facility has also been targeted by triathlon and amateur swimming organizations for their competitions. ASU’s newly renovated Sun Devil Fitness Complex boasts state of the art facilities and has also emerged as an outstanding place to host […]

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