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Tempe Tourism Blog

Six Questions for Brian McCartin, President & CEO

Brian McCartin Tempe Tourism
January 24, 2018

Brian McCartin is the new President & CEO of the Tempe Tourism Office. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet him yet, we wanted to give you a chance to get to know him and find out what he likes most about Tempe and what he sees for Tempe’s future as a tourism destination. Since beginning his new post, Brian has immersed himself in learning about our great city. Now that he’s had time to experience Tempe, we wanted to get his impressions so far. The Tempe Tourism team asked Brian six questions which he tackled with gusto. We like his answers and think you will too. You worked at Travel Portland for 15 years. What positions did you hold there?  I started as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  After several years, and as the dynamics of the destination were changing (an expanded convention center, increased international air service, several new hotels, etc.), we changed my role to more of a sales and services focus. My title changed to Executive Vice President of Convention and Tourism Sales.  Prior to joining Travel Portland, I had been a hotelier in Portland and for five years I served on Travel Portland’s Board of Directors, including a term as the Board Chair.  So, I really worked for/with Travel Portland for 20 years. What excites you the most about working for the Tempe Tourism Office?  Tempe is a terrific destination with so much to offer.  And while centrally located within the greater […]

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Tempe events: Carnival of Illusion at TCA

Carnival of Illusion
January 23, 2018

Tempe events include the Carnival of Illusion at Tempe Center for the Arts, January 25 and 26, 2018. What is the Carnival of Illusion?  Imagine an interactive vaudeville inspired theater show with old-world magic, add a twinkling hint of 1900’s Parisian humor, all packed into 100 fun-filled minutes. Carnival of Illusion is magic, mystery, and OOOH La La. Carnival of Illusion stars the dynamic husband/wife team of Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed.  Recipients of “Excellence in Magic,” Sarlot and Eyed have performed as house entertainers at the world’s top resorts, to Fortune 100 CEOs and to the 200 Most Powerful Women in America. Catch the longest running Arizona theater show in history at the Tempe Center for the Arts this January 25 and 26. To purchase tickets, visit www.carnivalofillusion.com/  or call (480) 350-2829. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. January 23: Avatar The Marquee January 25: Eric Schwartz Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre January 26: People Who Could Fly Tempe Marketplace January 26: ASU School of Music presents From the New World: Ko, Hidgon and Dvorak ASU Gammage January 26: August Burns Red The Marquee January 26-27: Jim Belushi & The Board of Comedy Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre January 26-27: Carnival of Illusion Tempe Center for the Arts January 27: Hello Swindon Tempe Marketplace January 27: Sara Robinson Band Tempe History Museum January 27-March 11: Childsplay presents The Snowy Day Tempe Center […]

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Tempe Public Market Cafe is open for business

Tempe Public Market
January 17, 2018

The wait is finally over for Tempe Public Market Cafe. It opened this weekend at the corner of Rural and Warner Roads in South Tempe and welcomed hungry diners looking for something new and different. Tempe’s newest restaurant is the latest venture by Chef Aaron Chamberlin, the major talent behind St. Francis and Phoenix Public Market Cafe. Tempe Public Market Cafe is my new favorite restaurant and I know I’m not alone. There’s so much to love about it. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this community cafe serves fresh food crafted with seasonal ingredients sourced mostly from local and organic farms. Perfect for casual dining with a walk up and order set-up, this is the perfect spot for getting together with friends and family. This restaurant offers a cozy, yet trendy atmosphere. I especially love the large outdoor patio with both misters for summer, and heaters and a large fireplace for winter. I can already see myself enjoying a cappuccino in front of the fireplace while I sample my newest favorite item from the menu. For my first visit, I headed over early morning to try out their breakfast offerings, and beat the rush. I ordered the frittata – eggs, farmers market vegetables, cheddar cheese, arugula, pesto and toast. It was so good I almost licked my plate. I sat for awhile afterwards to enjoy my cappuccino and to people watch. Although very busy, the restaurant team did a good job serving everyone pretty quickly. They were all […]

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Tempe events: Childsplay presents The Snowy Day at TCA

Childsplay presents The Snowy Day
January 16, 2018

Tempe events include the opening of Childsplay’s production of The Snowy Day at the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) on January 21, 2018. The Snowy Day celebrates the magic and boundless possibilities of the first snowfall! Follow Peter and his friends as they romp and play, starting snow ball fights and making snow angels in this imaginative musical play about the childhood joys and challenges of growing up. Using innovative shadow puppetry, Peter and his pals come to life in this humorous and fun adaptation of three stories by author illustrator Ezra Jack Keats: Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, A Letter to Amy and The Snowy Day. You can see The Snowy Day  on weekends from January 21-March 11, 2018. To purchase tickets visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website, or call 480-350-2822. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. January 18-20: David Alan Grier Tempe Improv Comedy Theater  January 19: August in Stereo Tempe Marketplace January 19: Maggie Smith: Good Bones Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, ASU Tempe Campus January 20: The Brightside Tempe Marketplace January 20: Neck Deep The Marquee January 20: Pierce Brown: Iron Gold Changing Hands Bookstore January 20: Aldo Lopez Gavilan Trio: “The Cubans are Coming!” Tempe Center for the Arts January 20: Kristina Wong ASU Gammage  January 21: John Hiatt & The Goners The Marquee  January 21-March 11: Childsplay presents The Snowy Day Tempe Center […]

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Tempe events: Lakeshore Music presents A Piano Triptych

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 9, 2018

Tempe events include A Piano Triptych, presented by Lake Lakeshore Music  at Tempe Center for the Arts on January 13.  The program features three renowned pianists, Nicole Pesce, Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, performing an evening on Broadway with two concert grand pianos. Pianist, keyboardist, composer and arranger Nicole Pesce entertains audiences with her unique blend of virtuosity, humor and pizzazz. With a repertoire consisting of over 12,000 memorized songs, Nicole is often dubbed “the human iPod” and is recognized as one of the “top ten musicians to hear in Phoenix” by the Arizona Republic. She has appeared on Phoenix’s prime time news, television and radio stations as well as in magazines and newspaper article. Stephanie Trick (Harlem stride piano virtuoso) and Paolo Alderighi met at a piano festival in Boswil near Zürich, Switzerland in 2008 and started to collaborate on a four-hands piano project dedicated to classic jazz, preparing arrangements of songs from the swing era, as well as drawing from the ragtime and blues repertoire. They have performed at national and international festivals and concerts. This premiere performance on January 13 at the Tempe Center for the Arts is a benefit for the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute Scholarship Fund at Arizona State University. To purchase tickets, visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. For a complete listing of Tempe’s live […]

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Spotlight on: Anibal Abayneh, GM of Cafe Lalibela

Anibal Abayne Cafe Lalibela GM
January 5, 2018

The smells of the delicious food served at Cafe Lalibela greets you with a warm welcome. And is complemented by the warm welcome we received from GM of the restaurant, Anibal Abayneh. We had the opportunity to sit down with Anibel to learn about the unique story of the restaurant, and the food they bring to Tempe locals and visitors everyday. Opened in 1996, Cafe Lalibela was the first Ethiopian restaurant opened in Arizona. 21 years later, it’s still humming with the tastes of Ethiopia by the original chef, Abayneh’s mother-in-law. A favorite among locals and ASU students and professors, everything that comes of out this kitchen is not only delicious, but also gluten free, sugar free, nut free and preservative free. But, you would never know how healthy this food really is. Every bite is rich with intense flavor and spices. It warms your belly and your soul. Guests will experience eating in the traditional Ethiopian way as well – no utensils. You eat using your fingers by scooping your dishes up with the spongy bread provided with your meal. Don’t let that intimidate you though – everyone there is so nice and welcoming – and ready to give guests a quick tutorial. It took about 5 seconds for me to dig in after being shown the way to best enjoy my meal.   Cafe Lalibela is located in Tempe on the SE corner of University and Hardy, just minutes from Downtown Tempe and Arizona State University. 849 W. University […]

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Tempe events: Annie at the Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 2, 2018

Tempe events include Scottsdale Musical Theater Company’s production of Annie at the Tempe Center for the Arts, January 4-7.  TV, film and Broadway star Bronson Pinchot portrays Daddy Warbucks in the limited one week engagement of this classic musical. The show also features TV and Broadway star Kaitlin Hopkins as Miss Hannigan. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.ScottsdaleMusicalTheater.com or call (602) 909-4215. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. January 2-14: ZooLights Phoenix Zoo January 2-6: Tempe Xhibition: Celebrating ten years at the TCA Gallery Tempe Center for the Arts January 2-20: ASU Art Exhibition: Porøs ASU Art Museum January 2-March 31: Footprints on the Desert: Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park January 3-7: Scottsdale Musical Theater presents Annie Tempe Center for the Arts January 4-6: Comedian Alex Moffat Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre January 5: Author Andrew Bourelle: Heavy Metal Changing Hands Bookstore January 5: Life Thru Letters Tempe Marketplace January 6: Ratio Tempe Marketplace Sundays through April 22: 6th Street Market 24 E. 6th St.      

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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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Take a Hike, Tempe!

December 26, 2017

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do and it’s the perfect time of year to start off the day with an early morning trek. It’s a great way to learn about the Sonoran Desert landscape and mix with the locals too. In the Tempe/Phoenix area, there are so many choices of hiking trails that it can be hard to choose where to go. Here’s a quick guide to some of my favorite Phoenix hiking trails. Papago Park and South Mountain Park are also popular for recreational mountain biking in Tempe, AZ. Just remember, take lots of water, wear sunscreen and go with a friend. It’s just more safe (and fun) that way! Papago Park Papago Park offers several easy hikes to choose from and it’s easy to get to from any part of the Valley. The trailhead just west of the parking lot at College and Curry is an easy hike that provides views of downtown Tempe and Tempe Town Lake from the summits. This trail is also home to Loma del Rio, a Hohokam ruin. To get to the ruin, continue along the path towards the freeway, and then veer right. Once you pass the summit of the next hill, you’ll see the ruin next to a ramada. There’s another popular trailhead on the west side of Papago Park. You can access it by turning west into the parking lot just across Galvin Parkway from the entrance to The Phoenix Zoo, located just north of Van Buren. […]

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Spend New Year’s Eve in Tempe

Downtown Tempe NYE
December 21, 2017

It’s time to ring in 2018! And, more importantly, time to decide where to celebrate New Year’s Eve! Tempe has everything from champagne balls, live music, luminarias, festive dinner menus and kids’ activities to choose from to celebrate. Here’s a list of top picks on where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Tempe: New Year’s Eve events in Downtown Tempe: What better way to celebrate NYE than with fireworks at midnight, brought to you by Four Peaks Brewing Company, and a hearty dose of fun in Downtown Tempe. Check out these awesome parties happening in Downtown Tempe: El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row Champagne Ball El Hefe Mexican Restaurant – 640 S Mill Ave #110, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 257-2797 Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row – 640 S Mill Ave #120, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 794-1477 Head to El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Downtown Tempe for their 2018 Champagne Ball! Two parties, one ticket! You can’t miss this 3rd Annual Champagne Ball, featuring a 40 ft. stage in the middle of 6th St. with performances by AZ’s top local DJs. Confetti blasts, champagne inflatables, ball drop and champagne tubs – all in one spot. General admission tickets are $20 and VIP tickets are $40. Visit https://www.showclix.com/event/champagne-ball-nye-20185214373 to purchase tickets. Cabin Tempe 410 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-0663 Ring in the New Year at one of the newest additions to Downtown Tempe’s nightlife, Cabin Tempe. They’re offering two floors of bottles, kegs, Jell-O shots, and everything else you’ll need for the perfect house party! […]

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