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Industry Briefs

Arizona’s wide open spaces offer safer places for your next meeting.

More than 325 days of sunshine each year. Wide open spaces framed by spectacular mountain ranges. Spacious venues to host groups large and small. Unique locales that provide inspiring views and tech-forward amenities. Arizona is the ideal travel destination for safe, socially distanced meetings and events.

Trade a virtual background for a real one.

Fortunately, there’s no need to be virtual in Arizona — you can be live and in-person — and keep everyone healthy .

Several properties, including the Phoenix Convention Center and Tucson International Airport are GBAC STAR-accredited with more on their way to being certified. Considered the gold standard for safe venues and certifying staff, the property teams have been trained to maintain sanitation best practices.

The Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association partnered with the American Hotel & Lodging Association to establish a unified standard of safety and cleanliness during 2020 and beyond. Several Arizona hotel properties have been certified by the AZSAFE+CLEAN Hotel Guidance, an initiative built on best practices from national hospitality and public health experts.

Arizona is an easy destination to travel to. Major airports like Tucson International and Sky Harbor International in Phoenix have strict sanitation guidelines and testing facilities in place, safely welcoming visitors from around the world. Points of interest throughout the state are also easily accessible via freeway. You can take a trip north and go from saguaros in the high desert to ponderosa pine forest in as little as two-hours.

The space to make close connections.

With the largest concentration of luxury Four- and Five-Star resorts in North America, Arizona offers premier meeting venues with abundant indoor/outdoor spaces and unparalleled amenities.

The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa boasts a whopping 869 guest rooms and 241,106 square feet of total event space, with capacity for 4,000 in the largest space. There’s an on-site spa, championship golf, five pools, a lazy river and six dining options.

Framed by the Santa Catalina Mountains, the AAA Four-Diamond Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson has 487 guest rooms, golf, a full-service spa, five outdoor pools and a fitness studio. The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass on the Gila River Indian Reservation has 474 guest rooms, a Forbes Five-Star Native American-inspired spa and restaurant, four pools with waterfalls, horseback riding, tennis courts and walking trails. Both resorts offer 100,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, accommodating groups large and small.

In Person. Outside .

With beautiful weather year-round, being outdoors is the norm in Arizona. The majority of resorts, attractions and museums offer outdoor and hybrid spaces that make it easy to socially distance.

Host a poolside cocktail reception on a beautiful resort patio. Treat your team to a cowboy cookout under the stars. Hike amid spectacular scenery on high Sonoran Desert trails. Or accelerate group fun on a four-wheel drive into Red Rock backcountry to see ancient tribal ruins.

Golf is Arizona’s favorite pastime, and resorts offer championship courses galore. Take a shot at par and after you’ve worked up an appetite, discover Arizona’s second favorite pastime — eating! Nearly all Arizona resorts and restaurants feature glorious al fresco dining with cuisine prepared by world-class chefs. There’s plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a spread you won’t soon forget.

With health and safety standards in place, a plethora of outdoor spaces in which to meet and off-the-beaten path adventures, Arizona checks every box for planning a safe, socially distanced — and highly memorable gathering.

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