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Monday,  July 22, 2024   3:32 PM
Experience Scottsdale brings the desert to Toronto
Of CWW - Javier Fernandez, account manager; of Grand Canyon Squire Inn - Freda Rahnenhuehrer, director of sales & marketing; of Experience Scottsdale - Sarah Kearney, director of tourism; Nicole Krekeler, tourism sales manager.

Experience Scottsdale arrived in downtown Toronto to showcase the best of what their city has to offer, highlighting its ample and diverse range of attractions both including, and beyond, the famous Sonoran Desert that surrounds it.

In a presentation to select guests at Toronto’s TD South Tower, Experience Scottsdale Tourism Sales Manager Nicole Krekeler described an exciting time for Scottsdale, exemplified by the company’s recent rebranding from Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. She listed the variety of activities available in the desert, from hiking and biking trails to cookouts and hot air ballooning, but insisted that these should not overshadow the array of other worthwhile attractions in the city.

The team was keen to point out the quality of accommodation available in Scottsdale, with more than 75 hotel properties currently located in the city. One of its centrepieces is the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, recently renovated at a cost of $60 million, which features 103 rooms, three luxury suites, a new pool and event venues. The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician, meanwhile, has recently undergone a 62-room renovation including the opening of the new Canyon Lounge Lobby, featuring boutique wines and craft cocktails. These are soon to be joined by the 175-room Mountain Shadows, due to open in spring 2017, and the Ritz Carlton, scheduled for opening in winter 2018.

The presentation emphasized Scottsdale’s suitability as a family-friendly destination, with facilities catering to all needs. The city is home to the largest shopping mall in the southwest, Scottsdale Fashion Square, while the area hosts just under 200 golf courses. July will see another landmark for Scottsdale with the scheduled opening of OdySea Aquarium – set to be the southwest’s biggest aquarium, at 200,000 sq. ft.

Freda Rahnenfuehrer, director of sales and marketing at Grand Canyon Squire Inn, cited these amenities as proof that while the Grand Canyon is often regarded as merely part of the Las Vegas tourist itinerary, it’s also an ideal trip for families with young children staying in Scottsdale. The event concluded with a screening of Experience Scottsdale’s most recent commercial, which is now being aired across Toronto.

Krekeler, speaking with PAX after the event, stressed that potential visitors shouldn’t be fooled by the city’s expansive desert surroundings. “There is that perception of, ‘Oh, it’s just dry and it’s just hot, and there’s nothing to do,’” she said. “We do have the beautiful Sonoran Desert, but we need to break out of that shell and see people understanding what we have to offer: restaurants, beautiful resorts, and shopping.”

She highlighted the fact that the city was suitable for a range of different types of vacation.

“It’s about trying to break that mould to help people understand they can come for family travel, or you can still come and enjoy the desert. It’s a great place for new bachelors, bachelorette parties – all spectrums.”

Further information about Scottsdale is available at

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