The Arizona Coach Talker Newsletter of the Arizona Guides Association Volume 22, Issue 2 November, 2008


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The Arizona Coach Talker

Newsletter of the Arizona Guides Association

Volume 22, Issue 2 November, 2008

Where does our water come from? How many times have guides heard that question? Do you know the answers? The history of Arizona’s water, and the present status of Arizona’s water resources is a fascinating story and critical to the future of this great state.

The Arizona Historical Society Museum interprets central Arizona’s history with special emphasis on the 20th Century, and exhibits include desert water use. The museum logo is the alchemic symbol for copper, one of the seven metals of the art of alchemy that reaches back in time to ancient Egypt. It was selected because copper plays such a prominent role in Arizona’s development.

Arizona’s Water ~ November 3, 2008
When:     Monday, November 3, 2008
Where:   Arizona Historical Society Museum, Tempe, AZ

1300 N. College Avenue, Tempe, AZ 602.929.9499
Time:       6:00 -7:00 P.M. Hospitality and tours of the museum.


7:00 – 8:00 P.M  Program:  SRP and Arizona’s water resources.
8:00 Business Meeting.
Please RSVP to Sue Ellen Knorr @ 480.945.8269


AGA President Notes……

Hello Everyone!

 I hope you all have as many jobs as possible during our poor economic times. However, if you have some time right now, I would encourage everyone (who has not done so) to take advantage of the Ambassador training program offered by the Valley Hotel and Resort Association. You can register on-line at It is a very valuable program and the information they hand out is very condensed and very useful for all of us tour guides, You can also contact Becky Barndt, Program Manager, at 602-375-2996 or

  Hope to see you at the meeting ….. our program sounds just great!

Ruth Henry, AGA President

Page 2 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008
In case you missed it…..from the Arizona Republic
$3.99 million Wright home ….. It's a small, 1951 fixer-upper, but don't expect to get a discount on the David Wright house in Arcadia. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son, this spiral home is on the market for $3.99 million, or more than $1,800 per square foot. "I think that's a fair price," said architect Arnold Roy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. "It hasn't been altered, which is one of the big things." Devotees of the famed architect, who wintered in Scottsdale, often are willing to pay a hefty premium for one of Wright's 350 homes, including a half-dozen in the Valley. Wright homes are not on the market often and in this case, the David Wright house is in original condition, adding to its allure. It also happens to be on two prime acres, with a guesthouse, southwest of 56th Street and Camelback Road.

The 2,200-square-foot Wright house features an elevated living space with a spiral ramp winding up and around to the second-level entrance. A smaller ramp leads to a rooftop deck above the kitchen. The ramps are reminiscent of the spiral design of the Guggenheim Museum, completed in New York in 1959, the year of Wright's death. The David Wright house was designed as part of a Frank Lloyd Wright magazine story circa 1948 on how to live in the desert Southwest. His idea was that if you get up one level, you can catch the desert breezes and you'll also be able to have a view, according to Roy. The home was built with curved block, wooden siding and a metal roof adorned with decorative geometric patterns. Inside, all the cabinets, woodwork, bookcases, furniture and ceilings are crafted with Philippine mahogany. A Wright-designed rug covers the concrete floor in the living room, which has an unusual walk-in fireplace.

The David Wright house is one of two homes that Wright designed for his children. The other is the Robert Llewellyn Wright house, another spiral design, in Bethesda, Md. No one but David Wright and his wife, Gladys, have lived in the David Wright house. He died 11 years ago and his wife died this winter at 104 years old According to the realtor, they were very private people and never let the house be toured. The house is described as "an art piece" that defies conventional cost-per-square-foot pricing. There are no covenants or restrictions on the house, but the heirs are hoping that the home is restored and preserved. Restoration could be costly, according to Roy, who estimates it could cost millions. "It's almost like car restoration. How much do you want to put into it?"
Battle over 'West's Most Western Town' ….. Wickenburg says it deserves the slogan more than Scottsdale. A down-home feud is brewing over the West's Most Western Town. Scottsdale trademarked the slogan in 1951 but the city has tried to cultivate a more-sophisticated image since then. As a result, one of the last vestiges of its Western heritage - the Rusty Spur Saloon - finds itself sandwiched in among chi-chi spots like the W Hotel, AZ88 The Bar and RA Sushi Bar. But, Joe Beattie, Chief Cowboy of Wickenburg's Kay El Bar Guest Ranch, says he can no longer abide the idea that Scottsdale still uses the slogan to lure tourists to its outrageously contemporary self. He wrote Scottsdale City Councilman, Tom Nelssen, "You have 13-story urban condominium towers. We have dude ranches. Whatever 'Western' that still may exist in Scottsdale doesn't hold a candle to Wickenburg." Beattie proposes that Scottsdale cut the phrase out of tourist brochures. The deception, he adds, hurts all of Valley tourism.

A couple of decades ago town officials tried to get Scottsdale to part with its slogan, but to no avail. Folks in Wickenburg, in the far northwestern corner of Maricopa County, point to True West magazine, which just put Wickenburg in the Top 10 List of True Western Towns of 2008. Meanwhile, Scottsdale's latest marketing coup was a mention in the New York Times Magazine, which called the city a "desert version of Miami's South Beach." But Scottsdale isn't willing to concede. "I don't think in the West you're supposed to take another cowboy's brand," said Scottsdale spokesman Pat Dodds. Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross argues that the slogan is a piece of Scottsdale history, although she too fell back on the more lawyerly grounds that the city holds the trademark. It's an argument that might not hold much sway with real cowboys.

Nelssen - who has grown his own cowboy-hat, mule-riding tradition in North Scottsdale - wrote Beattie that it won't take long before Wickenburg's cowboy heritage is overrun by big-city developers, just like Scottsdale. "Hold on tight, the developers and lots of greenhorns are coming to boost your town's coffers," he advised. "Some will run for office, get elected and try to make Wickenburg more like Pittsburgh. I have seen it happen." he insists, however, that Scottsdale remains truly Western. Along with the city's massive desert preservation effort, he points to his own Desert Foothills neighborhood, which is home to "The Spirit of The Cowboy and The Center for Cowboy Ethics." And just this week he asked city planners to better define "Western heritage" in the city's new downtown plan so it can be preserved. The original slogan was a

Page 3 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008
marketing effort, he added, but it's a spiritual thing as well. "It's more than boots and hats," he said. "It's about the spirit of the West - a new beginning, self-determination, responsibility for oneself. We've got to merge that in with Scottsdale's history."

A recent Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce survey found that fewer than 11 percent of registered voters even knew they lived in the West's Most Western Town. But this fight isn’t about residents. With some rooms at the Kay El running past $3,000 per week, there's real money at stake. Brooks said that Wickenburg's dude ranches and other Western attractions speak for themselves. The town has called tourists to come "Out Wickenburg Way" since the 1930s, long before Scottsdale even thought about a slogan. Wickenburg also has some real Western history, like Indian massacres and gold rushes. "We're not competing with Scottsdale in any manner regarding their types of lodging," said Brooks, Wickenburg's Chamber director. "The real question is - is Scottsdale still the West's Most Western Town?"

Harold's Corral offers taste of Old West ….. The infamous Cave Creek restaurant was a party hub frequented by celebrities like Dick Van Dyke and Bob Hope. Harold's, the archetypical Western hangout, celebrated its 73rd anniversary recently. Called "the known center of the universe" by Cave Creek Mayor Vincent Francia, Harold's has long been a port of call for Valley tourists seeking a taste of the Old West. Locals flock there for the home-style grub and small-town gossip. Out-of-towners relish its homey atmosphere and live music. "We have kept the basic concept: great food, great entertainment and great bands," said Harold's managing partner Danny Piacquadio, whose father, Daniel, bought the restaurant in the late 1980s.

A man named Johnny Walker built the original structure in 1935, and the restaurant gained a footing in the 1930s and '40s as a refuge for laborers working on the nearby Bartlett and Horseshoe dams. There were seven bars in Cave Creek at that time, and by 1947 when the dams were finished and the workers left, the Corral was the only bar that survived. Harold Gavagan bought the building in 1950 and named it Harold's Cave Creek Corral. He was remembered as a fun-loving fellow who had a way with celebrities. During Gavagan's reign, gunfight shows and parties were the tip of the iceberg. Western movies were filmed there, including Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins and Little Foss and Big Halsey. He came up with all kinds of crazy things to get people to come up to Cave Creek.

The restaurant underwent a massive revitalization four years ago that culminated in a new outside bar and 3,500-square-foot covered patio. But its rustic character remains. "We still have an eclectic group of people," said co-owner Bill Vale. "Recently, we had people in from Germany who spoke very little English and had to go to Harold's." On a typical Saturday afternoon, cowboys guffaw and hover near the bar and families gobble down platefuls of smoked ribs and fried chicken. Old-time paintings and photographs hang as memoirs of its storied past. It is not uncommon for people to dismount before eating. "We have people who tie their horses and have breakfast," Vale said. "Harold's is alive and well."

New system will tell you where to go downtown ….. The Downtown Wayfinding System, costing just under $1 million, aims to make downtown Phoenix more hospitable and welcoming to visitors and Valley residents.

The new signage system hopes to make it easier for people to find their way around and will also tie into public transportation, including the new light-rail line that will begin operating Dec. 27. They service those who are driving to downtown but also help provide ease of travel for those who are on foot.. The signs will promote new and existing venues, enhance parking identification, add pedestrian mapping and guides and point to historical markers. Along with directing vehicles and pedestrians to and from major destinations, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership hopes it will market opportunities for people to extend their stays. They plan to have some type of sign or structure that actually tells you that you're in the downtown core district, something that doesn’t exist today. Signs will start to go up at the beginning of next year; and the project is to be finished by year's end. Over the next few months, the partnership and its design team will work with the city and its businesses, venues and organizations to review the proposed designs. If more funding becomes available, the project may be extended to other parts of downtown. The goal is to make it easier than ever to experience Downtown Phoenix and its outstanding business, entertainment and cultural attractions. Images of the proposed designs are available to the public on

Phoenix Sonoran Preserve ….. Since the late 1990s, Phoenix has worked to acquire and preserve more than 21,000 acres of land in north Phoenix. In September, the Arizona State Parks Board awarded Phoenix more than $32.1 million for the acquisition of approximately 715 acres, located southwest of Seventh Avenue and Carefree Highway. In December, using additional funds from the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative, the city will bid on the land at a state auction. If successful, the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve will grow to more than 5,200 acres. Learn more:

Page 4 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008
Salt River resort casino reaches milestone ….. A two-year, $400 million project to bring a resort casino to Salt River has punctuated the community's horizon with a 15-story steel skeleton that will become a 497-room hotel tower. The community is doubling down on its gaming enterprises with the Casino Arizona Resort & Spa, set to open in December 2009 northeast of Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road. "The people of this community have worked a long time for this," said Salt River President Diane Enos, noting that a community referendum in 2005 allowed the 15-story hotel.

Casino gaming has helped transform the Salt River Community east of Scottsdal, over the past decade, and spurred economic development. The resort casino takes the tribe's gaming to a new level and adds tourism and convention business to the mix. Casino Arizona's location is among the best for tribal gaming anywhere in the Southwest, Enos said. "It is pretty significant in the opportunities it presents for us as a people," she said. When completed, Casino Arizona will include a 240,000-square-foot gaming floor with 800 slot machines, 50 poker tables, keno and off-track betting. A national marketing staff is working to attract business for the resort's 50,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, a 13,000-square-foot spa and the adjacent Talking Stick Golf Course. Casino Arizona will also feature eight restaurants, 10 lounges and a 750-seat showroom for entertainment. The unbranded hotel will be operated by Casino Arizona, the tribe's own gaming enterprise. Jon Jenkins, Casino Arizona president, said the resort casino will bring new tourism revenue to the Valley and new entertainment options. "We're the last to the market," he said of the major casino resort "But the last one out of the gate is going to finish strong."

Fort McDowell, near Fountain Hills, and Gila River, south of Phoenix, also have resort casinos with golf courses, but Salt River has the advantage of being close to Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale, with its top-tier resorts and entertainment. Salt River has a population of 8,400 on its 53,600-acre community. Casino Arizona employs about 2,500 people, including tribal members, and the resort casino is expected to add hundreds of new jobs. Chanen Construction Co. has about 1,000 workers on the job at Casino Arizona. Construction started in January and the steel framing began in May. The project is ahead of schedule and the community has its funding in place to finish it without delay.
Scottsdale CVB Tourism Updates....
Scottsdale Makes the List ….. More than 600,000 travelers submitted surveys to determine the top destinations in the United States through a Travel + Leisure and CNN Headline News poll. The survey asked travelers about 25 leading American cities in 45 categories, ranging from food and shopping to people, culture, nightlife and more. Scottsdale/Phoenix scored well as a relaxing retreat (No. 5), but ranked low for theater (No. 24) and live music (No. 25). Best feature was ranked as Winter/Christmas (No. 3). Taking the No. 1 spot for culture and shopping was New York. New Orleans received top honors for food/dining, while Portland, Ore., was ranked No. 1 for their quality of life and visitor experience. For more information, visit

Companies Scaling Back on Meetings ….. Meetings, conferences and conventions in the coming months may get smaller and less lavish as airlines slash domestic flights, travel costs rise and the economy drags, says USA Today. At the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, for instance, companies are starting to reduce budgets for everything from management meetings to rallies for sales teams. Fewer guests are expected than last fall, and more companies are replacing steak dinners with chicken entrees and limited open bars to save money, says Gail McLaughlin, who coordinates private events. The Hyatt hotel chain also is starting to see attendance decline slightly, despite an "extremely strong" first half of 2008 for business group functions, says Ty Helms, Hyatt Hotels senior vice president, revenue. Companies also are starting to scale back food and beverage expenses, he says.

Continental Airlines Adds New Charges ….. Continental Airlines will now charge economy class ticket holders $15 for the first checked bag. The new charge will not affect EliteAccess customers, First Class, BusinessFirst, OnePass Elite or SkyTeam Elite members. Military personnel traveling on official orders and full-fare economy ticket holders also will be excluded from the new charge. In addition, Continental also has changed its bonus mileage program for OnePass Elite, Platinum Elite and Silver Elite members.

Page 5 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008
Scottsdale CVB Wins Award ….. Insurance & Financial Meetings Management has recognized the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau with the “World Class Award.” The magazine is read by executive officers, conference planners and incentive travel planners working with the insurance industry, and is distributed to more than 5,000 readers. Voted on by readers, the award is presented to hotels, resorts, conference centers, and convention and visitors bureaus that have shown leadership in serving the insurance and meetings markets.

New Initiative to Promote Region as Solar and Sustainability Leader ….. The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) announced a new sustainability initiative to position Greater Phoenix as a location for solar and clean technology, green building, renewable energy and other “green industry” organizations. Greening Greater Phoenix Powered by SolarCity promotes the region as an emerging leader in solar technology and renewable energy industries. Over the next several months, GPEC will launch a national and international awareness campaign targeting companies seeking to expand or invest in a renewable energy market. Also championing the regional initiative are the City of Phoenix, City of Scottsdale and City of Surprise. SolarCity will host several solar seminars in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Surprise. The seminars will cover the basics of solar and take questions from the audience about available government rebates, the home installation process and potential cost savings achievable with clean, solar power. Visit

Recycle Containers Installed Downtown ….. The Scottsdale Downtown Group has installed 10 recycle containers in downtown Scottsdale. These containers are located at key activity areas, including Stetson Plaza at SouthBridge, the Canal Bank, all public parking facilities and public restrooms, and the heavily used trolley stops – 5th Street and Craftsman Court, 5th Street and Stetson, and 3rd Street and Craftsman Court. Residents and visitors to downtown can recycle cans and plastic bottles. Additional recyclables will be considered in the future as this effort grows. This effort was initiated by the Downtown Group in support of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s green initiatives, as well as in response to input from downtown visitors who frequently asked where they could recycle cans and plastic bottles.
Hyatt Regency Set for 2011 Opening at Tempe Town Lake ….. A new hotel deal for the south side of Tempe Town Lake was announced Sept. 24 by Mayor Hugh Hallman in his state of the city address. A Hyatt Regency will be located in the Hayden Ferry Lakeside project at the intersection of Rio Salado and Mill Avenue. The hotel will feature 240 guest rooms, 24 residential condominiums, a 4,000-square-foot spa and 13,000 square feet of meeting space. The project is expected to break ground in summer 2009, with a 2011 opening date. The announcement comes after a deal to create a Le Meridien hotel on the site fell through earlier this summer.

Culture Quest Guide Helps Visitors Explore Local Arts Community ….. The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau released its free October through December 2008 Culture Quest Scottsdale guide, produced in partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The 54-page guide helps locals and travelers uncover the city’s vibrant arts community. Included in the guide is a list of Scottsdale’s art galleries, museum exhibitions and performing arts productions, along with the details of the city’s notable events such as Scottsdale Fashion Week and the Eats culinary event in downtown Scottsdale. For a copy of the guide, visit or call the CVB at 480-421-1004.

News from the Arizona Office of Tourism (AZOT)……
Destination Resort and Convention Center Coming to Mesa ….. DMB Associates, Inc. and Gaylord Entertainment announced an agreement to create a destination resort and convention center that could bring billions of dollars in private investments and thousands of new jobs to Mesa and the Southeast Valley over the next several decades.  DMB also announced its agreement for a Tom Fazio 18-hole championship golf course and the continued regional alliance with Westcor for future retail planning. The agreement with Gaylord Entertainment will bring a destination resort and convention center to Mesa Proving Grounds, a 3,200-acre portion of land used currently by General Motors as its desert testing facility, laying the foundation for substantial ongoing private investment and development.  Although all of the precise details of the size, theme and character of the resort and convention center have yet to be finalized, the Gaylord name ensures that the facility will celebrate the geographical heritage of the Southwest, introducing regional themes and attractions

Page 6 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008
designed specifically for this project. Once built, the hotel will likely be the largest in the state of Arizona. Construction is expected to begin in 2009 with a completion date of 2012. For more information, visit

Feds to Launch Ad Campaign to Promote ID Options ….. U.S. travelers going to Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda or Canada by land or sea will have to carry one of six government-approved IDs as of next June 1, and government officials want to make sure they know about it. The so-called Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative kicked into high gear with the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection announcing Wednesday a $12 million ad campaign. The effort drew immediate praise from the Travel Industry Association. In addition to a traditional passport, travelers can choose from a passport card--and in some states, an enhanced driver's license--as well as from three types of cards available in the Trusted Traveler Program for frequent border crossers. One exception was made for cruise-ship passengers on trips that begin and end at the same port, such as Miami; travelers can provide a birth certificate and photo ID.  Cruise lines had objected to an earlier deadline, and Congress delayed the land and sea ID requirements until June. Air travelers have had to produce passports since January 2007.

AOT Director Honored with 2008 State Tourism Director of the Year Award ….. Margie A. Emmermann, director of AOT, has been named the “2008 State Tourism Director of the Year” by the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD), which is a part of the Travel Industry Association (TIA).  As one of three finalists, Emmermann was selected by her peers who represent 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. She is the first Arizona state tourism director to be honored.

This honor is awarded annually to a tourism director whose leadership has obviously and measurably improved their state or territory's travel and tourism profile. Emmermann was appointed director of AOT in 2003 by Governor Janet Napolitano.  Since then, she has unified Arizona’s visitor industry and produced outstanding results with her expertise as an exceptional leader and collaborator, among them: A commitment to provide the most accurate and thorough research available in the state; Developing research-based domestic and international campaigns that provide the best return on investment for the state; Being on the leading edge of technology that expands the perception of Arizona and keeps AOT ahead of the competition; Placing a priority on educating rural communities and promoting Native American Tourism.

Under her leadership, the Arizona Office of Tourism has seen increased results year-after-year, including: A record-breaking 35.2 million visitors in 2007 who contributed $19.3 billion in direct travel expenditures to Arizona’s economic vitality, a 31.3 percent increase in direct spending from 2003 and; Generating $2.7 billion in state, local and federal tax revenues that benefit every Arizona resident.

AOT Receives Prestigious Industry Award ….. AOT was awarded the prestigious Mercury Award by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) for its innovative and cooperative marketing campaign, Arizona Origins. The Mercury Award is a national awards program that was initiated by the National Council of State Tourism Directors, an industry council of TIA.  The program was created to recognize TIA members for excellence and creative accomplishment in state tourism marketing and promotion, and to showcase outstanding work and the continued development of truly imaginative and exciting destination marketing and promotion programs.

Launched in 2007, Arizona Origins was developed by AOT in conjunction with the release of the National Geographic Arizona-Sonora Desert Region Geotourism MapGuide, a guide showcasing nearly 85 unique geotourism locations throughout the Sonoran Desert region. The MapGuide was created in partnership with National Geographic and the Mexican State of Sonora. This was the first bi-national MapGuide of its kind. AOT launched Arizona Origins to extend Geotourism marketing opportunities beyond the MapGuide and assist Arizona communities in applying the principles of Geotourism to their own marketing activities.

Critics Fear Air Registry Plan Will Damage U.S. Image ….. Aviation and business leaders are assailing a Homeland Security plan to require millions of visitors a year to register online at least three days before flying to the U.S. They say it will keep travelers away and damage the U.S. image abroad. A program taking effect Jan. 12 aims to tighten security by giving authorities more time to check for terrorism links and immigration issues among people from 27 friendly nations--including Spain, Great Britain and Italy--before they fly to the U.S. The government now gets such passenger records 30 minutes before flight doors close. The new program will not affect U.S. citizens. It applies to about 14 million foreigners in the Visa Waiver program, which allows residents of certain friendly nations to travel to the U.S. for 90 days or less without a visa.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Travel Industry Association and the International Air Transport Association raised objections to the program. The groups want the Jan.12 start date postponed.

Page 7 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008
Southwest to Eliminate Nearly 200 Flights Early Next Year ….. Southwest Airlines, which had resisted the kinds of capacity cuts being made by other airlines, will eliminate nearly 200 flights early next year as it struggles with high fuel costs and a weakening economy. The move raises doubts about the company's publicly stated goal of growing modestly in 2009 despite the airline industry troubles. Now, Southwest will cut 196 flights, including some to Las Vegas, while adding six new ones in its schedule that takes effect Jan. 11. The carrier said that some of the eliminated flights, which span Southwest's nationwide network, could be restored later in 2009. 

Sheraton Hotels Getting Makeovers ….. Sheraton, one of the largest hotel chains with more than 400 properties worldwide, is getting an extensive makeover after years of losing customers to competitors. The $1.7 billion project is aimed at renovating nearly half the hotels in North America by next year with fresher decor, brighter colors and lobbies that beckon guests with new restaurants and cafes. Starwood Hotels, which owns the Sheraton brand, began the project in early 2007 and hopes to complete renovating 86 hotels--out of 204 in North America--in 2009. It's also removing 38 underperforming properties from the chain. (See more hotel news in 'Hotel Check-In" later in today's report.

Governor Announces Members of Centennial Commission ….. Governor Janet Napolitano announced her appointments for the Arizona Centennial Commission (AZCC). The Commission was established by executive order in February and is charged with planning a yearlong celebration for Arizona’s 100th birthday, culminating on February 14, 2012. Co-Chaired by the Governor and Retired Chief Justice Charles E. Jones, the Arizona Centennial Commission will oversee planning efforts to ensure communities and people throughout the state participate in the celebration and commemoration of Arizona’s Centennial.

In the coming months the Commission will develop a master plan that contains five major components:

  • Generating awareness and engagement by providing a sense of unity and pride among residents.

  • Developing participation programs that include a robust yearlong calendar of activities to celebrate the Centennial.

  • In collaboration with the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, implementing educational programs that focus on the state’s past, present and future.

  • Supporting the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission’s legacy projects, such as working with communities to highlight their unique historical value.

  • Establishing avenues for resources and funding to encourage and support planning at the state and local level for major events and activities.

United States Senator Jon Kyl and former Arizona Governors are Honorary Chairs of the Commission. To best serve the interests of all Arizonans, members and ex-officio members were chosen to represent a cross-section of Arizona business leaders, local, state, federal and tribal elected officials, state agency directors, university presidents and non-profits leaders. For more information, please visit
Airport News…….

Southwest Cuts 12 Sky Harbor Flights ….. Southwest Airlines Co. is cutting 190 flights system-wide, including 12 in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The move affects Southwest's fall and winter schedules and mirrors flight cuts by other airlines looking to improve their bottom lines in the face of high jet fuel prices. Dallas-based Southwest is cutting one flight from Phoenix to 12 markets: Los Angeles; St. Louis; Tulsa, Okla.; Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Burbank, Calif.; Salt Lake City; Omaha, Neb.; Houston; El Paso, Texas; Oakland, Calif.; and Oklahoma City.

Southwest Airlines Launches New Program ….. Southwest Airlines this month will roll out dedicated security-screening lanes for its highest-tier frequent-flyer members and buyers of high-yield fares, the carrier announced. The Fly By Priority Security Lane Access gives A-List loyalty program members and holders of Business Select tickets front-of-the-line access at Dallas Love Field, Phoenix Sky Harbor, Denver International, San Francisco International, Los Angeles International and John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif. Southwest said customers must present their A-List card or a Business Select boarding pass at the security checkpoint once the lanes are active by the end of this month. American Airlines rolled out a similar program last month.

Page 8 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008

American Airlines Considers A La Carte Pricing ….. American Airlines is about to accelerate the trend of breaking the cost of a trip into an airfare plus many smaller fees. Starting next year, American, which led the stampede by U.S. carriers to charge customers for checking even a single suitcase, plans to imitate the a la carte pricing structure pioneered by Air Canada, airline officials say. There are likely to be a few basic fare plans, and travelers can pick additional services for a fee. Fans of "unbundling," as it is called, say it gives travelers lower base fares with the option of paying for extras that they really want, from beverages to blankets. Some travelers are wary, however, and suspect the airlines are just trying to chisel them a few bucks at a time. Airlines see unbundling as a way to boost revenue and defray sky-high prices for jet fuel. On Air Canada's Web site, travelers pick from four fare levels. The top tickets, called Latitude and Executive Class, are fully refundable and come with priority check-in, food and other goodies included. The cheapest fare, called Tango, requires extra fees for upgrades such as a food voucher, advance seat selection, flight changes and airport lounge access. Tango passengers can save another $3 by declining frequent-flyer miles or not checking a bag.

TSA May Ease Liquid Rules ….. The Transportation Security Administration will likely relax the restrictions on carrying liquids through airport security screening checkpoints in a year, TSA chief Kip Hawley said. In an interview, Hawley said software that enables X-ray machines to differentiate between "threat liquids" used in bomb making and harmless liquids has worked in laboratories and is being readied for deployment. About 600 of the X-ray machines needed to operate the software will be in place at airport checkpoints by the end of this year, and about 900 will be in place a year from now. The TSA is working on the issue with the European Union and other nations, and government officials are likely to agree on one standard for the X-ray machines.
Sky Harbor Reports Decline in Passenger Traffic ….. Traffic is down by 1 million passengers for the year at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, according to officials of the Phoenix Aviation Department. There have been 27.7 million passengers in and out of the Phoenix airport year-to-date through August, compared with 28.8 million passengers through the same eight months in 2007. That is a 4 percent drop. Just over 286,000 fewer passenger flew in and out of Sky Harbor for the month of August than for the same month a year ago as the economic downtown took its toll on business travel and tourism. That is an 8 percent drop, said Phoenix Aviation Department officials.
Education ………

  • Come on AGA members ….. sign up for our next Certification Test and become a Certified Guide! The Certification Test is only offered three times in our season and there are only two test dates left before the end of the 2008-2009 season:  January 3, 2009; and May 2, 2009. Call or email Sharon Waldie and reserve one of the dates for the test:  480.704.9868  or

  • Attention all Certified Guides ….. I have found more sterling silver AGA (Kokopelli) pins that the Certified Guides wear.  Be proud of your achievement and wear a pin.  They are only $40. Contact Sharon Waldie.

  • The Certification Committee is proud to announce our newest Certified Guide, Patti Contreras. Congratulations, Patti!

Here’s a sample Certification Test Question: When did Arizona become a territory?

Education Day Change of Date!! ….. The Education Tour has been changed from December 3, 2008 to January 14, 2009.  This change is due to the fact that the West Bldg of the newly renovated Phoenix Convention Center will be totally closed the month of December in preparation for the opening of the East Bldg.  Thus we will tour both buildings on the tour in January.  We will not be touring any ASU buildings, however, due to time constraint.  Plans to ride to Light Rail from Park Central are in the works, too.  When someone sends their $25 check to Marilynne Ransome, Betsy will put your e-mail into a directory to update you on plans for meeting to ride the train. Questions?   Call Betsy Todd at 602.943.2900. 

Page 9 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008

  • Out of Arizona's 90 incorporated towns and cities, Carefree is the "only one" with a gas-lamp district.

The nostalgic lighting dates to the 1950s in Carefree, when the town first emerged as a master- planned community. "We have found existing gas lamps that were scattered throughout the town," Gemmill said. "There is a history of them in Carefree."

  • Westcor, the Valley's largest mall operator and developer, said that Palisene, a million-square-foot luxury center planned for the corner of Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road, will have a retractable roof.

Items of interest…….
'Night Lights’ Installation ….. Downtown Scottsdale's canal bank area is home to swimming fish images being projected on the water and surrounding buildings as part of the Night Lights installation that can be seen nightly from 7 to 11 p.m. through December.  Night Lights is a series of art events featuring interactive light-based artworks and unforgettable music performances, all taking place along the beautiful Scottsdale Waterfront, the third Thursdays of November and December from sundown to midnight.  Artists will transform the space through unique installations and performers will bring fun and excitement to each evening.  For more information, please contact Diana Fisher, Art Events Coordinator, Scottsdale Public Art Program: or 480-874-4667.  Digital images of the October 16 Night Lights installation available on-line at:

Green Hotel in Red Navajo Desert ….. A new hotel, The VIEW, is rising in one of the unique locations on earth - so close to the iconic formations known as The Mittens in Monument Valley that you feel like you can almost reach out and touch them. Scheduled to open in December, the hotel is being built and will be operated in a manner that respects the unique environment in which it is located. Hotel owner Armanda Ortega of the Kiy`anníí (Towering House) Clan says "The VIEW is designed with respect for the sacred setting in which it is located. "Green" building standards and environmentally friendly operating procedures will be a hallmark of The VIEW Hotel, Restaurant and Trading Post. This is a decision that has guided every phase of design and construction and we are excited about opening our Eco-Friendly hotel in December to visitors from around the world." Navajo Nation Tribal Council Member & Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, George Arthur, says "The location for the hotel was selected because it is adjacent to the Park Visitors Center which has served tourists in the Tribal Park for over 50 years. Every effort has been taken to make the hotel blend into the landscape of the red rock mesa so the visitor to Monument Valley will enjoy the view from the hotel as well as the view of the hotel from the valley floor."

The hotel is an environmentally friendly design with a low contour that conforms to the mesa overlooking the valley. The VIEW will educate guests and staff about Green Practices, teaching people who visit their website or staying at The VIEW about the green actions they can take and why those actions are important. Like every guestroom in The VIEW, the restaurant will have a spectacular panoramic view of Monument Valley and, like the hotel it will have high environmentally friendly standards. The menu will include Eco-friendly food that has been grown without the application of pesticides or fertilizers and locally grown foods will be used when possible. A program will be developed with the local Navajo high school to grow vegetables and herbs for seasonal harvest using composting and environmentally sensitive planting and harvesting.
Every guest in the 90 room VIEW Hotel will have a private balcony that faces the famous panorama of the Mittens and the great desert expanse. You can actually see four states from The VIEW which is located adjacent to the Tribal Park Visitors Center in Arizona - the formations in Utah stand to your left, the Mittens are in Arizona directly in front of you, and the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado rise in the distance. The third floor Star View rooms combine the vista of the majestic formations with an unobstructed view of the stars above. Information about The VIEW Hotel and online reservations can be found at

The Arizona Coach Talker

AGA Newsletter

P.O. Box 45302

Phoenix, AZ 85064-5302 (Please note this, not .net)

Page 10 – AGA Newsletter ~ November 2008

GET OUTSIDE ~ Fall weather calls!!
Fall is finally here!! You don’t have to go far to enjoy the cooler weather this month. Fish Creek Canyon is full of boulders and jaw-dropping beauty, and it harbors rare desert water in the middle of nowhere! The canyon’s perennial creek supports robust stands of white-bark sycamores, elegant slim-leaf Goodding willows, cottonwood, velvet ash and Arizona walnut trees. Call the Globe Ranger District for information (928.402.6200 or visit Enjoy!!
Websites to visit ….
The Superstition Wilderness Area spans a 25-mile-long, 12 mile-wide corridor running east to west, roughly from Apache Junction to Globe. Access trailheads via highways 60, 88 and 188.
For more information on the diverse trails available to all levels of hikers at Tonto National Forest:

Certification Test Sample Question Answer: February 24, 1863

Celebrate Fall in fascinating Arizona !!


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