Sunny Scottsdale, Arizona, regularly tops planners’ destination lists, especially during winter months. Added to the area’s stellar list of resort properties last fall is The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. Formerly known as Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, the property has undergone such major changes it’s virtually unrecognizable.
When Scottsdale Resort first opened in 1976, it specialized in being a conference center—in fact, it was the first place in North America to call itself a conference center resort. Corporate America was its No. 1 client, and conferences were 100 percent of the focus, says Patrick Connors, current director of sales and marketing. “They were really a one-dimensional property for decades, but very successful,” he says. As time went on and the economic downturn hit, Connors says, it was time to diversify the resort’s business plan.
The most noticeable change at the new Scottsdale Resort may be the sense of arrival. “Prior to the renovation, we were very secluded and almost hidden,” reports Connors. Now, it has an entirely updated sense of place, with new landscaping, lighting and sweeping lawns. Another major shift has been in the focus of the resort’s sales team. Before the transformation, “we weren’t marketing ourselves to segments like association [or] religious,” says Connors. With 326 guest rooms and 100,000 square feet of meeting space, the property is “a [planner’s] dream when it comes to rooms-to-space ratio,” he says.