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Sacco: Supporting Scottsdale’s hospitality businesses throughout the summer

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Rachel Sacco is president and CEO of Experience Scottsdale.
By Rachel Sacco | Experience Scottsdale

Another exciting high tourism season has come and gone, and that means Scottsdale’s streets will quiet down as residents begin their annual hibernation into air-conditioned homes and as some visitors shy from summer’s sizzling heat.  

It’s perhaps expected that summer is a need period for our local tourism industry. Throughout the season, the number of customers and the amount of revenue generated dwindles at many of the businesses that make Scottsdale special — resorts, museums, galleries, restaurants, golf courses, spas and more. Yet these businesses serve our community and keep their employees on the payroll so that they offer world-class service year-round.

During the summer, they up the ante to entice locals out of their backyard pools and to welcome visitors from afar. Experience Scottsdale showcases such offerings, from weekend pool parties to poolside movie screenings, during our annual summer campaign, now running through Labor Day.

Experience Scottsdale’s campaign drives visitation throughout the need period as our organization strives to support Scottsdale’s hospitality businesses and the 24,000-plus workers who rely upon visitor spending for their livelihoods.

This year, our campaign will reach 22 local, fly and drive markets via advertising on search engines, streaming television and radio, podcasts and social media. Experience Scottsdale’s public relations efforts will complement our advertising, as we work with travel writers, content creators and television correspondents to raise further awareness about Scottsdale’s summertime appeal among their readers, followers and viewers.

Experience Scottsdale also trains travel advisors and tour operators on the best ways to sell summer vacations to their clients. This is especially important as we work with travel professionals overseas; Air France’s new nonstop flight from Paris launched in May, and Scottsdale is a convenient destination for German travelers thanks to Condor Airline’s seasonal service from Frankfurt operating May through October.

Our triple-digit temperatures won’t make travelers coming from nearby sunny climes pause, but Experience Scottsdale aims to ensure all are aware of the risks that come with 110+º weather. We don’t shy from the heat — we lean into it, calling our campaign, “It’s That Hot.”

Our website, ItsThatHot.com, recommends water-based and indoor activities, while advising travelers to keep outdoor adventures to the early morning or late evening hours. We also publish a safety guide that discourages hiking when temperatures rise above 90º; this resource is shared with Scottsdale-area hotels and resorts so that concierges will make the information readily available for guests.

Vacations and staycations are crucial to the success of Scottsdale’s hotels and resorts, but there’s another void that needs filling during the summer. Meeting business traditionally accounts for nearly half of annual occupancy and revenue at Scottsdale’s resorts and upper-moderate hotels. All year long, Experience Scottsdale books everything from sports tournaments to board retreats to conferences in the destination.

To incentivize groups to meet during the summer, Experience Scottsdale developed a rebate program for meetings that book Memorial Day through September. Over 30 hotels and resorts participate in the program, which has generated 24,000 future room nights for the summer need period fiscal year to date.

Summer in Scottsdale is triple-digit, fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk hot, but there’s plenty to love about the season and plenty to do. If you are considering a staycation this summer, I hope you’ll join Experience Scottsdale in supporting Scottsdale’s businesses and their workers. Use ItsThatHot.com as a planning resource, where you will find rates as low as $79 and luxury resort stays starting at $139, as well as other summertime events, activities and offers.

Editor’s Note: Rachel Sacco is the president and CEO of Experience Scottsdale.

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