Historic DeSoto Building reopens its doors as community marketplace on April 11th — DeSoto Central Market
The historic DeSoto Building located on Roosevelt and Central Avenue is getting a new lease on life when it reopens on April 11th as DeSoto Central Market. The nearly-90 year-old building has been reimagined and updated with food and socialization in mind. The 17,138 square foot property will retain its Deco-inspired roots housing several restaurants, a coffee shop, a local produce and artisanal market, bar, and a mezzanine level with event and meeting space.
The concept was dreamed up by food enthusiast and DeSoto manager, Shawn Connelly, who felt Downtown Phoenix’s time has come for this type of community gathering space, which has proven popular in other cities like San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), Los Angeles (Grand Central Market), and New York (Chelsea Market). According to Connelly, “Downtown Phoenix has seen tremendous growth recently in all sectors from housing to business, the Roosevelt Row Arts scene to ASU, but it still lacks a central food hub to get the basic grocery goods.” He envisions a spot where downtown dwellers can grab a bite, hold a meeting, relax with some music and attend community events — with plans for cooking classes, wine tastings, and much more.
While his goals are lofty, they ultimately have the community in mind and the execution is quirky, humorous and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Signs on the windows tout the “charming staff” and encourages patrons with the tagline “a delightful place to read, meet or enjoy an old fashioned cocktail.”
Connelly has tapped Stephen Jones, former chef of Blue Hound Kitchen + Cocktails at the Palomar Hotel, to be the head chef of DCM burger bar, Walrus & the Pearl oyster bar and Tea + Toast Co. coffee bar, as well as his own concept, yard bird + the larder. He’ll also oversee the inclusion of new restaurants to the space and work toward the goal of creating what Jones envisions as “a community table” downtown.
The historic DeSoto Building’s 1930s Industrial-era flavor has been preserved and revitalized with a totally modern concept. The interior has been opened up and includes a new mezzanine level meant for group seating and event space. The large family and dog-friendly patio is equipped with lighting, shade cloth, and ample seating where patrons can sit with a cup of coffee or hang out for a game of corn hole or ping pong. Located in the heart of downtown in the Evans Churchill neighborhood, DeSoto is right off Central Avenue adjacent to the Roosevelt light rail stop making it easily accessible by car or public transportation. For the growing downtown population and Grid Bike users, bike parking is abundant.
The soon-to-open grocery will bring much needed fresh produce to downtown Phoenix from McClendon Select Farm, along with other local farmers and growers, and will eventually include artisanal vendors like a butcher, bakery, and cheese monger. The market will also feature artisanal products and pantry goods such as spices, local flour and grains, hot sauce, pickles, paper goods and more.
DeSoto Central Market is home to a diverse mix of eateries and bars catering to the casual diner as well as the hard-to-please foodie. Shawn Connelly conceptualized DeSoto Central Market as an incubator for new and upcoming culinary talent in the Valley. The idea: creating small, ready-to-go kitchens, so up-and-coming chefs have the opportunity to test their culinary ideas.
“It is a place that we developed in such a way that foodprenuers can come in and for a fraction of the cost to start-up somewhere else, can get their start on their dream”
The space will feature seven culinary choices ranging from burgers to more eclectic fare (think Mexican/Asian) that will cater to a variety of ages and palettes. Patrons can order inside, or at an outdoor walk-up window, and then dine at the bar, on the patio or on the mezzanine level.
- DCM – The DeSoto Central Market burger bar serves fancy egg burgers in the AM or a variety of artisan burgers thereafter. Also available: Craft beers, wine and cocktails.
- Tea & Toast Co. – Get your morning (or afternoon, or evening) coffee or specialty tea paired with pastries or an array of savory and sweet toasts.
- Walrus & the Pearl – This mostly-raw bar features fresh oysters — but also serves other seafood favorites like ceviche and poke.
- yard bird + the larder — Chef Stephen Jones (formerly chef at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Hotel Palomar) reinvents some Southern and New American favorites; think fried chicken skin po-boy or black eyed peas and rice.
- Radish — Radish is a farm-to-table, fast- casual restaurant serving delicious salads and cold-pressed juices. Environmentally conscious and supportive of healthy lifestyles, Radish invites you EAT RAD + DRINK RAD + BE RAD.
- Adobo Dragon — Chef Allan Inicencia’s Latin/Asian fusion creations.
Opening Weekend Celebrations
The public is invited to celebrate the grand opening of DeSoto Central Market on April 11th (11am to 11pm) and 12th (11am to 8pm). Guests can expect the full market experience plus pop-up vendors, live music, cocktail tastings, chef demonstrations and specials throughout the 2-day event. A portion of proceeds from the weekend will go to Release The Fear, a non-profit that teaches Arizona’s youth the life skills needed to combat the effects of peer pressure, gang involvement, bullying, abuse, and violence and to make better life choices.
About DeSoto Central Market
Housed in the historic 1928 DeSoto Building on Central and Roosevelt Avenues, the new DeSoto Central Market combines seven diverse restaurant choices, an organic produce market, a deco coffee house and meeting mezzanine in one stylish and easily accessible location.
Creator Shawn Connelly, a 16-year veteran in the food industry, is taking his knowledge and experience of the big market concept to create what he hopes it will hark back to a time where central markets were at the heart of every city. To that end, DeSoto Central Market is a spot where downtown workers and dwellers can grab an egg sandwich or a coffee to-go, meet a friend for a drink on the extensive patio, or pick up some locally-grown tomatoes and a loaf of bread on the way home.
Address: 915 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Hours: 6:30am – 10pm, Monday – Thursday; 6:30am – 11pm, Friday and Saturday; 6:30am – 9pm, Sunday
Images courtesy of DeSoto Central Market.
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Local Developers Team Up to Renovate 1950’s Era Building into “The Colony,” a Vibrant Restaurant & Retail Destination in the Emerging 7th Street Corridor in Central Phoenix
Western Vertical Holdings, a company formed by Bob Agahi and David Sellers, has begun construction on Phase 1 of The Colony, an adaptive re-use project located on 7th Street just north of Missouri Avenue in Phoenix. The Herb Box, innovative world cuisine with locations in Old Town Scottsdale and North Scottsdale; Stock & Stable, an American gastropub by the creators of Clever Koi in Midtown Phoenix; and Pure, a sushi restaurant based in Scottsdale; have already committed to the project and expect to open restaurants at The Colony in November. Additional local concepts are in negotiations to lease space in the 1st phase.
The Colony will be a 22,467-square-foot infill redevelopment built in two phases. The project is located in what is becoming an emerging local restaurant district in Central Phoenix. The first phase of the project is a renovation of a building originally built in the 1950’s, which has stood mostly vacant in recent years. Terry Brodkin of Scottsdale was the owner of that building and is a partner in the first phase of The Colony with Agahi and Sellers. Phase 2 will be a newly built ground up 8,122 square foot building on the north side of the development, which will begin construction this summer and is expected to be open 2nd quarter of 2016.
“The Colony is an example of a market shift of local restaurateurs and retailers wanting to locate in infill areas,” said Dave Sellers, who is also president of LGE Design Build in Phoenix. “Densely populated areas are now more desirable for restaurants and retail businesses than strip centers.” LGE will serve as the general contractor for both phases of the Colony.
The Colony will be just south of The Yard, Sam Fox’s popular multi-restaurant destination which was formerly a motorcycle garage and dealership. The area between Central Avenue and 7th Street, north of Camelback Road and south of Glendale Avenue, is emerging as a destination for dining with The Yard, St. Francis, Postino, Joyride, Federal Pizza, Windsor and Churn locating in the area.
“Our goal is to bring the Best of Local to The Colony. We’ve had numerous overtures from national tenants and we have respectfully declined them every time,” said Bob Agahi. “The passion, creativity and experience you get from a local operator is unparalleled to a national chain.” Agahi is also a partner in Scottsdale-based Triyar Companies.
Stock & Stable is an example of the Best of Local.
“Stock & Stable draws inspiration for design and culture from the nearby historic Murphy Bridle Pass,” said Jared Porter, a chef/owner of Stock & Stable. “Stock & Stable delivers an energetic, comfortable and dynamic mix of food, drink and atmosphere that appeals to all walks of life in a diverse neighborhood setting.”
Michael Rumpeltin, founder of Phoenix-based Brick & West Design, is the project designer. Rumpeltin has designed some of the most high-profile restaurant concepts in the Valley including Culinary Dropout and Little Cleo’s at The Yard Phoenix, Old School 07, Joyride Phoenix, Dakota, Comoncy, Taco Guild and Postino Tempe. “Passion for these food-focused projects is what drives me. They are highly social environments and because the restaurants are local, serve as incredible catalysts for community,” said Rumpeltin.
In April, Sellers and Agahi will develop another project in the immediate area also designed by Rumpeltin, a single tenant building at 7th Street, south of Montebello Avenue, located diagonally across the street from The Colony. A Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana will be the tenant. The existing Planned Parenthood facility will be razed for the new 5,800-square-foot restaurant. That project is slated to open in the 1st quarter of 2016.
Rendering of The Colony courtesy of LGE Desgin Group.
Spring in Arizona brings plenty of all-star players to the desert, but they aren’t all found on a baseball diamond. Some of them are found in the kitchens of Arizona’s best restaurants and this weekend, you’ll find an all-star lineup of the Valley’s top chefs at Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival at CityScape in downtown Phoenix.
Based on Eight’s award-winning, locally-produced dining show hosted by Chef Robert McGrath, the event will feature an impressive roster of Arizona’s culinary talent, along with samples from more than 25 local restaurants.
Get the stats on the all-star team of chefs slated to appear:
McGrath takes the manager’s role at the event, hosting the Culinary Leadership and James Beard Award Winners panel discussions.
Check, Please! Arizona. Eight, Arizona PBS’s #1 most popular program airs Thursdays and Saturdays.
- Nominated five times by The James Beard Foundation as “Best Chef in America: Southwest” HE WON THE HONOR in 2001.
- Created the Roaring Fork.
- Touted in Food & Wine as one of the Ten Best Chefs in America.
- Author of the popular cookbook, American Western Cooking from the Roaring Fork.
- Chef de cuisine at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin; executive chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston; and chef/owner of Sierra Grill in Houston, and Brio Vista in Austin.
McGrath won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame in 2013.
Pizzeria Bianco, Bar Bianco and Pane Bianco locally; Union Jack’s in London
A James Beard Award-Winner in 2003 and creator of the “Best Pizza in the Country” according to publications like Bon Appétit and Vogue, as well as many celebrity aficionados. Bianco is currently on a mission to bring his organically grown Bianco DiNapoli Tomatoes to food-lovers everywhere.
- Bianco won the James Beard Foundation Honor of Best Chef in America: Southwest in 2003.
- Pizzeria Bianco named best pizza in the country by Bon Appétit, Vogue, and Rachel Ray
- Chef Bianco also travels to London to check in on his restaurant Union Jacks – created with Jamie Oliver.
- His latest endeavor is Bianco DiNapoli Tomatoes. Their mission is to bring you the very best tomatoes that Mother Nature and human ingenuity has to offer. Organically grown, hand selected, grown and processed in California.
Bianco recently birthed a Pizzeria Bianco in Tucson, and a daughter!
Nobuo at Teeter House, 622 E Adams St, Phoenix
Fukuda is a 2007 James Beard Award Winner. Originally hailing from Tokyo, Japan, he’s been delighting Arizona foodies with innovative Japanese cuisine for the past 30 years. At Nobuo, he is famous for his omakase dining experiences, which leaves the menu selection up to the chef.
- Chef Nobuo first gained recognition for his East-meets-West approach at Restaurant Hapa and went on to win the James Beard Award in 2007 when he opened his restaurant Sea Saw.
- At Teeter House, in Heritage Square, Chef Nobuo comes full circle, elevating (and sometimes re-inventing) Japanese cuisine, while offering the same wildly inventive omakase for which he’s famous.
The historic Teeter House is located in the must-see Heritage Square.
Christopher’s and Crush Lounge, 2502 East Camelback Road #102, Phoenix
A longtime Arizona culinary staple, who brings experience from around the world to his kitchen.
- Gross was awarded the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in America: Southwest” in 1995.
- He has become a dominating figure in the culinary world, consulting regularly for Club Med, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Lines, Disney and others.
- Featured on panels with Jacques Pepin and Julia Child at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
- He and his recipes have appeared in numerous cookbooks, including the Julia Child PBS TV series and cookbook “In the Kitchen with Master Chefs.”
- He was a featured chef for the James Beard Foundation Dinner of the Decade, “A Salute to Peter Kump”; and the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games.
Gross has cooked for at least 3 presidents, and many other global leaders.
Crudo, 3603 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix
Campbell’s Crudo has received national acclaim and was named “Chef of the Year” by the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame.
- Chef Cullen Campbell, of Crudo, has quickly made an indelible mark on the Arizona dining scene.
- Since opening In April 2012, Phoenix Magazine named Crudo the #1 new restaurant in Phoenix and food critic Howard Seftel of Gannett’s Arizona Republic gave the restaurant 4.5 stars out of 5.
- USA Today’s 10best.com wrote, ”Sushi sensibility meets traditional Italian flavors at Crudo, Phoenix’s hip Italian cafe specializing in sashimi-style seafood,” while the LA Business Journal raved, “Crudo is a culinary oasis in the Arizona desert.”
- In April, 2013, Chef Cullen was invited to cook dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in NYC as well as named “Chef of the Year” by the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame.
Campbell is set to debut another restaurant this Summer. Stay tuned!
POSH, 7167 E Rancho Vista Dr #111, Scottsdale
Hebert honed his skills at the world famous Zuni Cafe and Cafe Kati in San Francisco and opened Cafe California in Japan. Upon returning to Arizona, he opened POSH, known for its “improvisational cuisine.”
- Chef Joshua Hebert became enamored with food at an early age. And he already was cooking professionally while in high school at a corporate Italian restaurant. But he had his sights set on fine dining.
- He spent five years as a line cook and sous chef at Tarbell’s developing his skills.
- He opened POSH Restaurant on New Year’s Eve 2008, and continues to receive accolades for his innovative approach. The Arizona Republic has named POSH one of the top 10 gourmet restaurants in the Phoenix area.
Hebert is a certified sommelier, and serves on the Arizona Restaurant Association board of directors.
Virtù Honest Craft, located in Old Town Scottsdale’s Bespoke Inn, Cafe & Bicycles, 3701 Marshall Way
With a focus on Mediterranean cuisine, seafood and pastas, Osso’s Virtù was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant and named in the 20 “Best New Restaurants” in the U.S. by Esquire Magazine.
- Chef Gio Osso’s already acclaimed restaurant, Virtù, was named one of the top 20 “Best New Restaurants” in the U.S. by Esquire Magazine and also was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant.
- Virtù Honest Craft is tucked inside Old Town Scottsdale’s Bespoke Inn, where his menu features contemporary cuisine inspired by his Mediterranean roots and global influences.
- At Virtù, the Machiavellian term for achieving excellence, expect a menu that changes almost weekly, featuring house-made pastas, superb seafood, new Mediterranean creations and rustic favorites.
The boutique Bespoke Inn also houses a boutique bicycle shop.
Game Time (Event Info)
What: Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival Click to link to see the full list of participating restaurants.
Where: CityScape, 1 E. Washington Street., Phoenix
When: Sunday, March 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tickets: $79 through March 21st; $89 day of event. Click to purchase online
There are lots of conversations these days about how to preserve, enhance and contribute to an authentic sense of place in our urban core. And while not all projects are as successful as some would like, increasingly we’re seeing innovative, adaptive reuse renovations along the Central corridor.
These projects incorporate our unique history and provide vital new use opportunities for 21st century enterprises: education, research and development, and diverse businesses. Not every building will be preserved, but as we speak an interesting renovation/adaptive reuse project with glorious potential is taking shape in the vintage Uptown Plaza on the northeast corner of Camelback Rd. and Central Ave.
Uptown Plaza, with its modern brick, masonry and steel midcentury modern construction originally opened on August 25, 1955. It was constructed by Del Webb and was the first “suburban” retail shopping center outside of downtown Phoenix. From the beginning, the unique mix of midcentury design details, along with a variety of shopping and dining options made it a popular destination for Phoenicians. Uptown was home to everything from Jerand’s of Arizona fine fashions and Bostrom’s department store, to the national grocery chain, Piggly Wiggly (currently AJ’s Fine Foods).
Over the years the center has suffered from a series of stucco “improvements” and the once vibrant corner has experienced vacancies and under-use for a long time now. Local developer, Vintage Partners saw a unique opportunity to bring the center back to life. Vintage Partners Principal, Dave Scholl approached the center’s owners to sell them on the concept of a comprehensive revitalization that would restore much of the midcentury modern elements and re-attract a mix of local, regional and national tenants to create a jewel destination in uptown.
As Scholl puts it, “When you see someone like a Craig DeMarco invest in an area, you see the chance – the risks he took, how he’s been rewarded and how the neighborhood has appreciated that reinvestment. And I think a little more is a good idea.”
Designed by Nelsen Partners (Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter), the renovation plans are still being finalized as Vintage Partners and builder Kitchell Contractors determine how much of the original red brick façade (including many interior walls) can be preserved. However, the end results will combine a restoration of the classic lines and low-slung shapes with verdant new landscaping and modern amenities, including rebuilding the original 15-foot shade overhangs with cantilevers to achieve a sleeker, less cluttered look.
In its current deconstructed state, many of the old painted signs for the earlier businesses have been uncovered and, in talking with Scholl, we wondered if those elements would be retained. Unfortunately, it appears that keeping those painted signs will be problematic, since they would conflict with the new tenant signage. Scholl and the contractors believe that these painted signs were actually under the original neon signs. If you look closely you can see dozens of holes in the brick around these signs where it appears that the neon was affixed. The goal according to Scholl however, is “to preserve as much of the original brick with the worn patina of time as possible.”
While many people are familiar with the work that Vintage Partners did renovating the corner of 7th Ave. and McDowell, Scholl points out why this project should have a happier outcome.
“Our vision is to peel all this stucco off and get back to the original brick. Unlike 7th Ave and McDowell, this center was built with baked brick. 7th ave and Mcdowell was built with sand brick – not baked. Sand brick is allowed to dry in the sun, which makes for very brittle bricks, which crumbled when we began to take the stucco off.” He adds, “and because it was built in the 30s, it didn’t have any steel to reinforce the brick. Uptown was built in the 50s and in just those twenty years building standards had changed. Uptown was built with baked brick and reinforced with steel.” So far, so good. As they peel off the layers of stucco, the underlying brick is still strong and viable, which means much more of the original character of the center will be maintained.
“The center has a great anchor with AJ’s,” said Scholl, “The next best anchors in retail are great destination restaurants. We’ll be picking out four to six great destination restaurants, and then filling in with soft goods, gift stores, etc.”
A really exciting change will be taking place in the far back corner of the plaza. In the original center, the back corner was actually connected, there was no courtyard. Over the years, changes were made, and the buildings were separated. Vintage is planning to open up this space even further, increasing the width of the walking area by putting in a big lawn in the middle with restaurants spilling out onto the space with outdoor dining patios. With the right tenants, it will be a great addition to this increasingly walkable, bikeable neighborhood.
In working on this project, which is close to his heart, Scholl says that he “feels like an archeologist.” He adds, “I’ve lived in Phoenix for 43 years, and I can remember when McCreary’s drugstore was on that corner (pointing to the current remains of Boston Market).”
Most of the work on the plaza will be completed by September 2015 and new tenants will be able to get in and begin building out their spaces soon after, so Scholl anticipates these businesses will begin opening in early 2016. Some of the current businesses will remain, including AJ’s. Vintage Partners will be working with them on renovating the exterior of the store, which will hopefully be followed by AJ’s themselves renovating the interior of their store.
And Vintage has just contracted with Modern Manor vintage furnishings owners, Kylie & Ryan Durkin, to help restore the authentic midcentury modern charm to this landmark center. “This project is a rare find to midcentury fan boys like us,” says Ryan Durkin. “We’re looking at incorporating some of our favorite designs from the 50’s into the center’s ecosystem.”
In our wild west, tear-down, build new, expand-out kind of city, we’re only now beginning to grapple with the challenges of preserving our unique places. Some success stories, like the recent renovation of the old Beefeaters into the Newton, the Upward Projects work on Windsor, Federal Pizza, Postino’s, and Joyride, are shining examples of thoughtful renovations that incorporate the past, while looking to the future. We’re hopeful that Vintage Partners’ renovation of Uptown Plaza will continue that momentum.
As an independent chronicler of all things downtown, DPJ takes a comprehensive approach to covering the urban living movement in Phoenix and, with this Conversation series, spotlighting the people who make it move.
“Customers are seeing that things are happening quickly here”
Steve Moore, the President & CEO of Visit Phoenix (formerly known as the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau) has spent his career luring convention business to his city. After 14 years at the helm of the convention business in San Antonio he was recruited to Phoenix in March of 2002 and has spent the last 13 years watching the explosion of growth in our downtown. He brings a unique perspective to the “future of downtown” conversations around the DPI board table in that he is uniquely focused on customers who are, for the most part, not from Arizona, and not familiar with what he calls “the new city” that is Phoenix.
Visit Phoenix is an umbrella organization for hotels looking to fill rooms and their target customers are convention and conference planners of all kinds. The competition includes cities that many planners are familiar with: Las Vegas, San Diego, Denver, Seattle, Salt Lake City and so on. Up until the last few years, Phoenix has largely been perceived as a resort destination and the convention center and hotel capacity in downtown was not competitive .
“Conventioneers like seeing young people downtown; it tells them that there’s a future here and maybe we should come back.”
My how things have changed! As Moore sees it, the “new downtown” is only about six years old because, in that short period of time, downtown has experienced a radical transformation. “There was a cacophony of activity that opened pretty close to the same time,” said Moore referring to the expanded convention center; hotel construction; the growth of a multi-faceted downtown research and higher education campus that includes ASU, U of A, and TGen; and the completion of light rail construction through the core that all came to fruition in and around 2009. “Cities don’t usually move that quickly,” said Moore. “People don’t mess around in Phoenix.” Looking out of his sixth floor conference room window on Van Buren and 5th Street he nods and says, “I see so much difference in just 12 – 13 years, sitting in my office and just looking out at what’s changed.”
And why is Downtown Phoenix Inc. an important organization to Moore? For Moore the impact of DPI is in its ability to get everyone in the same room to have ongoing dialogue about the future of the city, and the tremendous job DPI has done in activating downtown. Additionally, he sees tremendous benefit in having weekly communications from David Krietor and his team. Receiving reliable, aggregated information on everything happening in downtown is an important tool for Visit Phoenix to push out key and timely information to their clients and visitors to their site. He noted that many of the people who use the Visit Phoenix site are locals researching fun things to do with visiting relatives and friends, in addition to the meeting planners who are his target customers.
So what’s his strategy for selling our “new downtown” and raising awareness that Phoenix is a uniquely convention location? “It’s simple,” says Moore. “Seeing is believing. We need to get our customers here. They need to walk downtown and see it first-hand.”According to Moore, it’s all about orienting an audience that doesn’t live here.” Which means, in addition to the outsiders that he’s courting as clients, the millions of people who live in Phoenix and have not yet experienced the new downtown.
“Twelve years ago, I didn’t have to stop for people crossing the street. Now I have to stop all the time, and I love it.”
He wants to show prospective clients that downtown is “approximate, and like a campus with real nice ‘dorms’ (the hotels) across the street.” He is keen on having them walk at street level so they become more aware of their senses. “Convention planners are not staying inside as much as they used to,” says Moore. “Instead of hosting a golf or tennis tournament, convention planners are looking for social responsibility opportunities for their attendees. They are more focused on giving back to the communities who host them.” And Moore wants that street level experience to stimulate their senses and convey a real sense of place. And he also notes that as a part of the downtown campus experience, “conventioneers like seeing young people downtown; it tells them that there’s a future here and maybe we should come back.”
For Moore and his clients, our downtown is one of our city’s largest lobbies. “We see each other, we are out walking the streets. We want to make visitors aware of their senses when they leave the convention center and walk out on our streets.” He laughs, saying “Twelve years ago, I didn’t have to stop for people crossing the street. Now I have to stop all the time, and I love it.”
As for the specific challenges ahead for downtown and Visit Phoenix? “More hotel rooms,” says Moore. “That, and we need to have marketing resources in place for quite a while.” He is clearly confident about his ability to sell Phoenix as a conference destination well into the future, noting that “customers are seeing that things are happening quickly here – this is a business climate that does move forward and a very pro business community.”
The mural in the above image was painted by El Moises