Hotel space is scarce for the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The 45th annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, Feb. 18 to 27, is expected to draw nearly 200,000 visitors. Although hotel space is tight, some availability can be found nearby, especially during the middle of the week, according to officials.

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the closest upscale hotel to WestWorld, the equestrian and events center, is among the beneficiaries of the 10-day event, according to Carol Vail, director of sales and marketing.

"What I learned in this, my first year at the Princess, is that smart [travel] agents snagged their rooms for repeat and newly cultivated clients as early as September, long before the annual February event," said Vail.

The Princess has been sold out in both its standard rooms and casita suites for the opening weekend and the finals weekend since October; some limited weeknight availability existed at press time.

Expectations for the 2001 show are that savvy agents will be booking the hotel as early as August, she said, adding that the hotel's new spa will increase demand.

This year's finals weekend, Feb. 25 to 27, is virtually sold out for hotels within a two-mile radius of WestWorld. Even opening weekend and midweek rooms are at a premium at nearby properties, but accommodations are available in hotels outside a five- to 10-mile perimeter.

The official travel agency for the horse show is Getz International Travel, Scottsdale. Getz also reports soldout opening and finals weekends with limited weeknight availability at Sierra Suites Hotel, Sleep Inn, Resort Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Fairfield Inn-North and Country Inn & Suites, all within a 15 minute drive of WestWorld. So, what is an agent to do for a client who still hopes to attend the show?

"Fortunately, Scottsdale is blessed with numerous facilities in most price ranges and if a guest is willing to drive an extra 20 to 30 minutes to WestWorld, there are a number of comfortable accommodations that will please the most discriminating visitors," said Phoenix-based Bob Pichnarcik, an associate with Balboa Meetings & Incentives.

Suggestions for midweek include: Fairfield Inn-North, Courtyard by Marriott and Spring Hill Suites by Marriott, while Scottsdale Marriott McDowell Mountain reported availabilities Feb. 18 to 21 and 25 to 26, with the nights of the Feb. 23 and 24 being "tight."

Marriott's three resorts within a 30-minute drive of WestWorld all report availability for the full 10-day period of the show: Mountain Shadows, Camelback Inn and Renaissance Cottonwood.

Marriott Reservations
Phone: (800) 228-9290

The Inn at the Citadel reported some boutique style suites available from Feb. 21 to 27. According to Lorraine Irving, general manager, travel agents qualify for Arabian Show rates of $229 to $269 for themselves. The property is about three miles north of WestWorld.

Inn at the Citadel
Phone: (480) 585-6133

In Old Town, rooms were still available at Homestead Village Guest Studios, 45 minutes from WestWorld. The first seven nights are commissionable. The new Gainey Suites Hotel had rooms available Feb. 20 to 27 at press time.

According to Jane Kaster, director of sales, "We welcome last-minute calls from agents."

Standard one-day show ticket prices are $10 per person per day for general admission to the grounds and to the bleacher seats in the covered Equidome. Grounds access and reserved seating in the Equidome cost $15 per person per day. Evening sessions in the Equidome require an additional ticket of $10 for general admission and $15 for reserved seating. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult.

According to Michele Johnson, president of the Arabian Horse Association of America, advance reserved and general admission tickets for the 10-day event will be available until Feb. 10. General admission level multiday tickets are from $50 per person; reserved seating is $150 per person. Both ticket plans allow ground event access and day/evening Equidome performances.

Advance packages are available through Dillard's Ticket Service through Feb. 10. General admission and reserved seating tickets are available at Dillard's and, after Feb. 18, at the show's box office.

Phone: (480) 503-5555

As of Feb.18, tickets also are available at the show entrance at WestWorld.

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
Phone: (480) 515-1122

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