TUCSON, Ariz. --
The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa will debut in December
as the first new resort in this city in 18 years.
master-planned community of Starr Pass in Tucsons western mountains
always had a high-end resort as part of its plan, but developer
Chris Ansley wanted the resort built in an ecologically sensitive
He said that he
had seen too many resorts become overdeveloped, scraping the
Sonoran Desert of its native flora, often destroying the ecosystem
that attracted guests to the area in the first place.
Ansleys plan was
to expand the Tucson Mountain Park into an adjoining 150-acre
parcel in the high Sonoran Desert and build the resort on the same
parcel, where nothing else ever could be built or
Within the past
year, the plan became reality: Starr Pass Resort & Spa is
slated to open on Dec. 15. The resort
will be in the Tucson Mountains, amid saguaro forests and aromatic
Ansley said the
resort construction has not disturbed the desert ecosystem. The
flora and rock removed were transferred to other areas of the
property. In addition, indigenous elements were used as
construction material: adobe stucco, multicolored desert stone,
Spanish tile, spines from ocotillo and saguaro cacti.
just outside the hotels entrance, said Mike Kass, sales and
marketing director for the resort. In addition, once inside the
hotel lobby, through our three-story-high window-walls, the guests
will see unimpeded views of the Tucson valley and the Rincon
Mountains. Once our guests walk outside, they will be surrounded by
high desert solitude -- no tour buses, no noisy construction in the
hills above or below us, just peace.
The $185 million
resort will have 575 rooms, 35 suites and two Presidential
facilities will make us the largest and most technologically
advanced in the city, said Kass. We have already been successful at
bringing convention business to Tucson that has always gone
elsewhere. Right now, we have over 100 conferences slated for 2005.
That alone should bring about $197 million to town. The
coordinators, planners and participants will have 88,000 square
feet of indoor and outdoor meetings space, the citys largest
ballroom at 20,000 square feet and a second one at 15,000 square
ceilings and wireless access throughout meetings areas will attract
event planners, he added.
When completed in
December, it will be southern Arizonas largest resort, with a
full-service spa with 23 treatment rooms, seven dining options and
a 27-hole Arnold Palmer signature golf facility at the Starr Pass
Golf Club, Kass said.
Starr Pass Resort
& Spa will be about 10-minute drive west of downtown and about
a 20-minute drive from Tucson Airport.
Room rates will
run from $149 to $399. The resort will pay 10% commission to
agents. For further information, call (520) 792-3500, fax (520)
792-3351 or visit www.starrpassmarriott.com.
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].