Press Releases

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS TO HEADLINE 2017 FLAGSTAFF BLUES AND BREWS FESIVAL IN JUNE

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ (March 1, 2017) –  The Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival is back for its fifth year on June 10, 2017, at the Continental Country Club Driving Range in east Flagstaff. Great local and regional beers start to flow from the taps at 11 a.m. and the music kicks off at 11:30 a.m., going throughout the day until 9 p.m. The festival features 10 acts, including three acoustic performances, and headliners North Mississippi Allstars taking the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Mom and daughter duo and Flagstaff natives, Debbi and Jennifer Grogan, have grown this festival in popularity, size and recognition in four short years. In 2016, the event made it on the list of the “Top 10 most beautiful Blues Festivals,” by American Blues Scene and became the largest blues festival in Arizona, tripling audience size from the first year. The Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival promises to rival top blues festivals in the southwest region.

The 2017 headlining band, North Mississippi Allstars, have been playing music together for 20 years and have been nominated for six awards, including a 2013 Grammy for best folk album. Members of the Allstars have teamed up with Robert Randolph and John Medeski to form the Word, an instrumental/gospel blues jam band. Luther Dickinson, one of the founding members, also dedicates his time to playing with renowned band, the Black Crowes.

The 2017 festival lineup includes: 2016 Blues Music Award winner, Victor Wainwright and The Wild Roots as well as Chubby Carrier & Bayou Swamp Band, a 2011 Grammy Award Winner for Best Zydeco or Cajun Album. California-based Harlis Sweetwater, who had the crowds dancing and singing like crazy in 2015, will make a return appearance this year. Also, Sistahs Too from Phoenix and two local bands from Flagstaff, Mother Road Trio and Soul Summit, will be kicking things off.

After attending Telluride Blues and Brews for so many years, Debbi wondered why there wasn’t a festival like that in Flagstaff. With the Grand Canyon as our backyard, and being a popular summer travel destination for many Arizonans, Nevadans, and Californians, it just made sense. “I love the blues not only for the music, but also the history of this genre and the influence it has had on so many artists,” Debbi explained. This festival means so much to the Arizona music community and they plan to expand to two days eventually. The Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival reaches beyond the experience of the music. Every year Debbi and Jennifer choose a non-profit to receive a portion of the festival’s proceeds. This year, the event will benefit Orchestra Northern Arizona, founded seven years ago by former London Symphony conductor David Cripps and his wife Melisa. They’ve grown the orchestra to 60+ musicians and play four free shows per season. Most recently, they’ve brought a youth orchestra to the community. With the festival’s help, they can put instruments into the hands of children who can’t otherwise afford them. When Melissa watches the kids perform she says, “It just gives me goosebumps. They’re so professional and dedicated to their music.”

The festival strives to bring an incredible experience to Flagstaff while supporting the youth in our community, growing their love of and skill in performing music. Visit www.flagstaffblues.com for more information and to purchase your tickets. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $85 for the VIP package.

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Valentine’s Day 2017: Fall in Love in Flagstaff

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ (February 1, 2017) – At 7,000 feet, love is certainly in the air, and Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to fall head-over-heels in Flagstaff while treating your sweetheart to a mountain top getaway. Plan now to spend quality time together among the pines on a romantic horse drawn sleigh ride through the snowy woods or riding the ski lift hand-in-hand for a day on the slopes. From special holiday themed events to hotel and restaurant offers there is much to love in Flagstaff for Valentine’s Day 2017.

Flagstaff Valentine’s Happenings:
The Flagstaff Chocolate Walk will kick off the Valentine’s Day festivities on Saturday, February 11, 2017, with a one day chocolate tasting adventure through downtown Flagstaff. More information and tickets available at flagstaffarizona.org/chocolatewalk.

On Monday, February 13, 2017, The Orpheum Theater will honor the holiday with the weekly Brew and View movie series screening, “When Harry Met Sally.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m., tickets are $5 and the full bar will be open during the movie.

Flagstaff Arts Council will present their 10th annual Valentine’s Day concert with Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer performing at the Coconino Center for the Arts on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. There will be a wine and chocolate tasting beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.

For a full list of special events taking place on dates surrounding Valentine’s Day, visit flagstaff365.com.

Hotel offers for Valentine’s Day:
The Super 8 Flagstaff on Kasper Lane is offering the “Snowbowl Package” on Valentine’s Day which includes a one night stay and two complimentary Arizona Snowbowl ski lift tickets for $150.

The Arizona Mountain Inn & Cabins is offering Valentine’s Day packages with a fully-furnished cabin for two for only $110 per night.

Valentine’s Day Dinning Specials:
Josephine’s Modern American Bistro will offer a customizable four course Valentine’s menu for $79 per person. Reservations recommended.

Charly’s Pub and Grill at the Hotel Weatherford has created a special Valentine’s Day menu with appetizer, entrée and dessert offerings priced separately.

1899 Bar & Grill will offer a few special entrees, priced separately, on Valentine’s Day including a Langoustine Stuffed Shrimp, a certified Angus 16 oz. T-Bone and a Chocolate Flourless Heart with Raspberry Coulis in addition to the full menu.

The Lumberyard Brewing Company will host a special Valentine’s Beer + Chocolate Pairing on February 14.  Enjoy a flight of three 5 oz. brews perfectly paired with three house-made chocolate for $9.

Shift FLG Kitchen + Bar will offer a four course meal titled the “Beer Hearts Wine” dinner, where each course will be paired with a wine from Burning Tree cellars, Fire Mountain wines, and two Dark Sky beers for $55 per person. There will be two seating times at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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7 ways to ring in 2017 in Flagstaff

The Great Pinecone DropFLAGSTAFF, ARIZ (December 22, 2016) – A zealous and fresh approach to the New Year always seems to be among the top of the “must do” lists for most people in January.  This New Year is positioned perfectly as it occurs on a weekend providing opportunity to escape and invigorate at 7,000 feet altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona.  From the annual Great Pinecone Drop countdown to snowplay in Arizona’s official Winter Wonderland or a hike to get started on those resolutions, Flagstaff has the weather, the attractions, and many activities to say farewell to 2016 and welcome 2017.  Get started with seven ways to ring in the New Year Flagstaff-style:

1. The Great Pinecone Drop became Flagstaff’s New Year’s Eve tradition in 1999 when the Weatherford Hotel rang in the new millennium and honored the Hotel’s 100-year anniversary. Since then, thousands gather in the streets for the countdown into the New Year and the lowering of the Pinecone followed by a brief firework display. Join the festive street party atmosphere at the corner of Aspen Avenue and Leroux Street in downtown Flagstaff at either 10 p.m. or 12 a.m. To elevate the Pinecone Drop experience tickets are available from the Weatherford Hotel for their New Year’s Eve Gala in the Zane Grey Ballroom and Bar with access to the balcony during the countdown.

2. Not able to have a white Christmas? Then come for a white New Year’s Day and start the year on the slopes with a day of snowplay or skiing in Flagstaff. For the most up-to-date information on conditions at Flagstaff area winter recreation sites call the snowplay information hotline at 1-844-256-SNOW and find directions and alternate routes to the sites on the free Winter Snowplay Map available at flagstaffarizona.org or at the Flagstaff Visitor Center.

3. Get started on those New Year’s fitness resolutions and take your first hike of the New Year at one of the Flagstaff Area National Monuments. The Island Trail at Walnut Canyon National Monument offers a strenuous one mile hike with more than 200 stairs descending 185 vertical feet into the canyon or for a more leisurely option try the one mile Lava Flow Trail loop at Sunset Crater National Monument.

4. Craft beer fans can make it a “Happy Brew Year” in Flagstaff with a trek on the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail to get a taste of all seven of the city’s breweries or simply head to a favorite brewery to try winter season specialty brews.

5. Get adventurous with New Year’s Eve lodging and slumber in a yurt at the Arizona Nordic Village. This requires preparation and necessitates packing things from home including a sleeping bag.  For those looking for more traditional hotel accommodations, Flagstaff is home to more than 5,000 hotel rooms for any style or budget.

6. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day then be sure to start the New Year with a hearty breakfast in Flagstaff at a local favorite including: Martanne’s Burrito Palace, Tourist Home Urban Market, Macy’s European Coffeehouse, La Bellavia, Brandy’s Restaurant, Mike and Ronda’s The Place or Northern Pines Restaurant.

7. Zip on out of 2016 or literally fly-in to 2017 and spend the day traversing through the pine trees at the brand new Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Zip Line Course. The new zip line course, as well as the traditional obstacle course, will be open on December 31, with several mid-day course start times available.

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Arizona’s Winter Wonderland encourages
safe and sustainable snowplay

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ (December 8, 2016) – New for the 2016-2017 winter season, enhanced resources are now available for visitors planning travel to northern Arizona for winter recreation including an expanded winter snowplay map and a winter information hotline at 1-844-256-SNOW. The winter snowplay map is free and can be picked up at the Flagstaff Visitor Center or downloaded from flagstaffarizona.org.

The snowplay map is a product of a multi-agency collaboration between the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona Department of Transportation, the Coconino National Forest, residents and more.

The new winter information hotline at 1-844-256-SNOW, will be updated daily through the season as conditions change and provides detailed visitor information as winter recreation areas experience operational changes.

A mobile friendly winter recreation website can be easily accessed at flagstaffarizona.org and provides essential information for enjoying wintertime in Flagstaff including safety tips, locations and descriptions for ski and snowplay recreation areas, and a list of local shops to rent winter recreation equipment.

The Flagstaff winter page features an interactive Google Map version of the snowplay map, which highlights areas designated for winter activities such as sledding, skiing, snowshoeing and snowplay. Driving directions from various locations are included and alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion are marked. This map is available as a PDF download from the website as well.

This site is the premier resource for those planning to visit Flagstaff’s snowy playground this winter season and we urge you to share it with your audience during snow storm coverage.

Long known as one of the snowiest cities in the nation with a wealth of winter recreation and holiday season activities; The City of Flagstaff was officially designated “Arizona’s Winter Wonderland” by special recognition of Governor Douglas A. Ducey in 2015.

The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau is available as your resource for all winter recreation and snowplay visitor information. If you would like a CVB spokesperson to join you in Flagstaff for live shots or to record interviews during your coverage of snow storms, please call Joanne Hudson, Communications Specialist at cell phone: 928-607-3475 or office phone: 928.213.2922.

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Free Route 66 90th Anniversary celebration in Flagstaff

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ (November 1, 2016) – Dust off that vintage pink Cadillac and cruise past motels aglow with neon and nostalgic roadside diners for an afternoon of kicks on Route 66.

Honor Route 66 and all the Mother Road has meant to Flagstaff during the Route 66 90th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, Nov. 11 from 12-5 p.m. The free event will take place in the parking lots of Starlite Lanes and The Museum Club, 3403 Historic Route 66.

The festival-like celebration will include:

  • Live entertainment from Arizona Hired Guns
  • Beer Garden with Sam Adams brews poured in Route 66 $10 souvenir glasses
  • Refills are $3
  • Retro-priced bowling at 66 cents per game and 90 cents for shoe rental
  • Bounce house and face painting for children are free
  • Classic automobile display courtesy of the Route 66 Car Club, Flagstaff Cruiser and Highland Rods and Rides

In collaboration with Veterans Day, the celebration features a presentation of the colors by the Marine Color Guard dedicated to our veterans at 2 p.m. All veterans will receive a free hotdog lunch from 12-3 p.m., followed by birthday cake at 3 p.m.  As November is a month marked for giving thanks, proceeds benefit two veteran organizations: Bowling for Vets and The Military Order of the Purple Heart.

For event details visit www.flagstaffarizona.org/route66.  For more information on Flagstaff, visit or call 800-842-7293.  Located in the historic train depot at One E. Route 66, the Flagstaff Visitor Center is open Mon – Sat 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.,  closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.

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Trace Ward begins his tenure as Flagstaff CVB Director

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ (November 23, 2015) – As the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, Trace Ward brings more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality/destination marketing arena.  His career includes senior-level sales & marketing positions with iconic brands such as Starwood, Hilton and Marriott. In his previous position he led the team as the Interim Executive Director for Experience Kissimmee, the convention and visitors bureau for Osceola County, FL, a department of more than 40 employees with a budget of $19 million and home to the world-famous theme parks.

At Experience Kissimmee, Ward oversaw all aspects of the bureau and was responsible for all sales and marketing deliverables. With a solid approach to sales and marketing, and a blend of strategic, creative and analytical skillsets, Ward and his team, along with the partnership of the community, were able to increase the bed tax collection in Osceola County from $36 million to $42 million in his tenure. This increase was accomplished through building awareness and inspiring both domestic and international visitors to experience their destination. Furthermore, the team took a targeted approach to the meetings & conventions market nearly doubling qualified leads to their meeting facilities.

Ward noted that his passion and enthusiasm for driving economic impact through tourism is a lifelong endeavor. He enjoys working with the industry partners and community in which he serves to bring about positive change. A native of Omaha, Neb., Ward received a degree in business management from Bellevue University, has earned certificates of sales training from Starwood, Marriott and Hilton, as well as has earned his Certified Destination Marketing Executive (CDME) degree from DMAI.

When he is not spending time strategizing on tourism development, Ward can be found playing tennis, hiking, skiing, traveling to new and exciting places or spending time with some of his 30 nieces and nephews. He is the youngest of fifteen siblings.

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Flagstaff CVB receives DMA West Best Idea Recognition
for #VisitCool/Flagstaff Cool Zone promotion

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ (DMA West Best IdeaSeptember 24, 2015) – The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) was honored by the Destination Marketing Association of the West (DMA West) for their work developing and implementing the #VisitCool campaign and Flagstaff Cool Zone. The CVB was presented as a Best Idea Award recipient this past Thursday, September 23rd at their Annual Marketing Summit in Ogden, Utah.

Four destination marketing organizations received achievement awards in the recent competition. Sponsored by DMA West, the annual Best Idea Program showcases innovative projects and creative marketing strategies as submitted by members. Winners are selected by a Board-appointed Task Force with winners presenting their best ideas during the annual summit.

The CVB launched their newest initiative, #VisitCool over the July 3-4, 2015 holiday weekend. The marketing campaign focuses on the climate difference between Flagstaff and its top inbound market – the Phoenix-metro area. During the launch of the year-long campaign, frozen interactive features were placed throughout the Valley as high traffic, public areas including malls, professional sporting events and Fourth of July celebrations. The features included cruiser bikes, trekking poles, a snowboard, telescope and Northern Arizona University (NAU) gear.

Each interactive feature was supported with Flagstaff brand ambassadors, talking about travel to Flagstaff and collecting email data through an enter-to-win program. The three bikes that were encased in ice, along with a trip to Flagstaff and telescope were the winning prizes for the contest. Over the two-day launch nearly 100,000 people were reached.

A special website, www.visitcool.com, was developed to highlight program partners and drive people to Flagstaff deals and events. The overall campaign was supported with online video advertising, social media advertising and a strong media presence. Headlines such as “frozen hiker” and “epic fourth of July freeze” were used to generate additional publicity of the locations.

In addition to the holiday launch, the CVB wrapped an outdoor courtyard in the Legends Entertainment District, dubbed the Flagstaff Cool Zone. This is the second iteration of the Flagstaff Cool Zone and the new wrap was highlighted with a relaunch activation this past August 7th featuring two frozen trekking poles as a photo op.

#VisitCool will continue through next June with regional activations, online advertising, email marketing campaign along with social and traditional media efforts, increasing awareness of Flagstaff and its seasonal climate.

All 2015 DMA West“Best Idea” award winners include:

  • Flagstaff, Arizona – #VisitCool/Flagstaff Cool Zone
  • Lane County, Oregon – Mobile Information Kiosk Explorer, MIKE the Bike
  • Marina del Rey, California – Beach Buddies
  • Salt Lake City, Utah – Mobile Attractions Pass

The mission of the CVB is to develop, promotion and maintain Flagstaff as a premier year-round visitor destination with professional visitor services that benefits the community economically, socially and environmentally. For more information visit www.flagstaffarizona.org or email Joanne Hudson; jhudson@flagstaffaz.gov. For more information regarding DMA West and their Best Ideas program visit dmawest.org.

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Flagstaff Selfie Trail Released for Selfie September

15-16 Web.selfie.mapFLAGSTAFF, ARIZ (September 4, 2015) – The first known selfie was taken in 1839 by Robert Cornelius, yet it wasn’t until 2002 that the term “selfie” appeared at an Australian conference. The now popular trend extends beyond Earth to the Curiosity Mars Rover, which shared a selfie with the world. Now Flagstaff has joined the ranks of these self-portrait pioneers with the Flagstaff Selfie Trail.

The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau developed the Flagstaff Selfie Trail and coinciding map to help visitors find iconic locations throughout town to snap their selfie and share with #FlagstaffSelfie. The newly created trail features twelve locations ranging from the Coconino County Courthouse downtown to The Museum Club on Route 66, in addition to three “seasonal selfie” spots to capture year-round imagery.

Throughout the month of September Flagstaff is celebrating everything selfie during Selfie September. In addition to the Flagstaff Selfie Trail locations, look for the #FlagstaffSelfie icon at participating locations and events including the Coconino County Fair, Movies on the Square, Aspen Sports, Karma Sushi Bar Grill, Mountain Sports and more.

Visit www.flagstaffarizona.org/selfietrail/ for details on each location and to download a printable map.

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Weatherford Hotel wins 2015 Arizona Governor’s tourism award

FLAGSTAFFWeatherford Award, ARIZ (July 1, 2015) – Henry Taylor and Sam Green, owners of the Weatherford Hotel, were honored with the 2015 Arizona Governor’s Tourism Award for Arizona Preservation during the annual Arizona Governor’s Tourism Conference on June 23, 2015; for their 40 years of restoration efforts and the successful preservation of this Flagstaff landmark.

Designed to celebrate tourism best practices the awards are presented in 12 distinct categories. The Arizona Historic Preservation Award is granted to the individual, organization or community that has made the most significant contribution toward the historic preservation of some aspect of the natural, cultural or aesthetic legacy of Arizona.

Taylor purchased the hotel, located on the corner of Leroux Street and Aspen Avenue, in 1978 with the desire to restore it to look just as it did on opening day 1900. With the help of his wife and business partner, Sam Green, they have taken the once declining hotel back to its original glory, transforming it into one of the iconic cornerstones of downtown Flagstaff.

Taylor and Green’s diligent dedication to restoration has extended The Weatherford Hotel’s 115 year long tradition of hospitality, Flagstaff’s deep historical roots and Arizona’s tourism legacy. They have preserved the Weatherford Hotel to function as a destination getaway for tourists, a social hotspot for locals, and the home of Flagstaff’s largest New Years Eve celebration. Their determination to preservation has created a place for all to experience Flagstaff’s irreplaceable culture, community and history.

“The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau congratulates the Weatherford Hotel on this outstanding achievement and thanks Henry and Sam for their 40 years of commitment to Flagstaff’s tourism industry,” said Heidi Hansen, Economic Vitality Director.

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