Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spamalot to benefit Gabriels Angel's - September 25th

Monty Python’s Spamalot is the outrageous musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the film classic Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. Flying cows, killer rabbits, taunt-ing Frenchmen, and show-stopping musical numbers are just a few of the reasons audiences are coming to see Spamalot.

Come and experience the theatre while supporting Gabriel’s Angels!
VIP Tickets are $60 (Reception from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. including heavy appetizers and beverages (wine and beer available). Premium show seating for the 7:30 show. Please pick up your ticket at the box office for admission to the VIP area)
General Tickets are $30 each and may be purchased by contacting Phoenix Theatre or by phone at 602.254.2151

There are 200 seats in the Theatre.~ Our goal is to fill the house for this special performance!

DATE & TIME Tuesday, September 25th 7:30 pm
LOCATION Phoenix Theatre
100 E McDowell Road, Phoenix

Hosted by: Human Capital Strategies

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Moving to New McCormick Ranch Office on September 4th

The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce will move its offices from 4725 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 210 to 7501 E. McCormick Parkway, Suite 202-N, effective September 4, 2012.

The move stems from the sale of the building that the Chamber has been in since 2005 to a new owner with plans for the use of all or most of the 80,000 square foot structure.

The new offices will be at 7501 E. McCormick Parkway, Suite 202-N, inside the beautiful Forever Living Corporate Plaza. The facility is just east of Scottsdale Road on McCormick Parkway, placing the new Chamber offices midway between the vibrant Downtown area and the extraordinary business center that is the Airpark.

Eric Larson, Chamber Board of Directors Chair, added, “We explored dozens of potential sites, taking into account every possible pro and con. This location was the best fit, keeping us close to southern Scottsdale, while also making the Chamber more centrally located for businesses in central and north Scottsdale. We could not be more pleased!”

The move will take place during the week of August 27, with the intention of minimizing any interruption of direct, personal service to a few days near the Labor Day weekend. The Chamber will be open for business at the new location on Tuesday, September 4th, the day after Labor Day. Telephone numbers and email addresses will remain unchanged.

Updates regarding the move can be found online at

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cox Business delivers next level of Internet connectivity to Scottsdale Unified School District teachers and students

New network supports “Bring Your Own Technology” program

Cox Business and the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) have formally agreed to elevate the Internet experience for the District’s 26,000 students and 3,000 employees. Installation is nearly complete on an upgrade that will increase bandwidth and speed to 1G at each of SUSD’s 33 schools through a Cox Metro Ethernet network so that students and teachers can all use their own “smart devices” in the classroom at the same time.

With these Cox Business upgrades, SUSD can complete plans to fully activate its “Bring Your Own Technology” (BYOT) program across all of its schools. The District has embraced the proliferation of mobile technology and wants students to appropriately use their devices at the direction of teachers for research, to engage in class discussions and to stream educational videos. Cox Business is providing a network fast enough and reliable enough to consistently manage this new level of usage.

“Every SUSD school will have wireless access so students and teachers can bring their smartphones, iPods, iPads and Android devices to school and fluidly engage with technology,” explains Tom Clark, chief technology officer for  SUSD.  He adds, “Already, SUSD is offering professional development through a mobile learning lab, eCoach, that travels throughout the District carrying its own portable technology. Now, the eCoach will have seamless wireless access at SUSD campuses to the robust Cox Business network established for the District.”

“Cox Business believes deeply in developing and providing connectivity that allows our partners, like SUSD, to heighten the learning experience,” said Hyman Sukiennik, Cox Business vice president. Cox Business connects 29 school districts in Metro Phoenix with Internet, data networks and telephone networks.

Cox Business and the Scottsdale Unified School District are both Proud Members of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grand Canyon University Sees Enrollment Surge

While most other for-profit educational colleges are facing shrinking enrollment, Grand Canyon University has grown its enrollment by 12.4 percent in the past year.

The university’s Phoenix-based parent Grand Canyon Education Inc. reported 44,400 students as of June 30, up from 39,500 during the same period a year earlier, according to its second quarter results filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

While GCU President and CEO Brian Mueller expected to have 7,000 students on its physical campus this fall, those estimates were off a bit, with 6,500 students. “We turned away over 500 that weren’t as strong academically or not in a strong position from a financial perspective,” he said.

While hammers are flying at GCU’s Phoenix campus for more dorms and classroom space, it may expand to Massachusetts. Its foundation is one of two finalists in the running to receive a donation of a 217-acre campus in Northfield, Mass.

Mueller told analysts in an earnings conference call today that he expects to hear if GCU will get that donation within the next couple of weeks.

If GCU wins it, Mueller said he would invest $10 million into that new campus during the second half of 2013 to get it ready for a fall 2014 opening.

“We would start building dorms,” he said. “There are enough classrooms. There are 40 buildings on that campus. We are further ahead there than we were here when we started this.”

Read the full article HERE.

Grand Canyon University is a Proud Member of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Is Scottsdale poised to become the Silicon Desert?

It’s no secret that some of the most successful startups spring up outside Silicon Valley – and even internationally. But a few up and coming startups are calling home in another valley, as companies like Stremor call Scottsdale its home.

Stremor, which just announced it has raised $2 million in initial seed funding, is slated to launch a series of products and solutions for online content with a focus on mobile and tablet consumption. By following the philosophy of “lean startups,” Stremor has successfully found the “right talent” to launch these products.

For Stremor, finding the right talent meant looking beyond the Phoenix area (especially since Stremor is technically based in Scottsdale, just a few hundred yards away from Phoenix.) Brandon Wirtz, CTO and Silicon Valley veteran said, “Stremor’s approach definitely worked for attracting me to Phoenix. By having a clear goal and the start to a strong patent portfolio I got the sense that this was a company in it for the long haul. Knowing that the operating costs in the Phoenix area would be lower gave me the confidence that Stremor’s burn rate would mean they would be around for the long haul as well.”

Wirtz also continued to explain that the vital attraction for startups to this valley – as apposed to Silicon Valley – is the drastically lower cost of living. Wirtz is able to rent a three bedroom, two bath house in Phoenix for $850 per month – a home that would cost him $3,000 or more per month in Silicon Valley. He adds that the food is also cheaper, as well as the sales tax and the income tax, so as he says, “the dollar that you get paid goes a lot farther than in California.” Wirtz explains that having so much more financial freedom lowers the stress associated with working for a startup, as he can enjoy work/live balance and now worry about needing to save as much in the event his startup might fail.

And there are a surprising number of startups in the area – and the number keeps growing. Even Greg Rewis, VP of User Experience (and former Evangelist at Adobe), says, “there are way more than I even knew existed. It’s very attractive to startups too, especially when you start comparing costs against Silicon Valley.”

For these startups, finding talent can be difficult as the area is not as saturated with people looking for work – especially those at higher levels of management. However, that lack of competition can be beneficial to startups in the area, as in Phoenix, companies are competing not with other companies in the area, but with companies from Silicon Valley on factors such as quality of life – which as Wirtz says, “could easily tip the scales in your direction” as a startup in the area.

As Stremor has demonstrated, being in the “other” valley can lend to being just as successful – if not more – than being in Silicon Valley or other startup meccas. “No one believes we’re in Scottsdale,” says CEO Bill Irvine, “Everyone I talk to seems to think these kinds of ideas and companies can only start in Silicon Valley or New York City. But going from raw idea to seven-figure seed funding and fully staffed with impressive talent in just seven months, that’s a compelling startup story in any city.”

And with living and business expenses at barely 40% of the big cities – and the added bonus of being able to actually enjoy the quality of life while building a company – Phoenix and the surrounding area might just be the next Silicon Valley.

Read the Forbes article HERE.

The Venue Scottsdale revamped with more space, new look!

The Venue Scottsdale is getting a new look and an additional 8,000 square feet, which is set to debut in first-quarter 2013.

“The renovation process going on here at The Venue has been kind of a long one,” said David Twigger, director of sales and marketing for the business.

The building has gone through multiple iterations in the 17 years California resident Victor Perrillo has been operating there. It opened as the Cajun House and became the Venue of Scottsdale in 2005 when it began hosting private events. Until 2010, The Venue was mostly known as a concert hall, which was its primary business. It began to transition away from concerts that year, hosting other special events. The Venue has already spent $1 million on the latest renovations expected to cost between $1.5 million and $1.75 million, according to Twigger.

Gone is the New Orleans style décor, including the cobblestone street. It now has a stamped concrete floor, granite countertops and a limestone bar and façade. The venue also is getting new lighting and sound systems, which Twigger said is an ongoing process because that equipment will be continually upgraded.

A retractable roof has returned to the venue, as well. It was sealed during the nightclub era because of noise ordinance violations. Twigger said loud music in the club would go until 2 a.m., when Arizona bars must close. Now that The Venue mostly is used for private events, noise is not as much of a concern.

Passersby will once again be able to enjoy part of the facility as the first floor of the new 8,000-square-foot space will be open to the public. That space is connected the rest of The Venue allowing private parties to rent out the entire area. The second floor and the roof will be reserved for private events.

The Venue had customers in the past who wanted to hold multiple events, but Twigger said the space was not ideal for that. Since the second floor and roof each have their own elevators and entrances now, the site could hold three events at once, Twigger said.

For now, the space is being ambiguously referred to as V&V, Twigger said, the meaning of which will be revealed in the fall.

Twigger said he did not have an estimate on how much additional business the expansion will drive, but he expects it to increase. Capacity of Venue Scottsdale was 1,200 people, but the new space will allow up to 2,300 people, he said.

Read the full article HERE.

The Venue Scottsdale is a Proud Member of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pink Jeep Tours Expand to the Grand Canyon

Sedona’s iconic Pink Jeep Tours are now hauling Arizona tourists around the state’s most iconic place, the Grand Canyon. The expanded offering began Aug. 1.

Pink Jeep Tours will operate from the National Geographic Visitor Center seven days a week.
Expanding to the Grand Canyon felt like a real logical move, said Pink Jeep Chief Marketing Officer Grant Ferguson said.

“The Grand Canyon made a lot of sense geographically,” he said, adding that expanding to the Canyon is an opportunity to expand the well-recognized Pink Jeep brand.

“When other tour companies are scaling back, we are stepping up our game and providing visitors what they want — more adventure, sightseeing and enjoyable tour opportunities in our existing markets of Sedona, and Las Vegas and now at the Grand Canyon,” Pink Jeep Chief Marketing Officer Grant Ferguson said in a news release.

Four tours are available and range in price from $68 to $88 with discounted pricing available for children 12 and under.

Read the complete story HERE.

Pink Jeep Tours was founded in 1960 and has its corporate headquarters in Sedona.

For more:

Pink Jeep Tours has been a Proud Member of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce since 1989.