Sun and Sin City

One Friday last month, I had to go to Phoenix to host some of our corporate customers in a suite at the Suns game.  Coincidentally, the Suns were were scheduled to play the Oklahoma City Thunder, my favorite NBA team.  I’m from Oklahoma City and they are the sole professional sports team we have; luckily they’re good and really fun to watch!

My boyfriend happened to have the day off work thanks to the snow that fell the night before, so he was able to join me on the trip.  We were lucky to be booked on one of the few flights that wasn’t canceled so after getting delayed at Love Field for a couple of hours, our plane was de-iced and we were on our way.  When we arrived in Phoenix it was sixty degrees and sunny, a welcomed change from cold, snowy Texas (what an oxymoron)!  We cabbed it to our hotel downtown, the Wyndham, and had just enough time to unpack before we headed to the US Airways Center.

Lobby at the Wyndham Phoenix downtown

I was disappointed that we weren’t able to get a room at the Sheraton (where I stayed during my last visit to Phoenix), but the Wyndham exceeded my expectations.  It was modern and stylish and located just a couple of blocks from the arena.  I prefer boutique hotels, but I appreciate the consistency of big box products.  Sometimes it’s nice to know what you’re going to get.

Room at the Wyndham Phoenix downtown

Unlike hosting a suite.   Sometimes customers don’t show or they give their tickets away to a friend or colleague.  Some customers want to focus solely on the game while others work you for a business deal.  In any case, suites are a great opportunity to get in front of our customers outside of a formal professional setting, build relationships, and hopefully get some additional business!

Thunder up!

Our suite was full of Phoenix residents so I had to hide my excitement when the Thunder won.  I enjoy sports but can only carry on a conversation about a game or team for so long.  My boyfriend was so helpful.  He did an amazing job engaging my customers (mostly the guys) with witty sports banter and solid stat knowledge, something I struggle with.  I’m considering hiring him as my assistant!  (If only I could afford him… haha)

The next morning was beautiful.  The air was crisp and chilly, the sun was shining, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  One of the PGA’s most popular golf tournaments, the Phoenix Open, was going on in Scottsdale so we decided to check it out.  The greens at TPC Scottsdale were beautiful and we got to watch some world class golfers including Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.  Here’s a video of Rickie.  He’s the Justin Beiber of golf.  Love his style!

After taking in some great golf and people watching (I thought the Byron Nelson was wild), my boyfriend and I decided to take the party to Vegas for some more fun!  We picked up our bags at our hotel and headed back to the airport.  After a quick fifty minute flight, we were in Sin City!  We took a cab to the Luxor, the giant pyramid-shaped hotel with the huge shining spotlight on top.  It’s pretty strange on the inside- looking up to the ceiling in the lobby the walls lean in towards each other, and despite the spaciousness of the structure, it still feels a little claustrophobic (very anti-feng shui).  It’s dark with no natural light (to prevent guests from keeping track of time) and felt strangely ominous.  Our room was nothing to blog about.  It was big but the sheets were scratchy and the interior was tired.  The Luxor is overdue for a reno.

Room at the Luxor

Our first order of business in Vegas was finding food.  We went with the most convenient option, the Luxor’s T&T (short for the two universal symbols for a fiesta, tacos and tequila).  When we sat down to eat, the Phoenix Open was wrapping up so we were able to catch up with the scores on the TV in the bar.  Tacos and guac hit the spot!

Watching the end of the Phoenix Open from our hotel in Vegas

I’ve visited Vegas at least once a year since I turned 21, and each trip has been a unique experience.  Whether I’m there to blow off steam with friends, for work, or even for a wedding, Vegas has something to offer everyone.  My boyfriend and I had a blast gambling (I stuck to slots, he worked the tables) even though we lost it all!

Early the following morning, we hopped a flight back to Texas.  By the time we landed in Dallas the snow had melted.  Phoenix-Vegas was the perfect mini worcation to escape snowmageddon!

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