All Member Message
All Member Message


Dear Stakeholder, 

Welcome to hospitality’s high season in Arizona!  The Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association is tracking several bills advancing at the state legislature including additional funding for tourism promotion through the Arizona Office of Tourism, local control for online short-term rentals and enabling legislation for the creation of Tourism Marketing Authorities.  In addition, our annual sports tourism events including the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Cactus League Spring Training are delivering some great occupancy results for our resort and hotel members.

With 2020 being an election year, we encourage support for the AzLTA Mega PAC so we can invest in candidates who embrace this industry, the lifeblood of our economy.  Please consider a donation today.

Below, please learn more about our efforts around advocacy, collaboration and education, as well as make plans to join us for some exciting Spring events. 

Thank you for your membership.  Please share this newsletter with your contacts and encourage them to consider joining AzLTA, one voice for the sports, travel and tourism industry in Arizona.

Kim Grace Sabow
President & CEO


Preparedness and Response: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

AzLTA joins industry, government and national allies in closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  We want to make you aware of a new resource from U.S. Travel based on routine contact with authorities at the White House, Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Homeland Security and officials at several U.S. airports.  U.S. Travel has created an online tool-kit with data, information and updates about ongoing developments and how our industry can be constructive partners to current efforts.


AzLTA, along with our Government Affairs firm Molera Alvarez and the seasoned expert guidance of Jaime Molera, are tracking dozens of bills during this fast-moving session.  Visit our website for the latest information.  Here are highlights of recent actions for priority bill S.B. 1335:
  • SB1335 Tourism Marketing Authority Legislation: Passed Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, February 19 following a presentation by the bill’s sponsor Sen. Tyler Pace, AzLTA Chairman and Visit Tucson President & CEO Brent DeRaad and lead lobbyist Barry Aarons of the Aarons Company.  The State’s two largest Chambers (Arizona Chamber and the Greater Phoenix Chamber) join a growing list of supporters for the Tourism Marketing Authorities (TMA) enabling legislation.  This support will be vital when the bill moves to the House.  Please consider adding your company to the list of supporters and email your name and a high-resolution logo to


SAFE Action Project

SAFE Action Project (Safeguarding All From Exploitation) is a collaboration between the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security and Arizona Anti Trafficking Network.  This is a training certification program specifically designed for the travel and hospitality industry at no cost.  In January the AzLTA team became SAFE Certified.  

To date, there have been approximately 700 travel industry employees have been SAFE certified.  To learn more about to program, contact
Karen Cahn

2020 Southern Arizona Hospitality Career Day

The 2020 Southern Arizona Hospitality Career Day will be held March 24 at Pima Community College’s Desert Vista Campus.  This event will feature a job fair where students and job seekers can network with employers from local hotels, resorts and the broader tourism industry.  This day provides a wonderful opportunity to enrich understanding about one of Arizona’s most vital industries.  If you would like to participate or exhibit please email Darryl Emerson.


Advocacy Day + Global Meetings Industry Day – April 14

The Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association, Visit Phoenix and Meeting Professionals International- Arizona Sunbelt Chapter are working together to elevate our industry’s day at the Arizona Capitol as it coincides with Global Meetings Industry Day, Tuesday, April 14, 2020.  Be part of the action!  Join in celebrating this vast and diverse industry of statewide hotels and resorts, tourism attractions, destination marketing organizations, sports teams, the arts, airlines, airports and related business partners.  Learn more and register at

Business Leader Luncheon with Mexico’s Undersecretary for North America 

At the invitation of Jorge Mendoza Yescas, Consul General of Mexico in Phoenix, President and CEO Kim Sabow recently joined Arizona business leaders in a luncheon welcoming Jesus Seade Kuri, Mexico’s Undersecretary for North America at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Seade was the Chief Negotiator in the USMCA negotiations and spoke about the process and shared behind the scenes negotiations with the group gathered at the University Club Phoenix.

State of the Travel Industry

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow laid out the vision of a bright future for the American travel industry and the policy framework that can help achieve it.  He noted the significant legislative wins achieved during the past year’s challenging political environment, including Brand USA’s seven-year reauthorization and the enactment of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.  The report also touched on issues from public health emergencies to trade tensions, and Dow reaffirmed the industry’s strong position to expand its advocacy reach and effect sustainable, measurable growth in 2020 and beyond.  Read highlights of the report here.

American Airlines Names New Regional Director of Government Affairs 

The promotion of AzLTA Board member Joe Hughes to Managing Director of Global Government Affairs for American Airlines left a vacancy and John “Jack” McCain has been named as Regional Director of Government Affairs in Arizona.  Jack joins American Airlines as a decorated veteran.  He has also served as a senior instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy, and has served as a search and rescue pilot based in Guam.  Jack holds a B.S. from the United States Naval Academy and a M.A. from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service.  An Arizona native, Jack is the son of the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ). 

Arizona Cactus League Spring Training

Welcome to the 2020 Arizona Cactus League Spring Training season.  With 10 facilities hosting 15 teams, the Phoenix metropolitan area holds claim to the greatest concentration of professional baseball facilities found anywhere in the United States.  These games provide a forum to share operational efficiencies, to establish and nurture business relationships with respective Major League Baseball franchises and to facilitate and participate in activities to promote and fundraise for the Cactus League.  The Cactus League industry continues to grow and contributes an estimated $644 million annually in economic impact in the state of Arizona.  

Waste Management Phoenix Open

January brought many of the world’s top PGA Tour professionals to gather at the Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.  The field of 132 players competed for a $7.3 million purse, a $1.314 million check for first place and 500 FedExCup points. The week-long event delivers an annual $277 million economic impact.  After making his second birdie on the 18th hole in less than a half hour, Webb Simpson won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a playoff over Tony Finau. 

NCAA Women’s Final Four

Congratulations to Visit Phoenix and the City of Phoenix for being named as a finalist to host the Women's Final Four in 2025 and 2026.  The NCAA DI Women's Basketball Committee named Columbus (Ohio), Phoenix, Portland (Oregon) and Tampa as finalists.  Each city must submit final bids by April 13, before site visits from June through August, and final presentations in September.  The two chosen sites will be announced in October.  

Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase

The start of February delivered two great weeks of the annual Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase which takes place at multiple locations across the city.  Most of the shows are open to the public, except for certain trade shows which require registration with a business license.  It is the single highest revenue-producing event for the Tucson economy, generating an estimated economic impact of $120 million. 

FanShield 500 Speed Fest at Phoenix Raceway

Make plans for The FanShield 500 Speed Fest Weekend, March 6-8, at Phoenix Raceway which kicks off a monumental 2020 NASCAR season in the Valley of the Sun.  This event will have something for everyone, from the diehard NASCAR fan looking to get as close as possible to the thrilling racing action, to the fans looking for a fun, exciting and family-friendly atmosphere.  Fans looking to get in on the excitement can do so by visiting, by calling 866-408-RACE (7223), or by visiting the Phoenix Raceway ticket office during regular business hours. 


Southern Arizona Career Day

Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
March 24, 2020

AZ Wine & Dine

Scottsdale Quarter
April 9, 2020

Advocacy Day

State Capitol
April 14, 2020

Join us to support and increase awareness of the profound impact the lodging and tourism industry has on Arizona jobs, tax revenues, and economic growth. Contact us for more information on AzLTA and VHRA.
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