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Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino completes renovation

Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Arizona’s only tribal casino to have an international management partner, recently completed a multimillion dollar construction project featuring renovations property wide.

Among the most sweeping updates is the new 12-story hotel tower that adds an additional 230 rooms to the property, bringing the total to 529 rooms. The expanded gaming floor is also impressive, boasting live entertainment, slot machines, bingo, video poker, video keno, statewide progressives, live action poker and blackjack.

The property also expanded its ballroom, opened a nearly 3,000-square-foot spa and updated all of its existing resort-style hotel rooms.

– Mike Kintner, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino

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Big Bugs ‘invade’ Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo

Now through April 28, something is buzzing at the Phoenix Zoo. And it’s big – big bugs, that is.

The animatronic exhibit features 21 gigantic bugs that need to be seen to be believed. The larger-than-life exhibition showcases the superhero qualities of insects and why they are so important to life on Earth.

Beautifully detailed, the bugs are constructed with a combination of steel, fiberglass and skin material made from a special urethane compound that protects them from sun and rain. Each bug features realistic movements powered by a pneumatic system that enables smoother and finer bug-like maneuvers.

– Linda Hardwick, Phoenix Zoo

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ISM Raceway welcomes NASCAR to West Phoenix

ISM Raceway

Following the completion of a $178 million modernization project, ISM Raceway is now among the most fan friendly in the race circuit.

The facility has been modernized with the fan experience top of mind. The unique INfield experience allows fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garages, and the new Gatorade Victory Lane configuration allows fans to celebrate alongside race winners.

In coming weeks, it will be on display for the world to see March 8-10 when NASCAR returns to the Valley for the TicketGuardian 500.

The Arizona 100 Staff

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CB Live, ComicX come to Desert Ridge Marketplace

CB Live ComicX

CB Live is now open at Desert Ridge Marketplace. The 12,000-square-foot space is separated into two sides by a retractable, soundproof sky wall. On one side is an eatery with a stage featuring nightly entertainment. The other side features a full restaurant and comedy club, also available for private events and concerts.

On its heels, superhero-themed restaurant concept ComicX announced plans to open its first U.S. location in Desert Ridge in 2019.

The openings coincide with the center’s $15 million renovation, which also includes the recent additions Flower Child, Barrio Queen and The Whining Pig.

– Alison Bailin, HMA Public Relations

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Across the Pond, Fellow come to Phoenix

Across the Pond and Fellow

Born & Raised Hospitality, the restaurateurs behind Clever Koi, are making major culinary news with the opening of Across the Pond and announcement of Fellow Osteria.

Located across the walkway from the Clever Koi’s Phoenix location, Across the Pond tempts with a compact, ever-changing menu of eight cocktails, plus an extensive selection of Japanese whiskey, beer and wine. It’s all paired with an innovative menu of fresh sushi hand rolled by renowned chef Alvaro Salinas.

Fellow Osteria, set to open by year’s end at Skysong in Scottsdale, will feature modern Italian fare plus retail wine, bread and other artisan goods.

– Alison Bailin, HMA Public Relations

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Let it snow


Winter sports in Arizona? Yes, there are. And the season is almost here. That is hard to believe when it was above 100 degrees just a few short weeks ago.

The Arizona Snowbowl, located on the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff, is expected to open Nov. 16. Sunrise Park Resort, located in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, and Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley in the Santa Catalina Mountains northeast of Tucson both have opening dates dependent upon their individual amounts of snowfall.

Mt. Lemon is the southernmost ski resort in the United States.

– Staff Reports, The Arizona 100

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Sedona’s Enchantment Resort a premier mountain biking destination

mountain biking

With more than 300 miles of thrilling single-track trails and breathtaking scenery, Sedona is one of the most sought-after destinations for mountain bikers of every skill level.

Establishing Sedona as a premier locale on the west coast for mountain biking, Enchantment Resort is launching “Ride the Red Rocks,” a four-night mountain biking adventure Oct. 29 to Nov. 2. It combines small-group guided rides (based on skill level), personalized instruction, luxurious accommodations at the award-winning resort and gourmet meals. Pivot Cycles will fit each guest with necessary gear.

To learn more or to book, click here.

– Alison Bailin, HMA Public Relations

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Lowell observatory breaks ground on new plaza


Lowell Observatory has begun the first phase of its expansion with construction of the Giovale Open Deck Observatory (GODO). This new 4,300-square-foot observation plaza, located near the Pluto discovery telescope at Lowell, will help accommodate the observatory’s increasing crowd sizes.

Lowell allows everyone to explore the history of the universe, as well as modern science research.

The $3 million, donor-funded project will have an elevated observation deck and a roll-off building that will retract nightly and house six sophisticated telescopes. Future plans also include a 24,000-square-foot Astronomy Discovery Center on Mars Hill.

– Lisa Actor, Lowell Observatory

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Fall fun and your favorite hero

fall fun

Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, Arizona, is gearing up for its biggest event of the year: the Pumpkin & Chili Party, voted the Best Fall Festival. This year’s theme is “Who is your Hero?”

Held every Thursday through Sunday in October, admission starts at $20 per person, and children under age two are no charge. Currently, there are discount tickets available at Fry’s Food stores.

Activities include pumpkin picking, amusement rides, bonfires, marshmallow roasting, corn mazes, pig races, mini golf and an incredible dog show. There are also fireworks each weekend. To learn more about hours, attractions and pricing, click here.

– Carrie Schnepf, Schnepf Farms

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‘Alice in Wonderland’-inspired bar comes to Phoenix

Alice in Wonderland-inspired bar sign

Hatter and Hare, a restaurant concept from the founders of Camp Social and Old Town Gringos, is now open on the corner of 7th Street and Bethany Home Road.

Loosely based on the White Rabbit’s perspective of Wonderland, the décor features bright colors and bold designs. For example, there is both a Mad Hatter’s teacup seating area and a let-them-eat-cake couch.

The cocktail menu features concoctions that push the creative envelope. Think color-changing menu options and drinks served in teacups. The dining menu is served late-night and includes inspired, yet laid-back small bites.

– Anthony Georgoulis, Hatter and Hare