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Tucson, AZ Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 106
Total Sleeping Rooms 15,574
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 575
Committable Meeting Rooms* 50
Convention Center Space 205,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 89,760 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 20,164 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $90
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $56
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $175
*Maximum for a single hotel

Tucson, AZ Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to our Tucson meeting planning guide – a city guide for meeting planning in Tucson. Just 115 miles south of Phoenix, Tucson offers a unique and authentic Southwestern experience. No other city in the United States has a national park on either side of it. Saguaro National Park protects and preserves the largest stand of the giant Saguaro cactus in the world. This is the Arizona your attendees expect to see! Tucson's collection of hotels, destination spas, luxury resorts, and dude ranches give your groups an array of lodging options completely unique to southern Arizona. Easily accessible by air, Tucson features a charming and newly renovated airport that offers nonstop departures to 20 destinations. Seven airlines fly from Tucson International Airport (TUS) with one-stop connections to hundreds of destinations around the world. Almost 60 flights take off daily from TUS, with more than 6,200 available seats.

Transportation is equally convenient inside the city, thanks to Tucson's award-winning public bus system and affordable, modern streetcar, which connects downtown to the lively University District, just a mile and a half away. This urban scene is bustling with restaurants and bars housed in historic buildings, award-winning microbreweries, distilleries, and cultural hot spots offering live music from a truly local perspective.

Thanks to Tucson's unique food scene, it was designated by UNESCO as the first U.S. city of gastronomy. The distinction reflects the city's rich cultural heritage built on a 4,000-year-old agricultural tradition, combined with the harvesting of native plants, the rich mix of ethnic foods, and the heightened contemporary use of all these elements by local chefs.

As the second-largest city in the state, it's no surprise that Tucson's meeting facilities are spacious and grand. The newly renovated Tucson Convention Center complex features four distinct facilities sure to suit any meeting or event. In the main convention center building, an elegant 20,164-square-foot Grand Ballroom, 11,236-square-foot Grand Lobby, 89,760-square-foot Exhibition Hall, and eight meeting rooms make up the 205,000-square-foot complex. The complex is also home to the 8,962-seat Tucson Arena, 2,289-seat Tucson Music Hall, and intimate 511-seat Leo Rich Theater.

A number of attractive meeting sites call the city home. Host a reception at one of many spaces in the world-renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a combination zoo, natural history museum, and botanical garden. Gather up to 700 people among some of the world's rarest aircraft and spacecraft at the popular Pima Air and Space Museum, or throw a more intimate dinner of 60 guests at the Tucson Botanical Gardens' Xeriscape Garden patio.

For a wildly unique meeting experience, travel to Old Tucson Studios. This entertainment park and complete Old West town of 75 buildings has been featured in more than 400 films, television series, and commercials shot from 1939 to the present. Private events can be held throughout the park and in such spaces as the working saloon, which features daily can-can performances and stunt shows.

Tucson's major industries include tourism, higher education, and advanced technology. The city serves as headquarters for such corporations as Caterpillar Mining and Raytheon Missile Systems. The resident University of Arizona also holds a strong economic presence in Tucson, as 40,000 students call this historic university home. Other higher learning institutions in Tucson include Pima Community College, a Prescott College branch campus, and a Northern Arizona University branch campus.

About Tucson, AZ / Additional Info

Over 525,000 people live in the great city of Tucson, but almost just as many live outside the city limits in Pima County. The overall Tucson area is home to about 1 million people. Tucson resides in the Sonoran Desert, surrounded by five mountain ranges that provide an infinite number of recreational opportunities. These mountains - or "sky islands," as they are called - each have their own unique ecosystem. At an elevation of over 2,300 feet above sea level, Tucson is considered a high desert destination.

Tucson is mostly known for its crystal blue skies, but it is also a designated Dark Sky City. One of only a few in the country, Tucson has light pollution restrictions at night, so all the observatories in the surrounding mountains have a clear view of the night skies. Because of this, you can really see the stars even with the naked eye. Many groups will offer stargazing through giant telescopes at their opening reception.

Tucson's varied past settlements and current location about 60 miles north of the Mexican border has created a one-of-a-kind cultural blend in the city. Explore the city's past at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson, a fortress originally built in 1775. Now restored, the 11-acre presidio features a tour-ready munitions room, 20-foot-tall adobe tower, and commissary and living spaces. Or stop by the Arizona State Museum to experience the cultures of Arizona, the Southwest, and Northern Mexico in exhibits such as the largest collection of Southwest Indian pottery.

Other intriguing Tucson museums include the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, which specializes in American, American West, and modern and contemporary art. Made up of five historic houses dating from the mid-1850s to 1907 and one new modern building, the complex's exterior is just as breathtaking as the art that awaits inside.

Guests can also experience Tucson's flora and fauna in the flesh by taking part in one of the city's many recreational adventures. With a mild climate and rustic terrain, the city is an outdoor lover's paradise. Take a hike on the Pima Canyon Trail, bike through the Saguaro National Park, or rock climb on one of Mount Lemmon's 1,200 rocky routes. Visitors can also experience The Loop, which is 121 miles of paved, nonmotorized bike trails that span the entire city. The loop offers a safe and scenic place to ride, and visitors can use the loop from almost anywhere. Tucson is considered one of the very best biking cities in the country. Guests can also explore Tucson's majestic setting underground at one of many area caverns and caves. See the stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone of the popular Colossal Cave.

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