Sacco: A behind-the-scenes look at Experience Scottsdale


Did you know that Experience Scottsdale works with thousands of journalists each year to secure articles and television segments that promote travel to the city?

Or how about that Experience Scottsdale generated $96 million in future economic impact last fiscal year alone by booking meetings groups into Scottsdale-area hotels and resorts?

Though Experience Scottsdale has spent the past 32 years building Scottsdale’s tourism destination brand, many Scottsdale residents are unfamiliar with the inner workings of our nonprofit.

That’s understandable, because Experience Scottsdale’s efforts largely target leisure visitors and clients outside of Arizona.

For example, Canadians see Experience Scottsdale’s commercial; New York media receive our public relations pitches; Chicago meeting planners connect with us at trade shows; and London travel advisors participate in our hands-on training sessions. But our local community may never come across our various, year-round promotions that establish Scottsdale as a destination for meetings, events and leisure travel.

While targeting visitors outside of Arizona may not change, we hope to help locals become more familiar with the organization during the coming months.

Experience Scottsdale is inviting residents and employers to learn more about our organization during three behind-the-scenes sessions. Our first session will be Nov. 20 at ASU SkySong, with additional dates to follow in February and May.

Over the course of 90 minutes, my staff and I will share how Experience Scottsdale is working to enhance the community by promoting the Scottsdale area as a luxury destination. By attending, you’ll learn about who we are, what we do and how we do it.

That includes an overview of each of our department efforts, from our seasonal marketing campaigns that inspire potential visitors to visit during the summer and holidays to our familiarization tours that allow hundreds of meeting planners, journalists and travel professionals to explore Scottsdale firsthand.

We’ll also share details about Experience Scottsdale’s industry research and finances, including how we use bed-tax collections from Scottsdale and Paradise Valley hotels and resorts to promote the region.

Experience Scottsdale feels a great responsibility to ensure those dollars are spent strategically, effectively and prudently. We have been one of the City of Scottsdale and Town of Paradise Valley’s largest partners since 1987, and we pride ourselves on our organization’s three-decade tradition of transparency.

And as a resident, business owner or employee, you are an important stakeholder. We work on behalf of the community to ensure that the local tourism industry thrives. And that’s important, because we all benefit from a strong industry as visitor-paid tax dollars help fund the quality of life we enjoy.

Now, we want to share that work with you. We hope to see you in the next few months and introduce you to our organization. Because space is limited for these sessions, RSVPs are required.

Visit for additional information on the Nov. 20 session and to RSVP.

Contact Experience Scottsdale Vice President of Community & Government Affairs Rachel Pearson at if you would information on future sessions.

Editor’s Note: Rachel Sacco is the president and CEO of Experience Scottsdale.