discriminating guests that we have.”
As one of the Historic Hotels of America,
certain historic aspects of the interior and exte-
rior of the property are protected and the resort
owners are responsible for ensuring all histori-
cal elements remain intact. Out of respect for
the architecture, Biltmore Blocks are still used
whenever the resort adds new wings and build-
ings, and new furnishings are always consistent
with Wright’s decorative style.
At the same time, the Arizona Biltmore is in
line with today’s most luxurious resorts, complete with a spa, fine dining and upscale shops.
The resort has also continued to grow and
evolve. Recently, the pools and pool surfaces
were reworked and a highly upgraded Arizona
wing of rooms was opened, along with upgrades
in other areas.
By respecting its past and embracing its future,
the Arizona Biltmore has maintained its status
as an oasis of luxury, both locally and nationally.
When the resort opened in 1929, it was owned
by the Wrigley family until 1970. Throughout
those first 40 years, guests had to be invited
to stay at the Jewel of the Desert. The resort
quickly became world renowned as a preferred
luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of state and
captains of industry. In fact, every U.S. president
since Herbert Hoover has stayed at the Arizona
Biltmore. Most recently, Senator John McCain
held his election night party at the resort.
Since changing ownership in the 1970s, the
Arizona Biltmore is no longer invitation-only,
yet it still remains an exclusive getaway for
many high-profile guests.
“The Arizona Biltmore has been very influential,” said Thorn. “It is an international icon.”
keePinG it runninG
Of course, maintaining such a high-profile
property takes a strong and organized manage-
ment team. With 739 guest rooms located on an
amenity-filled, 39-acre property, the team has
many responsibilities. And managing a historic
property poses unique challenges.
“The building is 80 years old and has been
remodeled and expanded several times,” said
Andrew Stegen, general manager. “There are
many different materials and methods of con-
struction, and some of those materials are no
longer used or in existence.”
However, managing a property with so
much notoriety allows the managers and
associates a sense of pride in their work.
“I get to work in a very interesting, historic
property that is deep with stories,” said Stegen.
“I get to ride the coattails of a legend that will,
frankly, be around long after I will.” n
MADE OF DESERT
SAND IN 1929.
RESORT & SPA