History in the Re-making: New Vision, Experiences and Amenities for the Wigwam

Arizona's Wigwam ResortThe Wigwam, one of Arizona’s first and most celebrated resorts, has broken ground on a multi-million dollar rejuvenation project that will position the resort back to legendary status among Arizona destinations for meetings, conferences, elite social events, golf, entertainment and unique dining.

With expansive grounds of more than 440 acres and substantial amenities, the resort will enjoy the benefit of remaining open during the project with a full-service restaurant, two swimming pools, spa, fitness center, nine tennis courts, three golf courses and all of its meeting and banquet facilities in tact.

It will be “business as usual” for leisure guests, group business and social events. Returning many of the most celebrated and charming elements from the resort’s history, the project will bring several new experiences, amenities and al fresco dining to the property. Under new ownership of JDM Partners, led by national sports executive and Valley business icon, Jerry Colangelo, the project will be completed in December 2010 and will return the resort to its historical name, The Wigwam.

Starting from the moment guests arrive the new arrival experience will reflect the character and charm of the resort’s original grand entrance when it first opened in 1929. Undergoing a complete redesign, guests will experience an estate-like arrival along a new brick-paved road lined with aged citrus and palm trees leading to a wood-beamed archway with the Wigwam insignia framing the resort’s entrance, complete with a front porch as guests arrive.

Guests will enter the new lobby through the original entrance offering a more intimate and historic arrival experience showcasing decades of history. The original fireplace built in 1918 will remain a centerpiece of the redesigned living and lounge area. Offering a more relaxed resort environment with several new outdoor gardens, a lush social community courtyard and various al fresco entertainment and dining areas complete with fire pits and fountains – all strategic elements of the new design intended to allow guests to enjoy modern comforts from the moment they arrive.

Featuring all-new restaurants and dining options, celebrity chef Chris Bianco will influence and consult on the resort’s new food and beverage menus. A longtime friend of Colangelo, Bianco is the James Beard award-winning chef behind the nationally acclaimed Pizzeria Bianco.

New spaces for dining and entertainment will also be created in a new outdoor plaza centered by a indoor/outdoor bar, lounges and entertainment venues where guests can enjoy social, family and professional gatherings at all times of day. To make way for new entertainment area, the existing Adobe Pool will be relocated, redesigned and expanded into a new resort pool with separate adult and family zones.

The adult pool will be lined with luxury cabanas and poolside bar, while the family zone will feature a 25-foot tower with two twisting water slides and child splash fountain water features.

The project’s award-winning design team is led by celebrated consultant Jim Smith, who has directed the revitalization of many Valley resorts including Royal Palms, The Hermosa Inn, InterContinental Montelucia and The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, to name a few.

Prior to planning the renovation, Colangelo and his partners Mel Schultz and David Eaton conducted their own market research spending countless hours observing and talking to existing guests and locals about changes they would like to see.

“We are in the entertainment business and want to create a place everyone can enjoy," said Colangelo. "Not just our guests, but a place that locals can embrace too. The Wigwam is a great asset to Arizona and has great bones. We want everyone to have a great time and want to come back. Our plan represents what we heard. It’s a response to the local community and our guests regarding desired improvements and raising the bar.”


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