Sessions in the Sonoran

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Sonoran

For each ‘Planner’s Pick,’ Prevue interviews a planner for their choices of compelling, high value destinations

PLANNER: MARY CAVALIER
Exec Sales Coordinator
Rust-Oleum
Vernon Hills, IL
Perched in the foothills of the cacti-punctuated Sonoran Desert, the 210-room Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale is based at the luxurious Troon North Golf Club. The overall design of the property embraces the startling beauty of the naturally sculptured rock formations, the vivid desert blooms, and the refreshingly clean air—best enjoyed on the flagstone deck around the multilevel pool area abutting the Saguaro Bloom restaurant.

It is here where 275 attendees with Rust-Oleum Corporation are networking during their annual sales and marketing meeting, highlighted by the “best barbeque we’ve ever had,” says Mary Cavalier, executive sales coordinator. “We’ve returned five times. Instead of a dinearound at area restaurants, we decided to host a poolside dinner. The staff always goes over the top, not just us, but for everyone. They treat every guest like a celebrity.”

Though unasked, she notes that servers greeted each guest with chilled towels. Denim tablecloths covered highboys and cocktail rounds. The hired event company set up basketball hoops, a ping pong table, card game tables and foosball around the pool deck. And two roomy cabanas featured flatscreen TVs and Wii games.

Typically, the group is divided much of the time at the many various sessions, so everyone looks forward to these evening events. Meaning, dinner needs to be spectacular.

“They made a signature Rust-Oleum Kobe beef burger and topped it with cheese and bacon, but then they sliced a Krispy Kreme donut in half and grilled it on both sides. That was the bun. Their food is always first rate, but we couldn’t stop raving about that burger.”

Cavalier explains they’re a Chicago-based paint company who love being outdoors, even when it’s 110. “The Four Seasons staff knows our sessions are untypical. We set up on the Fountain and Ironwood Terraces and on Troon Lawn, outside the ballrooms to enjoy the wonderful scenery all around the resort.”

Bordering Phoenix about 40 minutes from the airport, the resort features mostly 1- and 2-story casitas, and Rust-Oleum’s overflow guests were housed at the onsite Residence Club. Meeting space for up to 500 pax includes 12,000 sf of outdoor function space and 24,000 indoors, including the Southwestern-style Pinnacle Ballroom and the colorful Ironwood Ballroom. The latter is an ode to the Sonoran Desert with its Native American-inspired art.

“We’re there to work, but the resort makes it feel like you’re on vacation. The same staff welcomes us each year, like family, and this year they hung a welcoming banner across the lobby, signed by them all.”

Staff also delivered to each guest’s room an artist’s palette splash-painted by Kids Club campers. A can of Rust-Oleum was placed on top, and wrapped up inside were Four Seasons’ macaroons, fine candy and a personal welcoming note from the general manager.

“It’s not one specific thing they do that’s great,” says Cavalier. “It’s the many great things they do.”

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