ARIZONA NEWS

Glendale outlines plans to expand entertainment district

Sep 19, 2022, 4:25 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2022, 8:01 am

(City of Glendale Rendering)...

(City of Glendale Rendering)

(City of Glendale Rendering)

PHOENIX — Glendale is making some major moves to expand its entertainment offerings over the next few years.

Thanks to an influx of private investment, State Farm Stadium and the newly renamed Desert Diamond Arena will eventually be joined by a host of other entertainment options. These include a minigolf park, a pickleball center, a go-kart facility and a massive resort.

“The Vai Resort is expected to open by the end of 2023,” Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps said. “It will be Arizona’s largest resort-hotel property with more than 12 hundred hotel rooms.”

Phelps talked to KTAR News about the city’s ambitious plans for their entertainment district, and he also outlined the payoff they’re expecting.

“We did an economic analysis just for the Vai Resort and even then it indicated we would generate about $10 million a year in new tax revenue to the City of Glendale,” he explained.

Phelps said that’s a big deal for other areas of the city, too.

“These things generate a tremendous amount of jobs,” Phelps said. “They generate a lot of revenue that we can use then to improve our parks and roads and libraries and public safety.”

The Vai Resort will have a variety of features to draw customers in, including a seven-acre crystal lagoon, space to host concerts and a theme park for toy company Mattel that will feature well-known brands the Thomas the Tank Engine, Hot Wheels, and Barbie.

While explaining Glendale’s planned entertainment options, Phelps stressed the idea of “experiential entertainment and retail” and how it’s informing their path forward.

“It’s part of a trend where guests want to have experiences,” he said. “They don’t want to just go have food, they want to have an activity associated with food and beverage and gathering with other people. This entire area is really focused on that.”

These ambitious plans will require infrastructure, so they’re working to build nearly 4 thousand hotel rooms over the next few years.

“Our goal is not only to have this be a really premium entertainment destination spot for the Valley but really for the entire Southwest of the United States,” Phelps said.

Phelps added the city is looking forward to the exposure they’ll be getting early next year when Super Bowl LVII comes to State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12.

“We’re excited – and for those who haven’t been here since the last Super Bowl in 2015, I think we’re really going to open some eyes up.”

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Glendale outlines plans to expand entertainment district