Prince Harry’s sport might help the tourism industry in Phoenix
By Denise Meridith
Phoenix Business Insight Examiner
RLG represents The Polo Party, Sept. 8, 2012
Most Americans would associate Phoenix with jeans rather than high couture, barrel racing rather than polo, and F-150’s rather than Ferraris. But, in a tough-times-make-strange-bedfellows-era, four diverse luxury industries have partnered to create a unique entertainment event—The Polo Party—scheduled for October 20. Phoenicians were treated to a preview at a Montelucia Resort reception on Tuesday, September 4.
The first Polo Party was last year. A curious crowd of Kentucky Derby-style clothed Phoenicians gathered at WestWorld to drink champagne, stomp divots, and learn about rituals associated with an unfamiliar sport. While Americans may have seen England’s princes William and Harry playing polo on television, few Phoenicians know that there has been an active Arizona Polo Club in Scottsdale since 1982. Daniel Coleman, whose day job involves Data Solutions, invited the reception attendees to come out and take a polo lesson.
The other partners in this year’s event are Barrett-Jackson and the Arabian Horse Show, both well-known Scottsdale traditions, and Phoenix Fashion Week. It is a great opportunity for local sponsors, such as Phoenix International Raceway and My Sister’s Closet. There are a wide variety of tickets available from $15 general admission, allowing people to relax on blankets on the grass to $2000 eight-person cabanas. Children, under six, are free.
Phoenix tourism has been slow to recover. In fact, Phoenix/Scottsdale dropped out of the top10 destinations in the latest Fall Travel Trends Survey. The reception showcased several talented Valley women, who are working hard to change that trend. Rachel Sacco, who has been the popular and enthusiastic face of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors’ Bureau (CVB), for many years, emceed the reception.
“We are excited about having new advocates, like professional polo player and fashion model Nic Roldan,” she said of Roldan, who was the star attraction on Tuesday.
“We hope to have a bigger crowd this year,” added Laura Murchie, Vice President of the CVB. “There were 2300 last year and 5000 are expected this October.”
Jordan Rose, whose company—Rose Law Group—is a sponsor and whose husband, Jason, created and is producing the event, summed up the hopes of Phoenix’ hospitality industry when she said: “We are all hoping and believing this could be the valley’s next, great special event: like the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but with polo rather than golf. It’s exciting to be on the ground floor!”