Tuscon Travel Guide
A Winter Wonderland in Tuscon at JW Marriott Starr Pass
$159 and up
We're not gonna hate on the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tuscon for spending a quarter-mill on holiday decorations (you cannot put a price on holiday cheer, people), so let's focus on the awesomeness that is the resort's winter celebration: there will be snow! Well, there will be ice, at least, and it will be blasted all over Starr Circle Hill at the resort’s main entrance so you can sled! Sledding in Arizona!
By December 6th, the resort will be ready for the season with a bevy of over-the-top holiday decorations: 50 tons of ice (made of reclaimed water remember, this is exciting cause it's Arizona), a 30-foot Christmas tree, sledding, carriage rides, carolers, and hot chocolate. And on December 19th, Santa and his elves will be rollin' in via helicopter to spend a couple days taking photos with the kiddie guests.
Hey Dude was a show that aired from 1989 to 1991 on Nickelodeon and was similar to Saved By the Bell but on a dude ranch called Bar None and with less cheesy characters, clothing and hair.
While we had a biiiigg crush on David Lascher who played bad boy Ted, we totally did not realize that the now Mrs. Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, was on the show as Melody Hanson. More fun facts can be found at the unofficial fan site for the show.
Meanwhile, a tipster Courtney let us know that the set for the TV show is still up at the Tanque Verde Ranch, a dude-ranch turned resort outside Tucson. The unofficial fan site has some pictures a rabid fan snapped at the place but they were taken back in 1992. So who knows if it is still really there.
Either way, it's another TV Set Hotel to add to our list. Now, we're off to sign the "Release 'Hey Dude' on DVD" petition.
Lofts and boutique hotels--oh, how we loathe that term--aren't just for New York and Los Angeles. Nope, now even southwestern hipster burg Tuscon is getting in on the act. Starwood has announced that they will debut their new Aloft brand in Tuscon (and a few other select cities) next year.
The concept behind the brand is loft-style rooms with W-like finishings, but at a lower price point. Lofts are easier to create when they don't have to be refurbished from a previous use.
Rooms will have nine-foot ceilings and large windows, sure, but also wifi and a fancy bathroom. One would assume that the bathroom has walls, which isn't the genuine loft experience, but some concessions were bound to be made along the way. Like, for example, the 24-hour convince store on the premises of each hotel called "Re:Fuel". Clever!
If this new brand leads to a sleek alternative to airport hotels and Courtyards by Mariott, we applaud it. In fact, we can think of a lot of loft residents in New York that we'd be happy to send to Tuscon. You know, for authenticity's sake.
· Tuscon Gets Boutique Hotel [AZ Star]