The New 2011 LocalMotion Trolley Guides are here!!


Happy 2011!!!

With the amazing help of Stan Hattaway of  Hattaway Creative and Terry McCullough of Panoramic Press our 2011 trolley guides are hot off the press and into distribution! We have been blessed with some wonderful downtown Scottsdale advertisers once again and we will be spotlighting them in our blog over the next months.

Canadian Travel Radio with Chris Robinson

I had the pleasure of giving travel talk show host Chris Robinson a tour of the Hotel Valley Ho earlier this month. Arranged by the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, I was interviewed by him for his radio show The Chris Robinson Travel Show which is heard in Montreal  on Newstalk 1010 every Saturday. His enthusiasm for Scottsdale was wonderful. Check out his blog for a plethora of ideas on what treasures await you in Scottsdale!

Here the interview below:

Scottsdale & other Arizona Staycations for the Holidays!

The holidays are coming and so are the relatives!! You’re anticipating a Griswold style holidays and pondering how you’re going to keep everyone entertained. Or, you’re counting the days that all peace and sanity are restored when everyone has gone home and you need a post-holiday mini vacation!
Well, Scottsdale is waiting to be explored! Starting with the dedication of the Soleri Bridge and Plaza activities the weekend of December 10th, 11th and 12th.

There is also ice-skating on Marshall Way in Downtown Scottsdale! No joke, Palavela Home presents Winter Enchantment December 2010  They are installing a skating rink in their front patio and will offer skating for the entire month of December! $15 for a 45 minute skate includes skates and 15% of all rentals and in-store sales will go to 4 charities that they are supporting! You can find out more at Palavela Home

You can also avoid all the airport crazieness by looking no further than your own Arizona roadmap and heading southeast or north where you will find some amazing local getaway destinations! It really is the perfect cure for the soul. Not to mention, very wallet friendly and a great way to keep supporting local. Check out Local First for a directory of local businesses and remember Buy Local Week is November 26-December 5!!

Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours can assist with your local plans too!

Soleri Bridge and Plaza Dedication Weekend

soleri bridge

If you are fortunate enough to live in Scottsdale or to be visiting Scottsdale the weekend of December 10-12, 2010 you have the opportunity to participate in a little piece of history.  On December 11th the official dedication of Paolo Soleri Bridge and Plaza will take place. Referred to as the “godfather of Arcology” Mr. Soleri has designed many bridges in his lifetime and this will be the only bridge in the world to be built that he has designed! The weekend will be filled with activities including VIP tours, special lectures with architectural experts who will discuss Soleri’s principles and influence on architecture today and tours of Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri exhibition at SMoCA The completion of this bridge is a true testament to Scottsdale’s fabulous and world renowned Public Art program!

The VIP tours offered over the weekend promise to add real insight into the work of Mr. Soleri. The Arcosanti tour will include exclusive access to the archives (where mere mortals are not allowed!) to view the myriad of sketches of projects he has proposed over his career as well as a private reception at the bridge that evening with special dignitaries.


Scottsdale’s breathtaking Soleri Bridge and Plaza is at once a pedestrian passage, solar calendar and gathering place along the Scottsdale Waterfront. The dynamic architecture of the bridge is an elegant span that narrows from 24 feet to 18 feet as it crosses the Arizona Canal from south to north and is suspended by cables attached from the top of 64-foot-high pylons that are tilted at 80 degrees from the ground to match the angle of the sun at solar noon on the summer solstice. The structure suggests Soleri’s idea that “a bridge is more than a passage along which something moves,” but also is a crossing to connect us aesthetically and experientially.

The bridge’s positioning on the north-south axis allows the sun to cast through a 6 inch gap between the towering pylons, creating a shaft of light across the bridge deck daily at solar noon, the moment at which the sun is at its highest elevation in the sky.  By celebrating solar events, the signature bridge and plaza unify the past and the present. The site of this waterway, rich with historic undertones, mingles with the legacy of present day cultures striving for coherence between man and nature.

On the south side of the Arizona Canal, the Soleri Bridge links to a public plaza that includes a series of totemic Soleri-designed earth cast panels along the southern perimeter. The strong architectural carving on the panels creates a perfect counterpoint for the Goldwater Bell assembly, also located on the south plaza, which Soleri himself cast in 1969.  With the regional Sun Circle Trail, the Soleri Bridge and Plaza will provide access for pedestrians, equestrians and bicycles.

Here is more information on both the Arcosanti and Cosanti tours:

Friday, December 10, 2010

VIP Tour of Arcosanti – Provided by Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours
9:00am – 7:00pm / $150 (includes food & transportation)

Enjoy an intimate guided tour of Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri’s prototype town designed to house 5,000 people. Located in Cordes Junction, just 65 miles north of Scottsdale, the project is based on Soleri’s concept of “arcology,” architecture coherent with ecology.  Arcology advocates cities should be designed to maximize the interaction and accessibility associated with an urban environment; minimize the use of energy, raw materials and land; reducing waste and environmental pollution; and allow interaction with the surrounding natural environment.

This full-day tour also will take you behind-the scenes and into the Arcosanti archive, which contains work by Paolo Soleri not on display for the public. Following your tour, which includes transportation, lunch and snacks, you’ll return to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art for a guided tour and an up-close look at the special exhibition “Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri,” led by the exhibition’s curator.  The tour includes a VIP preview party reception at the Soleri Bridge and Plaza.

For Tour reservations, please call 480-994-ARTS(2787)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

VIP Tour of Cosanti
9:30am – 5:00pm / $130 (includes food & transportation)
The first stop on this full-day tour is Paolo Soleri’s Cosanti, where an expert guide will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the renowned Italian architect’s unique arcology concept. You’ll also witness a pouring of Soleri’s beautiful bronze wind bells. This special event also includes a driving tour showcasing selections from the Scottsdale Public Art collection, special access to the Soleri Bridge dedication, a private talk with the Soleri Bridge project manager, a private tour of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition “Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri,” and a guaranteed seat at the panel/lectures. This tour includes transportation, lunch and snacks. Purchase tickets by calling the Box Office.

For Tour reservations, please call 480-994-ARTS(2787)

Official Public Dedication of the Soleri Bridge and Plaza
11am – 2pm (remarks begin at 12pm) 
Come to downtown Scottsdale and be among those to walk the Soleri Bridge and Plaza on the day of its official dedication.

Join Mayor Jim Lane, artist Paolo Soleri, representatives from Cosanti Foundation and Scottsdale Public Art in celebrating the completion of this new landmark at Scottsdale Waterfront. Speakers, live music, children’s activities, educational information, and artists from Scottsdale Artists School painting live. Ceremony takes place at Scottsdale Waterfront, just west of Scottsdale Road just south of Camelback in downtown Scottsdale.

Panel/Lecture at SMoCA
2:30 – 5:00pm / The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to partner once again with in bringing relevant and lively discussions about architecture to the public. Admission is free, but seating is limited so reservations are required. Reserve free tickets by calling the Box Office.

Organic Architecture and the Work of Paolo Soleri:Keynote lecture by Alan Hess, architectural critic and author of “Organic Architecture: The Other Modernism”. Soleri’s body of work will be discussed in the national context of the organic architecture movement. The fragile yet beautiful Paolo Soleri Amphitheater at Santa Fe Indian School (currently endangered), will be addressed as international effort galvanizes to save this important and rare structure.

Soleri’s Principles in Action:A Panel Discussion Using slides and illustrations, Phoenix Architect Will Bruder, AIA and three other architectural experts will discuss Soleri’s principles and influence on architecture today. The conversation will be facilitated by Tim Rodgers, PhD, Director of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

VIP Tour of Cosanti
9:30am – 2:30pm, $110 (includes food & transportation)
The first stop on this full-day tour is Paolo Soleri’s Cosanti, where an expert guide will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the renowned Italian architect’s unique arcology concept. You’ll also witness a pouring of Soleri’s beautiful bronze wind bells. This special event also includes a driving tour showcasing selections from the Scottsdale Public Art collection, a private talk with the Soleri Bridge project manager at the new bridge and an exclusive tour of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition “Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri.” This tour includes transportation, lunch and snacks.  Purchase tickets by calling the Box Office.

For Tour reservations, please call 480-994-ARTS(2787)


Staycations AZ Style – Part 2

Another great reason to stay in Arizona this summer!! With all the charm of a small town, cool weather and just a couple hours drive from the “warmth” of the valley, Prescott is a wonderful getaway! Stay at the historic Hassayampa Inn within walking distance of downtown shops and restaurants or the Hotel St. Michael right on historic Whiskey Row. Be sure to visit Sharlot Hall for “An Arizona History Adventure”. Discover the unique galleries, art exhibits, framers market, golf and more!
Here are just a few of the events going on this summer:
Prescott Indian Art Market (PIAM), July 10th & 11th :
One of the premier Native American art markets in the southwest, PIAM features both traditional and contemporary works of art, including distinctive jewelry, exquisite ceramics, sculpture, hand-woven baskets and blankets. An all-Indian artist jury chooses participants on the basis of quality in both traditional and contemporary styles. Attendees stroll among demonstrations of American Indian weaving, Katsina carving, silversmithing, and the making of baskets. Entertainment is provided by Native American dancers, singers, and musicians in the Museum Amphitheater. Also popular is the Navajo fry bread. More information, call 928-445-3122 or visit our PIAM page.

World’s Oldest Rodeo, June 28 – July 4:  This year Prescott celebrates its 123rd year as Home of the “World’s Oldest Rodeo”.  Events scheduled include Professional Bull Riding, Rodeo Parade and Rodeo Dance, 5th Annual Shootout on Whiskey Row, Kiwanis Kiddie Parade, a Fine Arts & Crafts Show and appearances from Rodeo Royalty around town. Festivities culminate with a Fourth of July celebration, including a fireworks extravaganza, at Pioneer Park. Held at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds from June 28-July 4. Tickets range from $12 – $25.

2nd Annual Prescott BBQ Days, July 10 -11:  Join the finger lickin’ fun as over 30 teams of BBQ fanatics from all over the West compete for cash, trophies and bragging rights. A dinner, dance and silent auction kick off the weekend event on Friday, with the tasting and competition on the following day.  Held at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds, July 10-11.  Saturday adult admission is $5, which includes 2 taster tickets.  Additional taster tickets are $2.  Children 12 and under are free.

Start Exploring!!

Ace Bailey

Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours LLC

Staycations Arizona Style

It’s that time of year again! Get to know where you live. No need to battle security at the airport, crying babies (you don’t know) in the seat next to you and the pesky summer surcharges! (what’s up with those anyway??) Stay and play where you live! Visitors pay thousands of dollars to travel here to do what you can do for much less!

Let’s start with one of my favorites, Hotel Valley Ho. This mid-century property is one of the best examples of preserved mid-century architecture in a hotel property in the country! Home of the original Pool Party their OH Pool was voted “One of the World’s Coolest” by Travel and Leisure magazine! They have mid-week rates starting at $99 and weekend rates from $129. Check back often for specials!

Be sure to indulge in an wonderful meal at Cafe Zu Zu. Executive Chef Chuck Wiley has taken comfort food to the next level! His beef stroganoff is beyond amazing!

While you are at the Valley Ho explore the it in depth on the “Magical History Tour“, a fascinating 90 minute walking tour of the hotel. You’ll go up on the roof, into a condo, into Trader Vic’s (they have one of the happiest happy hours around!! ) and learn about the stars who have stayed and played there!

At the “Ho” you are within walking distance of Scottsdale’s famous arts districthistoric Old Town and  DownTown where you will find great local shopping. If you don’t feel like walking the free downtown trolley stops right in front of the hotel and will take you all around downtown!

Remember if you want to get a group together Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours will custom design a art event to your specifications!

So come on!! Start vacationing and exploring where you live!!

We’ll be back with more!

Ace Bailey, President
Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours LLC

Rewind Remix Replay

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is known for it fabulous cutting edge shows. Their latest installation includes items donated from individuals all over the valley! I donated 3 “vintage” audio pieces, an 8-track player, 8-track boom box and a set of headphones that are so large they dent your hair! In conjunction with the show the following events are being offered. They should all be great!

Free DJ demonstrations & gallery talks @ SMoCA
Featuring DJs Mark Chai & World Famous Rani “G”

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 East Second Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Thursday, January 21, 2010
7:00 pm


(Scottsdale, AZ) The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is thrilled to host two Valley DJs who will demonstrate and discuss their diverse styles inside the gallery DJ station currently installed as part of the Museum’s new exhibition Rewind Remix Replay: Design, Music & Everyday Experience. The event will take place on Thursday, January 21st at 7:00 p.m. inside the Museum and is free and open to the public. This interactive occasion features area DJs Mark Chai and World Famous Rani “G,” kicking off the first of many free SMoCA activities this spring investigating music, design and popular culture.

Mark Chai has been a Phoenix house/downtempo/funk DJ since 2000, and he is known to mix house, hip hop, indie disco and dancehall into his sets. Chai is a freelance designer and a founding principal of MarkchiDesign, a Phoenix brand identity and product development firm. Chai has performed for World Life Music, Desert House Productions, ONE, private events and at many Valley venues.

World Famous Rani “G” first began his musical journey on the island of Cyprus at the age of 10 when he blended tunes together using two cassette tape decks. Today, his DJ quest for unique music includes soul, Afro, Latin-driven deep house and world-beat. Rani has hosted many DJ events and has had numerous guest appearances around the country. He recently opened for Mark Farina (OM Records, San Francisco).


WED, FEB 3  NOON             “Music and Popular Culture” by Dr. Richard Mook
Free lunchtime brown bag lecture in Stage 2 Theater

THUR, FEB 11  6:30 PM       “Rewind Remix Replay” by guest curator Prasad Boradkar
Free gallery talk and walk-through of the exhibition

FRI, FEB 19  7-9 PM   Spring Opening Celebration

SAT, FEB 20  1:30-4 PM   “iPods, Boomboxes, Turntables, Synthesizers and Guitars”
Free afternoon panel discussion in Stage 2 Theater. Limited seating. RSVP to:
•jasen Emmons, Director, Experience Music Project, Seattle;
•Lyle Owerko, photographer, filmmaker, boombox collector;
•Trevor J. Pinch, Professor of Science & Technology Studies and Sociology, Cornell University; 
•Jonathan Hayes, Creative Director, Numark Industries;

THUR, APRIL 29  7:00 PM   DJ Demonstrations and Gallery Talks in the Museum
Featuring DJs Maji, dk.strickler and Mr. P-Body.

Explore Downtown Scottsdale

Did you know that in downtown Scottsdale there is a wonderful rare book store that specializes in fine first editions, manuscripts, signed or inscribed items? Charles Parkhurst Rare Books and Autographs has a beautiful new location right on the corner of Marshall Way and 5th Ave. This is a not to be missed  local treasure. I could have spent hours just browsing and listening to Linda talk about the history of the books and the artwork.

Just down the street is the historic Craftsman Court on the corner of 5th Ave and Craftsman Court. There you’ll find La Bagarie Etcetera a wonderful handbag store that specializes in a selection of hand-bags par excellence. Hand painted bags by Jane Yoo, as well as Bags by Pinky, Viva, Toby Weston, and many more.  There is also Back to the Rack, Scottsdale’s Finest Consignment Store, where you’ll find fine quality ladies fashions, home decor and unique gifts. The Angel Store and More has a beautiful variety of all types of gifts and carries not only angels but crosses, jewelry, books, candles and cards. The Loft Art Studios and Gallery is tucked away in the peaceful courtyard and is an eclectic gallery and working studio.

These are just a few of the many treasures in Downtown Scottsdale where there is certainly something for everyone in just a short walk! So go in, meet the owners, find out what makes Downtown Scottsdale so special and a perfect place to do all your holiday shopping!!!

On Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours Free Art & Cultural Trolley you will find out about these and many other wonderful local businesses. The tours are conducted on the second Saturday of each month and reservations are necessary. Contact Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours for more information at 480.634.6850

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

It always seems that the town we live in is the last place we think to explore when it comes to visiting interesting places. For us it’s Scottsdale, AZ and we LOVE it!! Most people would be very pleasantly surprised to find that there are great shops, galleries, restaurants and architecture within a short walk or drive from their own front door. Many of these “hidden treasures” are locally owned and when you shop locally owned businesses, your money is re-circulated over and over and creates up to 75% more tax revenue to your community and state! So grab your camera and go out and be a tourist in your own town! Visit your local Convention and Visitors Bureau get maps and information on local history, arts, tours, restaurants and shops. Enjoy your own home town! And right now is a great time to book a night at a local resort because the rates are super! The Hotel Valley Ho is one of our favorites. To enhance your experience there you can book a historic architecture tour of this fabulous mid-century property.

Ace Bailey, President

Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours

2nd Saturdays FREE Art & Cultural Trolley Tours

downtown Scottsdale trolley

I am really excited about a new tour of downtown Scottsdale. Ultimate has partnered with the City of Scottsdale in offering an art and cultural trolley tour of downtown Scottsdale. It is the second Saturday of each month, starting July 11. Registered participants will meet at the Old Town Farmer’s Market at 10:30 a.m. The tour is free and will include a drawing for a stay in a downtown Scottsdale hotel. Call the City of Scottsdale to register 480-312-7750. It will be a great way to experience downtown Scottsdale, the Arts District and learn about some of our fascinating history.

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