Arizona shares tourism updates at Vancouver event

March has ended, but the playoff Madness of NCAA college basketball continues into early April, with the Final Four playoff games being hosted by State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, AZ on April 6.

The final NCAA Tournament Championship Game will be played on Monday, April 8 at the same venue in Phoenix. The so-called March Madness tournament has been underway since March 19.

The tournament timing was a good fit with the arrival of reps from the Arizona Office of Tourism to Vancouver recently.

They brought more sports news from the state, including an invitation to see pre-season Major League Baseball games at various stadiums around the Phoenix metropolitan area, collectively known as the Cactus League.

The Cactus League wrapped up on March 26 this year, leaving lots of time to plan a visit for 2025. Fans will get the chance to see 15 MLB teams sharpen their skills for the regular season at 10 Phoenix-area parks. 

New hotels & resorts in Arizona

Future visitors to Arizona can also consider planning stays at one of the new resort and hotel properties that are on deck for opening during 2024. These include the VAI Resort, which is set to debut late this year in Glendale and is slated to be the largest resort property in the state with over 1,100 rooms, suites and villas.

It will feature the VAI Amphitheater, a music and entertainment venue featuring 12 signature restaurants, a luxury spa, nightclub venue, curated retail and art installations.

Rides in a hot air balloon will even be available. The VAI Resort says it will set new standards as a hotel/entertainment/culinary destination. 

Also upcoming for stays in a state of luxury will be the Ritz Carlton Paradise Valley, The Palmeraie. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2024. The property rests on 20 acres with the Camelback Mountain on the horizon. It is called “an exclusive sanctuary that will offer secret gardens, oxygen-enriched guest rooms, on-site citrus groves and a grand 400-foot (122 metres) swimming pool.”

Exciting family attractions 

The best news for families may well be the opening of the Mattel Theme Park this year in Glendale, on the grounds of VAI Resort.

Mattel Adventure Park is a nine-acre, indoor/outdoor theme park showcasing the full catalogue of the Mattel family of brands.

These include Hot Wheels and Barbie, so these two popular toys are showcased in attractions at the park. For instance, the Twin Mill Racer will take Hot Wheels fans on a 65-second thrill ride that features two vertical loops and a series of corkscrew and hairpin turns.

Meanwhile, the Barbie Beach House will have a Barbie Dream Closet experience that uses hologram technology and a Barbie Beach Rooftop deck. 

For more information, or to plan your own visit to Arizona, visit