The new Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, destined to be one of the country`s most distinctive and inspirational resorts, will open in the high Sonoran Desert of Phoenix in October 2002, announced Allen Kramme, general manager of the 500-room resort.
Owned by the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) and managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), the resort is located just 11 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on a stunning desert portion of the 372,000-acre GRIC reservation, where wild horses continue to roam as they have for hundreds of years. Sheraton Wild Horse Pass is designed as a total destination resort that will, at the same time, showcase and celebrate the heritage and culture of the Akimel O`odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) tribes.
According to Kramme, “Wild Horse Pass represents a visionary partnership between the legacy of two ancient tribes blended with the modern hotel expertise of Starwood`s Sheraton brand. Our intent is to preserve, honor and authentically represent the essence of the Pima and Maricopa tribes, historically noted for their hospitality. Guests will receive a one-of-a-kind travel adventure, immersed in the Native culture while enjoying an upscale hotel experience provided by Sheraton.”
Wild Horse Pass features - 36 holes of golf, meandering river re-creation, equestrian center with wild horses, authentic Native American culture, and much more:
— 500 culturally themed rooms— 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event venues— The 1,000 -acre Koli Equestrian Center— The 17,500 square foot Aji Spa with treatments incorporating Native traditions and rituals— Two 18-hole golf courses managed by Troon Golf (one course is currently open); home of the second annual PGA Buy.com Gila River Golf Classic October 3-15, 2002— A variety of dining options including an indigenous restaurant concept created by James Beard Award-winning Chef, Janos Wilder of Tucson— A Cultural Theming Manager to provide educational and entertaining programs and activities for children and adults— A 2-1/2 mile re-creation of the Gila River with indigenous flora and fauna, flowing through the property; boats will ferry guests to the Golf Club and the Casino— A riverside pool with cascading waterfalls and bridges leading to an adult pool, a sports pool and a kids pool with slide— Wild horses that continue to roam the pristine desert and are visible from the resort— Two tennis courts— Hiking and jogging trail—Children`s club and activity program— Wild Horse Pass Casino, adjacent to the resort.
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass was designed by one of the world`s most noted architectural firms, Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG). With offices in Newport Beach, Honolulu, London and Singapore, WATG has designed more hotels and resorts than any other firm in the world, including The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel; Disney`s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando; Hyatt Regency Kauai; Four Seasons Chinzan-so in Tokyo; The Regent in Bangkok; the Grand Hyatt Bali in Indonesia; and the Sheraton Moorea Lagoon & Spa in Tahiti.
The Akimel O`odham Indians trace their roots to the Hohokam who farmed the Gila River Valley from 300 B.C. to 1450 A.D. The Hohokam developed an extensive irrigation system of canals, still used today, which gave birth to farming in the desert. The Akimel O`odham and Pee Posh, sometimes called the Pima and Maricopa tribes respectively, were hospitable and friendly, welcoming settlers and transforming a hostile territory into a temporary sanctuary, a concept that will be elaborated upon at Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa.
Sheraton, the largest brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has more than 384 hotels in 65 countries. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 740 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwood.com.