Arizona Biltmore to Get $300M Facelift

The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa is set to undergo a $300 million renovation. Initial plans for the renovation call for the addition of 300 guest rooms, a spa and expanded restaurant facilities. The resort’s owners are hoping that the city of Phoenix will approve their zoning request, which was filed on July 9. Assuming the zoning change is approved, renovation is expected to commence in 2009.

The owners of the property have been working with community groups including the Arizona Biltmore Estates Village Association and the Camelback East Village Planning Committee in order to build goodwill with the community and gather public input on the prospective development.

The Arizona Biltmore recently joined The Waldorf=Astoria Collection and was purchased by Boston-based Pyramid Advisors in a partnership with Morgan Stanley in 2007. The owners have planned the renovations to the Biltmore, built in 1929, in order to keep up with the new features of competing resorts in the Phoenix area. The resort’s zoning requests seeks permission to redesignate 36 acres of high-density residential areas to a planned-unit development.

If the zoning change request isn’t approved by both the Phoenix Planning Commission and the Phoenix City Council, the resort still has plans to go through with renovations on the guest rooms in the Arizona Wing and the Biltmore Grill. The competition for resorts in the vicinity of the Biltmore is competitive, with hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton vying for resort goers who are attracted to the region’s high end shopping.

The renovation plans to increase the resort’s rooms from approximately 740 to 1,040 total guest rooms. Additionally, the plans call for 15,000 square feet of meeting areas to make the resort more attractive to conventions and meetings.

The Biltmore has been named as a Phoenix Point of Pride for its historical significance in the area. Built in 1929, the hotel has hosted a variety of notable names, including President Bush. The architecture is notable, designed by Albert Chase McArthur, with significant input from Frank Lloyd Wright. The renovations will leave the lobby intact, as the owners are hopeful that it will be placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.