Had a great time this weekend at Arizona Tiki Oasis. This is our first TO event (we’ve been to Tiki Kon a couple times), so it was nice to see how this event worked. We stayed at the site hotel, the wonderful Hotel Valley Ho, and overall this seemed like a great venue for the event.
Saturday was our big seminar day, and I really enjoyed the well-delivered seminars by Sven Kirsten, Matt Pietrek, Gabrielle Maser, Didi Saiki/Sam Miller/Fred Acebo, and especially the seminars from Mike Skinner. The cocktails being served in the seminars were welcome and tasty, and the event staff were helpful at getting everyone into the sessions. Seminars are always a big interest for me.
It was nice to see some old and new friends, as well as to experience the vast set of vendors. We enjoyed the suite-vending that started on Friday as well as the large marketplace on Saturday and Sunday. So many nice things, and we bought a few. I also enjoyed some of the spirit tastings and we enjoy the rooftop cocktail hour with great views of Scottsdale.
Valley Ho’s primary sit-down restaurant ZuZu is nice but upscale. I figured out too late that there is also food available from the pool bar, so if any attendees got food here I’d welcome any comments about whether or not it worked or not. Some food trucks were an option and we enjoyed the shave ice as well as the Korean BBQ trucks. But, we did end up going off-site for a couple dinners.
The Entertainment lineup seemed good, but the venues were a little tricky. The indoor Sands event space was really loud, so not really able to both listen and talk. The pool venue’s sound was great, and it’s always nice to hang by the pool – but the band location was less engaging when viewed from across the pool. Tough to have a perfect solution, of course.
We also enjoyed the scavenger hunt for Bird Man “secret immunity idols” hidden by John and Janet Mulder. We’re not “heat people” and temps were on the upper end of tolerable for us.
We had a great time at AZ Tiki Oasis.