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Under New Ownership Led by Jerry Colangelo the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa
in Phoenix Starts Multi-million dollar Rejuvenation Project

New Pool, All-new Restaurants

 Phoenix, Ariz. (August 12, 2010) –  The Wigwam, one of Arizona’s first and most celebrated resorts, has broken ground  on a multi-million dollar rejuvenation project that will position the resort back to legendary status among Arizona  destinations for meetings, conferences, elite social events, entertainment and unique dining. 

With expansive grounds of more than 440 acres and substantial amenities, the resort will enjoy the benefit of remaining open during the project with a full-service restaurant, two swimming pools, spa, fitness center, nine tennis courts, three golf courses and all of its meeting and banquet facilities in tact. It will be “business as usual” for leisure guests, group business and social events. Returning many of the most celebrated and charming elements from the resort’s history, the project will bring several new experiences, amenities and al fresco dining to the property. Under new ownership of JDM Partners, led by national sports executive and Valley business icon, Jerry Colangelo, the project will be completed in December and will return the resort to its historical name, The Wigwam. 

Starting from the moment guests arrive the new arrival experience will reflect the character and charm of the resort’s original grand entrance when it first opened in 1929. Undergoing a complete redesign, guests will experience an estate-like arrival along a new brick-paved road lined with aged citrus and palm trees leading to a wood-beamed archway with the Wigwam insignia framing the resort’s entrance, complete with a front porch as guests arrive. Guests will enter the new lobby through the original entrance offering a more intimate and historic arrival experience showcasing decades of history. The original fireplace built in 1918 will remain a centerpiece of the redesigned living and lounge area.  Offering a more relaxed resort environment with several new outdoor gardens, a lush social community courtyard and various al fresco entertainment and dining areas complete with fire pits and fountains – all strategic elements of the new design intended to allow guests to enjoy modern comforts from the moment they arrive. 

Featuring all-new restaurants and dining options, celebrity chef Chris Bianco will influence and consult on the resort’s new food and beverage menus. A longtime friend of Jerry Colangelo, Bianco is the James Beard award-winning chef behind the nationally acclaimed Pizzeria Bianco. 

New spaces for dining and entertainment will also be created in a new outdoor plaza centered by a indoor/outdoor bar, lounges and entertainment venues where guests can enjoy social, family and professional gatherings at all times of day. To make way for new entertainment area, the existing Adobe Pool will be relocated, redesigned and expanded into a new resort pool with separate adult and family zones. The adult pool will be lined with luxury cabanas and poolside bar, while the family zone will feature a 25-foot tower with two twisting water slides and child splash fountain water features. 

The project’s award-winning design team is led by celebrated consultant Jim Smith, who has directed the revitalization of many Valley resorts including Royal Palms, The Hermosa Inn, InterContinental Montelucia and The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, to name a few. Prior to planning the renovation, Mr. Colangelo and his partners Mel Schultz and David Eaton conducted their own market research spending countless hours observing and talking to existing guests and locals about changes they would like to see. 

“We are in the entertainment business and want to create a place everyone can enjoy.  Not just our guests, but a place that locals can embrace too.  The Wigwam is a great asset to Arizona and has great bones.  We want everyone to have a great time and want to come back,” said Jerry Colangelo, partner, JDM. “Our plan represents what we heard.  It’s a response to the local community and our guests regarding desired improvements and raising the bar.”

When Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company discovered that long-staple cotton extended the life of the tire, the company purchased 16,000 acres of Arizona land in 1916 to begin cultivating cotton.

The Wigwam is one of the most lasting accomplishments of the early cotton ranch development. The first building on the site was established in 1918 by sales representatives supplying equipment to the ranchers, and was known as the "Organization House." Many of the guests staying on business suggested that it would be a great place to spend a winter vacation. Goodyear executives, who were occasionally accompanied by their families when visiting the farming operations, agreed, and on Thanksgiving Day in 1929 "The Wigwam" officially opened its doors as a guest ranch with enough rooms for 24 guests. A portion of the original structure remains as the cornerstone of The Wigwam's authenticity and southwestern charm.

Today, we operate the resort through a management agreement with Destination Hotels & Resorts. Our 331-room resort features: three championship golf courses - including the Robert Trent Jones Sr. - designed Gold and Blue Courses; nine tennis courts; three swimming pools; a luxury spa and fitness center; award-winning dining - including the AAA Four-Diamond rated Arizona Kitchen and Red's Steakhouse; 48,000 square-feet of indoor meeting space with 25 separate meeting rooms and outdoor meeting space that spans over five acres.

About the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa
The Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa recently celebrated its 80th anniversary as one of Arizona’s first full-service resorts. First built as 12-person executive retreat in 1918 for Goodyear Tire workers developing cotton ranches in the area, the Wigwam opened as a resort in 1929. Today, the Wigwam is a AAA Four-Diamond resort retreat that blends casual elegance with the charm of Authentic Arizona, The Wigwam is a one-of-a-kind resort destination with a spirit all its own. Featuring 331 guest casitas including 72 suites crafted from traditional territorial adobe architecture, the resort resides over 450 acres of lush landscaped gardens, towering palm walkways and fragrant citrus tree-lined enclaves among numerous floral and rose gardens. Offering a traditionally unforgettable experience to a time of serenity and life’s simple pleasures, The Wigwam is the only Arizona resort to boast 54 holes of championship golf, including two courses designed by legendary golf icon, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The signature Red Door Spa continues to offer guests rejuvenation opportunities in style and modern comfort.  The Wigwam is located in Litchfield Park, Arizona adjacent to greater Phoenix. For more information, visit or call (623) 935-3811.

About Destination Hotels & Resorts
The Wigwam is managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts - the fourth largest independent hospitality management company in the United States with more than 30 luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and conference centers. The company has developed a variety of initiatives to better serve its communities, stakeholders and customers including Destination Earth, an environmental sustainability program, and the Destination Delivers guest loyalty program, which provides the best available offers to members. Destination operates properties in key metropolitan areas and resort markets including Washington, D.C., Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Aspen, Palm Springs, Houston and Lake Tahoe. Destination is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises. For more information on the properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit or to join Destination Delivers, visit


Jenna Ertl
Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa
(623) 856-1097

Also See: JDM Partners, Led by Jerry Colangleo, Acquire the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa Located in Phoenix / January 2010

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