Industry Leader Driving Force behind Luxury Beverage Program at AAA Five Diamond Property

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (July 23, 2009) – The Phoenician, Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond destination, announced today that its Food & Beverage Director, Thomas “Mac” Gregory, has been named a judge for the renowned San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the largest spirit competition in America.

A 20-year veteran of the field, Gregory was hand-selected by a committee of existing judges, beverage writers and industry executives.  He will begin his appointment with the 2010 competition, which will take place March 13-14.

Founded in 2000, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the first-ever comprehensive, international spirits judging event held in the United States on an annual basis.  Serving as the benchmark in beverage ratings, the 2009 competition featured 876 products from 63 countries, with more than 75 categories recognized.

“The San Francisco World Spirits Competition receives entries from the top spirits companies worldwide every year, and we have to match that caliber with high-quality, expert judges,” said Executive Director Anthony Dias Blue.  “Mac Gregory embodies the skills, knowledge and passion that define our panel, and we are thrilled to welcome him to this select group of industry professionals.”

Since joining The Phoenician in fall 2007, Gregory has served as the architect of the resort’s enhanced luxury beverage program, which includes the largest tequila and vodka collections in the state of Arizona.  Earlier this year, he introduced El Tesoro Paradiso Phoenician Private Label Tequila, the first and only private label ever created by El Tesoro.  In March, his signature Phoenician Bellinis were named one of the top three “hippest things in the Valley” by Phoenix magazine.

Located at the base of Camelback Mountain, the 250-acre Phoenician offers two exquisite experiences – a 583-room AAA Five Diamond resort hotel and an exclusive Five Diamond boutique hotel, The Canyon Suites — at one magnificent destination.  The property features elegant, residential-style accommodations, distinctive and tantalizing cuisine across a variety of restaurants, 27 holes of championship golf, 11 tennis courts, The Centre for Well-Being spa complex, an activity program for all ages and interests, numerous boutique shops and a $25 million art collection.  In addition to these offerings, the stylish 60-room Canyon Suites provides more intimate surroundings and enhanced services, creating an atmosphere of uncompromising comfort.  Both The Phoenician and The Canyon Suites are owned and operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., as part of The Luxury Collection.

For additional information, please call (480) 941-8200; (800) 888-8234.