Scottsdale is a city rooted in its Western origins. From the iconic public art displays like Windows to the West and Implosion to various architectural treasures inspired by the desertscape surrounding them, you can find a celebration of Western spirit around nearly every corner. Every year, Scottsdale honors this heritage during the city’s beloved Western Week, an event dedicated to ensuring the Western legacy remains strong. Here is our guide to Scottsdale Western Week 2024.
Returning to Old Town Scottsdale from January 27 – February 4, 2024, the free-to-attend event is back with more events and activities than ever before. The celebratory week starts with the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market on January 27, followed by a kick-off party planned to transport visitors back to the Wild West with events like the Rodeo Museum’s roping demonstrations, blacksmith demonstrations, live music and various pop-up shops.
Throughout the week, visitors have access to exclusive events like the Gold Palette Artwalk on February 1, an exhibition that spans the Scottsdale Art District featuring artwork from various galleries. The Hashknife Pony Express on February 2 is another favorite of the festival. Visitors are invited to gather at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West to witness the world’s oldest officially sanctioned Pony Express. On February 3, the Scottsdale Civic Center hosts the Arizona Indian Festival, which showcases the rich Indigenous American culture tied to the area with traditional arts and crafts, foods and engaging experiences.
Closing the electrifying week, more than 125 acts will walk the streets of Old Town in the Parada Del Sol Historic Parade on February 3. In its 70th year, the thrilling parade features vibrant floats, marching bands and stagecoaches representing cultures from Mexico, Native American, Arabian and, of course, Western. Following the parade, visitors of all ages are encouraged to stay in the Old Town District for the Trail’s End Festival, a western-themed block party.
For residents at Optima Kierland® Apartments, Optima Sonoran Village and Optima Camelview Village, Scottsdale Western Week makes the perfect opportunity to get out and explore the community while learning more about the city’s roots. To learn more about Western Week and its many events and activities, head to Old Town Scottsdale’s website here.
Welcome to Shuffleboard 101! At Optima®, we’re not just about sleek designs and stunning architecture; we’re about creating vibrant communities where fun and engagement are part of daily life. And what better way to bring people together than a timeless game of shuffleboard? Let’s slide into the history of this classic game and explore how it plays a significant role in our community.
A Stroll Down Memory Lane Shuffleboard, a game with roots dating back to 15th-century England, has come a long way. Originating from a game called “shove-groat,” where players slid coins across a table, shuffleboard has evolved into a beloved pastime worldwide. It’s fascinating to think that this game, which started with people pushing coins in taverns, now brings laughter and friendly competition to our modern community spaces at Optima.
Modern shuffleboard is a blend of skill, strategy, and, most important, fun. The goal is simple: players use cues to slide weighted discs down a narrow court, aiming to score points by landing the discs within designated areas. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned player, shuffleboard is accessible to all, making it a perfect game for community interaction.
Shuffleboard at Optima®: More Than Just a Game In social spaces at Optima Kierland Apartments® and Optima Signature®, shuffleboard is a community catalyst, allowing residents to gather for friendly matches, fostering connections, and relaxation. It’s not just about scoring points; it’s about the smiles shared, the conversations sparked, and the sense of belonging that comes from engaging in a shared activity.
Incorporating amenities like shuffleboard into our living spaces aligns perfectly with our philosophy. We believe in crafting environments that encourage interaction, relaxation, and a sense of community. The courts are a testament to this belief, offering a space where residents can unwind and connect in a laid-back, enjoyable setting.
Join the Fun! Whether you’re an aficionado or new to the game, we invite you to join in the fun at Optima. Discover the joys of this timeless game, meet your neighbors, and experience firsthand how simple pleasures can enrich our lives and strengthen our community. At Optima, it’s not just about where you live, but how you live—and shuffleboard is a part of that vibrant, engaging lifestyle.
So, grab your pucks, step up to the court, and let the good times slide!
Revisit the artistic genius of Ellison Keomaka, where he offers a deep dive into his vibrant creations for Optima Kierland 7190. The mixture of artwork includes a dynamic collaboration with David Hovey Sr. and features pieces that draw from his past work at Optima Lakeview and take inspiration from Alexander Calder’s famous mobile sculptures. Ready for another colorful journey with Ellison? Dive in below:
What did the creative process entail when first conceiving and planning the artwork for Optima Kierland 7190?
When I started by creating artwork for Optima Kierland 7190, I aimed to maintain a bold and vibrant aesthetic. The Mobiles series was the first series I did for 7190 that included the mobile likeness. As their name suggests, I took inspiration from Alexander Calder’s mobile styles and then added more of my own style with the texture and colors. Other works, like the Primary series, took inspiration from previous artwork I’ve done for Optima Lakeview.
What role do color and texture play in these works?
Unlike some of my other artwork throughout the Optima Communities, all of the work I created for 7190 was done freehand with inks and paint. David Hovey Sr. has a particular affinity for bold colors, so I wanted to integrate that as a theme throughout my work. The Silhouette series is one of the boldest works I created for 7190. What makes this series stand out are the striking black backgrounds that are meant to hang on a white wall. I thought it framed the pieces well, giving the impression of a window through which you can view the colors behind.
You collaborated with David Hovey Sr. on one series at 7190 Optima Kierland. Can you describe this process and how these pieces differ from the other works in 7190?
David Hovey Sr. and I bounced around several ideas in the Free Form series before landing on a style for the Celebration series. He had visited to review some pieces, and during his visit, I suggested the idea of incorporating a black line in them. As I commenced drawing the lines, we collaborated, and I created four or five smaller pieces in that style. It was a wonderful experience to work alongside David in this way.
After sketching the lines and proposing some freeform shapes, David suggested adding some color, which we experimented with. It evolved into a fun reciprocal process that eventually yielded these vibrant pieces. These artworks blend influences from various fields, including automotive pinstriping and a touch of street art. In-person, they span 18 feet in width combined, making them quite impactful. There was no room for error with the black line, and since any adjustments would be noticeable, each piece had to be finalized in one take, freehand with inks and paint.
Is there anything else we should know about the creative process for these pieces or the work itself?
Managing the sheer volume of pieces is challenging and an art project in its own right. It requires shifting your mindset and thinking on a different scale constantly. For example, the Curiosity and Free Form series have so many individual pieces in the collection that my goal was to ensure that each stood out with its own unique look or style. So, these have been very interesting challenges that I find extremely rewarding.
Nestled in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve stands as a breathtaking testament to the beauty and history of the American Southwest. At Optima®, we’re always on the lookout for extraordinary places that resonate with history and natural splendor, and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a perfect example. Spanning over 30,500 acres, it’s not just an expanse of pristine desert; it’s a journey through time, culture, and nature.
The story of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is as rich as the landscapes it encompasses. The area’s earliest known inhabitants, the Hohokam, thrived here from around 1 AD to 1450 AD. Renowned for their intricate irrigation canals, the Hohokam left behind a legacy etched in the form of petroglyphs and pottery, still revered today. Following them, the Yavapai and Apache tribes called these lands home, leaving their mark on this ancient terrain.
Fast forward to 1865, and you encounter Fort McDowell, a military outpost pivotal in the Apache Wars. It played a crucial role in the westward expansion of the United States. Then there’s the tale of DC Ranch, a sprawling cattle ranch that reflects the area’s ranching heritage and now stands as a modern residential community, melding past and present.
The Preserve’s diverse terrain, ranging from the lower Sonoran Desert to the rugged McDowell Mountains, offers a visual feast. It’s a natural haven for an array of wildlife and native plants, including majestic saguaros and vibrant wildflowers. The Preserve’s extensive trail network caters to outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Whether you’re a hiker, mountain biker, or horseback rider, there’s a path that’s just right for you.
One of the joys of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is its accessibility. With multiple trailheads, each outing can be a new adventure. The Gateway Loop Trail is a favorite among locals, offering a moderate hike with stunning views. For mountain bikers, the Tom’s Thumb Trail provides a challenging ride through remarkable terrain. And for a family-friendly excursion, the Bajada Nature Trail is a delightful, educational experience with its interactive exhibits on desert ecology.
The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, a non-profit organization, diligently manages the Preserve. They not only maintain the trails and facilities but also offer educational programs and guided tours, enriching visitors’ experiences. Their work ensures that the delicate balance between nature and human enjoyment is maintained, preserving this treasure for future generations.
The creation and maintenance of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve are a testament to Scottsdale’s commitment to conservation and sustainable development. It’s a place where history, culture, and natural beauty coalesce, offering a serene yet invigorating escape from the bustle of modern life.
For residents of Optima Kierland Apartments, Optima Sonoran Village and future residents of Optima Mcdowell Mountain Village, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is more than just a scenic backdrop; it’s a living, breathing piece of Arizona’s history and a perfect example of nature’s unparalleled artistry. It’s a place to explore, to learn, and to connect with the timeless beauty of the desert. We invite you to experience this remarkable preserve, where every trail leads to a discovery and every visit leaves you with a deeper appreciation for the natural world.
At Optima, our commitment to crafting vibrant communities extends beyond architecture — it embraces a vision of harmonious living with nature. In properties like Optima Verdana®, Optima Kierland Apartments® and Optima Sonoran Village®, we’ve taken this commitment to new heights — quite literally, with green roofs elements that redefine modern living.
Amidst the greenery, residents find not only a physical haven but a sanctuary for the mind year-round. The lush landscapes stimulate cognitive skills, and echoes the enriching effects of art, where the subjective nature of greenery allows residents to explore their creativity and free thinking.
In the spirit of art therapy, our green roof communities become a refuge for stress reduction. The calming influence from a communal herb garden or native flowers and trees, provides a mental retreat, minimizing worries amid life’s challenges. It’s an oasis that mirrors the positive impact of art in promoting relaxation and inspiration.
Living with greenery encourages residents to delve into their own emotional landscapes. The transformative experience of nature’s presence becomes a sensorial, emotional, and sometimes even spiritual journey. Here, Optima’s commitment to well-being extends beyond physical spaces to nourish the soul.
Optima’s green roofs don’t just enhance the lives of residents; they also embody our commitment to environmental stewardship. By providing insulation and mitigating the urban heat effect, these green roofs contribute to energy efficiency, aligning seamlessly with our dedication to sustainable design and living. They also play a crucial role in stormwater management by absorbing and retaining rainwater, reducing runoff and minimizing flood risks.
Green roofs actively improve air quality by capturing pollutants, offering a breath of fresh air in urban environments. Beyond architectural features, they become habitats for wildlife, enhancing local biodiversity and promoting a holistic approach to community development.
In the heart of Optima’s green roof communities, residents experience a dual benefit: enhanced well-being and a commitment to sustainability. The greenery surrounding our residents tells a tale of cognitive enrichment, stress reduction, emotional healing, and environmental stewardship. As we invite nature into our designs, we reaffirm our dedication to access to greenery and sustainable living.
As residents of Optima Sonoran Village® know, Scottsdale is a treasure trove of vibrant cultural events, artistic showcases, and community gatherings. Among these, the Canal Convergence stands out, brilliantly illuminating the Scottsdale Waterfront every year, beckoning both locals and visitors for an immersive experience of art, light, and much more.
The Canal Convergence, a free, annual 10-night extravaganza, beautifully melds light, art, and water along the waterfront. Each year, artists from around the globe captivate audiences with their large-scale public artworks. For 2023, attendees will be treated to mesmerizing pieces like Sym by AlexP, the playful Flario by Walter Productions, the geometric Dice by Montreal-based studio Iregular, the fluid Aquatics by Philipp Artus, and several other awe-inspiring installations like Light Forest,Octavius, Ripple, and Spectrum Swing. Beyond these installations, the event is also a hub for live performances, music, dance, creative workshops, and so much more, including food trucks and a beer and wine garden.
What makes each Canal Convergence special is its central theme. This year, it dives deep into “The Power of Play,” highlighting its profound significance in our lives. Play isn’t reserved just for children; it’s a vital aspect of human existence, molding our learning, creativity, and social interactions. As the sun sets and the artworks come to life, attendees can immerse themselves in the wonders of play, feeling its influence firsthand.
For those ready to dive into this magical experience, the event runs from Nov. 3–12, 2023, at the Scottsdale Waterfront. Starting from 6 p.m. each evening, the event extends until 10 p.m. on the 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th of November, and until 9 p.m. on the other nights. For those wondering about parking, there’s ample free space in the parking garages around Old Town Scottsdale.
To residents and beyond, the Canal Convergence is a heartfelt celebration of creativity, unity, and reflection. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this enchanting blend of play, light, and art!
The Scottsdale Civic Center, situated in Old Town, serves as a cultural hub for the entire city, including our residents at Optima Sonoran Village®. It seamlessly balances Scottsdale’s historical identity as “The West’s Most Western Town” with modern influences, making it a popular focal point where the city’s heritage intertwines with its more recent cultural and artistic expressions.
This urban oasis is surrounded by some of Scottsdale’s most vital facilities, including City Hall, Civic Center Library, Center for the Performing Arts, and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s both a retail center and a retreat, marked by its lush greenery, tranquil fountains, and eclectic sculptures. You can also enjoy views of Camelback Mountain, which becomes particularly captivating at dusk, offering a serene environment for relaxation and cultural immersion.
The Civic Center dates back to 1966 when a master plan by local architectural firm Bennie M. Gonzales Associates was adopted, emphasizing the seat of town governance as “an open invitation for citizens to participate in their government.” Bennie M. Gonzales, with his distinct Southwestern modernist style, led the planning and design process during the center’s foundational years. His designs are characterized by their harmony with the environment and their use of natural materials, which can be seen in the kiva-like City Hall, the Civic Center Library (built in 1968) and the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (constructed in 1975).
Decades later, award-winning architect Will Bruder further shaped the Civic Center, designing the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (constructed in 1999). His design paid homage to the curved facades of the neighboring Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
Sculptures including Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture and George-Ann Tognoni’s The Yearlings furtheramplify the center’s art scene. Adjacent to them, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, with its stages and galleries, has hosted notable events like the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, enriching the center’s aesthetic and cultural offerings.
The Scottsdale Civic Center has recently seen major renovations, with its western two-thirds reopening back in January 2023. With plans to showcase 80 annual outdoor events over the next several years, ranging from national touring acts and orchestras to dance ensembles and community events, the Civic Center remains committed to cultural vibrancy and communal engagement.
Keen on exploring upcoming Civic Center events? Follow the link here for more information.
At Optima®, we revel in opportunities to explore the layers of architectural history and cultural significance found in the places we reside. In the heart of Phoenix, one structure stands as a testament to the city’s vibrant evolution over time: the Hotel Adams.
The journey for this architectural gem began in 1894, during Arizona’s territorial days, when Phoenix was a city of merely 5,000 residents. Attorney J.C. Adams, a recent arrival from Chicago, sought to enrich the city’s modest accommodations. Leveraging his financial connections, Adams constructed the city’s first luxury hotel, a grand Queen Anne-style building that immediately elevated Phoenix’s stature.
With balconies, private bathrooms in many rooms, fireplaces for heat, and an innovative cooling system featuring electric fans blowing air over giant ice blocks, the Adams Hotel wasn’t just elegant, but innovative for its time.
In 1910, the Adams Hotel succumbed to a devastating fire, and rose from its ashes as a five-story, Mission Revival-style structure, rebuilt on the same site with fireproof, reinforced concrete. Reopened in time for the statehood celebration in 1912, the Hotel Adams once again became a hub of social, political, and cultural activity.
From its storied lobby, which housed Arizona’s first commercial radio station, to its altruistic pledge during World War II to always have a room available for servicemen, the Hotel Adams remained a symbol of the city’s community spirit.
As Phoenix evolved, so did Hotel Adams. In 1973, the decision was made to replace the aging building with a modern hotel to support the new Civic Center. The result was the 17-story, 538-room hotel that today is known as the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Yet, within its modern shell, the Renaissance Phoenix retains the spirit of the Hotel Adams.
The basement area is a testament to the hotel’s tenacious spirit. Encased by concrete walls poured back in 1910, it’s now home to Melinda’s Alley, a clandestine hangout known for its rotating cocktail menu.
As we celebrate the extraordinary journey of the Hotel Adams, we are continually inspired by such symbols of resilience and reinvention. These architectural narratives speak to the enduring power of creating spaces that carry forward the spirit of evolution, community, and cultural significance. We’re proud to be a part of Arizona’s rich architectural history, and we look forward to the stories yet to be told.
The enchanting beauty and rich cultural history of the Southwest, where some of our properties are located, serves as a constant source of inspiration. As part of our new “Great Writers” series, we take immense joy in celebrating individuals whose contributions have cast a lasting glow on the Southwest, mirroring its radiant sunsets. Today, our spotlight is on Mary Hunter Austin, a writer whose connection to the land weaves through her work, reflecting the soul of the Southwest.
Mary Hunter Austin, born in 1868, spent her life deeply immersed in the exploration and interpretation of the American Southwest’s landscapes. Her passion resonates strongly with us at Optima®, as we see our residents similarly captivated by the extraordinary vistas and cultural richness inherent to Optima Sonoran Village® and Optima Kierland Apartments® properties.
Austin’s acclaimed work, “The Land of Little Rain,” transcends conventional narratives, encapsulating the raw and compelling beauty of the Mojave Desert. In this collection of essays, Austin captured the intricacies of desert life — the flora, the fauna, and the Native American cultures — with a poet’s eye and a naturalist’s precision.
In addition to her descriptions of nature, Austin’s work reflected her strong sense of social justice, particularly related to Native American culture, women’s rights, and environmental conservation. In her writing, we see the Southwest not just as a backdrop, but as an active participant in the lives of the people who inhabit it. It is this vibrant, interconnected community that Austin so cherished, and that we are privileged to be a part of.
Delving deeper into Mary’s writings, we find a profound understanding and respect for the forces that shape the Southwest. Her observations were not passive; they formed the groundwork for a vibrant dialogue between humanity and the environment. Austin didn’t merely write about the Southwest — she engaged with it, championed it, and ultimately became one of its most influential advocates.
At Optima®, we are inspired by Austin’s deep connection to the Southwest. Her detailed and vibrant narratives serve as a testament to the beauty of the region, reminding us of the power of truly getting to know a land and the importance of fostering a harmonious relationship with it. Through this shared love of these lands we find ourselves forever inspired, and captivated, deeply aware that we are not just creating buildings, but crafting experiences that resonate with the vibrant spirit of the American Southwest — a spirit so eloquently portrayed in Austin’s works.
Get ready to experience the ultimate luxury apartment living! The long-awaited completion of 7190 Optima Kierland Apartments in Scottsdale has finally arrived, and we’re thrilled to give you an exclusive look into all of its evolving amenities. We sat down with Barbie Clemons, General Manager at Optima Kierland Apartments, who shared all the details about what makes the tower’s incredible new amenities stand out from the rest:
What is the current state of the luxury amenity experience in Scottsdale? How has the definition of luxury amenities changed in recent years?
Everybody’s spending a lot more time on amenities. You can see it in Scottsdale being a resort town; people want that resort-style living and to have everything at their fingertips. In recent years, we’ve seen buildings adding more events to their rosters, making sure that they have a gym, pools, hot tubs, etc. And then you start seeing other communities sprinkling in a cardio room and some of those more niche amenities to set them apart. For example, there’s a brand new building up the street from us that has a spa atmosphere where they’ve built a massage room and some of those spa-like amenities.
But that’s something that Optima has always done, because we’ve always gone to the next level with our amenities. This gives us the unique opportunity to always be ahead of the curve, delivering experiences and features that residents are just starting to dream about!
What are residents/potential residents at 7190 most interested in?
At our new tower, Kierland 7190, we added a separate pickleball court. People are very excited about this addition because pickleball is such a phenomenon. In our other Kierland properties, we’ve transformed our basketball courts so residents can play basketball or pickleball. But in 7190, we now have a separate space that’s specifically for pickleball, and people are so excited about that.
They’re also excited about the Olympic-length pool on our rooftop here. It’s probably the longest pool I’ve ever seen on a rooftop, and it’s absolutely beautiful. Something else that has drawn people into our newer buildings is the rooftop track. We have a quarter-mile track that goes around the roof of our buildings, where residents can walk or jog and enjoy the views of McDowell Mountain, as well as a spa and cold plunge, and like our other buildings, lounge seating, fire pits, and an outdoor bar and kitchen.
What are some of Optima Kierland 7190’s evolved amenities?
There are so many! The rooftop track is a newer one, and the Olympic-length pool on the rooftop and pickleball court are some of the others. We also have a yoga studio that includes its own separate Pilates room. We’ve added full-blown pet spas and one of our most fun new additions, a golf experience. We also have our golf simulator and sports lounge indoors, and then outside, we have a new putting green and chipping area where residents can play on different types of terrain, which is unique.
What sets these amenities apart from other buildings in the community?
Kierland stands apart because each of our five buildings has its own set of amenities, which is so distinctive relative to other apartment communities where the amenities are centralized and shared by all of the residential buildings. So whichever Kierland tower you choose, you’re only sharing with the intimate community you’re already familiar with. It’s really a lifestyle that we sell here, not apartment living. We’re showing residents that they can have everything at their fingertips and not have to go to a Lifetime Fitness or something like that outside of our community if they don’t want to, we’ll bring it all to them.
How are your residents responding to the amenity experience at 7190?
What we’re hearing from residents is that they are genuinely excited about the fact that they don’t have to leave the community to have an amazing quality of life. Our residents don’t have to go to cryotherapy or visit another golfing place to play on a simulator. Everything is right here within easy reach. We also have everything from huddle rooms to conference rooms, making it extremely easy for residents to work from home. We have spaces to enjoy and activities for people to play, from racquetball and pickleball to our pool, ping pong, shuffleboard, and bocce ball. I mean, there’s something for every single person in these buildings.
If residents are retiring, selling their homes, and downsizing into apartment living for the first time in 30 years, their grandkids are going to have a ton of places to go and enjoy. Additionally, new to the 7190 tower, we have implemented a 24/7 door staff so residents will have someone available 24 hours a day as part of our staff!