HD Talks

March, 2018

Hotel Flashback: A Desert Oasis Reborn in Scottsdale

Posted by on March 14, 2018 in Projects | 1 comment

By Mary Beth Klatt

The original Mountain Shadows resort, built in 1959 in Scottsdale, had a distinctive Rat Pack appeal. The sprawling building, designed by real estate developer Del Webb, had the largest known swimming pool in Arizona. It attracted Hollywood actors such as Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, and Robert Stack, among others. They came to enjoy golfing, swimming, and drinking cocktails while listening and dancing to a live orchestra at night in the shadows of the Camelback and Mummy Mountains.

Hearth ’61 in the upgraded Mountain Shadows from Mark Zeff

The sunken living room at Mountain Shadows

The resort eventually closed in 2004 and remained vacant for more than a decade. Expectations were high when Westroc Hospitality and Woodbine Development eventually acquired and demolished the iconic facility, and for $100 million rebuilt a more intimate, 183-room hotel with 41 new resort condominiums, which opened last year.

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The Sparkling Oscars Stage Shines

Posted by on March 6, 2018 in Events, Trends | 0 comments

On Oscar night, the only thing shining brighter than the stars who graced the stage to pick up their awards was the stage itself. Swarovski provided millions of crystals to illuminate the stage, this being the company’s 11th Oscars and sixth time collaborating with set designer Derek McLane on the ceremony, for which he previously won an Emmy in production design in 2014.

For this year’s stage, in which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was celebrating its 90th ceremony, McLane says “the proscenium was inspired by the inside of a geode and by an image I saw of a domed, mirrored room” from Swarovski’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria. Constructed from octagonal tiles with a mix of crystal, metal, and mirror, the front piece of the stage incorporates more than 45 million Swarovski crystals.

Behind the proscenium, the stage’s sparkling demeanor never faltered. Returning from last year’s ceremony are the “floating Oscars,” which feature more than 140,000 crystals. Continue reading →