Camping Goes Glam in the Sonoran Desert

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Camelback Adventures, glamping, corporate event planning
Dining and lounge tents that accommodate 50 people are at the heart of the camp.

Camping in the Southwest has gone luxe with a new option by Camelback Adventures, a Scottsdale–based DMC. Using luxury tents that can be set up virtually anywhere, meeting and event planners can provide a glamorous desert experience.

These are not your parents’ tents. Custom-made, they have canvas walls that are fastened and sealed to a Cedar plank floor. Sleeping tents are outfitted with a queen-size bed, side tables, storage trunks and a desk. Luxury bedding, upscale amenities, solar lighting, and bathrooms with hot and cold water provide all the comforts of home.

The dining and lounge tents can accommodate 50 people; custom-built oak tables provide a rustic elegance, with linens, floral centerpieces and candles as the finishing touches. The sides are removable to showcase the incredible scenery but also can be configured to provide protection from the weather and shade from the sun. Propane heaters warm the night air. The lounge tent features a Cypress bar complete with comfortable furniture, a fireplace and even a dance floor.

The camping experience comes complete with a fully staffed and professionally equipped kitchen. Cooking over the campfire is an art that the chef and his team have mastered over the years and is reflected in the regionally sourced menu.

For incentive groups, Camelback Adventures offers a menu of experiences in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, from kayaking to cattle drives, Hummer tours to hot air balloons. Another high-end option: a floatplane ride through the mountainous canyons to a remote location, landing on one of the rugged desert lakes. In the evening, guests return to the camp for a gourmet dinner under the stars, perhaps including a wine or tequila tasting, a cigar roller or even a beer burro or two.


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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.