2018 Destination Information

History of the Arizona Biltmore




The Arizona Biltmore is a living architectural masterpiece, showcasing the seminal influence of America’s most heralded architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. As the consulting architect, Wright collaborated with a former student, Albert Chase McArthur. Wright’s dramatic style and imprimatur are imbedded throughout the resort’s design. The Biltmore was erected entirely of “Biltmore Block,” a variation on a textile block first used by Wright to construct private homes. The pre-cast blocks were made from desert sand on-site and created in 34 different geometric patterns inspired by the trunk of a palm tree.


1929 - Arizona Biltmore Opens

The Arizona Biltmore welcomed its first guests in 1929. The much-heralded opening was expanded from one day to three days to accommodate the long list of high society party goers. According to the press, it was to be the party of the decade, in Arizona and beyond. Invitees felt very privileged as attendance was requested by personal invitation only.

1930 - Wrigleys                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Chicago chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. became the sole owner and built the resort’s first swimming pool; The Catalina Pool. The historic pool is renowned as Marilyn Monroe’s favorite pool, and the site where the famed song composer Irving Berlin penned many tunes including “White Christmas."

1973 - Talley Industries

The Wrigley family sold the Biltmore to Talley Industries and during the installation of a new sprinkler system, a welding torch ignited a fire, resulting in $2.5M of damage. Taliesin Associated Architects renovated the resort over a record 82 days, and the result was a finer, more complete hotel than had previously existed.