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Terryce Blanchard did not want to just have a bachelorette party.
She wanted an incomparable experience that took her far away from the cold shores of her home state of Michigan — and even further away from the busy streets of Nashville, Tennessee.
“Everyone around here goes to Nashville,” Blanchard told Insider. “I was trying to do something different.”
Blanchard knew wherever she was going, it needed to be larger than life — a must for a bride traveling with 18 companions.
For her, nowhere better fit the bill better than Scottsdale, Arizona, a well-to-do suburb of the Phoenix metropolitan area. A city that offered her a surplus of restaurants, numerous outdoor activities, and a prime selection of spacious Airbnbs to host a large wedding party.
“We wanted to be outside and in a space where we didn’t have to get a bunch of hotel rooms.” she said. “Scottsdale has a bunch of big spaces for people. So that was how we figured it out.”
Scoot over Nashville. After Tennessee’s capital city became the bachelorette destination of choice in recent years, Scottsdale could be stealing the crown. The New York Times reported that more than 11,600 parties are being planned in Scottsdale this year. While that’s only a fraction of the 30,000 being planned for Nashville, Mike Petrakis, the founder and chief executive of bachelorette planning site Bach, told NYT it could potentially eclipse bookings for Nashville. That’s because the city’s popularity has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has helped boost local businesses and strengthen its housing market.
Blanchard fears Scottsdale’s new reputation might dull its shine.
“I feel like it is going to be overdone, kind of like how Nashville was,” she said
For Scottsdales’ business owners, the surge in popularity is more than welcome news.
Especially for Casey Hohman, the owner of party planning company Scottsdale Bachelorette, who told Insider that he has seen “a huge uptick in party requests.”
The traffic has helped him expand his business.
“This year has been absolutely insane,” he said. “We had set a goal to book 500 parties for the year and we hit that at the end of April. We were totally caught off guard by how popular it’s been this year.”
Hohman says Scottsdale’s bachelorette party success derives from two main factors — lenient Covid-19 protocols and a historically high number of weddings throughout the United States.
“Scottsdale was one of the few places open for business in terms of very few mask mandates, no really big restrictions on restaurants and bars,” he said. “So we saw a lot of people redirecting their parties from places like Vegas and Miami to Scottsdale.
“You pair that with the fact that there are more weddings this year than since 1984 and that Scottsdale is becoming such a cool new destination for people in their twenties — it sort of started it all,” Hohman said.
Indeed, Arizona has seen an uptick in tourism and homebuyer migration. According to The Arizona Office of Tourism, both visitor spending and overnight stays outpaced the national average in 2021. Additionally, data from real estate brokerage Redfin also shows that out of all US cities, Phoenix was the most popular migration destination last year, followed by the cities of Dallas and Orlando.
The increase in migration has encouraged more homeowners to either list their properties for sale or make them available as Airbnbs — both have helped to push the state’s home prices to historic highs.
Although it has made Arizona’s housing market more unaffordable, it has helped brides like Blanchard celebrate their bachelorette parties in both comfort and style.
“I think it’s a good place for people with a wide variety of interests,” she said, adding that “it was the best weekend” of her life and that if she had a chance, she would do it all over again.
Did you move to a new city? Reach out to this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Axel Springer, Insider Inc.’s parent company, is an investor in Airbnb.