One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous Arizona works, Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, AZ, turns 50 this year. The building has an interesting history, initially commissioned by the assassinated King Feisal II of Iraq and then eventually revived as a university building, finally opening in 1964. To celebrate its birthday and the prestigious guests it has received — from traveling Broadway productions to George W. Bush and John Kerry during the 2004 presidential debates — the performing arts center has partnered with two other iconic Wright destinations to offer the “Frank Lloyd Wright Experience,” with hotel and entertainment discounts this week.
From July 29 to August 3, visitors can enjoy 15 percent off room rates at The Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf-Astoria resort where Wright served as a designing consultant. Here, you can see his influence in various design elements and in the pre-cast concrete blocks used to build the structure. While rooms available for the promotion are limited, starting rates this week are in the $109-$129 range regardless — very reasonable considering the brand and its $300 high-season rates. The booking site should automatically show available special offers, but if prompted, use promo code FLWEXP.
For more immersive activities, you can enjoy 50 percent off tours at Taliesin West, Wright’s winter home and school of architecture along the the McDowell Mountains. Typically, tours start from $24, the most popular being the hourly 90-minute Insight Tour ($32). Note: Taliesin West is not air-conditioned, so you’re encouraged to bring plenty of water and a hat or umbrella for shade. Again, use promo code FLWEXP at checkout.
Finally, travelers who love a good show can score tickets to Broadway hit “Jersey Boys” at Gammage at 25 percent off. We found tickets from $28.30, including processing fees. Note that there are a limited number of discounted tickets available. You won’t need to enter the promo code; simply hover your mouse over different seats in the seat selection map and look for those marked with “special value offer.”
Bonus: Busy the end of July and first weekend in August? No problem. The silver anniversary celebrations continue on September 28, when Gammage will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with complimentary birthday cake, free performances, and tours of the building. Any other time of the year, Taliesin West offers tours regularly, and The Arizona Biltmore also has its own history tours focusing on Wright’s contributions year-round. Held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, tours are $10 for visitors and free for hotel guests. (Call ahead for reservations.)