Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Is there a registration fee, and what does it include?

Yes, there is a registration fee of $100 for students and $300 for all other career levels. The fee covers access to all conference sessions, reception, conference materials, and refreshments.

Q: Where should I stay?

We recommend staying at Ventana Canyon to get the most out of the conference. Ventana Canyon has rooms available at the per diem rate ($120) for Rare Gems in Big Data attendees May 16th - May 26th, 2024.

Ventana Canyon offers several amenities and activities for their guests, including:

  • Daily Guided Hike
  • Daily Tennis & Pickleball Court Access 
  • Pool Games and Activities
  • Pool Service and Pool Treats 
  • Resort Activities (Select Days/Nights)
  • Star Gazing (Select Nights, Weather permitting) 
  • Tennis Clinic (select days)
  • Weekly Fitness/Health Classes 
  • 45 minute Ventana Tour (select days)
  • 10% off spa treatments
  • Nightly Turndown Service upon request
  • Printed flight boarding passes
  • Shoeshine
  • 2 bottles water in guest room

Other accommodations are available, however, please keep in mind these sites are a minimum of 10-15 minutes (5 miles) away from the conference venue. Additionally, the per diem rate of $120 is competitive and cannot be guaranteed at other hotels. 

Q: How do I get there?

Directions from Tucson International Airport to Ventana Canyon Resort 

7000 N Resort Dr, Tucson, AZ 85750:

Head west on E Airport Dr

Merge onto S Tucson Blvd

Turn right on Valencia Rd and head East for 3.4 mi

Using the 2 left lanes, make a U-turn onto S Kolb Road 

Continue on Kolb Road for 6.9 mi then turn right onto N Sabino Canyon Rd

Continue straight for 2.9 mi onto N Kolb Rd for 3.3. mi 

Turn right onto Estes Way

In 295 ft, continue straight onto N Resort Dr 

You have reached your destination: Ventana Canyon Resort

Directions from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Ventana Canyon Resort

7000 N Resort Dr, Tucson, AZ 85750:

Head west on Sky Hbr Blvd W

Using the left lane, take the exit onto 41st St 

Turn right onto 41st St and continue straight

Merge onto Sky Hbr Blvd E

Take the exit onto AZ-143 S 

In 2.6 miles, merge onto I-10 E

Keep left at the fork to stay on I-10 E and follow the signs for Tucson

Stay on I-10 E for 94 miles

Use the 2nd lane from the right to take exit 248 toward Ina Rd

Then using the left lane, merge onto I-10 Frontage Rd/N Interstate 10 Eastbound Frontage Rd

Turn left onto W Ina Rd and continue for 5.1 mi

Continue straight onto E Skyline Dr

In 1.9 mi, continue onto E Sunrise Dr for 3.2 mi 

Turn left onto N Craycroft Rd and follow for 2.5 mi

Turn left onto N Resort Dr and keep left to continue on N Resort Dr

In 295ft, continue onto N Flying V Ranch Rd

You’ve reached your destination: Ventana Canyon Resort

Q: Is transportation provided from the airport to the resort?

Unfortunately, we do not provide transportation. You can use local transportation or arrange for your preferred mode of travel. However, Ventana Canyon does offer a 10% discount on weekdays and 5% discount on weekends at Avis rentals and complimentary shuttle to/from the resort to Ventana Village for resort guests.

Q: Is parking available?

Yes, complimentary, self-parking is available. You can also valet your vehicle for $25/night.

Q: What restaurants are around?

Ventana Canyon has several restaurants on-site that you can dine from. For this conference, guests will receive a 10% discount on any dining services on-site. Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the Canyon Club then grab dinner at the Cascade Lounge or Flying V. If you’re looking for a little lighter fare, enjoy Bill’s Grill out by the pool. 

You can also visit Ventana Village via the resort’s complimentary shuttle to enjoy one of the several restaurants including Tuk Tuk Thai, Risky Business, Piazza Gavi, Ginza, Terra Alta Bistro, Subway, Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine, El Charro, Domino’s, and Commoner & Co.

Q: I have children and need access to childcare. Will the conference be able to provide childcare?

More information coming on this soon.

Q: Are there any pre-conference workshops or events?

While there are no pre-conference activities, we encourage you to explore the variety of attractions that Tucson has to offer. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or cultural experiences, Tucson has something for you. 

Here are some popular things to do in Tucson:

  • Saguaro National Park:
    Explore the stunning landscapes of Saguaro National Park, known for its giant saguaro cacti. Hiking trails provide opportunities to experience the Sonoran Desert.
  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum:
    Visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a combination of zoo, botanical garden, and natural history museum, showcasing the diverse flora and fauna of the region.
  • Mission San Xavier del Bac:
    Discover the historic Mission San Xavier del Bac, a beautifully preserved Spanish colonial mission known as the "White Dove of the Desert."
  • Old Tucson Studios:
    Experience the Old West at Old Tucson Studios, a western movie studio and theme park featuring historical buildings, live performances, and entertainment.
  • Tucson Botanical Gardens:
    Enjoy the tranquility of Tucson Botanical Gardens, featuring a wide variety of plants, themed gardens, and seasonal exhibits.
  • Pima Air & Space Museum:
    Explore the Pima Air & Space Museum, one of the largest aerospace museums in the world, showcasing historic aircraft and spacecraft.
  • University of Arizona Campus:
    Stroll through the University of Arizona campus, visit the Arizona State Museum, and explore the vibrant atmosphere of this educational institution.
  • Mt. Lemmon:
    Take a scenic drive to the top of Mt. Lemmon via the Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway, offering breathtaking views as you ascend the Catalina Mountains then stop at a local favorite, The Cookie Cabin, as you explore the small town of Summerhaven.
  • Tucson Museum of Art:
    Visit the Tucson Museum of Art, featuring a diverse collection of art from different time periods and cultures.
  • Fourth Avenue:
    Explore Fourth Avenue, a lively district with eclectic shops, boutiques, cafes, and a vibrant nightlife scene.
  • Sabino Canyon:
    Hike or take a tram tour through Sabino Canyon, known for its picturesque landscapes, waterfalls, and wildlife. Ventana Canyon offers a daily shuttle and a guided hike for its guests.
  • Reid Park Zoo:
    Enjoy a day at Reid Park Zoo, home to a variety of animals from around the world.
  • Catalina State Park:
    Hike the trails of Catalina State Park, offering scenic views of the Catalina Mountains and opportunities for birdwatching. 

Please go to Visit Tucson for a comprehensive list of things to do. 

Tucson is also known as a city of gastronomy and thus, has many excellent culinary experiences. Check out Tucson Foodie for suggestions on some of the best places in town.

Q: How can I contact the conference organizers?

For any inquiries or assistance, you can reach out to our support team at raregems2024@noirlab.edu.