By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Hilton Hotel coming to Cathedral Square

The Rio Nuevo Board unanimously voted to restructure its incentives for the Hilton Hotel at Cathedral Square project that will bring nearly 200 more hotel rooms to downtown.

At Fayth Hospitality Group’s request, the board reduced the tax rebate cap in the agreement in exchange for funds to help pay to move utilities that are near the project.

The project, at South Stone Avenue and East Ochoa Street, will include a 75-room Hampton Inn and a 123-room extended-stay Home2. Fayth Hospitalities’ Greg Fay says they hope to begin construction this summer and have the project completed in 16 to 18 months.

In other business:

Board Chairman Fletcher McCusker reiterates one of the goals of the Rio Nuevo district is to activate the vacant storefronts on East Congress Street. He says the board would welcome feedback or ideas to help fill vacancies from the Snake Bridge to the Fox Tucson Theatre.

The board unanimously agreed to move forward with providing incentives to a bar/restaurant development at 117 N. Sixth Avenue.

The board approved a lease of up to 25 years and a rebate of incremental site-specific sales taxes for the 1,700-square-foot location at North Sixth Avenue and East Pennington Street.

More information on these projects and downtown can be found at

St. Mary’s Hospital offers new procedure for dialysis patients

Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital is the first Arizona to offer a new, nonsurgical procedure to prepare kidney failure patients for dialysis treatment. The WavelinQ system uses radio frequency to create an arteriovenous fistula, an important step in creating an access point for dialysis treatment.

The new WavelinQ 6F EndoAVF system does not require open surgery of traditional AV fistula creation. It can be performed the hospital’s endovascular suite, according to Dr. Scott Berman, who performed the first WavelinQ procedures at St. Mary’s Hospital.

During dialysis, an artificial kidney is used to remove waste and extra chemicals and fluid from the blood. To get blood into the artificial kidney, a doctor must create an access point into the blood stream.

“Only two small punctures are needed for inserting catheters into the artery and vein. Magnets on the catheters pull them together and radiofrequency is applied, which makes a hole between the two to create the AV fistula,” Berman says. “Previously, this connection was done by making an incision in the forearm and suturing an artery and vein together.”

Connecting the artery and vein increases blood flow and causes the vein to grow. A larger vein allows the right amount of blood flow for a patient to receive sufficient dialysis treatment. Creating and maintaining this connection is crucial for patients to be able to receive life-sustaining dialysis.

Dialysis is needed for individuals who have end-stage kidney failure, which is typically when 85-90 percent of kidney function is lost.

Grijalva to speak at

Canoa Ranch

Rep. Raúl Grijalva will speak at a May 4 event at Green Valley’s Historic Canoa Ranch celebrating the Congressional designation of the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area focused on the Santa Cruz River from the Mexico border north to Pima County. The event begins at 9 a.m. and will include tours of the ranch, where Grijalva grew up.

The event recognizes the years of work by the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, the enduring support from Grijalva, and the community partners who endorsed this legislation. Also speaking at the event is Vanessa Bechtol, board president of the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance and senior director of community partnerships with Visit Tucson.

To RSVP, visit

‘Young Guns’ producer coming to Old Tucson

John Fusco, writer and producer for the “Young Gun” film series, will attend the Saturday, May 4, screening of “Young Guns 2” at Old Tucson. Fusco’s other writing credits include “The Forbidden Kingdom,” “The Shack,” “Hidalgo,” “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” and most recently, “The Highwaymen,” showing on Netflix.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m., with a preshow Q&A and autograph session, followed by the movie at 7 p.m. Tickets are $4-$5.

Old Tucson is located at 201 S. Kinney Road. For more information, visit

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort adds hydroponic lettuce garden

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort and Chef Ken Harvey have partnered with Merchant’s Garden to create an on-property hydroponic garden that will produce enough lettuce to service all of the needs of the resort. Harvey and the team took advantage of an underutilized storage space and created a revolutionary way to provide guests with the freshest possible lettuce while reducing waste and the resort’s carbon footprint.

“It is inspiring to work with the team at Loews Ventana Canyon who are truly visionaries in the experience they want to provide their guests,” says Chaz Shelton, co-founder, Merchant’s Garden.

“They have pushed us as growers and engineers to create new and unique ways to make food more accessible. Working with Loews is exciting and energizing because they are constantly looking to pioneer new ways of bringing better and fresher food to their guests.”