Safeway Grant Turned Into Student Experiences


Using funds received through the Safeway Educational Grant Program, the Payson Marketing Program visited and experienced the Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa, Salt River Fields, the Talking Stick Resort, Cabela’s and the Safeway Distribution Center and Milk Processing Plant.

In October, 50 students from different levels of classes toured and learned about retail sporting goods firsthand while being shown around the giant Cabela’s store in Glendale. The students learned about top of the line customer service, advertising, and store operations from Cabela’s store staff.

In February, students in the Introduction to Marketing classes toured and learned about the Safeway Distribution Center and Milk Processing Plant in Tempe. Students observed the sterile environment inside the milk plant, with everyone wearing hair nets — including the students.

They watched as the milk and containers were united on the processing line and learned that the milk plant could process 150,000 gallons of milk a day.

Students also strolled through the 1-million-square-foot distribution center and saw how food is delivered to more than 150 Safeway stores in the Southwest.

Students observed the handling of frozen foods, produce, perishables and dry goods and how they are all stored, picked and shipped.

In March, 36 students toured the Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Chandler.

The Gila Indians built this high-class resort. Students learned the resort has the only, 5-Star, 5-Diamond rated restaurant in Arizona.

The restaurant loses money, but makes it up from banquet and meeting facilities that can feed as many as 9,000 people at a time.

The interior of the resort had a Native American motif with real artifacts and décor. Amenities included three pools and a 2.5-mile, 10-foot deep, man-made river. The staff taught the students the history, employment opportunities, marketing and many other aspects of the resort’s operations.

“I loved their attention to every detail,” commented Madi Flake.

At the end of March, students from the Advanced Marketing and Sports and Entertainment classes journeyed to the Arizona Diamondbacks new spring training facility, Salt River Fields.

There, they met with sports marketing representatives and were given an in-depth tour of the facility.

This facility is not owned by the Diamondbacks. It was built by, is owned and operated by the Maricopa Pima Indians and is located on the Talking Stick Reservation. The first spring training facility on an Indian Reservation, it cost $125 million and the Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies have 25-year leases.

The tour included on site restaurants, the night club/entertainment center, meeting rooms, the 15th floor exclusive restaurant Orange Sky that has a negative edge pool, an outdoor pool with cabana area, and an explanation of their marketing philosophies.

The class was invited to eat lunch at their buffet. Jordyn Fruth said, “I was very impressed by their Customer Relations Management program; they really take care of their customers.”

After the tour, students attended a Diamondbacks spring training game against the Cubs to watch first hand marketing and promotions in action.

As Nick McMullen stated after the trip, “It was not only fun, but it was extremely educational learning how real-world marketing and promotion is put into play.”


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