Here are some interesting “facts” about the Phoenix area. The following list, though intended to be authentic, has not been updated to ensure currency and those interested in verifying the items on the list are invited to do so!
Phoenix is not only a city in Arizona, it is also a city in New York, Maryland, and Oregon.
• It is illegal to hunt camels in the State of Arizona.
- Arizona once had a navy consisting of two boats on the Colorado River. They were used to prevent California from encroaching on Arizona territory.
- The name Arizona comes from the Indian “Arizonac” which means “little spring”.
• Phoenix averages 211 days of the sunshine per year.
- South Mountain Park covers more than 20,000 acres, making it the largest city park in the world.
- A saguaro cactus will take between 50 and 100 years to grow an arm. The saguaro cactus flower is the official state flower of Arizona.
- There are 11.2 million acres of National Forest in Arizona and one-fourth of the state is forested. The largest forest is comprised of Ponderosa Pine.
- The largest freshwater striped bass caught in Arizona was at Bullhead City. It weighed 59 lbs. 12 oz.
- In the City of Glendale, it is illegal for a car to back up.
- Someone who lives in Arizona is referred to as either an “Arizonan” or an “Arizonian”.
Brief Economy Profile (Local Economy)
At first, the Phoenix economy was agricultural. The cash crops in those early days were cotton and citrus products. In the last two decades, the economy has changed as rapidly as the population has grown. As the state capital of Arizona, many residents in the area are employed by the government. Arizona State University has also enhanced the area’s profile and prestige through education and its growing research capabilities. A number of high-tech and telecommunications companies have also chosen to move to the area.
The warm winter climate drives a great deal of seasonal tourism and recreation and the area is prepared to meet the wants and needs of area visitors. The Heard Museum does a tremendous job of preserving and presenting the Native American past with its displays and outstanding artwork collections. The Biltmore has upscale shops and wonderful restaurants. Golfing is big in Phoenix, with the area hosting many Professional Golf Association (PGA) events.
Phoenix is the home for major Fortune 500 companies Avnet, Inc. Electronics Corporation, Phelps Dodge Corporation mineral development specialists, and America West Airlines. Allied Waste Industries, Inc., the second largest non-hazardous solid waste management company in the country, also calls the area its home.
Luke Air Force Base, located to the west, is a large military installation. This Air Force Base that provides jobs and spending that ensure the economic stability to that area
Phoenix is also a popular location for all sorts of filming. Filming for TV and for the movie industry has been popular here for a long time. The city government operates a film office to assist those in motion picture and advertising companies who are interested in using city-owned sites or other locations throughout the metropolitan area in their productions.
Transportation (Getting around, Getting About)
Sky Harbor International Airport is located in the metro area near the intersections of I-10, I-17, US 60, and State Routes 51 and Loop 202. It is a southwestern hub for traffic by air and a center for all air travelers continuing further west or going to the east. It is the fifth largest airport in America. The airport serves more than 100 cities and carries more than 36 million people a year. The airport serves domestic and international customers with a number of major carriers.
The Williams Gateway Airport, an Air Force Base in Mesa recently converted to civilian use, also serves the area’s commercial air traffic. The conversion is an attempt to relieve Sky Harbor of some of the airport’s traffic and to carry passengers to local destinations.
Smaller airports that primarily handle private and corporate jets include the Scottsdale Municipal Airport in Scottsdale and the Falcon Field Airport in Mesa.
Public transportation throughout the metropolitan area is served by Valley Metro bus service that operates a series of buses and ride-share options. Valley Metro is currently building Valley Metro Rail, a light rail project. Several cities have expressed interest in commuter rail on existing railway lines and there are a series of proposals under consideration.
The road system in Phoenix is relatively new. This means that it has been laid out on a grid system so that most roads travel either north to south or east to west. I-10, called the Maricopa and Papago Freeways, starts all the way in Los Angeles and comes east through downtown Phoenix where it continues southeast towards Tucson.
I-17, known as the Black Canyon Freeway, begins in downtown Phoenix and travels north to Flagstaff. US 60, the Superstition Freeway, also travels through the center of the city, going to the northwest through the suburbs of Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise. It also exits to the east of downtown and continuing through Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Apache Junction. State Route Loop 101, named the Agua Fria, Price, and Pima Freeways along parts of its route, is also a major highway that forms a semicircle around the northern suburbs of the city. This ring starts from I-10 in the west and goes around to I-10, by way of State Route Loop 202, in the southeast.
But the rapid growth of the city has seen the need for even more access to, and about, the city. Phoenix continues to add to its highway system to better serve the public with Loop 202 and Loop 303 nearing completion.
Helpful Contact Information to Know (Getting Started)
Whether you are coming to Phoenix for a brief visit, to stay for a while or to settle down there are things that you will be interested in knowing about the area. Following are some links to sites that might be of interest to you; things to do, places to go and things you might need to get. Take a moment to look at the list of sites and see if any are useful to you as you get started on your Arizona adventure.
- For more detailed information about what’s happening right now in Phoenix. see http://copwww.ci.phoenix.az.us/
- Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, to find out more information about the local headlines and events see http://www.maricopa.gov
- Cox is one of the local cable and telephone providers in the Phoenix Metro area, click here to learn more about their services at http://www.cox.com
- Southwest Gas is the local natural gas provider, click here to learn more about their services and rates go to http://www.swgas.com
- Qwest is another local provider of telephone and internet access providers click here for more information about their services, including long-distance visit http://www.qwest.com
- APS is one of the local electricity providers in and around the Valley, click here to see if they service your area! http://www.aps.com
- SRP is another local electricity provider, click here to see if they service your area. Go to http://www.srpnet.com
Phoenix is simply BOOMING! It is a city of well over 1, 2 00,000 people.
The Central Phoenix area is, by all empirical indicia, a truly metropolitan city. The biggest draw to living in the Central Phoenix area is its proximity to many world-class restaurants and major sports venues. Just go to BOB (Bank One Ballpark) for Arizona Diamondback professional baseball games. The more intimate but no less accommodating America West Arena takes you in to see the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Rattlers, and Phoenix Mercury games.
So, do you prefer Mozart or Beethoven?
Herberger Theater provides dramatic presentation while that Phoenix Symphony Hall, Dodge Theater and Orpheum Theater provide symphonic performances of masterworks which are, in most cases, far more accessible than contemporary theater even attempts to be.
And then there are the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Science Center, Phoenix Civic Center, the Convention Center and much, much more. Phoenix is a big place; there is a little of everything here- you just may have to search a little bit.
Education (Schools and Learning)
Public education in the city of Phoenix is provided by 30 school districts.
The principal institution of higher education in the area is nationally renowned Arizona State University (ASU). ASU’s main campus is located in Tempe, but ASU is a large university with large satellite campuses in Phoenix and Mesa aw well. ASU is currently one of the largest public universities in the U.S., with a 2004 enrollment of 57,543.
The University of Phoenix is also headquartered in, you guessed it, Phoenix! This is the nation’s largest private, for-profit university. It reports an enrollment of well over 130,000 students in campuses throughout the United States and the world. (Foreign campus locations include Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands.)
There is also an extensive network of community colleges throughout the valley. These ten community colleges and two skills centers are sprinkled across Maricopa County in order to provide adult education and job training to the widest possible cross-section of scholars.