It’s been another phenomenal year for Arizona.
Thanks to the contributions of Arizonans, business leaders and their workers, we continue to see economic growth, new residents, head-turning recruitments of major companies and a booming, blossoming state.
This year was also a reminder that we can’t take any of it for granted. We had to play defense on the policy front, protecting the state from misinformation by the national media on our water supply, bad decisions by the federal government that impacted our trade and tourism with Mexico, and continuous efforts to shut down jobs and economic activity.
It’s a good time to remember there’s so much to love about Arizona. So, here are just a few of our favorite things about State 48.
This time of year is a reminder of why we live here. Arizona is crisp and fabulous, and will only get better as we head into January and February. We love trolling our friends in other states – here you don’t need to shovel sunshine! If you can make it through a Phoenix summer, with short weekend trips to Flagstaff and Northern Arizona, you’re a native – and the wait for the winter is always well worth it.
With 70 percent of adults born somewhere else, Arizona is the land of newcomers. This is a chosen home for millions. That makes Arizona one of the most welcoming states in the country for people from everywhere, including other counties. A common refrain as parties and events is – “So where are you from?” Here, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is welcome, without judgment – and that makes it a great place to launch a business or start a career.
All those newcomers make this an ultra-friendly place. Go for a walk, and people say “hi” to strangers. Smiles run aplenty in Arizona. Maybe it’s all the midwesterners who now call this place home, but Arizona is one place where people are rarely in a bad mood – even in triple digit temperatures.
Whether it’s the Diamondbacks making it to the World Series, the Valley Rallying for the Phoenix Suns and the Mercury, Super Bowls galore or Spring Training – Arizona has become a sports mecca. There’s something to root for all year – from taking in a Cardinals game in the West Valley to the Coyotes in the East Valley. And that doesn’t even include college sports, or the Waste Management Phoenix Open! For sports lovers, Arizona is a destination 365 days a year!
Technology and Innovation
From driverless cars to semiconductors, Arizona has outpaced every other state and city when it comes to leading the way on technology. Thanks to the leadership of the Arizona Commerce Authority, our universities, and entrepreneurs, this is a hub for innovation and the economy of the future. If George Jetsen was looking for a new home – Arizona would be the perfect place.
We sometimes take it for granted, but this place is amazingly beautiful. From the Grand Canyon to the Chiricahuas, our landscape is incredible. Our sunsets, and morning sunrises, simply take your breath away. With so much diverse landscape, you can be in the desert, or surrounded by pine trees, on the same day. This is truly a special place.
If you’re a foodie – this is the best to be. Our constant growth means there is always a new restaurant opening. And thanks in large part to Chris Bianco, we are now the No. 1 pizza destination in America. From traditional Mexican fare to the top steakhouses in the nation, Arizona is a food destination like no other.
From Broadway shows and local theater, to diverse cultural events and our native American heritage, Arizona is a melting pot of art, culture and history. Major concerts every week, and museums like the Heard in Phoenix or Tucson’s DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, make this a well-rounded state for all tastes.
It’s no wonder Sky Harbor International Airport was just named by the Wall Street Journal as the No. 1 airport in America. Whether it’s the short taxi times, fewer delays, great dining options, or its central location – Sky Harbor has it all. For business travelers or globe trotters, you’re always just one direct flight away from your next international meeting, or sipping an umbrella drink beachside.
We’ve been able to responsibly build one of the largest metro areas in the country in the middle of the desert thanks to wise planning, conservation and cutting edge technology. The national media often gets it wrong on this front. Arizona is more responsible than any other state in its water planning, and it’s paved the way for growth and prosperity. For Arizona, the best is yet to come!
Danny Seiden is President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.