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Scottsdale, Arizona
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Scottsdale (O'odham Vaṣai S-vaṣonĭ; Yaqui Eskatel) is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. As of 2007 the population of the city was 240,410.[1] Scottsdale is regarded as an upscale tourist and shopping destination and as a representation of western American style. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene".[3]

Scottsdale is bordered to the west by Phoenix and Paradise Valley, to the north by Carefree, to the south by Tempe, and to the east by Fountain Hills and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Scottsdale was originally inharited by Hohokam. From 800 AD to 1400 AD, this ancient civilization farmed the area and built irrigation canals.

Before European settlement, Scottsdale was a Pima village known as Vaṣai Svaṣonĭ, meaning "rotting hay."[citation needed] Some Pima remained in their original homes well into the 20th century. For example, until the late 1960s, there was a still-occupied traditional dwelling on the southeast corner of Indian Bend Road and Hayden Road.[original research?] By now, however, all Pima have either been priced out of town or moved into newer homes within Scottsdale; primarily South Scottsdale, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, or elsewhere.

The Hohokam's legacy is their creation of more than 125 miles (200 km) of canals to provide water for their agricultural needs. The remnants of this ancient irrigation system were adapted and improved upon in 1868 by the first Anglo company to stake a claim in the Valley of the Sun, when Jack Swilling set up the Swilling Irrigation Canal Company. Twenty years later, Scottsdale's future would turn sharply upwards, when a U.S. Army Chaplain, Winfield Scott, paid the paltry sum of $2.50 an acre for a 640-acre (2.6 km2) stretch of land where the city is now located. Winfield's brother, George Washington Scott, was the first resident of the town that was then known as Orangedale and later changed to Scottsdale in 1894.

In 1937, internationally renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright set up his "winter camp" at the foot of the McDowell Mountains, creating what is now known as Taliesin West. Scottsdale, and the rest of Phoenix, have seen an everlasting influence from Frank Lloyd Wright. Many buildings throughout the region were designed by the famous architect. Today, a Frank Lloyd Wright memorial stands in North Scottsdale and a major street bears his name.

The city was incorporated in 1951. The seal, depicting a mounted cowboy surrounded by a 64-pointed starburst, was designed by Mrs. Gene Brown Pennington.[4]

From the 1950s through the 1970s, several large manufacturing companies in the Scottsdale and Tempe areas used the solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) in their manufacturing and operating processes.[5] In 1981, TCE began to show up in two Scottsdale drinking wells, and in 1983, the Indian Bend Wash superfund site was listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List.[5] Physical construction of cleanup systems was completed by 2006, with soil cleanup expected to be completed in five years and groundwater cleanup completed in 30 years.[5]

Real estate development had begun in what is now the Old Town area, and moved south.[citation needed] With Phoenix bordering the west and an Indian reservation bordering the east, the town (which is now the long, narrow, extreme southern portion of Scottsdale) developed its narrow shape, stopped by Tempe in the south, and an enormous privately owned ranch, McCormick Ranch to the north. Indian Bend Wash, a rarely flowing river (completely dry otherwise), bisected the city lengthwise, and the normally dry riverbed carried a significant river of water during what were supposed to be rare periods of heavy rains, so called "99 year floods", flowing into the long dammed up Salt River. As the city was home to mostly lower middle class suburbanites, there was no money for bridges over such a rarely running, normally dry river, so even major roads that crossed it simply ran right down into the river bed and out the other side. It flowed several times in the 60s during a succession of floods that were only supposed to occur every 99 years.

As Indian Bend Wash flowed more and more frequently in the late 1960s, federal tax dollars were allocated to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to cement Indian Bend Wash as a large canal, and build bridges over it, similar to the storm drains of Los Angeles, but using wider canals. Doing so would allow the condemnation and purchase of the houses that had been built in the wash, that the Federal government was required, under the Federal flood insurance laws at the time, to rebuild each time the wash flowed. However, it was believed that grass would channel the water as effectively as a cement canal, and a vote was held to determine whether the city should use the federal money allocated for the cement canal to build a system of parks and golf courses in the bottom of Indian Bend Wash instead of a cement canal. Because it would bisect the long narrow city, this system of parks and golf courses would be within biking range of nearly every child in the city and very near houses and condos in which retirees might want to live. [6]

However, the Army Corps favored the canal as a tried and true approach, the idea of grass to channel flood water in a wash was untried, the grass would have to be watered, and the mud from the now more frequently flowing wash would have to be removed from the parks when it flowed, increasing maintenance costs. Although it would require increased property taxes to maintain that the cement canal would not, and was somewhat controversial at the time, the city voted to install the system of parks and golf courses in the Wash, a move that was seen as bold, by a city that was at that time, not particularly wealthy. The park and golf course system was built in such a way as to minimize damage when the water flowed, placing buildings up high on berms, and leaving the remainder as grass, ponds or streams, relatively immune from water damage. The system worked as a flood control channel, and has been retained as parkland or golf courses ever since. The success of the park and golf course system paid off: because the parks and golf courses followed closely on the heels of the mass production of affordable heat pump air conditioners in the 1950s, Scottsdale quickly became a city to which families and retirees wanted to move. The city, still relatively poor, overspent on the park system, building the El Dorado public pool in a protected berm at one edge of the wash, for example, and ran out of federal money to build all of the bridges over the wash. However, the channeling of the wash allowed condos to be built in places along its newly narrowed western border, and money from the taxes paid on the newly usable land was used to finally complete the bridges years later.[7]

Its money having been spent on the park system, the city of Scottsdale allowed the downtown area, immediately to the east of the central shopping district on Scottsdale Road to decay, and by the early 1970s, the area became a swath of old abandoned wooden buildings with broken windows. However, shortly after the park system was built, Ms. McCormick, the owner of McCormick Ranch, died, and instead of preserving the ranch as mostly scrub land, the McCormick ranch/Scottsdale Ranch area of Scottsdale was developed into homes and business parks, and began to generate tax revenues for the city. Because of the rising status of the city from the newly-built parks and golf course system, the developers were able to upgrade the houses they built in what became the McCormick Ranch/Scottsdale Ranch portions of the city, which opened up Scottsdale to the north and added a wide eastern portion, bulging on the middle of the map shown above. The nouveau riche that quickly filled these more expensive homes became the butt of many jokes and the source of the "Snottsdale" or "Snobbsdale" nickname. Nevertheless, the tax money that the city received from the development of McCormick Ranch was used to purchase the dilapidated area adjacent to Old Town via its powers of eminent domain, demolish the few remaining wooden buildings that had not by then been burned to the ground by vandals, and build a performing arts center and a restaurant row in place of part of it. The upscale locally owned restaurants that had been leaving the downtown area because of the blight were invited to be the first tenants in the restaurant row if they stayed in the area in the difficult years in which it and the arts center were built, and when the arts center and restaurants opened in the late to mid 1970s, it became another draw for the city.[citation needed]
View of suburban development in Scottsdale

Seeing the once narrow city of Scottsdale annex area to the north and east, the city of Phoenix annexed a then undeveloped six foot wide, miles long stretch of county land north of Phoenix, immediately to the west of McCormick Ranch, effectively extending that western boundary for miles. Because city services would have to be provided on any annexed land, the merely 6-foot (1.8 m) wide limit allowed Phoenix to annex the portion inexpensively, yet the annexation effectively blocked Scottsdale[citation needed]

During this period, the city government of Scottsdale was seen as one with progressive ideas. To the dismay of many businesses, the city passed one of the earliest sign ordinances, restricting the size and height of signs and billboards. The city stated it was protecting the safety of its residents, which it claimed were getting into traffic accidents craning their necks to see higher signs. The ordinance was highly controversial at the time and the city was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, but now such ordinances are common. Scottsdale also contracted out its fire department in what was to be a wave of the privatization of operations of city government that never materialized. Afraid of lawsuits if it used the red color of firetrucks of other cities in the U.S., the company that took over the contract painted the fire engines chartreuse. The city also developed the first robot arm garbage truck, replacing crews who dumped cans into a train of open trailers pulled by a truck, with a single operator sitting in an air conditioned cab.[8]

From its official incorporation in 1951 with a population of 2000, the town of Scottsdale has grown to a 2007 Census of 240,710. It is now the state's sixth-largest city. Scottsdale is commonly defined by its high quality of life, and in 1993 was named the "Most Livable City", in the United States by the United States Conference of Mayors.[9] This title is notoriously lampooned across the state because of the high cost of living in Scottsdale. It is continually ranked as one of the premier golf and resort destinations in the world, with a sizable portion of tax revenue being derived from tourism. It is also home to the FBR Open Golf Tournament held at the Tournament Players Club, which carries the distinction of the best-attended event on the PGA Tour.[citation needed]
[edit] Geography

The city is located in the Salt River Valley, or the, "Valley of the Sun", in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert. Immediately to the east and northeast of Scottsdale is the McDowell Mountain Range. Scottsdale borders the city of Phoenix and town of Paradise Valley to the west, Tempe to the south, and Fountain Hills to the east.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 477.7 km² (184.4 mi²). 477.1 km² (184.2 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it (0.12%) is water.


The city is loosely divided into four areas: South Scottsdale (McKellips Road north to Thomas Road).[12], Old Town (Downtown) Scottsdale, Central Scottsdale (also known as the "Shea Corridor", extending from Chaparral Road north to Shea Boulevard), and North Scottsdale. The real estate market in Scottsdale is among the most expensive in the United States. In 2005, both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley were among the top ten markets in the nation for luxury home sales, and the only two cities outside of California. Paradise Valley was ranked ninth with $637 million in luxury home sales, while Scottsdale was ranked tenth with $594 million in luxury home sales.[13]
Old Town Scottsdale

South Scottsdale has been known for many years as more or less the working class region of Scottsdale, although today it is transforming into a dynamic urban area. It contains the major nightlife for the area and is a major art center of metro Phoenix. The median resale home price is $291,500, compared to $667,450 in North Scottsdale.[14] A portion of McDowell Road in South Scottsdale used to be known as '"Motor Mile,'" having at one time 31 dealerships represented along the street. The strip, at one time, generated over $10 million in sale tax revenue each year and was one of the most profitable auto-miles in the United States. In recent years, many of these dealerships have left the city, including 6 in 2008 alone. [15][16] South Scottsdale will also soon be home to a new research center for Arizona State University, known as Sky Song. [17] The development has attracted the research and development arms of a number of international corporations.[18]

Old Town Scottsdale is an area with many streets, old fashion stores, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and western art galleries evoking the old cowboy era. Scottsdale's main cultural district is also in this area, which includes the high-end Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, one of the twenty largest malls in the United States,[19]. The district has currently seen a revival, with new condominiums and hotels under construction.
The Shea corridor seen from Spot Satellite.

The Shea Corridor is so named because it is in close proximity to the east-west running Shea Boulevard. The homes in this region were generally built during the 1970s. Real estate in the Shea Corridor (Central Scottsdale) has increased during the 1990s, and overall, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale real estate market saw the largest gain in home prices in the nation during the mid-2000s, with a 38.4% increase in value.[20] There are a number of communities in this central region of Scottsdale that remain among the most highly-desired residential areas in the metropolitan area, including Gainey Ranch and McCormick Ranch. A large portion of Scottsdale Road in the Shea Corridor has been dubbed the Resort Corridor for the high number of resorts locating on the street. The second Ritz Carlton in the Phoenix metropolitan area will be constructed along this corridor.[21][22]

North Scottsdale is currently the most actively developed area of Scottsdale as it was historically the least built up. This portion of the city also claims many of the most expensive homes in the country, with many exceeding $5 million in value. The city's borders rapidly expand to the east and west in this area, containing the McDowell Mountain range. Much of the residential boom in North Scottsdale is driven by the fast growth of Scottsdale Airpark, the second largest employment center in the Phoenix metropolitan, and estimated to become the largest by 2010. [23] The Scottsdale Airpark, home to over 55,000 employees, 2,600 businesses and 23,000,000 square feet (2,100,000 m2) of office space is expected to continue growing by over 3,000 employees per year.[24] Many important companies are headquartered or have regional headquarters in the park, including AXA, GE Capital, DHL, Discount Tire Company, Fidelity Investments, JDA Software and The Vanguard Group.
[edit] Demographics
Historical populations
Census Pop.
1930 1,047

1940 2,761 163.7%
1950 2,032 −26.4%
1960 10,026 393.4%
1970 67,823 576.5%
1980 88,622 30.7%
1990 130,075 46.8%
2000 202,705 55.8%
Est. 2007 235,677 16.3%

As of the census[26] of 2000, there were 202,705 people, 290,669 households, and 94,492 families residing in the city. The population density was 424.9/km² (1,100.4/mi²). There were 104,974 housing units at an average density of 220.0/km² (569.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.19% White, 1.23% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 1.96% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. 6.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 290,669 households out of which 22.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.79.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.3% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $57,484, and the median income for a family was $73,846. The per capita income for the city was $39,158. About 3.4% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $70,533, and the median income for a family was $92,289.[27]
[edit] Economy
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See also: List of major corporations in Phoenix

The tourism industry is Scottsdale's primary employer, accounting for 39% of the city's workforce. In 2005, Scottsdale attracted over 7.5 million visitors to the city, providing an economic impact of over $3.1 billion.[28] The city of Scottsdale by itself is home to more than 70 resorts and hotels, boasting over 15,000 hotel rooms. This large hospitality market primarily caters to a higher-end, white-collar demographic.

The city of Scottsdale is second only to New York City as having more AAA Five-Diamond hotels and resorts than any other city in the United States. In 2008, AAA bestowed five such properties in Scottsdale with the highest honor: The Phoenician, The Canyon Suites, Scottsdale Camelback Inn, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, and the Fairmont Princess Resort and Spa.[29]

Due to the area's high concentration of full-service hotels and resorts, other major tourism-based industries have flourished as a result, most notably with the abundance of first-class golf courses, destination spas, and of course the corporate meeting, convention and conference market. Many national and international companies consider Scottsdale one of the top destinations for such events.

Scottsdale boasts the highest number of destination spas per capita of any city in the United States, further pushing Scottsdale's already robust national reputation as premiere destination for tourism and leisure.[30]

The region's year-round warm weather and abundant sunshine is a major factor in Scottsdale's tourism appeal. In particular, during the winter season, when thousands of wealthy tourists from the midwest, the northeast, and as far away as Canada, flood the area with long-term visits (known locally as "snowbirds"). These tourists, who often practice the same migration routine annually, also often end up purchasing second homes in the area.[31]

Over the past several years however, Scottsdale's growing abundance of trendy, high-end nightlife, upscale restaurants, art galleries and luxury shopping, has made it a highly popular travel destination for the younger white-collar, and more style-conscious, travel set.

The famed Mayo Clinic has one of its three major branches in Scottsdale.[32] This and its resulting effects have made Scottsdale a strong destination nationally for medical care.

The aviation industry has also grown in Scottsdale, with the construction of Scottsdale Airport in North Scottsdale, in the 1960s. Today, the airport is one the busiest single-runway airports in the United States in terms of aircraft operations. Though there is little to no commercial air service, nearly all operations are corporate or general aviation.

The immediate area surrounding the Scottsdale Airport, known locally as the The Airpark-area has developed rapidly as a regional center of commerce. By 2004, The Airpark-area had grown to become the second-largest employment center in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, with over 50,000 people being employed within a few-mile radius of the airport itself - notably in financial, retail, service, technological, design and manufacturing fields. The Airpark-area currently houses more nearly 2,500 individual businesses in all, with a combined economic impact of over $3 billion annually, and growing.

The largest employment center in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area is currently the combined central areas of Midtown and Downtown Phoenix, with an estimated 65,000 employees. Considering the many large, yet-to-be-developed parcels and opportunities for growth in and around the still highly-desired Airpark-area in North Scottsdale, it is expected to overtake the central Phoenix markets in the near future, becoming the single largest center of employment in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
[edit] Arts and culture
Scottsdale Arts District, adjacent to Old Town, showcasing Ed Mell's sculpture Jack Knife

Scottsdale is known nationally and abroad for its art and cultural amenities. Though generally high-end and affluent in nature and product, the local art community remains very diverse. A national capitol of Southwestern art and culture (the city often competes with Santa Fe, New Mexico for this bragging right), the city has more recently become a large and well-respected mecca for the modern and contemporary arts. In 2005, the city's annual Scottsdale Arts Festival was ranked the number-one such event in United States by American Style Magazine.[33]

The highest concentrations of galleries, studios and museums that are open to the public can be found in Downtown Scottsdale. Its Scottsdale Arts District can be segmented into three distinct districts. The largest is the Main Street Arts District, home to the largest and most diverse collection of styles and genres, the more contemporary Marshall Way Arts District, and the more touristy and western-themed Old Town district. The very popular Scottsdale Artwalk is held weekly, every Thursday evening.

Due to such a large concentration of high-end amenities and businesses that exist in the city, over the generations Scottsdale has developed a noted reputation both locally and somewhat nationally for having a certain snobby air about its residents. Many outsiders often mockingly refer to the city by its alter-ego "Snobsdale."[34][35]

Scottsdale's affluent culture has been depicted by shows such as MTV's My Super Sweet 16, which filmed an episode in the area in 2006, and by the short-lived CBS reality show Tuesday Night Book Club.[34][36] In 2008, a local radio disc jockey Craven Moorehead, parodied the Flobot's alternative hit "Handlebars" to make fun of the trendy, supercilious nightlife culture in Scottsdale. The opening and closing line "I can ride my bike with no handle bars" was replaced with the parodied "I'm a big douche at the Scottsdale bars." The parody became an immediate local hit and was placed in heavy rotation.
[edit] Annual cultural events and fairs

The West's Most Western Town prides itself in its rich Western history, preserving while heavily promoting its plethora of "western" activities and events. The internationally renowned Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show has been a Scottsdale tradition since 1955. Today, the show attracts thousands of visitors and tourists, hoping to catch a glimpse of nearly 2000 purebred Arabian and Half-Arabian horses competing for various prizes and recognition. The show also features over 300 vendors and exhibitions, and over 25 demonstrations and shows.[37]

Perhaps the most famous present-day "cowboy" event is the Scottsdale Jaycees Parada del Sol, an annual month-long event that has been held in Scottsdale since 1954. Originally named The Sunshine Festival, the PRCA Rodeo was added in 1956. Cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation converge in Scottsdale to participate in this cultural and historical event. The event begins each year with the Parada del Sol Parade, the world's largest horse-drawn parade with over 150 entries in any given year.[38]

Every January for neary forty years, the city of Scottsdale has been home to one of the largest and most well-attended auto auctions in the world, the Barrett-Jackson Auto Show. Due to the success of this annual week-long event, the organizers behind it have more recently inaugurated similar but smaller shows in Palm Beach, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada. Now held at the expansive West World exhibition complex in North Scottsdale, the event is an auto enthusiast's and collector's spectacle, attracting those from around the world. The show is known for featuring both exotic, luxury automobiles and historic vehicles which have been expertly restored to mint condition.

In what is considered to be the longest continually running festival of its kind in the nation, the very popular Scottsdale Culinary Festival is held annually during the month of April. Though many of its individual events are held city-wide, they concentrate in the downtown area. Entirely, it is estimated that the week-long festival draws over 40,000 people.[39] The most heavily attended such event is the festival's Great Arizona Picnic, an outdoor fair-like showcase of both well-known local and national chefs and restaurants. It is held on the lawn of the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall.

The annual Scottsdale International Film Festival, is the undisputed Arizona leader in the use of film to foster a meaningful understanding of the world’s cultures, lifestyles, religions, and ethnicities.