Phoenix Community Profile:
Phoenix, known as the Valley of the Sun, is the seventh largest city in the nation. The hub of the rapidly growing Southwest, it is Arizona’s capital and the county seat. In 1867, Phoenix founder Jack Swilling formed a canal company and diverted irrigation water from the Salt River. In 1911, Roosevelt Dam was completed and water supplies were stabilized. Phoenix’s explosive growth began during World War II when military airfields were built in Maricopa County and many defense industries followed. The name Phoenix-legendary Egyptian symbol of rebirth-was chosen because the city was built on the ruins of the Hohokam Indian civilization whose farmers dug irrigation canals still in use today.
Principal Economic Activities:
Phoenix has a diversified economic base. Manufacturing is a leading employer, with electronics a strong component. The area currently ranks third nationally among electronic production centers. Tourism is an important income producer. Many world-class hotels and resorts cater to visitors. Over 45 percent of total employment is in the retail trade and service sectors. Major corporation with national headquarters her include Phelps Dodge, Viad, Aztar, U-Haul, Avnet, Swift, PetSmart and Cavco.
Professional sports flourish here: Diamondbacks (MLB), Cardinals (NFL), Suns (NBA), Coyotes (NHL), and Mercury (WNBA). Each spring Cactus League baseball games feature the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners. Downtown Phoenix is home to Phoenix Civic Plaza, the Convention Center, Phoenix Symphony Hall, America West Arena, Bank One Ballpark, the Herberger and Orpheum theaters, Arizona Science Center, and a variety of museums. There are excellent symphony, opera and ballet companies, and theater groups. South Mountain Park is the world’s largest municipal park with horseback riding, hiking trails and a fabulous view of the city. Papago Park is home to the Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Gardens, an 18-hole golf course, and fishing lakes.
The City of Phoenix offers a broad range of community and cultural facilities. There are 47 art galleries, 11 libraries (plus bookmobile service), 16 museums, 138 parks (with seven desert mountain areas), over 1,200 clubs and organizations, and a civic plaza with Convention Center and Symphony Hall seating 2,557 persons.
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