All About Scottsdale, Arizona Geographic Area
Scottsdale (O'odham Vaṣai S-vaṣonĭ; Yaqui Eskatel) is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2010 the population of the city was 217,385. 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".
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.
The Scottsdale area was originally inhabited by the Hohokam, one of the four major prehistoric archeological cultures in the region that is now the American Southwest. From 800 AD to 1400 AD, this ancient civilization farmed the area and built irrigation canals, constructing more than 125 miles (201 km) of canals, much of which remains extant today.
Before European settlement, Scottsdale was a Pima village known as Vaṣai S-vaṣonĭ, meaning "rotting hay." 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. Currently, those Pima who live within Scottsdale reside in newer homes rather than traditional dwellings. Many Pima and Maricopa people continue to reside on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which borders Scottsdale directly to the east.
The first white company staked claim in the region in 1868. Jack Swilling set up the Swilling Irrigation Canal Company to refurbish and improve upon the ancient irrigation system originally constructed by the Hohokam. However, the influx of Anglos would not significantly increase until twenty years later. In the early 1880s, U.S. Army Chaplain, Winfield Scott, who was lured in to help promote Phoenix and the surrounding area, was impressed with the region and 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, became the first resident of the town, which was then known as Orangedale. The Scott brothers were known as adept farmers, capable of cultivating citrus fruits, figs, potatoes, peanuts and almonds in the desert town. Scott was known to have encouraged others to create a desert farming community in the region. The town's name was changed to Scottsdale in 1894.
By 1912, the Ingleside Inn, located just south of the Arizona Canal and west of the Crosscut Canal (Indian School Road at about 64th Street) in what is today Scottsdale was billed as metro Phoenix's first resort.
Also in 1912, both the Phoenix Street Railway Company and a competitor, the Salt River Valley Electric Railway Company, proposed building streetcar lines to Scottsdale but due to an economic downturn, neither was built.
In 1937, internationally renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright set up his "winter camp" at the foot of the McDowell Mountains, establishing 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. His significant influence on the regional architecture is commemorated through a major street which bears his name and a 125-foot (38 m) spire memorial in North Scottsdale.
The city was incorporated on June 25, 1951. The seal, depicting a mounted cowboy surrounded by a 64-pointed starburst, was designed by Mrs. Gene Brown Pennington.
Indian Bend Wash, a rarely flowing river (completely dry otherwise), bisects the city lengthwise. However, the normally dry riverbed occasionally carried a significant river of water during rare but recurring periods of heavy rains, also known as the "99 Year Floods", which flowed into the long dammed up Salt River. Due to its population primarily composed of lower middle class suburbanites at the time, the city lacked funds to construct bridges over the rarely running, normally dry river.
In the 1960s, the Indian Bend Wash flowed more and more frequently, creating a succession of floods several times over the decade that were only supposed to occur every 99 years. Federal tax dollars were allocated to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to cement Indian Bend Wash as a large canal, and build bridges, similar to the storm drains of Los Angeles, but using wider canals. This would permit the condemnation and purchase of homes 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 later determined that grass could channel the water as effectively as a cement canal, and a vote was held to determine whether to allocate Federal money towards a system of parks and golf courses or a cement canal.
Despite the community's support for the system of parks and golf courses, the Army Corps favored the canal as a tried and true approach. The concept of utilizing grass to channel flood water in a wash was untried and feared to increase maintenance and upkeep costs. In a controversial move, the city ultimately voted to install the system of parks and golf courses in the Wash. The system of parks and golf courses which worked as flood control channel became known as the Scottsdale Greenbelt. The Scottsdale Greenbelt was extremely successful, coinciding with the mass production of affordable heat pump air conditioners in the 1950s. Scottsdale quickly became a popular city for new family and retiree transplants. Today, the 12-mile (19 km) long Scottsdale Greenbelt connects four city parks - Vista del Camino Park, Eldorado Park, Indian School Park and Chaparral Park - through a 25-mile (40 km) bike path.
Having allocated the majority of its budget towards the park system, Scottsdale allowed the downtown area, immediately to the east of the central shopping district on Scottsdale Road to decay. By the early 1970s, downtown Scottsdale had severely deteriorated and left with abandoned wooden buildings. However, in 1970, Anne McCormick, the owner of McCormick Ranch, a 4,236 acre ranch serving much of the eastern boundary of Scottsdale, died. The property was sold to Kaiser-Aetna for $12.1 million. In coordination with the city, Kaiser-Aetna developed a master plan for the property. At the time, the sale of McCormick Ranch was the country's largest single piece of property sold for a planned community within city limits. The McCormick Ranch/Scottsdale Ranch area was developed into homes, recreational parks and business parks. The planned community also opened with three resorts, two 18-hole golf courses and 130 man-made lakes, two of which used for sailing and many stocked with fish.
Because of the rising status of the city, the developers were able to upgrade the homes built in what became the McCormick Ranch/Scottsdale Ranch portions of the city, which subsequently 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 earned the city several nicknames, including "Snottsdale" or "Snobbsdale". Nevertheless, the tax money derived from the development of McCormick Ranch was used to purchase the dilapidated area adjacent to Old Town via eminent domain. The Scottsdale Center for the Arts was constructed with the funds, spurring private development in the area, which is now filled with restaurants.
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. 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. 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.
To the dismay of many businesses, in the early 1970s, 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.
From its official incorporation in 1951 with a population of 2000, the city of Scottsdale has grown to a 2010 Census of 217,385. 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. 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 Phoenix Open Golf Tournament held at the Tournament Players Club every year and the Barrett Jackson car show held at WestWorld.
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 184.4 square miles (478 km2). 184.2 square miles (477 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.12%) is water.
Scottsdale's climate is arid. Winters are mild and summers are extremely hot. The lowest temperature ever recorded in the city is 19.0 °F (−7.2 °C), on February 20, 1955, and the highest temperature ever recorded was 119 °F (48 °C), on June 26, 1972.
The city is loosely divided into four areas: South Scottsdale (McKellips Road north to Thomas Road), Old Town (Downtown) Scottsdale, Central Scottsdale (also known as the "Shea Corridor", extending from Camelback 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, Scottsdale was among the top ten markets in the nation for luxury home sales, and one of two cities outside of California. Scottsdale was ranked tenth with $594 million in luxury home sales.:
South Scottsdale has for many years been the working class region of Scottsdale, although today it is gentrifying. 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. 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. South Scottsdale is the home to a new research center for Arizona State University, known as SkySong, a collaboration between the university, local business, and global companies. The development has attracted the research and development arms of a number of international corporations.
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,. The district has currently seen a revival, with new condominiums and hotels under construction.
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. 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.
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 Arizona, 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 available land to build coupled with the fast growth of Scottsdale Airpark, the second largest employment center in the Phoenix metropolitan, and estimated to become the largest by 2010. 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. Many important companies are headquartered or have regional headquarters in the park, including AXA, GE Capital, DHL, Discount Tire Company, Fidelity Investments, JDA Software, GoDaddy.com, and The Vanguard Group.
As of the census of 2010, there were 217,385 people, there are 69,967 owner-occupied housing, 32,306 renter occupied, and 101,273 households residing in the city. The population density was 1,181.4 inhabitants per square mile (455.6/km²). There were 124,001 housing units at an average density of 673.9 per square mile (259.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.27% White, 1.67% Black or African American, 0.80% Native American, 3.33% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 2.54% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. 8.84% of the population were Mexcian or Latino of any race.
There were 101,290 households out of which 20.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them. According the 2010 census 51.7% of Scottsdale's population were females, while 48.3% were males. In the city the population was spread out with 17.7% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 20 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 49, 22.8% from 50 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years.
Scottsdale lies within the Congressional District 5, within the county subdivision of Phoenix, (which it also sits northeast to) that houses over 2,972,357 people and is in Maricopa County which holds a population of 3,817,117. North of Via Linda, and east of Frank Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in the neighborhoods of Sonoran Arroyos North, Ancala, Mountainview Ranch and McDowell Mountain Ranch is the most populous place in Scottsdale with 6,736 people. The least populous place according to the census is McDowell Mountain Regional Park, being home to only four residents. The center of population is in McCormick Ranch, which is north of Via de Ventura or Doubletree Ranch Road south of Shea Boulevard east of Hayden Road and west of 90th Street; within this vicinity there are currently 4,911 people.
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. The per capita income for the city was $49,158. 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.
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. 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 third, after New York City and Las Vegas respectively, as having the most AAA Five-Diamond hotels and resorts 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.
Scottsdale boasts the highest number of destination spas per capita of any city in the United States.
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.
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. 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 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.
Among the companies headquartered in Scottsdale are APL, Dial, Fender, Go Daddy, Kahala, Kona Grill, Medicis, Paradise Bakery & Café, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Rural Metro, iCrossing, Discount Tire, and Taser.
According to the City's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
In 2005, the city's annual Scottsdale Arts Festival was ranked the number-one such event in United States by American Style Magazine.
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 Scottsdale 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, which has the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. 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 "Snottsdale."
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. 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.
"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 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show has been a tradition since 1955. Today, the show attracts thousands of visitors and tourists, to see 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.
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.
Every January for nearly forty years, the city of Scottsdale has been home to 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. The show is known for featuring both exotic, luxury automobiles and historic vehicles which have been expertly restored to mint condition.
For the past three years, Scottsdale has been hosting elite and ultra high fashion shows in the annual Scottsdale Fashion Week which are comparable to those of New York City, including top-of-the-line fashion designers during the month of November.
In what is considered to be the longest continually running festival of its kind in the nation, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival is held annually during 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. 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, concentrates in the use of film to foster of the world’s cultures, lifestyles, religions, and ethnicities.
Scottsdale is home to more than 125 professional art galleries and studios, one of the highest per-capita anywhere in the nation. The city has quickly become a center for art in the United States. According to the Scottsdale Convention & Visitor's Bureau and American Style Magazine, the city has become one of the country's largest art markets, usually only sharing ranks with New York City, New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico in terms of commerce generated as a direct result of art sales and purchasing.
Its galleries and studios are most famous for their western and Native American themed art, though a growing devotion to the contemporary arts has taken hold over the past couple of decades - an element most visible by the large number of modern art galleries which have opened along the Marshall Way Arts District, and the opening of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in 1999. Both are located in Downtown Scottsdale.
Located in the touristy Old Town district of Downtown Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall is home to the intimate two-theater Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Scottsdale Historical Museum, as well as the more recently established Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, also referred to simply as "SMoCA". It is the only permanent museum dedicated solely to the contemporary arts in the state of Arizona.
Taliesin West, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and school from 1937 until 1959, is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Arizona. The complex is located in the northeast fringe of the city, at the base of the McDowell Mountains.
The city is home to many high-end corporate retail outlets, as well as independent boutiques.
There are many shopping areas within the city of Scottsdale, ranging from small districts to large centers. The most notable regional centers include the upscale Kierland Commons in North Scottsdale, and the massive Scottsdale Fashion Square in Downtown Scottsdale, a major destination for high-end retailers. These shopping centers (and others) in Scottsdale claim dozens of marquee brands that are unique to both Phoenix and the Southwestern region.
At nearly 2 million square feet (and ever-expanding), the Scottsdale Fashion Square is routinely ranked as one the most profitable shopping malls per square foot in the Southwest United States. The enormous center is anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Dillard's, and Barneys New York department store. The center is also home to prominent retailers Armani Exchange, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, L'Occitane en Provence, Tourneau, Swarovski, Juicy Couture, GUESS, Tiffany and Co., Ferragamo, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Cartier, Abercrombie and fitch, Lucky Brand Jeans, Ed Hardy, Prada, Steve Madden, Marciano, Carolina Herrera, Bvlgari, Bottega Veneta, Lacoste and Kenneth Cole among hundreds of others. The center's Tiffany and Co. store, in particular, reported that over the past few years this location earned one of the company's highest sales figures per square foot in the United States. In 2009 Scottsdale fashion Square underwent an expansion and added stores such as H&M, Forever 21, Barneys New York, and True Religion. In addition to these stores it expanded across the street with places like Yogurtland, American Apparel and Urban Outfitters. Currently there are plans for prada to open within the mall.
The city currently has three additional upscale shopping complexes planned or under construction - Scottsdale Quarter, Palmeraie and One Scottsdale - all of which will be located in North Scottsdale.
One Scottsdale, a collaboration between Macerich and DMB Associates, in particular aims to be the next luxury retail center for the Phoenix-area. In a three-mile (5 km) radius, the center sees an average household income of $110,292, and its 10-mile (16 km) zone has more households earning over $100,000 than several famous retail destinations, including Bal Harbour, Naples, Aspen, and The Hamptons.
Palmeraie, a 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2), outdoor mixed-use project planned for the SWC of Indian Bend and Scottsdale Rds, has already received commitments from Hermès, Yves Saint Laurent, and John Varvatos.
The city also plays host to the annual Scottsdale Fashion Week each November. The event routinely features runway shows from influential local, national and international designers, most recently and notably, Kate Spade, St. John, Betsey Johnson, and Façonnable.
Named by The New York Times as one of the "hippest and most happening" places in the country, Scottsdale is home to a variety of high-end nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, lounges and bars. Over the past decade in particular, these establishments have grown in great numbers, many catering to a more "young, fashion-conscious crowd." This is evident by the growing number of trendy, style-conscious hotels that have opened up throughout Downtown Scottsdale which equally cater to the nightlife crowds. Most notably, the Morgan Hotel Group's all-white Mondrian Hotel, the FireSky Resort & Spa, the independent mid-century Hotel Valley Ho and the W Hotel.
The majority of nightlife is concentrated in Downtown Scottsdale, between Camelback and Osborn roads. This is the most active and popular nightlife destination in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Similar to well-known nightclub districts in other major cities, much like Atlanta's Buckhead district and Miami's South Beach, most of Downtown Scottsdale's major bars and clubs are generally located within walking distance, often providing a vibrant and buzzing scene during most evenings. Thursdays through Sundays being the most active, as crowds of over 40,000-strong are known to congregate to this area.
To raise its national nightlife profile further, Scottsdale recently began hosting the annual Scottsdale's Ultimate Block Party on New Year's Eve. The growing New Year's Eve party routinely attracts over 25,000 people.
Southeast Scottsdale borders the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. For several years, the Scottsdale Pavilions, a major outdoor shopping center, marked the only commercial property operating on tribal lands. In 1998, the tribe opened the first permanent casino in the Scottsdale area, Casino Arizona, at Loop 101 and McKellips Road. The success of Casino Arizona led to the construction of a second location, Casino Arizona at Indian Bend, in a temporary facility less than 8 miles (13 km) north.
The passage of Proposition 202 in November 2002 redefined casino gaming in Arizona, permitting "Vegas-style" blackjack and poker, expanded number of slot machines and wider food and beverage service options. Both casinos underwent significant expansions following the passage of Proposition 202, with Casino Arizona at Indian Bend more than doubling in size.
In 2010, the temporary tent facilities hosting the 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) Casino Arizona at Indian Bend were deconstructed following the opening of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick. The 240,000-square-foot (22,000 m2) casino is adjoined to the newly constructed 15-story Talking Stick Resort & Spa, which features the Talking Stick golf course, a 36-hole golf course designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. Today, the two casinos collectively have over 2,000 slot machines and 100 table games.
The city is the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants, who practice at Scottsdale Stadium in Downtown Scottsdale. Scottsdale Stadium also hosts the Scottsdale Scorpions, a minor league baseball team in the Arizona Fall League. In February of 2011 the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks began sharing a new spring training facility, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, located on the city's eastern border with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Though none play specifically in the city of Scottsdale, all of the "Big Four" North American major league sports organizations have franchises and play within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area - NBA's Phoenix Suns, NFL's Arizona Cardinals, MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks and NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, as well as a WNBA franchise, the Phoenix Mercury.
The city is widely known as a premier destination in the United States for golf. In all, the city is home to more than 200 area courses offering layouts that range from the rolling green fairways of traditional courses, to desert golf designs. In 2006, the Robb Report cited Scottsdale as, "America's Best Place to Live for Golf." The Boulders Resort & Golden Spa and Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North were selected in 2005 as the second and fourth best golf resorts in the nation by Travel + Leisure Golf magazine. Other notable golf courses in the area include Desert Mountain, Grayhawk, The Phoenician, and Silverleaf.
Since 2010, the historic WM Waste Management Phoenix Open Golf Tournament - formerly the FBR Open and Phoenix Open, which originally began in 1932 - is now held annually each January at the Tournament Players Club (or "TPC") in North Scottsdale. The TPC is adjacent to the large Fairmont Scottsdale Resort. It is the largest-attended stop of the annual PGA Tour, attracting well over 500,000 people to the 4-day event alone.
Hiking, rock climbing and other similar outdoor activities are enormously popular throughout the Phoenix-area, in large part to the immediate accessibility of mountain areas within or very near the city limits. Citizens flock ritually to local favorite Camelback Mountain, located in the eastern section of Phoenix, just adjacent to Scottsdale, as well as the McDowell Mountains in the more recently developed McDowell-Sonoran Preserve, at the city's northeastern fringes.
In 2009, a Scottsdale baseball team — Mountain View Little League — won the Junior League World Series, after winning the West Region, then defeating the Central Region champion to become the U.S. champion, and finally defeating the International champion (Latin America Region), Aruba North LL (Oranjestad, Aruba), 9-1.
Scottsdale is home to a large number of churches, chapels, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of religious worship. Though the majority of Scottsdale residents consider themselves of, or practicing of, the Christian faith(s) - including Protestant and Roman Catholic - the city's high population growth over the years has resulted in a more diverse population. Most notably, greater numbers of Eastern Orthodox and Jews have been added to the population. Though smaller in number, vibrant Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities also exist within the city of Scottsdale. There is also a small population of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), as is common throughout Phoenix, Arizona, and the Western United States.
The first church founded in Scottsdale was the First Baptist Church of Scottsdale, which was built by Scott and his family. The church has named a small non-profit coffee shop on the corner of their campus after Scott named Winfield's.
Congregation Beth Israel, the oldest Reform Judaism congregation in the Phoenix metropolitan area is located in Scottsdale, and is the largest congregation in Arizona.
In North Scottsdale, there is the Jewish Community Center of Phoenix and the New Shul. The community center was originally located in central Phoenix, it had eventually outgrown the location and was looking to relocate and build a more expansive campus. The New Shul is an egalitarian synagogue, unaffiliated with any Jewish religious movements. The spiritual leaders are Rabbi Michael Wasserman and Rabbi Elana Kanter.
Recently, a new Armenian Apostolic church built was built in the city, representing the larger numbers of Armenians in Phoenix.
Scottsdale is governed by a mayor and city council, all of whom are elected "at large" to represent the entire city. A city manager is responsible for the executive leadership of the city staff, as well as implementing council policies, developing programs and budgets to respond to council goals, and ensuring that citizens receive effective and efficient city services. The city manager also serves as the city treasurer.
The current mayor is Jim Lane.
The distinctive Scottsdale City Hall was designed by architect Bennie Gonzales in 1968, and was designed with an interior kiva for community meetings.
Thanks in large part to State Route 101 - locally known as Loop 101 — the city of Scottsdale has convenient freeway access to nearly every city in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, the state of Arizona and beyond.
The speed limit on Loop 101, as well as on many city streets, has been enforced since February 2007 by a fixed photo radar system.
The photo radar system formerly applicable to the State's freeways, including Loop 101, was taken over by the State of Arizona, and the system was permitted to expire on July 15, 2010, at 11:59 p.m. (local time). Motorists should be aware of the large number of law enforcement officers on the state's freeways, who are prepared to enforce the speed and other traffic laws that may be applicable. Photo radar continues to be used on the city streets, and, in many cases, the photo radar vans are hidden behind bushes or other obstructions, so motorists need to take care.
The city is also home to Scottsdale Municipal Airport (IATA: SDL, ICAO: KSDL), a single-runway airport located in North Scottsdale. With over 500 flights per day, it continually ranks as one of the busiest single-runway airports in the United States in terms of operations. While the airport serves some tour and commuter flights, the plurality of aircraft operations are corporate and transient general aviation traffic.
Commercial air travel is served by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX, ICAO: KPHX) in Phoenix and Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA, ICAO: KIWA) in Mesa.
Public bus service in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area is operated as Valley Metro, and provides regular, frequent bus service throughout the city.
The city of Scottsdale runs a network of local neighborhood circulators, labeled the "Scottsdale Trolley." Using trolley-replica buses, the public service is free to riders. There are currently two circulating "routes", known individually as the Downtown Trolley and the Neighborhood Trolley. These connect at the Loloma Station transit center in downtown Scottsdale.
The Downtown Trolley circulates through downtown Scottsdale, and the Neighborhood Trolley circulates from downtown Scottsdale to neighborhoods throughout South Scottsdale, connecting with the city of Tempe's own free public circulator, the Tempe Orbit at Roosevelt and Scottsdale Road. From there, riders can transfer onto the Tempe Orbit, and travel to Tempe, including Arizona State University's main campus, and the downtown Tempe, or Mill Avenue, area.
For a time[clarification needed] between December 2007 and 2009, Scottsdale was a member of the board of METRO, whose light rail line connects the neighboring cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. There was a study in 2001, and some discussion since, of extending the light rail line into Scottsdale. The city's Transportation Master Plan identifies Scottsdale Road as the city's high-capacity corridor, which could be light rail, modern streetcar service, or bus rapid-transit (BRT).
A street railway interurban line was proposed to connect Scottsdale with Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa as early as 1913 but was never built; Scottsdale is the largest American city that has never had a rail line.
Public education in Scottsdale is provided for primarily by the Scottsdale Unified School District, with that district serving most of the city. A minority of the outlying parts of town fall under other school districts in the Phoenix Metro Area, including the Cave Creek Unified School District, Paradise Valley Unified School District, Phoenix Union High School District, Tempe Union High School District, and the Balsz Elementary School District.
Per the Scottsdale Unified School District website, there are six high schools in Scottsdale: Arcadia High School, Chaparral High School, Coronado High School, Desert Mountain High School, Saguaro High School and Sierra Vista Academy.
The primary institution of higher education in the city is Scottsdale Community College, although the college actually lies within the boundaries of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation. Many students also commute to nearby Arizona State University in Tempe.
Scottsdale is also home of the International School of Arizona, a non-profit language immersion school that teaches children classes in a foreign language (French or Spanish).
Scottsdale has a main branch and four branches within the Scottsdale Public Library System.
Scottsdale has six sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International: