From Small Market Town to Tourist Hotspot: The Rise of Scottsdale

The Salt River Valley in Arizona has seen a remarkable transformation since the construction of the Granite Reef Dam and Roosevelt Dam in 1908 and 1911, respectively. This allowed Scottsdale to join in the population boom and slowly but steadily grow into a small market town that provided services to families working in the agricultural industry. In 1970, Scottsdale Community College opened its doors on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation, further cementing the city's place in the region. Today, Scottsdale is a popular tourist destination due to its year-round warm weather and abundant sunshine.

The city is home to a variety of nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, lounges, and bars, particularly in the Old Town district. Notable regional centers include Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter in North Scottsdale, as well as the Scottsdale Fashion Square in downtown Scottsdale, which is a major destination for high-end retailers. The Scottsdale Jaycees Sun Parade is an annual month-long event that has been held in Scottsdale since 1954. The event is now held at the sprawling West World exhibition complex in North Scottsdale and is a show for collectors and car enthusiasts. Additionally, the downtown streetcar runs through downtown Scottsdale and the neighborhood streetcar runs from downtown Scottsdale to neighborhoods across South Scottsdale. It also connects to the city of Tempe's free public circulator, the Tempe Orbit, on Roosevelt and Scottsdale Road. When completed, the 15,000 hectares (36,000 acres) planned for the McDowell Sonoran Reserve will represent nearly one-third of Scottsdale's land area, equivalent in size to Bryce Canyon National Park.

The aviation industry also grew in Scottsdale with the construction of the Scottsdale Airport in North Scottsdale in the 1960s. In 1950, Motorola became the first of many technology companies to build a plant in Scottsdale. Other Scottsdale-based companies include APL, Cold Stone Creamery, Carlisle Companies, Discount Tire, Discovery Land Company, Fender, Go Daddy, Blue Yonder, Kahala, Kona Grill, Liveops, Magellan Health, Merity Homes, Nextiva, Advisor Group, Paradise Bakery & Café.Scottsdale was also home to a German prisoner-of-war camp at the intersection of Scottsdale and Thomas Roads in what is now Papago Park. The first church founded in Scottsdale was the First Baptist Church of Scottsdale, which was built by Scott and his family. From its humble beginnings as a small market town providing services to families working in agriculture to its current status as a tourist hotspot with a variety of attractions and businesses, Scottsdale has come a long way. With its year-round warm weather and abundant sunshine, it's no wonder why so many people flock to this vibrant city each year.

Joyce Laframboise
Joyce Laframboise

Friendly musicaholic. Avid web scholar. Incurable pop culture aficionado. Avid bacon practitioner. General food scholar.

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