Message from the CEO

by Rick Kidder

Rick Kidder

Rick Kidder

Spring has sprung, and with the beauty of the season comes an astounding array of events and activities that help show Scottsdale to the world, much of which is still covered with snow.

No other part of the country can boast the world’s largest-attended golf tournament and a Super Bowl — all on the same weekend! Corporate and private aircraft, collectively worth billions of dollars, came into our city for one of the nation’s great annual parties, and Scottsdale did not disappoint. Scottsdale Airport, one of the nation’s busiest single-runway airports, saw 1,200 takeoffs and landings without a single delay during Super Bowl week. The tournament was superb and the Super Bowl (for once) was even a great game, riddled with controversial play-calling and surprises.

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction broke all records with its $130 million in sales and in its charitable donations that included $140,000 for cancer research at the nonprofit Translational Genomics Research Institute. All that horsepower then shifted at WestWorld to horses as Scottsdale Arabian Show took over the newly enclosed Tony Nelssen Equidome. Born in 1955, the Scottsdale Arabian Show is the largest in the nation, and a place where people part with millions of dollars for the most beautiful and elegant horses on earth.

But wait, there’s more, as they say on infomercials! Spring training baseball through the Cactus League is a huge draw for visitors and locals alike. Scottsdale is home to the World Champion San Francisco Giants. The Cactus League has been growing as more teams choose the Valley’s warmth and its concentration of stadiums over the spread out, all-day rides to baseball venues in Florida.

With spring training, Barrett-Jackson, the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the ESPN’s Super Bowl location in downtown, hundreds of millions of people across the globe saw the beauty and energy of Scottsdale. That fact alone is the equivalent of millions of dollars in advertising, and as always Scottsdale showed itself to be one of the crown jewels of the Valley of the Sun.

For people up to their ears in snow in New England or guarding against frigid temperatures in the Midwest, Scottsdale looks pretty good. For Scottsdale these incredible events are also opportunities to grow. Many people come here first as visitors before they move a business here. As the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country, Phoenix has all of the infrastructure, strong universities, transportation opportunities and desire necessary to grow its business base. It also has the capacity to emerge as the Silicon Desert and one of the nation’s top destinations for medical research firms, many of which are spinning out of the incredible work of TGen.

Our incredible spring weather is a great asset for the lucky folks who live here and for the future of the Valley. We thank the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau for marketing us so well that people come here, fall in love and add to our business base. Soon we will heat up a bit, and traffic will lighten up a little. In the meantime, please know that our spring is about commerce, imported dollars and new opportunities for economic growth.

Rick Kidder
President & CEO
Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce

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