Tag Archives: flagstaff

wildfire

How Arizona wildfires impact water supply, economy

Arizona is home to the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in North America, with a single stand stretching from near Flagstaff all the way to the White Mountains of the east.

And in the last 10 years, 25 percent of it burned, said Patrick Graham, Arizona state director for the Nature Conservancy.

Fire suppression and subsequent cleanup costs have risen far beyond estimated prevention costs, according to studies by the Nature Conservancy, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service and the Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI) at Northern Arizona University (NAU), among others.

The tourism industry in Arizona, an estimated 20 percent of the state’s economy, is largely dependent on the health of forested lands and other wildlife preserves, a 2007 report by the Governor’s Health Oversight Council stated.

But “wildfires affect the entire state — not just the north,” said Eric Marcus, executive director at the Northern Arizona Sustainable Economic Development Initiative.

A full-cost economic analysis of the 2010 Schultz fire outside of Flagstaff by the ERI revealed the deeper effect of forest fires. More than 15,000 acres of forest were burned, causing an estimated $147 million in economic damage, the report found. An investment of only $15 million could have prevented this catastrophe, said Marcus.

Fire and water

But most of the damage from these wildfires occurs after the fire has been extinguished.

When major wildfires remove the trees and grasses necessary for holding soil in place, a once standard rainstorm can now cause dangerous floods and massive erosion, filling up the reservoirs and ultimately decreasing the carrying capacity of our water supply, said Bruce Hallin, director of water rights and contracts with the Salt River Project.

“These catastrophic wildfires go in and the fire burns so hot that it burns everything,” said Hallin. “It turns it into this wasteland.”

But nothing can hold back sediment from flowing directly into the water supply if a fire were to ignite downstream from the reservoirs, such as the Sunflower fire in 2012. If ash-laden water were to be delivered to processing plants, treatment costs would increase dramatically, thus increasing the price of the water, said Marcus.

The 2002 Hayman fire in Colorado deposited more than 1 million cubic yards of sediment into Denver’s primary drinking water supply. To this day, cleanup is still underway to restore Strontia Springs Reservoir, with costs exceeding $150 million.

“Ultimately, through forest thinning, we don’t want to get to that point,” said Hallin.
One century ago, Arizona’s northern forests were more akin to open grasslands interspersed with towering ponderosas. Ignited by lightning, the grass beneath the trees would carry a smoldering fire along the ground, burning the young trees while only charring the thick bark of the older, more established ponderosas.

Need for thinning

But Arizona’s northern forests have “all departed from the way they were historically,” said Diane Vosick, director of policy and partnerships at ERI.

When grazing came through in the late 1800s and removed all of the grass, fires could no longer move through the forest naturally. Bare soil — which resulted from result over-grazing — allowed the pines to germinate seeds more easily. However, when fires did ignite, the U.S. Forest Service fire policy at the time required any and all fires to be extinguished. This fire policy went unchanged until 1995, allowing millions of young ponderosas and other vegetation to crowd the once-thin forest.

A study conducted by ERI Director Wally Covington found that historically, Arizona’s ponderosa forests contained roughly 25 trees per acre. But now, one acre of forest can contain more than a thousand trees.

“You’ve basically got a big wood pile out there waiting to burn,” said Vosick.

SRP, the water supplier for more than half of Phoenix and nearly all of Tempe, manages eight reservoirs deep within Arizona’s northern region.

“That’s the goal,” said Vosick. “You want fire to do its natural role and to help manage the forests.”

The Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI, is a collaborative effort comprised of residents, industry, and the government to restore the Coconino, Kaibab, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests through thinning and prescribed burning.

Vosick said that 4FRI hopes to have thinned at least 1 million acres of forested land within 20 years.

However, almost no thinning has taken place in nearly five years since the initiative began.

Seeking a solution

“Forest lands have been managed for the last 20 years through litigation and attorneys, not projects,” said Hallin. Because of these legal barriers, Northern Arizona’s timber industry has all but vanished. So even the lands that have been approved for thinning cannot receive the treatment prescribed because there is no longer any industry to do the work, he said.

“You can make money with big old trees, but we don’t want those trees taken out of the forest,” said Marcus. Private enterprise doesn’t want to invest because no money can be made from the small diameter trees, he said.

The only way to thin the forests in a timely manner is through convincing industry that their investment will not be inhibited by litigation because the federal government can’t do it by itself, Hallin said. “The fact of the matter is, without a successful forest products industry, that entire forest is going to burn.”

SRP, in conjunction with the National Forest Foundation, has created the Northern Arizona Forest Fund, enabling individuals and businesses to invest in restoring the lands that provide them water.

“We don’t need to do more research to know what our problem is; we need to generate public interest in fixing things,” said Marcus.

“You can pay me now, or you can pay me later. But if you pay me now, you pay me a fraction of what you’re going to pay me later and have nowhere near the devastating effects that you’re going to have down the road.”

haunted

The 5 most haunted places in Arizona

Just in time for Halloween, we thought you might like to consider a ghostly visit to one of the five most haunted places in Arizona.

Hotel San Carlos, 202 N. Central Ave. Phoenix

Blood splattered on Leone Jensen’s white gown as she hit the pavement from the rooftop of the seven-story hotel. Heartbroken and lonely, 22-year-old Jensen committed suicide in 1928 at the Hotel San Carlos. Guests said they have witnessed a woman dressed in a white shear gown blown by the wind from nearby windows. Screaming children have also been heard running the halls late at night from the multiple drownings that occurred in a water well in the late 1890’s. The well remains on the first floor of the hotel and is the main water supply for the residents. Book a night in the San Carlos hotel to see what you might wake up to.

North Morton Hall at Northern Arizona University, 601 S. Knoles Drive, Flagstaff

Built in 1914, North Morton Hall on the NAU campus is a women’s residence hall and home to a girl who committed suicide in the dormitory. Her ghost has not left the premises as students have seen flickering lights, girls being locked in the bathrooms, blankets flying off beds, and even the sight of the ghost lurking the halls.

Jerome Grand Hotel, 200 Hill St., Jerome

A former hospital, a plethora of ghosts walk the halls and visit the rooms in this hotel in “Ghost City.” Many deaths have occurred in the hotel, such as Claude Harvey who was crushed by a self-serviced elevator and two suicides by hanging. Most of the ghosts are allegedly the patients who died in the United Verde Hospital. Flowers, cigar smoke, and whiskey are just some of the smells guests have said to be coming from the rooms. In the heart of the haunted city itself, witness the sights and smells of this five-story hotel.

Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., Tucson

Built in 1930, the Fox Theatre was used as vaudeville and movie house. During the Great Depression, a man would linger outside of the theatre asking for money to feed his family. Watch your wallets, there has been sight of male ghosts walking about outside of the theatre and might just snatch a couple bucks. Suspicious movement of objects in the theatre have some visitors questioning the eerie environment.

Luana’s Canyon southeast of Kingman

A miner and his family lived in a wooden shack in the opening of the canyon. The husband would leave his family for days to find food and mine for gold in the mountains. One day Luana’s husband did not return from his expedition and her family began to starve. Luana began to go insane as the children begged for food and were slowly dying. Impulsive actions took over and Luana chopped up her kids in the wooden house. The remains of her children were tossed into the nearby river, where she wept and screamed in remorse for her murdered children. Her screams are said to still be heard within the canyon and the blood-splattered house is called the “Slaughter House.” Check out this landmark to see if the blood remains on the walls and Luana’s scream can still be heard bouncing off the mountains.

energy.bill

Navajo Nation plans tribal energy summit

The Navajo Nation is hugely dependent on coal for revenue.

Tribal officials want to get their government talking about how to diversify the portfolio at an energy summit.

The tribe’s Division of Natural Resources is sponsoring the summit to be held July 23-24 at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort east of Flagstaff.

Navajo President Ben Shelly signed off an updated energy policy last October that keeps coal prominently in the tribe’s energy mix. At the time, he said the tribe also must explore clean coal technology and make strides in renewable energy development.

The summit is a chance to discuss the energy policy, along with the history of natural resources on the Navajo Nation, coal markets, carbon capture and the future of renewable energy.

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Innovators get boost from Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) has selected 18 recipients for AZ Fast Grant, a highly competitive grant program that provides qualified Arizona-based, early stage technology companies with intensive training and technical assistance to help them commercialize their innovations, grow their businesses and create quality jobs.

“Early stage companies play a key role in developing innovations that fuel our state’s economy,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “The AZ Fast Grant program helps companies with critical training, technical expertise and the ‘know how’ to secure additional funding and commercialization opportunities to propel their businesses.”

Companies may use AZ Fast Grant awards for professional consulting services (that may include an expert review of technology under development); a commercialization feasibility study; or other commercialization assistance such as training to compete more effectively for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding programs.

More than 50 Arizona small businesses applied for this round of the AZ Fast Grant program and awardees represent a variety of target industries.

AZ Fast Grant Recipients include (Total: $141,000, plus an additional $134,000 in leveraged funds):

* Arbsource, Tempe – Bio & Life Sciences
* Arizona Medical Systems, Peoria – Bio & Life Science
* Elliptical Mobile, Chandler – Advanced Manufacturing
* Engineering Science Analysis Corp., Tempe – Aerospace/Defense
* Grannus, Tucson – Cleantech/Renewable Energy
* Hildeez Enterprises, Peoria – Bio & Life Science
* MediCoventures, Peoria – Bio & Life Science
* Movement Interactive, Laveen – Bio & Life Science
* Kulira, Peoria – Bio & Life Science
* Prime Solutions Group, Goodyear – Aerospace/Defense
* QuantTera, Scottsdale – Advanced Materials
* Saccadous, Scottsdale – Bio & Life Science
* Score Algae, Scottsdale – Cleantech/Renewable Energy
* SiO2 Nanotech, Phoenix – Advanced Materials
* StatTransfers, Flagstaff – IT-Software
* Verve, Peoria – Bio & Life Sciences
* Vicinity Health, Chandler – Bio & Life Sciences
* YourLabs, Tucson – IT-Software

“I can honestly say the AZ Fast Grant really helped us get over the hump,” said Joe Marvin, Founder and President of Prime Solutions Group, a systems engineering and IT services company providing consulting expertise to government and defense contractors. Prime Solutions Group received AZ Fast Grant awards this year and in 2013.

With the help of AZ Fast Grant program support and technical expertise, the company recently secured $1 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Defense for its SBIR/STTR program submission this past fall. “We used our last AZ Fast Grant for commercialization strategy development, and that went directly into our federal proposal,” said Marvin.

Grand Canyon Adventures - EAZ Fall-Winter 2012

Arizona Office of Tourism Partners With Buxton

The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) is partnering with Fort Worth-based Buxton to develop in-depth profiles of Arizona visitors, at both the state and regional levels.

Buxton’s visitor profiling capabilities will help AOT leaders to:

* increase marketing campaign return on investment,
* better understand visitor potential,
* expand the impact of tourism on local economies, and
* identify ideal media channels to reach future and returning visitors.

The results of Buxton’s analysis will be presented at the Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism, July 16-18 in Phoenix, Arizona.

“AOT’s goal is to provide precise, research-driven strategies to expand travel activity and increase travel-related revenues in Arizona,” said Sherry Henry, director of AOT. “Partnering with Buxton supports this goal by providing the visitor insights we need to strengthen tourism marketing strategies across the state.”

“Buxton is pleased to support AOT’s tourism development efforts,” said Cody Howell, vice president of public sector solutions at Buxton. “Our best-in-class analytics will provide the insights needed to grow tourism revenues and enhance Arizona’s economy.”

By becoming a Buxton client, AOT will have access to SCOUT®, Buxton’s proprietary web-based analytics platform, giving leaders data and information at their fingertips to analyze visitor profiles for different areas of the state.

Buxton has worked with more than 650 cities nationwide to implement retail and tourism development strategies. Clients include Flagstaff, Arizona; Palm Springs, California; and Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Created as an executive agency in 1975, the Arizona Office of Tourism is charged with enhancing the state’s economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing related revenues through tourism promotion. For information on AOT’s program of work, research and media plans, visit www.azot.gov. For information about Arizona travel experiences, visit www.arizonaguide.com.

nurse

Health Choice Integrated Care will serve N. Arizona

Health Choice, the managed care solutions division of IASIS Healthcare, has signed an agreement with the Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority (“NARBHA”) to form a joint venture called Health Choice Integrated Care to pursue new opportunities to deliver integrated behavioral and physical healthcare services in Northern Arizona.

This collaboration between Health Choice and NARBHA is being pursued in response to the State of Arizona’s announcement, as part of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s (“AHCCCS”) strategic plan for fiscal years 2014-2018, to create a specialty Regional Behavioral Health Authority (“RBHA”) model for Medicaid members having serious mental illness. This behavioral health strategy focuses on an integrated care model allowing a single managed care organization to manage both physical and behavioral health services for seriously mentally ill residents in distinct geographic service areas.

The joint venture between Health Choice and NARBHA will leverage the existing provider networks currently offered by these plans and will compete for selection as an awardee under the Arizona Department of Health Services new Greater Arizona Integrated Behavioral Health contract, which is part of the state’s behavioral health program and is expected to be put out for bid later this summer.

“As experienced local health plans offering unique and complementary member services, both Health Choice and NARBHA have a time-tested commitment to Arizona. Together we bring proven models of care in managing these complex, vulnerable populations in Northern Arizona,” said Mike Uchrin, CEO, Health Choice. “This partnership will combine the clinical and operational expertise of both organizations into a fully integrated health plan that, we believe, will offer the State of Arizona the gold standard it is seeking for how behavioral and physical health services are aligned, managed and delivered.”

“Our ultimate goal is to improve the health outcomes and quality of life for the members we serve by strengthening the innovative relationship that has been forged over years between Health Choice and NARBHA ,” added Mary Jo Gregory, CEO, NARBHA. “I’m confident, through the combined strengths of our respective organizations, that we will accomplish these objectives for the benefit of Arizona and our members.”

For a number of years, Health Choice and NARBHA have collaborated to develop aligned, innovative models of physical and behavioral health management based around coordinating the physical and mental health care for their shared health plan members. This long standing partnership was the precursor for the formation of this current joint venture, with the focus on “whole person” healthcare needs, in keeping with State’s efforts to better coordinate, integrate and improve behavioral and physical health outcomes for Arizonans in a high-quality, cost-efficient manner.

The operations headquarters of Health Choice Integrated Care will be at NARBHA’s current location in Flagstaff, Arizona, with additional resources and operations throughout the communities of Northern Arizona.

kids.money

Arizona Central Credit Union Launches Kids’ Website

ACCU smallArizona Central Credit Union is launching a new initiative to encourage financial literacy among children. Designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12, this program is intended to encourage sound financial habits and further an awareness of positive saving and spending practices.

Molly and Moe are the official mascots of the Monkey Money program, which incorporates an interactive website, children’s savings account and club member benefits. Games, stories, contests, jokes, definitions of financial terms, and information about the special Monkey Money savings program, can all be found on the website. Each month a new article and correlating activity will address a different financial theme. A coloring contest, which began at the launch of the website on June 21, 2014, will be held until July 31, 2014. Children don’t have to be Monkey Money members to enter, but can win cash prizes, and fun monkey items. Coloring sheets and the official rules for the contest can be found on the website.

“Arizona Central Credit Union is passionate about helping the children in our communities reach a higher level of financial literacy. By investing in creative and fun educational methods, we hope to encourage positive lifestyle patterns that will then translate into adulthood,” said Todd Pearson, President and CEO of Arizona Central Credit Union­.

Following the launch of the website on June 21st, Arizona Central Credit Union branches will be hosting a week-long youth event. Free gift basket raffle tickets and refreshments will be available at all branches. Arizona Central Credit Union will contribute a $10 deposit into Monkey Money accounts opened during this celebration week.

Founded in 1939, Arizona Central Credit Union has been serving members for over 75 years at 10 full-service branches, with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, Chandler, Tempe, Flagstaff and Show Low. Visit www.azcentralcu.org or their Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/azcentralcu for more information.

bioscience

Bioscience Roadmap gets an extension through 2025

The strategic plan that has guided Arizona’s fast-growing bioscience sector for nearly 12 years is gearing up for a new decade.

“Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” will be unveiled starting April 8 at events in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, the state’s three metropolitan areas that feature growing bioscience hubs. The plan includes updated strategies that can strengthen and diversify Arizona’s economy while providing Arizonans access to the latest health care innovations.

“The updated Bioscience Roadmap builds on the successes of its first decade and adds contemporary strategies to take Arizona’s bioscience base to the next level,” said Jack Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation, which commissioned the update and the original Bioscience Roadmap in 2002. “Arizona is now known as a top emerging bioscience state, but we have far to go to reach our full potential.”

The updated Roadmap will continue to focus on developing Arizona’s biomedical research infrastructure but will emphasize turning this research into new therapies, products, diagnostics, jobs, firms, and other benefits to Arizona. Commercialization, entrepreneurship, creating a critical mass of bioscience firms, and the development of talent are prime themes.

The Roadmap’s overarching vision is for Arizona—a young but rapidly growing state in the biosciences—to become a global competitor and national leader in select areas of the biosciences by 2025.

Over the first decade, Arizona built major research facilities at its universities, formed new private research institutes, attracted top talent, created high-tech business incubators, and greatly expanded statewide STEM (science, technology, education, math) education programs. The number of Arizona bioscience industry jobs grew by 45 percent, nearly four times greater than the nation.

“Arizona has many bioscience strengths and opportunities, but a substantial increase in private and public investment will be needed over the next decade to realize the Roadmap’s goals,” said Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, the Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit research and development organization that authored the original Roadmap and its update.

Plosila noted that Arizona’s greatest needs are access to risk capital by startup and emerging bioscience firms, building a stronger bioscience entrepreneurship culture, and an expansion of the research infrastructure combined with commercialization at the state’s universities.

The new Roadmap plan features five goals, 17 strategies, and 77 proposed actions. The actions are meant to evolve as needs change over the course of the decade. The plan was developed by Battelle following research, interviews, and focus groups with more than 150 local and national bioscience leaders, including extensive input from Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a body of more than 100 statewide leaders in science, business, academia, and government.

“An emphasis on the full spectrum of the biosciences—from research to hospitals to bio-agriculture—and a renewed focus on resources, collaboration, and long-term patience is needed for Arizona to continue its ascent in the biosciences,” said Martin Shultz, Senior Policy Director for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who chairs the Roadmap Steering Committee. “The impact can be profound—the biosciences are a multibillion-dollar industry for Arizona.”

There are six industry segments that comprise the biosciences in Arizona: agricultural feedstock and chemicals; drugs, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics; medical devices and equipment; research, testing, and medical labs; bioscience-related distribution; and hospitals. A new economic-impact analysis by Battelle estimates the total revenue generated annually by Arizona’s bioscience industry—not counting hospitals—to be $14 billion. With hospitals included, the figure exceeds $36 billion.

Based on the latest industry data (2012), Arizona currently has 106,846 bioscience jobs spread across 1,382 establishments and an annual average wage of $62,775—39 percent higher than the private-sector average. These numbers do not include academic research jobs at the state universities or private research institutes.

Hospitals account for the majority of the state’s bioscience jobs. With hospitals removed from the equation, the other segments combine for 23,545 jobs, 1,266 establishments, and average annual wages of $85,571. Growth in the non-hospital segments accelerated dramatically over the last few years.

The bioscience-related distribution subsector is a new addition to Arizona’s bioscience definition, following the lead of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the nation’s bioscience trade association. Companies in this subsector coordinate the delivery of bioscience-related products through processes such as cold storage and product monitoring, and new technologies such as automated pharmaceutical distribution systems. This change also called for several smaller industries to be dropped from Arizona’s definition.

The Roadmap also presents updated data on Arizona’s performance in generating grants from the National Institutes of Health, academic research expenditures, venture capital, and tech-transfer measures involving the state universities. These metrics plus industry measures will be tracked throughout the decade by Battelle and reported by the Flinn Foundation.

The Roadmap also includes analyses of Arizona’s bioscience sector that were critical in developing the strategies and actions, such as an assessment of Arizona’s bioscience strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. It identified Arizona’s core competencies as cancer research, neurosciences, bioengineering, agricultural biotechnology, imaging sciences, precision medicine, diagnostics, health information technologies, and health economics.

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The Phoenix-based foundation supports the advancement of the biosciences in Arizona, as well as a merit-based college scholarship program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. “Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” is available for download at www.flinn.org.

Timberline Place, Cassidy Turley

Timberline Place in Flagstaff Sells for $11.825M

Cassidy Turley sold 102 Class-A units at the Timberline Place condominium community located in Flagstaff.  Clear Sky Timberline LP, an entity formed by Clear Sky Capital (Marcus Kurschat), a Phoenix based company purchased the property for $11.825M ($115,931 per unit).  Executive Managing Directors David Fogler and Steven Nicoluzakis, with Cassidy Turley Arizona’s Multi-Family Investment Group, brokered the transaction.  The seller was SWRE Deal IV, LLC, an entity formed by Phoenix based ViaWest Properties (Gary Linhart, Steven Schwarz).

The 102 units were a bulk purchase within the community that has a total of 204 units. Timberline Place was built in 2000 and originally marketed as rental apartments.  The additional 102 condominium units within the complex are privately owned and were not part of the sale to Clear Sky Timberline LP.

“Timberline Place is one of Flagstaff’s premier rental communities and offered the buyer an attractive, stable yield given the current rental operation, with the potential for significant upside through condominium unit sales as that segment of the market continues to improve.” according to Nicoluzakis.

Located at 4343 East Soliere Avenue, Timberline Place is just south of I-40 and Country Club Drive, adjacent to the Continental Country Club Golf Course, and is minutes from Downtown Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University. The complex includes fully appointed one, two and three bedroom floor plans.  The community includes a heated pool and spa, outdoor fireplace and lounge area, indoor basketball court and sauna, and a clubhouse with a kitchen and media area.

Country Club Estates, CushWake

Cushman & Wakefield Negotiates $17.1M Country Club Estates Sale in Flagstaff

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. has negotiated the $17.1M sale of Country Club Estates in Flagstaff.

The property, located at 5205 E. Courtland Blvd. and built in 1984, contains 201 units and was 95% occupied at the time of the sale. Jackson Square Properties of San Francisco sold the property to Virtu Investments of Larkspur, Calif. The sale price brought $85,075 per unit, which equates to $115.96 per square foot.

“This property represents an outstanding value-add opportunity for the buyer by rehabbing the units and taking advantage of Flagstaff’s under-supply of multi-family housing,” said Jim Crews.

Crews and Brett Polachek of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the transaction.

RED Awards Banner

Cushman & Wakefield Negotiates $17.1M Country Club Estates Sale in Flagstaff

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. has negotiated the $17.1M sale of Country Club Estates in Flagstaff.

The property, located at 5205 E. Courtland Blvd. and built in 1984, contains 201 units and was 95% occupied at the time of the sale. Jackson Square Properties of San Francisco sold the property to Virtu Investments of Larkspur, Calif. The sale price brought $85,075 per unit, which equates to $115.96 per square foot.

“This property represents an outstanding value-add opportunity for the buyer by rehabbing the units and taking advantage of Flagstaff’s under-supply of multi-family housing,” said Jim Crews.

Crews and Brett Polachek of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the transaction.

bank loan

Alliance Breaks Ground on Flagstaff Banking Center

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the state’s largest locally owned and headquartered bank, broke ground Friday on a new multimillion-dollar Flagstaff banking center.  Alliance Bank of Arizona President Ed Zito hosted the groundbreaking event with Executive Vice President Sherri Slayton. The event was also attended by Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours and President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Julie Pastrick.

“Since we opened our first branch in Flagstaff eight years ago, we have been committed to fueling our local economy,” said Sherri Slayton, EVP and Regional Manager of the bank’s Northern Arizona division. “As a long-time resident and banker in this area, I am especially excited to see Flagstaff businesses rebound and flourish. Our Flagstaff team, with experienced local bankers who know this region, is proud to serve the people who make Flagstaff the extraordinary community we call home.”

“Today’s groundbreaking is testimony to the strength of the Flagstaff Alliance Bank team,” said Julie Pastrick, President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce.  “Under the leadership of Sherri Slayton, they have consistently demonstrated a high level of financial acumen and community outreach that allows for this large investment in our local Flagstaff community.”

The 6,000-square-foot center marks the bank’s significant expansion in the area and the region. The facility is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets as home to a large number of commercial and industrial businesses, enabling the bank to better serve Flagstaff customers.  It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.

Alliance Bank, which started with a single office and 20 employees in 2003, is now the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state with $3.3 billion in assets. A leading business lender, it has built a reputation for its responsiveness, local expertise and reliability as a lending resource.

Alliance Bank of Arizona is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Alliance Bank Breaks Ground on Chandler Office

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state, announced groundbreaking this morning for its new Chandler office which will be located on Ray Road and the Loop 101 Price Freeway.  Victor Napolitano, Senior Vice President of Alliance Bank, hosted the event and introduced Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Jim Lundy, Alliance Bank CEO, for comments.

This will mark the 12th location for Alliance Bank, which was started just over a decade ago. The bank also broke ground for a new facility in Flagstaff today which will expand its existing Northern Arizona regional office space by three  times.

The Chandler facility is scheduled to open in the Summer 2014 and is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets, including Chandler, where it already banks a large number of commercial, industrial and professional businesses.   The new, two story 28,000 square foot office will house commercial and retail banking facilities as well as a number of support functions and will enable the bank to better serve its growing southeast valley customer base.

“Since we began over 10 years ago, we have been dedicated to being a strong lending resource for local businesses.  We are excited about the prospect of working with the rapidly growing number of commercial and industrial businesses that call Chandler home. We are committed to being a thoughtful and consistent financial resource to help businesses grow. That commitment allows both the bank and its customers to succeed and in turn give back to the community,” said Jim Lundy, CEO, Alliance Bank of Arizona.

Alliance Bank of Arizona’s focus is to deliver a broader product array and larger credit capacity than a traditional community bank, and to offer relationship-based, personalized service, and lending capabilities to meet the needs of virtually any Arizona business. It is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

Experience AZ Digital Issue

Experience AZ: Fall-Winter 2013

ARIZONA PACKS ADVENTURES FOR EVERYONE, EVERY DAY

Michael Gossie, Managing Editor
Ten years after moving to Arizona from upstate New York, people still ask me what I like the most about living in the Grand Canyon state. My answer is always the same:

“I haven’t had to shovel snow once since I moved here.”

But if I lived a couple hours north, the yearly snowfall would give my home turf in upstate New York a run for its money. That is what makes Arizona great: Where else can you get a sunburn in Scottsdale and ski in Flagstaff on the same day?

Arizona offers something for everyone, every day.

From hiking and biking to shopping and spas, Arizona provides the opportunity for experiences that create memories that last a lifetime.

That’s what Experience AZ is all about. We want to guide you the the greatest adventures and experiences to make your visit to Arizona one that you will never forget. Based on votes from our readers, we have listed the five best dining experiences, tours, attractions, and places to visit in a variety of categories.

Want to know my personal fab five Arizona adventures? Hiking to the waterfalls of Havasupai. Running the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Relaxing at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. Going to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. And when friends visit, I always take them to Los Dos Molinos.

So get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. And use Experience AZ to guide you to a visit or vacation that will make you want to come back time after time to keep crossing the must-see hot spots off your Top 5 lists. And when you find a favorite, be sure to vote for it by visiting ExperienceAZonline.com so others can share in your amazing memories.

Michael Gossie, Editor in Chief

Michael Gossie, Editor in Chief

 

Experience AZ: Fall-Winter 2013:
Best of Arizona. Your Guide To The Top 5.

Flagstaff, Scottsdale CVB - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Brazil’s Olympic athletes to train in Flagstaff

Hypo2, the Flagstaff based high altitude training company, recently signed an agreement with the Brazilian Olympic Committee, hosts for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, to coordinate training camps for Brazil’s Olympic athletes. Over the next three years, leading up to the 2016 games many athletes from “Time Brasil,” the Brazilian Olympic team, will travel to Flagstaff for training.

“This agreement with Hypo2 is extremely important for the Brazilian Olympic sports world, as our athletes are going to be able to use high quality training center facilities in the United States, which are certainly going to assist Time Brasil’s preparation for the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” said Chief Executive Sports Officer, Marcus Vinicius Simões Freire.

Flagstaff has a long standing reputation as an altitude training Mecca, dating back to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, and Hypo2 has continued to further that reputation in the world of elite international sport over the last five years.

Hypo2 Owner Sean Anthony said, “Having the opportunity to coordinate training camps for the world’s best athletes is always an honor; but doing so for athletes from the National Olympic Committee that will be hosting the next summer Olympic Games takes it to a whole new level.”

For the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics in London, Hypo2 worked with hundreds of elite athletes including 152 athletes from 22 countries who made it onto their country’s 2012 Olympic or Paralympic squad. Of those 152 Olympians who trained in Flagstaff; 46 medals were won and 126 were in the top-8 performances.

“We have hosted Brazilian swimmers in the past, but this came about due to the Brazilian Olympic Committee’s increased interest in utilizing altitude training for their elite endurance athletes and the stellar reputation we have established for carrying out such training in Flagstaff,” said Anthony.

Delegates from the Brazilian Olympic Committee will visit Flagstaff in September to tour training facilities.

Flagstaff, Scottsdale CVB - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Brazil's Olympic athletes to train in Flagstaff

Hypo2, the Flagstaff based high altitude training company, recently signed an agreement with the Brazilian Olympic Committee, hosts for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, to coordinate training camps for Brazil’s Olympic athletes. Over the next three years, leading up to the 2016 games many athletes from “Time Brasil,” the Brazilian Olympic team, will travel to Flagstaff for training.

“This agreement with Hypo2 is extremely important for the Brazilian Olympic sports world, as our athletes are going to be able to use high quality training center facilities in the United States, which are certainly going to assist Time Brasil’s preparation for the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” said Chief Executive Sports Officer, Marcus Vinicius Simões Freire.

Flagstaff has a long standing reputation as an altitude training Mecca, dating back to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, and Hypo2 has continued to further that reputation in the world of elite international sport over the last five years.

Hypo2 Owner Sean Anthony said, “Having the opportunity to coordinate training camps for the world’s best athletes is always an honor; but doing so for athletes from the National Olympic Committee that will be hosting the next summer Olympic Games takes it to a whole new level.”

For the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics in London, Hypo2 worked with hundreds of elite athletes including 152 athletes from 22 countries who made it onto their country’s 2012 Olympic or Paralympic squad. Of those 152 Olympians who trained in Flagstaff; 46 medals were won and 126 were in the top-8 performances.

“We have hosted Brazilian swimmers in the past, but this came about due to the Brazilian Olympic Committee’s increased interest in utilizing altitude training for their elite endurance athletes and the stellar reputation we have established for carrying out such training in Flagstaff,” said Anthony.

Delegates from the Brazilian Olympic Committee will visit Flagstaff in September to tour training facilities.

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Navajo Nation focuses on first casino in Arizona

Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise’s first casino in Arizona, is expected to be a major economic engine for the Flagstaff area.

“Twin Arrows will create a new benchmark in gaming entertainment while improving the economic health and prosperity of the Navajo Nation,” said Derrick Watchman, chief executive officer of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. “As northern Arizona’s premier destination casino resort, Twin Arrows will create approximately 800 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $34 million, including salaries and benefits.”

Az Business caught up with Watchmen before the 267,000-square-foot facility opened over Memorial Day weekend to get his thoughts about Northern Arizona’s hottest new spot.

Az Business: What has been your biggest challenge opening the casino?
Derrick Watchman: This project has been going on for five years, from ideas and concepts to financing and securing land, but there really hasn’t been any one big obstacle. We’re shorthanded on employees. Each employee has to be licensed. With three other casinos, there is a lot of turnover, as there is with all restaurants and in retail. We had challenges securing money. I was hired to secure financing, but about that time (2008 and 2009), the market crashed. But, we convinced the tribe that we were a really good investment. Other challenges? We hit rock-bottom — literally. At groundbreaking. It was limestone. There are only a few big rock [demolishing companies] in the country so we had to secure them. The rock you see around here, around the lobby and hotel, is part of the land.

AB: How does Twin Arrows reflect the Navajo Nation?
DW: When we started development, we identified a cultural committee. They worked with the architects and decided how to incorporate Navajo elements. The chandelier in the rotunda is actually representational of the four levels of worlds we believe in. Each hotel depicts the four worlds of the Navajo. We commissioned 33 different, very well-known Navajo artists. They put in their vision. You’ll see depictions of Navajo beliefs, creatures, animals, plant life and different directions. Our nation is known for mutton stew and fry bread, too, which is served in the casino food court.

AB: What can visitors expect?
DW: Our goal is to be a four-diamond resort. The amenities in the rooms are all geared to four-star ratings. When someone comes to Twin Arrows, we want them to say, “Wow.” We want to be a great food venue. We have the latest and greatest slot machines. Our poker room has 12 tables. We plan on having tournaments. We want folks to stay here, have meetings here, and have fun. I’ve heard the term “oasis in the desert.” We want to be that.

AB: Why did you pick that particular location for its first Arizona casino?
DW: We’re next to Flagstaff and the Indian Reservation – right where it stops. We’re also on Route 66, a historic route, and on the way out or into Flagstaff and Winslow. It’s an ideal location.

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$20,000 APS grant funds TGen education initiative

A $20,000 grant from the APS Foundation will help the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) expand its TGen2School initiative by providing science kits and instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

The kits and accompanying instruction for teachers are part of the TGen2School initiative at TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division – TGen North – in Flagstaff, where some of the world’s top experts in disease-causing microorganisms study everything from valley fever to MRSA and even anthrax and plague.

TGen North’s Bio-SEEK: Bio-Science Education Enrichments Kits Program provides five different types of bioscience education kits for teachers and their students. The goal is improved overall scientific literacy, and a better-prepared bioscience workforce.

The program includes instructional sessions to help educators use the kits to teach such concepts as infectious disease and genomic testing methods, biosafety procedures, bioinformatics, and how DNA is used in forensics, public health and other life sciences.

“These are ideal tools that teachers can use to convey complex concepts in ways students can easily absorb, and it lessens the burden on the pocketbooks of teachers,” said Zsuzsi Kovacs, TGen North’s STEM Education Coordinator. “These kits are built on next-generation science standards and bioscience basics that students need to succeed in the genome-age.”

TGen will provide instruction for teachers during professional development days at TGen North, 3051 W. Shamrell Blvd., southeast of Interstate 17 and the exit to the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport.

“Commercial bioscience kits often contain limited directions, making teaching concepts challenging when teachers already have so much on their plate,” Kovacs said. “With professional development and teacher-friendly directions, educators will be able to adapt them in a way that is best for their students.”

Thanks to the APS Foundation’s grant, the newly developed kits will be provided at no charge through a checkout system available to teachers who have attended the professional training.

TGen2School initiative aligns with the goals of David Engelthaler, TGen North’s Director of Programs and Operations, one of the leaders in STEM education in Flagstaff, which in 2012 became the nation’s first STEM City.

“With initial funding from the Flagstaff Community Foundation (FCF) and others, we have placed a concerted effort into our TGen2School program,” said Engelthaler, a former State Epidemiologist for the State of Arizona. “We are so excited that the APS Foundation has decided to help us. Their grant will allow us to grow and expand our program in a direction that better meets the needs of our teachers.”

The grant to TGen North was one of 15, totaling more than $500,000, made by the Foundation to non-profit organizations throughout Arizona and New Mexico. Of the 30 fastest growing occupations projected through 2016, more than half will require mastery of STEM subjects, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We at the APS Foundation applaud the efforts of all the organizations who received the grants,” said Julie Coleman, Executive Director of the APS Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to help support and encourage non-profits who engage in promoting STEM education, and other educational efforts, to increase student achievement. Success in education will result in a healthy society, strong economy and robust Arizona.”

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Navajo officials may expand casino alcohol use

Navajo gaming officials want to make it possible for people at the tribe’s Arizona casino to drink alcohol while they’re gambling.

Tribal law permits alcohol sales and consumption only in casino restaurants.

A bill moving through the Navajo Nation Council would allow drinks to be taken onto the casino floor.

Derrick Watchman is the chief executive of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. He says expanding areas where alcohol can be consumed would make the Twin Arrows casino near Flagstaff more competitive with other Arizona casinos.

The expansion wouldn’t carry over to the Navajo Nation’s casinos in New Mexico.

Alcohol is a touchy subject on the Navajo Nation, where the sale and consumption largely is banned.

Watchman expects the discussion over the bill to include the pervasive social ills of alcoholism.

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Flagstaff CVB Launches New Marketing Campaign

Visitors planning a trip to Flagstaff this summer will see a brand new look when they research the destination online. The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau launched a new marketing campaign that drives potential visitors to the redesigned flagstaffarizona.org website, which went live on Tuesday, June 18.

“We are excited to provide visitors with a newly designed website that is easy to navigate and use to find up-to-date information about Flagstaff and the surrounding region,” said Heather Ainardi, marketing and public relations manager at the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau. “With the new campaign and website being launched at the same time we are able to provide a consistent message to consumers and travel professionals seeking information.”

Based on research and focus group recommendations the Flagstaff CVB designed the new campaign and website to capture the “Flagstaff vibe,” explain the seasonality of the destination and feature a wide variety of activities found in the area. Highlights of the new campaign include an updated logo with a stamp effect, a distinct color palette to represent each season of the year and photo rich advertisements featuring engaging headlines.

The new advertisement headlines and message is flexible for all markets and will be adjusted based on placement. For example in the Phoenix metropolitan market the new Flagstaff ads will read, “If you were an egg, you’d fear no sidewalk” or “Out of this world, but not out of the way.” In southern California consumers might see a broader reaching message of, “If you were a dog, you’d wag your tail off.” For certain international markets where Route 66 is a popular attraction, the ad will read, “If you were a kid again, you’d need your mother road.”

Since the website is the primary call to action in the campaign’s advertisements the website received a fresh look and increased functionality so it can serve as the premier resource on visiting Flagstaff. The redesigned website is more interactive and features increased content including a destination blog, frequently changing homepage highlights and four unique pages that explain the visitor experience in each of the four seasons.

“Flagstaffarizona.org has been designed to not only provide current travel information, but also be a future planning resource. Links to collateral requests and e-newsletter sign ups are prevalent throughout the site,” said Ainardi. “In addition to general travel information for visitors, the site also provides details for travel professionals, meeting planners, media and filming companies.”

The new campaign debuted with advertisement placements in Flagstaff’s target markets of Arizona, Southern California and Las Vegas; and uses a variety of mediums including traditional print, online, outdoor and television commercials. On Wednesday, June 5, the campaign literally rolled out around Phoenix in the form of light rail train and city bus wraps.

For more information on Flagstaff, visit www.flagstaffarizona.org or call 800-842-7293. Located in the historic train depot at One E. Route 66, the Flagstaff Visitor Center is open Mon – Sat 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.

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Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort Opens Memorial Weekend

The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE), announced that the grand opening of its Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, located along I-40, exit 219, just east of Flagstaff, Ariz., will take place May 24, 2013. Grand opening events throughout Memorial weekend will highlight rich Navajo traditions while showcasing the property’s state-of-the art gaming, luxurious resort accommodations, fine dining and culturally infused architecture.

The 267,000-square-foot facility showcases Navajo culture and features commissioned Navajo artists’ original paintings and other artworks. The structure was designed by the Friedmutter Group of Las Vegas – working with Navajo tribal members – and built by Hunt Construction Group.

“Twin Arrows will create a new benchmark in gaming entertainment while improving the economic health and prosperity of the Navajo Nation,” said Derrick Watchman, chief executive officer of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. “As northern Arizona’s premier destination casino resort, Twin Arrows will create approximately 800 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $34 million, including salaries and benefits.”

Phase one of the $230 million facility includes 1,089 slot machines, 18 table games and 12 poker tables, live Keno, a five-story hotel with 90 rooms and suites 16,000 square foot banquet and conference center, fully equipped fitness center, heated indoor pool and six distinct dining concepts. The casino will operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The resort also offers 24-hour complimentary valet parking featuring a unique “Valet Express” mobile phone service system.

Six Distinct Dining Options
Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort offers an extensive variety of food and beverage options – sure to please every palate. Choose from casual eateries and a sports bar to fine dining and award-wining wines. Resort guests also have the option for in-room dining service 24 hours a day.

·      Zenith Steakhouse: Zenith Steakhouse is Twin Arrow’s flagship restaurant. Its exhibition kitchen, fireplace and menu put a progressive twist on the traditional. Zenith serves the highest quality meats and sustainable seafood paired with seasonal and regional produce to create exquisite steaks, chops, fish and shellfish entrees. Zenith also serves handcrafted cocktails and 250 of the worlds’ finest wines.

* The high nest of the eagle inspires the steakhouse design. Stone walls evoke the cliffs where eagles build their nests. Sculptural birch branches create intimate dining zones and custom light fixtures are woven from silver branches in the style of eagle nests. A Hogan ceiling is also replicated at the entry way portal.

·      Arrows Sports Bar: The sports bar offers a wide selection of local, regional and international beers as well as appetizers and entrees – including spicy wings, loaded nachos, steak and cheese fries, signature burgers, big-bowl salads and knife-and-fork sandwiches. The bar is surrounded by 19 large-screen HD TVs and a state-of-the-art sound system.

*The Sports Bar honors the legacy of traditional Navajo warriors. The crossed arrows are a symbol of peace and welcome in a home and recall the trials of the Locust – who were the first to enter the fourth world as couriers to the rest of the animals and people. Traditional bow patterns, arrow stripes, and the geometric designs of chief blankets are also featured.

·      Four Elements Café: The café offers a contemporary all-day dining menu, featuring a rich variety of dining options with a southwestern flair. Breakfast favorites include the three egg white omelet, buttermilk Navajo pancakes, skillets, baked sweet breads and Scottish smoked salmon. Throughout the rest of the day guests can choose from an extensive variety of salads, sandwiches, signature burgers, steaks, chops, seafood and desserts.

* The cafe is designed around a color and material palette of the elements in Navajo (Sky, Earth, Water, Fire and Air). The landscape’s topography is also rendered in decorative ceiling treatments.

·      The Reef, Seafood Bar: The Reef is a true seafood bar featuring exciting exhibition-style cooking. Menu favorites include freshly shucked oysters, oyster shooters, pasta, chowders and stews. The chef will also create specialty dishes upon request.

* The Seafood Bar is a tribute to the White Shell Woman and her house in the west on the shimmering water. Colors of blue suggest the beautiful ocean that surrounded her home. A sparkling bar top has integral white shell embedded within. Metals in soft patinas accent surfaces around the open-action kitchen.

·      Food Court: The Food Court offers a variety of ethnic and seasonal cuisine including authentic Navajo fry bread tacos, mutton stew and green chili pork stew. Traditional options including burger and fries, deli sandwiches, stir fry vegetable lo mein and other Asian-style cuisine are also available.

·      Coffee Bar: The Coffee Bar brews Peet’s Coffee daily and offers a variety of other made-to-order cold coffees, teas and seasonal beverages. Bottled soft drinks, energy drinks, fresh baked goods, parfaits and grab-n-go salads and sandwiches are also provided.

*Cultural design integration
(Menus available upon request)

“Ya at’eeh. We welcome Arizona residents and tourists to experience our world-class gaming and array of dining options this summer,” said Maureen Curley, chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. “We are committed to building business opportunities for the Navajo Nation as we provide an economic boost to the entire region and put Navajo people to work.”

Interior and exterior designs, lighting, colors and art installations incorporate the Four Worlds from the Navajo Creation and Emergence Story. Additionally, the basket weave pattern – to the importance of weaving in Navajo culture – can be seen on the exterior of the resort as well as in subtle interior details throughout the casino, restaurants and guest rooms.

Twin Arrows is the fourth casino of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. More information on Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TwinArrowsAZ.

92835364

Twin Arrows Casino Opens Memorial Weekend

The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE), announced that the grand opening of its Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, located along I-40, exit 219, just east of Flagstaff, Ariz., will take place May 24, 2013. Grand opening events throughout Memorial weekend will highlight rich Navajo traditions while showcasing the property’s state-of-the art gaming, luxurious resort accommodations, fine dining and culturally infused architecture.

The 267,000-square-foot facility showcases Navajo culture and features commissioned Navajo artists’ original paintings and other artworks. The structure was designed by the Friedmutter Group of Las Vegas – working with Navajo tribal members – and built by Hunt Construction Group.

“Twin Arrows will create a new benchmark in gaming entertainment while improving the economic health and prosperity of the Navajo Nation,” said Derrick Watchman, chief executive officer of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. “As northern Arizona’s premier destination casino resort, Twin Arrows will create approximately 800 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $20 million, including salaries and benefits.”

Phase one of the $230 million facility includes 1,089 slot machines, 18 table games and 12 poker tables, live Keno, a five-story hotel with 90 rooms and suites 16,000 square foot banquet and conference center, fully equipped fitness center, heated indoor pool and six distinct dining concepts. The casino will operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The resort also offers 24-hour complimentary valet parking featuring a unique “Valet Express” mobile phone service system.

Six Distinct Dining Options

Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort offers an extensive variety of food and beverage options – sure to please every palate. Choose from casual eateries and a sports bar to fine dining and award-wining wines. Resort guests also have the option for in-room dining service 24 hours a day.

·      Zenith Steakhouse: Zenith Steakhouse is Twin Arrow’s flagship restaurant. Its exhibition kitchen, fireplace and menu put a progressive twist on the traditional. Zenith serves the highest quality meats and sustainable seafood paired with seasonal and regional produce to create exquisite steaks, chops, fish and shellfish entrees. Zenith also serves handcrafted cocktails and 250 of the worlds’ finest wines.

·      Arrows Sports Bar: The sports bar offers a wide selection of local, regional and international beers as well as appetizers and entrees – including spicy wings, loaded nachos, steak and cheese fries, signature burgers, big-bowl salads and knife-and-fork sandwiches. The bar is surrounded by 19 large-screen HD TVs and a state-of-the-art sound system.

·      Four Elements Café: The café offers a contemporary all-day dining menu, featuring a rich variety of dining options with a southwestern flair. Breakfast favorites include the three egg white omelet, buttermilk Navajo pancakes, skillets, baked sweet breads and Scottish smoked salmon. Throughout the rest of the day guests can choose from an extensive variety of salads, sandwiches, signature burgers, steaks, chops, seafood and desserts.

·      The Reef, Oyster Bar: The Reef is a true oyster bar featuring exciting exhibition-style cooking. Menu favorites include freshly shucked oysters, oyster shooters, pasta, chowders and stews. The chef will also create specialty dishes upon request.

·      Food Court: The Food Court offers a variety of ethnic and seasonal cuisine including authentic Navajo fry bread tacos, mutton stew and green chili pork stew. Traditional options including burger and fries, deli sandwiches, stir fry vegetable lo mein and other Asian-style cuisine are also available.

·      Coffee Bar: The Coffee Bar brews Peet’s Coffee daily and offers a variety of other made-to-order cold coffees, teas and seasonal beverages. Bottled soft drinks, energy drinks, fresh baked goods, parfaits and grab-n-go salads and sandwiches are also provided.

“Ya at’eeh. We welcome Arizona residents and tourists to experience our world-class gaming and array of dining options this summer,” said Maureen Curley, chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. “We are committed to building business opportunities for the Navajo Nation as we provide an economic boost to the entire region and put Navajo people to work.”

Interior and exterior designs, lighting, colors and art installations incorporate the Four Worlds from the Navajo Creation and Emergence Story. Additionally, the basket weave pattern – to the importance of weaving in Navajo culture – can be seen on the exterior of the resort as well as in subtle interior details throughout the casino, restaurants and guest rooms.

Twin Arrows is the fourth casino of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. More information on Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TwinArrowsAZ.

desert peaks awards

Arizona plans road projects with reduced funding

The Arizona Department of Transportation says it will be working with $350 million less as it maps out construction projects for the next five years.

The department says the decreased funding is due to stagnant revenue from gas and vehicle license taxes, and declining federal aid. Director John Halikowski says some tough decisions will have to be made about how to spend limited dollars.

The public can begin submitting comments on three scenarios Friday. One focuses on preserving the state’s highway system, another focuses on major projects, and the third is a combination of those two.

Public hearings are planned in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff.

The State Transportation Board is expected to adopt a final plan to cover 2014 to 2018 at its June meeting in Pinetop-Lakeside.