WESTMARC is seeking nominees for its 23rd Annual Best of the West Awards, celebrating the best of Western Maricopa County, in partnership with Cox Communications, and with support from Gila River Indian Community, Republic Media, APS, CopperPoint Mutual Insurance, Arizona Cardinals, and Sub-Zero.
The purpose of the Best of the West Awards program is to recognize outstanding contributions to the image, lifestyle and economic development in Western Maricopa County. This region includes the cities, towns and areas of Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Gila Bend, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Peoria, West Phoenix, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Tolleson, Wickenburg, and Youngtown.
A panel of judges from outside our region will select the best from the following categories:
Economic Engine Award
Nominations for this award should include individuals, organizations, businesses, facilities, or programs which have created a significant economic impact for the West Valley. Nominees from both the public and private sectors and from a variety of industries are encouraged.
Quality of Life Enhancement Award
Nominees should include individuals, organizations, businesses, facilities, or programs which have enhanced the quality of life in the West Valley. Potential nominees could be educational opportunities, recreational programs or facilities, arts and culture venues, etc.
Excellence in Innovation Award
Nominees for this award should be individuals, organizations, businesses, facilities, or programs which demonstrate an innovative concept to accomplish one of the following: fulfill a need for West Valley citizens, preserve the West Valley’s assets or resources, create an economic benefit, etc.
Also presented at the Best of the West, and selected by WESTMARC’s Executive Committee (no entries are required), will be the following awards:
• West Valley Excellence in Leadership
• West Valley Regional Advancement
You are encouraged to submit nominations that you feel deserve recognition. To nominate yourself or someone else, download nomination forms here.
Submissions must be postmarked or delivered by 5 p.m. Friday, August 28, 2015 . The Best of the West Awards will be presented Thursday, November 5, 2015 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Wigwam Resort.
GPE Commercial Advisors, an award winning commercial real estate firm in Arizona, secured the sale of a 36,361 SF church and school complex located at 8807 North 61st Avenue, in Glendale, Arizona. World Mission Society Church of God purchased the property for $1,540,000.
Senior Vice President, Bret Isbell represented the Seller, Covenant Christian Fellowship Church & School. Brian Marshall of GHE Realty, represented the Buyer.
“Although the property had been considered by some potential buyers to redevelop into a different use, it was gratifying to locate another Church to buy the property and continue to serve the community that surrounds it.” Said Bret Isbell. The complex sits on 3.5 acres and includes a 24,960 SF church, a 10,201 SF school and a 1,200 SF residence as well as two playgrounds on the over-sized yard.
Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates, Arizona Organizing Committee Co-Chair Brad Wright, Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Tempe Vice Mayor Corey Woods, Mesa Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Glendale City Councilman Sammy Chavira and Arizona Organizing Committee Co-Chair Win Holden.
With 195 days and counting until the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Arizona Organizing Committee (AOC) and several Valley mayors and city leaders, unveiled a countdown clock at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This clock will mark the days, hours and minutes until Arizona shines on center stage with the kick-off of the big game.
“The countdown for the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship has officially begun. This marks another milestone for the AOC and the community as we prepare for one of the most exciting times in Arizona’s sports history,” said Brad Wright, co-chair of the Arizona Organizing Committee. “Everyone traveling through Phoenix Sky Harbor will see the clock and know that Arizona is the destination for the biggest celebration of college football.”
Located in Terminal 4, which serves 80 percent of Sky Harbor’s passengers, the digital clock is illuminated on a 55 inch high-definition LED screen at the west end of Baggage Claim. An additional countdown clock will soon be illuminated on east end of Baggage Claim.
“The first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship was a major success, and we expect an even bigger and better experience for fans when the Valley hosts the second National Championship in 2016,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “That phenomenal fan experience begins at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which serves as the gateway to the Valley for the thousands of fans traveling in to attend the game. This clock is our way of showing how much we look forward to welcoming them and providing a world-class experience.”
The second ever College Football Playoff National Championship will be played on January 11, 2016, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. This will be the Valley’s first time hosting the game which debuted in its new format last year in Arlington, Texas.
More than 85,000 people are expected to visit the Valley of the Sun for the game and surrounding festivities. Phoenix Sky Harbor will serve as the gateway to the events, and provide easy access to Valley-wide activities. The PHX Sky Train® connects with Valley Metro Rail to provide a quick, convenient, and seamless ride from the airport to downtown Phoenix, where a multi-day fan festival called Playoff Fan Central will be held, giving fans the opportunity to be a part of the national championship experience.
Valley leaders in attendance at the countdown clock unveiling included Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Mesa Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh, Tempe Vice Mayor Corey Woods, Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates, Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, and Glendale City Councilman Sammy Chavira.
The Arizona Lottery announces that the $188.9 million Powerball jackpot winning ticket was sold in Glendale for last night’s drawing.
The jackpot has been steadily increasing over a span of 13 draws from April 22, through June 3, 2015. This is the largest Powerball jackpot won in Arizona since the $587.5 million jackpot in 2012, which was split between an Arizona and Missouri winner.
The winning ticket was sold at a Quicktrip™ located at 4255 W Union Hills Dr. in Glendale. Quicktrip™ will receive a $25,000 commission for selling this winning ticket. The winning ticket matched 6 out of 6 numbers drawn including the Powerball. The winning numbers were 6-8-13-37-40, PB 11. If the winner chooses the annuity option, the prize will be $188.9 million before taxes. If the cash option is chosen, the prize will be $119,993,157 before taxes.
“A winning ticket of this magnitude is going to be life changing and extremely beneficial to the state,” said Tony Bouie, Executive Director of the Arizona Lottery. “We are so excited to have an Arizona winner and can’t wait to award them with the prize money.”
Powerball offers many appealing features to players. The starting jackpot is $40 million, and the second prize for matching all five numbers, without the Powerball, is $1 million.
The Arizona Lottery advises players to sign their tickets and check them as soon as possible to avoid missing out on any prizes they may have won. The next Powerball drawing will be held Saturday, June 6, with a starting jackpot of $40 million. Tickets can be purchased at any Arizona Lottery retailer. Players can check their tickets by visiting ArizonaLottery.com.
Players must be 21 years or older to purchase or redeem tickets. Winners have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize at an Arizona Lottery office or by mail. Overall odds vary by game. All sales are final. In accordance with the ADA, these materials may be made available in an alternative format. Gambling Problem? Call 1.800.NEXT STEP (1-800-639-8783). Please Play Responsibly™.
All summer long Westgate Entertainment District is the go-to West Valley destination for free, family-friendly events and activities for all ages.
Whether it’s live music under the stars, kids cooling off at the Splash Pad on a warm afternoon, checking out over 1,000 bikes during Bike Night, meet-and-greets with movie-characters during Westgate Wednesdays or taking advantage of happy hour deals after a Cardinals Training Camp game – Westgate will be bustling almost every night of the week.
With over 20 restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues, there is no shortage of options when it comes to grabbing a bite, some sweet treats or ice-cold beverages while enjoying these activities:
Live Music Under the Stars
Every Friday and Saturday night, live music from talented local bands share their sounds at Fountain Park from 6:30pm-9:30pm. Sit back, relax and enjoy music under the stars while the kids play at the Splash Pad. Ranging from rock, funk, soul and jazz, bands include Interfate, Ratio, Ghandi’s Garage, Kenny Love & The Rock-er-fellas, to name a few. You’re bound to see people break into dance, too! http://www.westgateaz.com/events/live-music/.
Open daily from 10am-10pm, the Splash Pad at Fountain Park is always a family favorite. Families and friends alike can share in laughter as they pop in and out of spouting-streams of water and enjoy a sunny, Arizona afternoon. http://www.westgateaz.com/experience/amenities/.
Arizona Cardinals Training Camp is returning to Glendale for the third year and Westgate Entertainment District is in walking distance of the pre-season practices. Cardinals Training Camp typically opens two weeks before the first preseason game, which is Saturday, Aug. 15 with practices from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. With so many happy hour specials at Westgate, it is easy to make your trip to the Training Camp and all-day event. The full Training Camp schedule can be found at: http://www.azcardinals.com/
Motorcycles are cruising into Westgate Entertainment Distinct every Thursday from 5pm-9pm this summer with Westgate Bike Night! This hugely popular weekly event hosts close to 1,000 bikes and 1,500 guests for family-friendly fun, live music and more and will run until June 25. http://www.westgateaz.com/bikenight/.
Running from June 3 through July 29, the free, family-friendly series goes from 6:00pm-7:30pm offering weekly themed events that draw hundreds of kids and parents to enjoy music, dancing, games and prize giveaways. New this year, Westgate Wednesday will have movie character meet-and-greets and photo opportunities each week. http://www.westgateaz.com/summer/.
For information on Westgate Entertainment District, a retailer directory or to see what’s happening today, visit www.westgateaz.com.
DeVry University recently announced the appointment of Anthony Spano as president of the Phoenix campus in Arizona. Spano will provide executive leadership at the university’s Phoenix, Glendale and Mesa locations (collectively known as the Phoenix metro).
Spano has more than 24 years of academic leadership experience and has served as the campus director of DeVry University’s campus in Oklahoma City since 2008.
“Anthony has demonstrated a propensity for leadership and has shown a focus on student needs since he joined DeVry University,” said Shelly C. DuBois, group vice president of DeVry University. “His strong rapport with students has helped many make the dream of college education a reality. Anthony’s personal knowledge and understanding of DeVry University’s mission and goals will be integral to leading the Phoenix area campuses as the new president.”
Spano began his career as a financial aid director at Oklahoma Junior College in Oklahoma City. Most recently, he served as the interim president of DeVry University’s Phoenix metro. Spano is a member of the Oklahoma, Southwest and National Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators, which provide professional development for financial aid administrators and advocate for public policies that increase student access and success.
“During my time as campus director for the Oklahoma City campus, I had the privilege of meeting many students and administrators who exemplify the diverse success stories DeVry University has come to represent,” Spano said. “I look forward to making Phoenix my permanent home and deepening my relationships with DeVry University and the local community.”
Spano earned both his bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in adult education from the University of Central Oklahoma.
For more information about DeVry University, visit devry.edu.
The Greater Phoenix multifamily market continued to ride a wave of momentum to start 2015. Robust renter demand for units fueled another vacancy improvement, rents surged and sales prices posted additional gains. Healthy employment growth is the driving force behind renter demand, and the new units that are being delivered to the market are being leased quickly. The supply side remains the primary uncertainty going forward, particularly as permitting for new units slowed in late-2014 and again in the first few months of this year.
After ending 2014 at a 17-year low, the Greater Phoenix multifamily vacancy rate continued to improve in the first three months of 2015. The rate fell 50 basis points in the first quarter to 5.7 percent, and over the past 12 months, vacancy has dipped 80 basis points. The ongoing vacancy tightening has been dynamic; as recently as the end of 2010, metrowide vacancy was over 10 percent, and the rate peaked at more than 13 percent in 2009.
While the market rate was over 10 percent a few years ago, currently, only one submarket in all of Greater Phoenix currently has a vacancy rate in the double digits. A dozen submarkets in the Valley feature vacancy rates of 5 percent or lower, with some of the tightest vacancies in the Ahwatukee Foothills, Chandler and Gilbert submarkets. Year-over-year vacancy declines have been recorded in more than 70 percent of the submarkets in the metro area, and in the areas where the rate is improving, the average decline is approximately 150 basis points.
After renters moved into a net of more than 5,800 units in 2014, another surge in demand was recorded in the first quarter. Net absorption hit a five-year high in the first quarter, totaling more than 2,800 units, up nearly 15 percent from the first quarter 2014. While absorption was strongest in Scottsdale and Chandler/Gilbert, it was positive in nearly every submarket in the Valley during the first quarter, with healthy performance in the Glendale, Union Hills/Cave Creek and Ahwatukee Foothills submarkets.
Persistent renter demand for units and tightening vacancy are fueling robust rent growth. Asking rents surged 2.2 percent in the first quarter—the strongest single quarterly increase on record—and have jumped 5.4 percent over the past 12 months.This comes following a 1.5 percent rent gain to close 2014, which at the time was the largest rent spike since 2006. At $837 per month, current asking rents are 9 percent above the post-recession low, and average increases in the 4.0 percent to 6.5 percent range are forecast over the next few years.
Sales velocity in the first three months of 2015 lagged activity levels from the preceding quarter by approximately 20 percent, but declines in the first quarter are common. When compared to other starts to the year, however, activity was quite robust, with more properties changing hands to start 2015 than in any first quarter since 2007. When compared to the same period one year ago, sales activity thus far in 2015 has more than doubled.
Strengthening property performance and favorable market sentiment are pushing prices higher. The median price per unit rose approximately 10 percent in 2014 and continued to gain momentum to start this year. The median price in the first quarter was $73,100 per unit, the highest median price since 2008. Part of the recent rise is explained by activity at the high-end of the market.Sales of properties for more than $100,000 per unit accounted for 38 percent of all transaction volume in the first quarter, up from 30 percent of all sales in 2014. These higher-priced properties are typically newer construction, averaging 10 years old at the time of sale. With developers increasing deliveries in recent years, and investment demand healthy, there could be additional volume among newer properties in the years ahead.
The 2015 Super Bowl kicked off an unprecedented run for the Phoenix metro area as the host of mega-sporting events. But if the Valley is going to continue to lure Super Bowls, NCAA championship football games and Final Fours, leaders in the sports community say the current system needs to be improved.
“We’re playing with a bow and arrow and everybody else is playing with a howitzer,” said Jon Schmieder, founder and CEO of the Huddle Up Group that is based in Phoenix and consults with sports commissions across the country.
The howitzer belongs to cities like Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Miami that have deep pockets and one central sports commission with full-time staffers.
Phoenix, in conjunction with Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe and Mesa, won bids for high-profile collegiate and professional events without the benefit of a unified sports commission to spearhead the effort. The successful bids were the results of hard work by dozens of people around the city, none of whom work together under one roof on a regular basis.
Phoenix might be in danger of falling behind other cities if it doesn’t update the system used to organize these events.
In 2016, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium. One year later, the Men’s Final Four rolls into the Valley.
These rotating events complement the annual large-scale sporting events that call the Greater Phoenix area home. For more than 40 years, college football pageantry has descended on the Valley with the Fiesta Bowl and, more recently, the Cactus Bowl. Phoenix International Raceway hosts two NASCAR races every year. The Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale is arguably the most raucous and fan-friendly tournament on the PGA Tour.
And the city hosted two Super Bowls in seven years.
When the pieces fit together, the picture seems clear: Phoenix has carved out a place among the major host cities of the nation’s biggest sporting events.
The question now becomes: Can the metro area maintain its hot streak?
David Rousseau, president of the Salt River Project and chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, worries the current system of assembling a different committee each time a new event comes to town could hinder future attempts to secure and produce the events.
“That (system), at some point, is going to start to be this frayed, fragmented effort,” he said. “I think there’s some value in just continuing to improve upon and refine that effort and you can only do that if you have that one platform model as opposed to startup efforts every time a new bid opportunity comes by.”
Only one person served on both the 2008 and 2015 Super Bowl host committees. Several members of the 2015 committee have transitioned to the Arizona Organizing Committee that will produce the college football championship game. But the majority of the Super Bowl host committee members have taken other jobs and gone their separate ways.
Each loss means some institutional knowledge gained from valuable experience is siphoned off, but the lack of overall consistency in personnel from committee to committee doesn’t necessarily mean a drop in the quality of the event.
By all accounts, the 2015 Super Bowl was a major success for the Valley. Rousseau hopes the economic impact report being produced by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business will show numbers that equal or exceed the half-billion dollars of direct-spend money he said was captured around the 2008 game.
“We’ve never been better in terms of customer satisfaction than we are right now but we don’t have a staff to go ahead and go forward and secure that commitment for future bids,” Rousseau said.
Tom Sadler, president of the Arizona Organizing Committee, shined a positive light on the current model but also acknowledged there might be a better way to operate.
“I wouldn’t say it puts us at a disadvantage when we are bidding head to head … because at the end of the day we’ll rise to the occasion,” he said. “Could it be more efficient to have an overarching commission overseeing this so we’re not reinventing the wheel every year? The answer is yes.”
Sadler is a busy man in the landscape of mega-events en route to the Valley. As president and CEO of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, he is the head of the group that oversees the operation of University of Phoenix Stadium. He was also co-bid chair for the Final Four.
“I would like to see an organization that would respond to not just the big three mega events – Super Bowl, college champ, Final Four – but soccer events, entertainment events, to be an agency that’s nimble enough to be on the leading edge of competition with these other cities,” Sadler said.
Cities that perennially host major sporting events in the country are the competition: Miami, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco and Indianapolis. The New York Super Bowl opened the door for so-calledcold-weather cities to host the game.
Minneapolis was awarded the game in 2018, to be played in a new domed stadium.
Those cities, as well as many others in the rotation for at least one of the big events, have one central sports commission to oversee the recruitment and coordination of events of all sizes. The size and scope of the commission varies from city to city.
Individual committees can be formed on an as-needed basis or the commission itself can double as the host committee, as is the case with the Dallas Sports Commission.
“The sports commission is the local organizing committee (for the 2017 Women’s Final Four),” said Larry Kelly, communications and marketing manager for the Dallas Sports Commission. “It varies event to event but on all the collegiate and amateur events that we bring in, we’re the local organizing committee. And then on the major professional events, depending on the event, there will be a larger committee involved.”
The oldest sports commission in the country is the Indianapolis Sports Corp. Founded in 1979, its website lists close to 30 full-time employees who run departments like business development, finance and events.
Miami’s sports commission is one of the smallest, though the city is obviously a prime destination. The staff is comprised of only two people but the commission’s large board of directors, which includes ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard, helps bring in all types of events.
“We have a very wide array of board members so that helps bridge a lot of the gaps and helps bring everyone together,” said Miami-Dade Sports Commission Associate Executive Director Mathew Ratner.
Despite the size and duties of a specific commission, the NFL requires each host city to form a new stand-alone committee to oversee the production of a Super Bowl. Even with an all-hands-on-deck mentality, the effort required for success is enormous.
“It is a herculean task put together an effective bid,” Sadler said. “It’s beyond herculean to execute these events when they come out.”
Two themes run through the discussion when the word “fundraising” comes up among metro-area leaders of the sports community: Arizona could benefit from a state fund for mega-events similar to the one used in Texas. Fundraising on an event-by-event basis is not a sustainable model for the future if Phoenix wants to remain competitive with other markets.
“Our fundraising focus was on largely (the) business community and I think we probably raised on the order of 70 percent of our dollars of the $30 million that it took to host the game from our business community,” Rousseau said.
With three mega-events landing in the Valley in consecutive years, the concern is each host committee must try to raise money from the same small pool of potential donors.
“We just can’t year in and year out count on the support from the private sector,” Sadler said. “I think it’s possible to do it for a few years in the short run, but year after year would be very difficult, and that’s why we need the state’s help.”
Texas has adjusted and amended its model over the years, but the concept has remained the same. If an event hosted in the state can prove a certain level of revenue was generated during its run, the state will reimburse the host committee for a percentage of its operating budget on par with the money earned.
The host committee can then pass some of those savings on to the rights holder of the event to hopefully ensure the event returns in the future and also roll some of the money over to pursue subsequent events.
Said Kelly: “The Texas Major Event Trust Fund program has been a tremendous success story for the city of Dallas and its ability to attract and retain major sporting events and certain citywide conventions to the state of Texas, and to Dallas.”
Texas has $50 million authorized for the fund for the 2015 fiscal year.
While many sports leaders in Phoenix agree a state fund would be beneficial, if not necessary, they also agree the $50 million figure is probably too high for Arizona.
“I frankly think that’s too rich of a model,” Rousseau said.
The exact dollar amount feasible in Arizona is debatable, but attempts to create such a fund have already begun.
In 2014, former state Rep. Tom Forese, R-Gilbert, introduced a bill that would have created a $10 million fund, though he and others were quick to say the fund must be carefully regulated.
“It’s a very competitive environment when you’re chasing opportunities like this, so you want to give the state every competitive advantage and yet you don’t want to be throwing money blindly at anything,” said Forese, now a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. “So the model that we had was a revolving fund, and it was a fund that could be used in order to provide that competitive edge and then be reimbursed by the proceeds of the event.”
The bill did not make it through the Legislature, but Sadler, who helped promote the bill, hopes to keep the issue alive.
“Given the state’s current economic status, it wasn’t a great time to enter into that conversation, but we’re going to keep it on the front burner and see if we can get something enacted,” he said.
The challenges of raising money in the Valley can be daunting, and proponents of the fund say it would help ease the burden on both the host committees and local businesses.
The Phoenix metro area is home to only four Fortune 500 companies, according to the 2014 list compiled by Fortune magazine. By comparison, Dallas and Minneapolis both have 18 and Atlanta has 16.
Steve Moore, president and CEO of Visit Phoenix, has the unique experience of having worked with the Texas fund during his 14 years at the Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and 14 years at the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has overseen Visit Phoenix for 13 years and sees the need for some kind of state fund for events.
“Those states that enjoy mega-event funding have clearly placed us at a disadvantage. It’s no longer just that our good weather is going to bring mega events here. It has to be an organized, consistent, well-funded effort that is a great business model, that is inclusive and aware, and abides by the sunshine (law) of open government.”
Questions without answers
The reason for a central sports commission, which would recruit and coordinate major sporting events in the Valley, seem plentiful. However, the idea is rife with questions.
Alan Young, COO of the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission, which primarily organizes youth and amateur events, sees several outstanding issues that would need to be addressed.
“I think the main question to ask is, what do the citizens believe?” he said. “What is the overall concept of this? Is building stadiums a drain on the economic impact of the community or is it a positive, is it a plus? Investing in these events – is it a drain on the citizens, the taxation, or is it a good investment? Is it a good business decision or not?”
Despite numerous questions, Young is in favor of a unified sports commission and a state fund.
“I certainly believe and our commission believes it’s a great business decision to invest in these types of events but getting the Legislature, getting the citizens, to buy into this has always been a difficult task,” he said.
Steve Moore speculated about the uses of a potential state fund for event production.
“Is this (state fund) something you’d use for a national political convention?” he asked. “That’s a partisan event. Would you use that for it? Is there an answer to that? That’s not a sports commission issue, but it’s a mega-event issue.”
Tom Sadler raised the issue of the year-round responsibilities of the prospective commission.
“What does this commission do between bids and between executing these bids?”
Opinions and theories are abundant in the sports community, and the discussion is ongoing. The goal, though, is the same for all.
“When we have these national sporting events … they’re massive economic drivers and so it’s much more than just sports,” said Commissioner Forese. “This is a way to put Arizona’s best foot forward, and also it’s a way to have people come and take a look at Arizona and consider moving here or moving their business here.”
WASHINGTON – Bills that would halt construction on a Tohono O’odham casino in Glendale passed committees in both the House and the Senate Wednesday.
The Keep the Promise Act of 2015 – introduced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale – would “prohibit gaming activities on certain Indian land in Arizona until the expiration of certain gaming compacts” in 2027.
“I am pleased the Senate Indian Affairs Committee has advanced this legislation in the Senate,” McCain said in a statement released by his office after the bill passed the committee on a voice vote.
“I introduced this bill because of objections raised by a number of Arizona mayors and other local elected officials who do not approve of this or any other Indian casino being airdropped into their communities,” his statement said.
The House bill, passed by a subcommittee last month, was formally sent to the full House Wednesday.
Tohono O’odham officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but have repeatedly criticized what they call the “job-killing legislation” by Franks and McCain. The West Valley Resort and Casino would create an estimated 3,000 permanent jobs, said the tribe, which broke ground on the project last year.
“After the Nation has consistently followed the law, it is shameful for the Senate to consider breaking the federal government’s word, and placing taxpayers on the hook for this special interest earmark,” said Tohono O’odham Chairman Ned Norris in a statement posted on the tribe’s web site.
“If this legislation passes, all tribes should question whether Congress can be trusted to keep its word in land and water rights settlements,” the statement said.
But other tribes welcomed the vote Wednesday. The Tohono O’odham project is opposed by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Gila River and Fort McDowell Yavapai tribes, which all have casinos in the Valley.
“The community stands united with the governor of Arizona, the attorney general, many city leaders in the Phoenix area, and tribal leaders throughout the state, in confirming that voters never intended to have ‘casino reservations’ created by a tribe in the middle of a city, more than 100 miles away from its reservation,” said Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Delbert Ray Sr. in a statement Wednesday.
“Additionally, this legislation is consistent with the state’s position that principles of fraud and misrepresentation nullify any contention that the Tohono O’odham Nation may create a new casino reservation in the middle of Glendale, at a site across the street from a public high school,” Ray’s statement said.
The statement from the Gila River Indian Community said that without action from Congress, the Tohono O’odham could build three other casinos on other off-reservation lands they have in Maricopa.
But the Tohono O’odham have pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report on the House version of the bill that said the tribe would likely sue Congress if the bills passed, which could ultimately cost taxpayers up to $1 billion in litigation and settlements.
“This announcement by the CBO – a nonpartisan agency which produces independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues – calls into question why fiscally conservative members of Congress would want to support this legislation,” the tribe said in a statement last week.
That statement quoted Norris as charging the bills’ backers with “working so hard to send Arizona workers to the unemployment line.”
“Now we also are trying to understand why they would be willing to make American taxpayers foot the bill for creating this job-killing legislation, all to protect the market share of a few wealthy special interests,” his statement said.
DTZ, a global leader in commercial real estate services, announced the $9.9 million sale of Brookwood Commerce Centre, 4425 W. Olive Avenue in Glendale, AZ. United Realty MTA of Mesa, AZ, purchased the 209,182 square foot midrise office building for $9.9 million.
Executive Managing Director Eric Wichterman and Senior Vice President Mike Coover of DTZ’s Phoenix office represented the seller, 4425 West Olive Holdings.
Built in 1974, Brookwood Commerce Centre is a four-story, multi-tenant office building with frontage on both Olive and 43rd avenues. It is conveniently located near I-17 and surrounded by a large amenity base including Metrocenter Mall. The property was 79% occupied at the time of sale.
On March 6, 7 and 8, join Out West Balloon Fest and Fun Run at the University of Phoenix in Glendale, Ariz for a weekend filled with much more than hot air. They will kick off the weekend with a Friday night balloon glow and then more to come through the weekend.
From bumblebees, to butterflies and even Smokey the Bear, there will be a special shaped balloon to please every member of the family.
Bring an appetite because on the ground attendees will find dozens of food and novelty vendors, hours of live music, wine and craft beer tastings and opportunities to mingle with the balloon pilots. For the kids, there’s a special area with a slew of inflatable attractions a climbing wall and much more.
Saturday morning will begin with a family-friendly 5K fun run, proceeds benefitting the 100 Club of Arizona. A second balloon glow will follow that evening.
Also, enjoy the “Hare and Hound” balloon competition. Grand Marshall Bill Cutter will start off the race by launching his own balloon. He will land his balloon and lay out the target where the other balloon will then launch and race to the finish line. Each balloon pilot (or hounds) tries to drop a bean bag closest to the center of the target to win a variety of prizes.
Sunday morning will round off the weekend with a competitive balloon race. The hot air balloon pilots will show off their skills by competing in a race to launch and land at one of three declared spots to win a prize.
Tickets range from $10 to $20 per person. Kids ages 12 and younger are free.
Colliers International in Greater Phoenix used its brokers’ connections to bring about the completion of the $6.25 million sale of the Technology Center at Talavi, a Class A multi-tenant and medical office building in Glendale.
Phoenix Heart Realty LLC of Glendale purchased the property, located at 5859 West Talavi Boulevard, from Credit Union West of Glendale.
“Tyler Smith’s in-depth knowledge of the office and medical office building market in the West Valley as a vice president at Colliers helped to bring the buyer,” said Marcus Muirhead, an associate vice president at Colliers.
Smith represented Phoenix Heart Realty along with the Colliers Muirhead-Guglielmino-Gonzalez Investment Team, led by Muirhead, Greg Guglielmino, senior associate, and Steve Gonzalez, senior vice president. The listing agent was Brian Ackerman, senior vice president, with Jones Lang LaSalle in Phoenix.
“Phoenix Heart was a tenant and occupies the majority of the building,” said Muirhead, adding, “From a strategic and long-term-growth plan it makes perfect sense for Phoenix Heart to own the building, rather than rent.”
Built in 2000, the Technology Center at Talavi is comprised of 35,904-square-feet on approximately 4.07 acres. The property is 100 percent leased by Blue Chip tenants such as Phoenix Heart, Wallick and Volk and the John C. Lincoln Health Network. Limited rollover is expected for the next several years.
The property is situated at the Bell Road main entrance of the Talavi Business Park, which has a total of 67-acres of Class A office properties. The development is positioned halfway between the Loop 101 and I-17.
Colliers International’s Muirhead-Guglielmino-Gonzalez Investment Team specializes in representing clients in the acquisition and disposition of general office and medical properties in the Phoenix Market. The focus is to help clients expand, not just complete transactions. The team provides advisory and consulting investment services.
For more information contact the Colliers Muirhead-Guglielmino-Gonzalez Investment Team at 602-222-5000.
ORION Investment Real Estate announced the sale of Sunburst Plaza in Glendale, located at the Southwest corner of 43rd Avenue and Bell Road in Glendale. The 103,000 square foot shopping center sold for $9,300,000 to Sunburst Station LLC an entity affiliated with Phillips Edison & Company based in Cincinnati, OH. The Seller in the transaction was The Sunburst Plaza Company, LLC based in Beverly Hills, CA. The anchor tenant occupying Sunburst Plaza is a 56,000 square foot Fry’s Food Store (Kroger) that was originally developed in 1987. The grocery store has recently gone through an expansion and remodel over the last couple years in addition to adding a Fry’s fuel pump pad.
Additional tenants occupying the center include Epic Thrift, H & R Block, Just Brakes, Fresh Vitamins, as well as numerous local tenants. The grocery anchored center is located within an infill location on a major arterial road with traffic counts that exceed 55,000 vehicles per day at the intersection.
The transaction was negotiated by Nick Miner, CCIM and Andrew Harrison of ORION Investment Real Estate based in Scottsdale.
ORION’s Vice President Andrew Harrison, “The buyer has been focused on acquiring this asset for over two years, due to the existing debt that was encumbering the property we had to be patient with the seller. In the end we believe the seller and buyer walked away from the transaction very satisfied.”
Unlike alleged Foxboro footballs, ticket and travel costs to pro football’s championship game did not deflate over the weekend. They went up.
Before the conference championship games took place, the average game ticket to Glendale cost $3,374, according to TiqIQ. Now, the average ticket price is $4,174.50. That price is only around 2 percent higher than it was for last year’s game at this time.
On the travel side, Patriots fans who bought their airline tickets last week could have paid as little as $343 roundtrip for travel departing January 31 and returning February 2nd. Today, the range for roundtrip fares between Boston and Phoenix is $704 to $1,227. Similarly, last week, the least expensive roundtrip fare from Seattle to Phoenix was $303. Today, the range is $664 to $1,021. Note – is it not unusual for airfares to increase as travel days get closer, especially last-minute. And on the hotel side of the equation, rates for game weekend rooms are running anywhere between $117 and $1,999 a night.
Westgate’s owner, iStar Financial, will begin construction on a new, 41,000-square-foot building located to the west of AMC Theatres that will expand the existing entertainment district. Dave & Buster’s will join AMC as an anchor tenant.
“We are thrilled to announce Dave & Buster’s as the newest addition to Westgate Entertainment District,” said David Sotolov, senior vice president of iStar Financial. “When iStar acquired Westgate three years ago, we committed to investments of substantial money, new ideas and a concerted effort to solidify Westgate as the preeminent entertainment destination in the West Valley, if not all of metro-Phoenix. Dave & Buster’s is a transformative leap forward in our entertainment tenant mix, and builds upon our earlier successes including bringing Tanger Outlets to Westgate in 2012 as well as Tanger’s expansion in 2014.”
Dave & Buster’s currently has 73 locations in the U.S. and Canada. This is the third Valley location, joining Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge.
Teetsel Properties in Phoenix negotiated the lease and is the development manager for iStar. CBRE handled the leasing representation for both the landlord and the tenant. Butler Design Group of Phoenix and Linear! of Dallas are the architects.
You don’t need a ticket to Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1 or a VIP party pass to get in on all of the excitement and activities surrounding the big game. Just steps from the stadium, Westgate Entertainment District will be the hub of activity in Glendale with a Super Music Series presented by Bud Light, a five-day free concert series that is open to the public.
Beginning Weds. Jan. 28 through Super Bowl Sunday, Westgate’s WaterDance Plaza will transform into an outdoor concert venue with local and national bands hitting the stage. On Wednesday through Saturday festivities will run from 6pm – 10pm and on Sunday from 11am – 4pm. Each day will feature a different music genre, from classic rock and electronic dance music to country and 80’s hits. No tickets are required to take part in the fun and groove alongside fellow football fans.
Attendees can enjoy Westgate’s more than 20 restaurants, bars and retailers in addition to an open-air beer garden around the stage and other fan activities. Westgate will be making a donation to the 100 Club of Arizona from a portion of the beer garden sales. During the Super Music Series, with the exception of Super Bowl Sunday, parking is free at all of Westgate’s lots surrounding the Entertainment District.
“We are pleased to present a fantastic music lineup that is completely free and open to the public,” said Jeff Teetsel, development manager for Westgate Entertainment District. “With many of the events around the big game being private or expensive, we wanted to differentiate Westgate’s activities and provide a free opportunity for both locals and visiting fans to participate in the excitement surrounding the Super Bowl. No ticket is required to attend, and Westgate’s WaterDance Event Plaza is a spectacular open-air environment. We and our tenants look forward to welcoming thousands of fans each day.”
Weds. Jan. 28: Los Lobos (6pm – 10pm, local band opens at 6pm, headliner takes the stage at 8:30pm)
Thurs. Jan. 29: Chainsmokers (6pm – 10pm, local DJ opens at 6pm, headliner takes the stage at 8:30pm)
Fri. Jan. 30: Eli Young Band (6pm – 10pm, local band opens at 6pm, headliner takes the stage at 8:30pm)
Sat. Jan. 31: Dramarama, Bow Wow Wow, Gene Loves Jezebel and Naked Eyes (6pm – 10pm, local band opens at 6pm, headliner takes the stage at 8:30pm)
Sun. Feb 1: SUPER BOWL SUNDAY. All festivities and live music run from 11am – 4pm. Local bands include Kianna Martinez, Jared & The Mill and Chad Freeman & Redline.
Westgate Entertainment District transforms into a winter wonderland starting Nov. 25 with the opening of the holiday skating rink, the lighting of the 33-foot holiday tree with over 3,180 sparkling lights, Santa’s official arrival, horse-drawn carriage rides and nightly snowfall.
All season long you can get into the holiday spirit and make Westgate your festive destination with ongoing events taking place through the end of the year. And, take advantage of special holiday savings at select tenants with online coupons available now through the end of the year by visiting http://westgateaz.com/shop/savings/.
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony & First Snowfall
Tuesday, Nov. 25
6:30pm at Fountain Park
Photos with Santa from 7-9pm
It’s the official kick-off to the holiday season! Start the evening with a holiday skating performance followed by the lighting of Westgate’s 33-foot holiday tree and Santa’s official arrival. At 7pm it will magically snow for the first time this holiday season!
Westgate Nightly Snowfall
Nov. 25 through Dec. 24 (except for Thanksgiving Day)
7pm and 8pm nightly at Fountain Park
The only place in the West Valley to see it snow nightly is at Westgate Entertainment District! Watch as Fountain Park magically turns into a living snow globe each evening with a snow show twice a night.
Free Holiday Skating
Wednesday, Nov. 26: 11am – 6pm
Friday, Nov. 28: 11am – 9pm
Saturday, Nov. 29: 11am – 9pm
Sunday, Nov. 30: 11am – 6pm
Enjoy FREE skating for children 5 years and older with skate rentals included at Fountain Park. Don’t forget to bring your socks.
Black Friday with the Arizona Coyotes
Friday, Nov. 28
10am – 3pm: Families can play ball hockey in front of Westgate’s WaterDance Plaza and enjoy an exclusive Holiday Flex Pack offer from the Arizona Coyotes that includes an autographed commemorative puck and a player meet-and-greet opportunity.
1-2pm: Kids can skate with an Arizona Coyotes alumni player and enjoy appearances by Howler and Paw Patrol on the Westgate holiday rink at Fountain Park.
FREE Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
Fridays and Saturdays
Nov. 28 – Dec. 27
5-9pm at Fountain Park
Enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides around Westgate Entertainment District throughout the holiday season. Instead of just one carriage, this year there will be three that will allow you to hop in, take a spin and be whisked around Westgate.
Chabad West Valley Menorah Lighting
Thursday, Dec. 18
6:00pm at Fountain Park
Celebrate Hanukah with a Grand Menorah lighting along with activities, raffle prizes and games for children. Traditional light bites and latkes will be served.
Visit Santa Claus
Nov. 25 through Dec. 24
Saturdays from Noon -8pm, Sundays from Noon – 6pm, select weekdays from 4-8pm
For the full calendar of Santa’s appearances at Fountain Park, visit http://www.westgateaz.com/santa.
Are you on the good list or the bad list? Come meet jolly Old St. Nick himself at Fountain Park and find out. Share wishes, snap pictures and every child who visits Santa receives a free gift. A photo package is available for $24.99.
Electronics giant Vizio will sponsor the Fiesta Bowl. Vizio had sponsored the Rose Bowl for the previous four seasons.
For the past 18 years, Tostitos had sponsored the Fiesta Bowl, played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, ending one of the longest sponsorships in college football.
Starting this season, a four-team playoff that will help determine the national champion replaces the Bowl Championship Series, which had been in effect since 1998.
Title sponsorship deals in the old Bowl Championship paid in the $15-20 million range, whereas the College Football Playoff title sponsorships could be as worth as $25 million a year, according to published reports.
The selection committee for the College Football Playoff will announce the pairings for each bowl on Dec. 7. The committee’s first Top 25 rankings will be released Tuesday night.
The Fiesta Bowl’s turn to host a semifinal game will be Dec. 31, 2016. The other semifinal game that year will be the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.
This season, the semifinals will be held at the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual in Pasadena, Calif. and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1. The national championship will be Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium.
Westgate Entertainment District and the Arizona Coyotes have teamed up for the second consecutive year to present fans with pre-game entertainment and activities on the Westgate Plaza prior to the Coyotes Opening Night game on Thursday, October 9 versus the Winnipeg Jets and the team’s second home game against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, Oct. 11.
The Westgate Events Plaza, which is located directly outside of Gila River Arena will play host to fan activations including a live 80’s cover band, Coyotes-themed inflatables, interactive fan experiences, a ball hockey rink (Thursday), a synthetic ice rink (Saturday) and Arizona Sports 98.7, 98KUPD and 100.7 KSLX will be on hand with live radio broadcasts. In addition, the Coyotes will create a Winter Wonderland outside Gila River Arena by filling the sky with a snow flurry.
The pre-game festivities and live music will begin at 5:00 p.m. both nights and continue through 6:30 p.m. Before each game, fans are encouraged to come early and stay late at Westgate and frequent the many restaurants, bars and retailers that will be offering specials for Coyotes fans all season long.
“We’re pleased to once again partner with the Coyotes to amp up the fan experience for all home games,” said Jeff Teetsel, development manager of Westgate Entertainment District. “Westgate provides a unique setting for hockey fans with the combination of more than 20 restaurants, bars and retailers steps from Gila River Arena in conjunction with activities, music and team-themed experiences. We value our relationship with the Coyotes and are proud to help present a vibrant fan environment that rivals anything in the country.”
“We are extremely excited about our Opening Night,” said Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc. “We encourage all of our great fans to come early to Gila River Arena and Westgate Entertainment District to enjoy the fantastic atmosphere on the plaza before we drop the puck to begin the Coyotes 2014-15 regular season.”
As part of the partnership, Coyotes season ticket holders have been mailed a Westgate VIP Card providing them discounts at a majority of Westgate tenants that can be used throughout the season.
Fans can also take advantage of discounts and specials all season long when they show their ticket stub on home game days at the following Westgate tenants:
One free drink, your choice of well, wine, or domestic draft, with purchase of an entrée. Must present game day ticket, 623-872-0022
Calico Jack’s Mexican Cantina
Free appetizer with purchase of two regular priced adult entrees with a game-day ticket stub, post-game only, 623-877-5225
FREE house chips or a cookie with the purchase of any Wich. Offer only valid with a Coyotes ticket stub, 623-977-9424
Shane’s Rib Shack
Free BBQ Pork Nachos with the purchase of a plate and two drinks with a game-day ticket stub, 623-877-7427
Local “paint your own” pottery studio, As You Wish, celebrates its 19th anniversary and business success with the opening of its 7th studio in Glendale, Ariz.
One of the first paint-your-own pottery studios in the nation and the first in Arizona, As You Wish’s planned 2,109 square-foot studio next to AMC Theatres at the
Westgate Entertainment District, is a formula that has worked well for many of its other studios in the Phoenix metro area, yielding yearly growth of 5% in the last several years.
“Westgate Entertainment District is a natural fit for our seventh store,” says Scott Neff, who owns As You Wish with wife Lori Neff. The couple lives in Chandler, Ariz., where they opened their last studio in 2012. “We look forward to becoming part of the Glendale community and reaching new customers and families to help them create special memories through creative adventures at As You Wish.”
With the Super Bowl scheduled for Feb. 2015 at nearby University of Phoenix stadium, As You Wish expects many new families will join residents to opt for its special “Artistic Adventure.” While the studio opens it doors officially on September 20th, customers are invited to Glendale’s Grand Opening to enjoy discounted $1.90 sitting fees (usually $8 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and under) and $19 Gift Cards which will be raffled off several times each day during the
Anniversary weekend on Sept. 20th and 21st.
The same anniversary offer is available at all seven As You Wish studios that weekend.
“This is truly a celebration for our customers who have shared their time, experiences and memories in our studios,” saya owner Lori Neff. “We are proud to be a place for people to come together in a safe, fun, family environment and share an artistic adventure.”
Midwestern University invites the community to visit the state-of-the-art Midwestern University Eye Institute at 19379 North 59th Avenue in Glendale on Tuesday, October 7, for an exclusive Fall Designer Eyewear Show.
Glasses and sunglasses frames designed by Jimmy Choo, Carrera, Tura, Titan Flex, and others will be discounted up to 30% off of retail prices. Designer frames will be on display at the Eye Institute’s Vision Center from 11:00 AM to 6:30 PM. The Designer Eyewear Show is open to the public.
Visitors are also encouraged to bring gently-used glasses to the Eye Institute for charitable donation. Donated glasses will be refurbished and eventually distributed by Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT) faculty and students on medical missions to other nations.
The Eye Institute offers unsurpassed technology and exceptional vision care for the entire family at affordable rates. Most vision insurance plans are welcome. Services available at the Eye Institute include comprehensive eye exams, glasses and contact lenses, disease screenings, sports vision training, visual rehabilitation services, pediatric care, vision therapy, ocular prosthetics, and a 24-hour on-call Doctor of Optometry.
The award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) at the Arizona Health Sciences Center of the University of Arizona has announced the appointment of the National Advisory Board of the Telemedicine and Telehealth Service Provider Showcase (SPSSM), to be held Oct. 6-7 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.
The 24 nationally recognized thought leaders and health-care innovators have made major strides in the telemedicine arena. Members of the board are:
• Joseph S. Alpert, MD, professor of medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson; editor-in-chief, The American Journal of Medicine
• David C. Balch, MA, chief technology officer, White House Medical Group, Washington, D.C.
• Rashid Bashshur, PhD, senior adviser for eHealth, eHealth Center, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor
• Anne E. Burdick, MD, MPH, associate dean for telehealth and clinical outreach, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
• Robert “Bob” Burns, commissioner, Arizona Corporation Commission, Phoenix
• Daniel J. Derksen, MD, director, Center for Rural Health; professor of public health policy; University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Tucson
• Charles R. Doarn, MBA, editor-in-chief, Telemedicine and e-Health Journal, family medicine, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
• Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences; interim dean, UA College of Medicine – Tucson; professor of medicine, Arizona Health Sciences Center, University of Arizona
• Robert A. Greenes, MD, PhD, professor of biomedical informatics, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix
• Paula Guy, chief executive officer, Global Partnership for Telehealth, Inc., Waycross, Ga.
• Deb LaMarche, associate director, Utah Telehealth Network, Salt Lake City
• James P. Marcin, MD, MPH, professor, pediatric critical care, University of California – Davis Children’s Hospital, Sacramento
• Ronald C. Merrell, MD, editor-in-chief, Telemedicine and e-Health Journal, emeritus professor of surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
• Thomas S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH, associate vice chancellor and professor, family and community medicine, University of California – Davis Health System, Sacramento
• Marta J. Petersen, MD, medical director, Utah Telehealth Network, Salt Lake City
• Joseph Peterson, MD, chief executive officer and director, Specialists On Call, Reston, Va.
• Ronald K. Poropatich, MD, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh
• Lisa A. Robin, MLA, chief advocacy officer, Federation of State Medical Boards, Washington, D.C.
• Brian Rosenfeld, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Philips Telehealth, Baltimore, Md.
• Jay H. Shore, MD, MPH, associate professor, Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health, University of Colorado, Aurora
• Joseph A. Tracy, MS, vice president, telehealth services, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pa.
• Wesley Valdes, DO, medical director, Telehealth Services, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah
• Nancy L. Vorhees, RN, MSN, chief operating officer, Inland Northwest Health Services, Spokane, Wash.
• Jill M. Winters, PhD, RN, FAHA, president and dean, Columbia College of Nursing, Glendale, Wisc.
“This is the first national meeting addressing telemedicine service provider issues. It’s long overdue!” said Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, ATP director and SPS honorary co-chair.
SPS will focus on building partnerships for bringing quality medical specialty services directly into hospitals, clinics, private practices and even patients’ homes. The goals are to improve patient care and outcomes and to increase market share for both health-care providers and telehealth service providers they partner with.
The convention is co-hosted by the ATP, the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center and the Four Corners Telehealth Consortium, which includes the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the Utah Telehealth Network.
After months of diligent negotiation, the Tohono O’odham Nation and the City of Glendale have finalized an agreement ensuring that the West Valley Resort project provides significant mutual benefits to both communities for years to come.
In taking this step, the City of Glendale confirms its full support of the Nation’s project, which will include construction of a $400 million resort and casino on its West Valley property. The agreement conveys Glendale’s desire that the Nation constructs and opens the West Valley Resort as expeditiously as possible in order to create jobs and positive economic opportunity in the community.
Under the agreement, Glendale also recognizes that the Nation’s project has never been within its corporate limits or the boundaries of any other city or town. The City supports taking the entirety of the Nation’s West Valley property into federal trust as reservation land, as had been originally requested. Glendale will also withdraw from any litigation against the project.
In return, the Nation has committed to providing Glendale with annual funding in excess of $26 million during a 20-year agreement, including a one-time payment of $500,000 within the next ten days. As promised from day one, the Nation will pay for construction of the facility, as well as municipal services and all infrastructure costs in and around the project site. The Nation will then pay Glendale’s monthly standard fees and service charge rates for commercial customers. This support is in addition to the economic benefits the project will bring to Glendale and the region.
Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said, “This agreement marks a major step forward for the Nation, Glendale, and the entire West Valley, one that will lead to greater prosperity for all our communities. The Nation looks forward to continued partnership with Glendale as we work together to create jobs and a world-class entertainment destination.”
In March 2014 the Glendale City Council also joined with other cities in the West Valley in opposing HR 1410, special interest legislation designed to stop the West Valley Resort and the thousands of jobs and economic development it would create.
Glendale is the fifth largest city in Arizona with more than 234,000 residents and four distinct areas: the Historic Downtown, the Sports and Entertainment District, the Arrowhead area and the Loop 303 expansion. The city is home to Luke Air Force Base, professional sports teams from the NFL, NHL and MLB and several higher education facilities. Visit www.glendaleaz.com for more information.
The Tohono O’odham Nation is a federally-recognized Indian tribe, with existing reservation lands in Maricopa County, Pinal County, and Pima County, Arizona. According to the Nation, the West Valley Resort will be located at 95th and Northern avenues and will generate thousands of new jobs and more than $300 million in annual economic impact. For more information, visit www.westvalleyopportunity.com.
Congress has the power to intervene in a growing national practice and problem of ‘off-reservation gaming,’ or ‘reservation-shopping.’ The topic was at the heart of an oversight hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs today, titled, “Indian Gaming: The Next 25 Years,” and included discussion of H.R. 1410—the bi-partisan bill to solve the problem faced by the city of Glendale in Arizona, that will protect the integrity of Indian Gaming in the state, but would also be a beacon to cities and towns across the U.S. that find themselves in similar circumstances.
A prelude to a vote on H.R. 1410 by the U.S. Senate, today’s hearing included testimony from Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) President, Diane Enos and City of Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, excerpts from their testimony follow, full transcripts can be found at www.indian.senate.gov.
SRPMIC President, Diane Enos opened her remarks, by saying, “For over 20 years Arizona Indian Gaming has been stable, predictable, and successful. However, sadly, its future in Arizona does not look good. It is threatened by the actions of one tribe. H.R. 1410, the ”Keep the Promise Act,” which is pending before the Committee, will help protect Indian gaming in Arizona. We respectfully urge the Committee to pass it.”
SRPMIC President explained to the Senators that private non-Indian gaming companies were always hovering over Arizona looking for an opportunity, a loophole, to overthrow Indian Gaming exclusivity, but that today, that exclusivity, and the current Indian Gaming compacts were jeopardized from within, by the Tohono O’odham Nation:
“This plan by the Tohono O’odham of building an additional casino in the Phoenix-metro area directly violates promises that they made, that other Arizona tribes made, and that the Governor of Arizona made to citizens who approved our compacts in November 2002,” stated Enos. In 2002, then-Governor Jane D. Hull announced that the compacts she and 17 tribes had negotiated for two and a half years – if approved by the voters – would ensure there would be “no additional casinos allowed in the Phoenix metropolitan area”. This promise of “no additional casinos in the Phoenix-metro area” was made by Tribes and the Governor over and over to the voters, Enos said, “because we believed it.”
City of Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers addressed the powerlessness of local government in this situation, saying, “Our choice was not ideal: continue to fight and hope for action from this body, or give in to this casino being forced on us. It is frustrating to be a city of our size and have no voice on a casino proposed by a tribal government more than a hundred miles away.”
Weiers also spoke up about what this means for other cities, “Our sister cities know that unless Congress acts, they may be next. There are over 200 other county islands in the Phoenix metropolitan area. And the Tohono O’odham Nation attorneys have said the Tribe has the right to close its existing three casinos and open them on these county islands. We are a test case, but it is the start of a very slippery slope. If Congress does not act, the entire Phoenix area should be prepared for more off-reservation casinos.”