Tag Archives: Sky Harbor International Airport

Americas Taco

America’s Taco Shop Expands, Plans Future Growth

America’s Taco Shop is growing throughout the country with new locations opening in Bethesda, Md., Lake Forest, Calif., Corpus Christi, Texas and inside terminal 4 at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. In late 2012, America’s Taco Shop announced a partnership through Scottsdale-based Kahala, a franchise development company. Led by the vision of entrepreneurial industry leaders and an experienced support team, Kahala has spent more than two decades building a company that allows its franchisees independence through interdependence.

“It is important to us to keep our product authentic and Kahala has allowed us to do that,” says Terry Bortin, co-founder of America’s Taco Shop with his wife America Corrales-Bortin. “We are excited for the growth that comes with the franchise concept. Sharing America’s mother’s quality recipes with the entire country has always been a dream of ours.”

Started in 2008 by the Bortin’s, this fast-casual concept specializes in authentic carne asada and al pastor, which is used in their tacos, burritos, tortas and more. America’s Taco Shop has been dubbed “the home of the greatest carne asada” through many accolades in the Phoenix market including 20 Favorite Places for Tacos, 2011 Five Favorite Mexican Restaurants, Best Phoenix Mexican Food, Top 10 Mexican Restaurants, Best Sandwiches, Best New Restaurants, 2009 Best BBQ, Best Carne Asada, and more.

America Corrales-Bortin grew up in the city of Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico. As a young child she would watch her mother prepare the dishes that became the recipes at America’s Taco Shop. After years of cooking authentic meals for her family and friends, America and her husband decided to open their first location in Phoenix 2008.

Visit www.americastacoshop.com for more information and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americastacoshop. For franchising opportunities call 855-55-CARNE (855-552-2763).

Phoenix Airport Museum, Art Gone Wild

Phoenix Airport Museum Celebrates Phoenix Zoo's 50th Anniversary With "Art Gone Wild"

Phoenix Airport Museum, Art Gone WildSky Harbor International Airport is embracing its inner animal by celebrating the Phoenix Zoo’s 50th anniversary with an “Art Gone Wild” exhibit.

The Phoenix Airport Museum’s exhibit features more than 20 ceramic and bronze wildlife sculptures by Heidi Uotila, and more than 70 animal pictures created by local children, says Jeri Walker, a Phoenix Airport Museum information specialist.Phoenix Airport Museum, Art Gone Wild

Uotila’s collection showcases sculptures of zebras, gazelles, tigers, lions and giraffes among other animals.

Phoenix Airport Museum, Art Gone WildHeidi Uotila is nationally syndicated wildlife sculptor, now a high school ceramics teacher, and lent the Phoenix Airport Museum sculptures she had at home.

Uotila says after she has decided what animals she wants to sculpt, she travels to see them in person and studies their movements

“People are pretty easy to do because you can get them to sit and pose for you,” Uotila says. “Animals are much more challenging because they don’t stand still.”

In recent years, Uotila has moved away from working with bronze sculptures due to the cost of bronze, and says she’s found working with clay to be challenging but rewarding.

Each art piece is accompanied by text that includes educational facts about the animals on display — as well as other facts about the animals and their relatives at the Phoenix Zoo.

The exhibit, located at terminal four on level three in Sky Harbor International Airport, runs until March 2013. Visiting the Phoenix Airport Museum is free, and it’s open 24 hours a day. With more than 600 pieces of artwork and 35 exhibitions, Phoenix Airport Museum is one of the largest in the country.

If You Go: “Art Gone Wild” at the Phoenix Airport Museum

 
Sky Harbor International Airport
3400 Sky Harbor Blvd.,
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 273-2105

Phoenix Sky Harbor, Photo: Flickr, flavouz

HMSHost Transforms Dining at Sky Harbor’s Terminal 4

HMSHost, a world leader in travel-venue food, beverage and retail experiences, is currently in the process of updating and renovating Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4 — bringing more than 20 new restaurants to the terminal.

The transformation will include the addition of several popular local restaurants, including NYPD Pizza, Press Coffee, Modern Burger, Blanco Tacos + Tequila and four La Grande Orange brand restaurants.

“This is a busy and exciting time of year for vacations and summer travel, and we are very happy to be able to begin providing a new experience at Sky Harbor Airport that will truly showcase an authentic taste of Phoenix,” says Stephen Douglas, vice president of business development for HMSHost. “Terminal 4 is the busiest spot in one of America’s busiest airports, and we’re bringing out the best-of-the-best to showcase the great dining in the city of Phoenix.”

HMSHost was awarded its current 10-year food and beverage agreement after a 2011 competitive bidding process. The company is thrilled to continue its relationship with Sky Harbor and the City of Phoenix.

“HMSHost has had a presence at Sky Harbor International Airport for more than 40 years,” Douglas says. “We have watched with admiration the growth of the city of Phoenix, and we’ve shared in the expansion and development of Sky Harbor. Continuing our commitment to serve the city and Phoenix travelers was an easy decision, and we are thrilled to have been awarded the opportunity to continue a tradition of excellence at what has been recognized as the world’s friendliest airport.”

HMSHost carefully selected the chosen restaurants in order to best reflect the local flavor of Phoenix.

“We want to show everyone who travels through Terminal 4 the very best of Phoenix, so it’s our privilege to partner with some of the very best chefs and restaurateurs in the city,” Douglas says. “With local restaurants such as Barrio Café and Chelsea’s Kitchen, travelers will now experience a truly authentic taste of Phoenix.”

The Terminal 4 project offers a unique opportunity for the local businesses to offer travelers excellent dining options, increase brand visibility and act as representatives for the community.

“It’s our belief that just because you are traveling, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a great meal,” says Sam Fox, CEO and founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts. “We hope that locals will recognize their favorites, and travelers will enjoy a new experience comparable to as if they had stepped into one of our restaurants across the Valley.”

La Grande Orange Hospitality Partner and CFO, Jennifer E. Cole, says La Grande Orange is excited to continue investing in the Phoenix area.

“The airport venture lets us bring local flavors to customers that know us and to customers new to the Valley,” Cole says. “With [HMSHost], we will be able to take the quality of food and service to higher levels.”

NYPD Pizza CEO, Richard Stark, adds that being in such a high-traffic location will have a positive effect on the businesses’ locations outside the airport.

“We are very excited about the Sky Harbor restaurant’s opening as it will introduce the NYPD brand to Valley residents and visitors alike,” Stark says. “We foresee this location serving as a powerful ‘brand builder’ and reaffirming our standing as the Valley’s best, authentic New York pizzeria.”

Press Coffee Roasters’ owner/operator, Steve Kraus, sees the Terminal 4 project as an opportunity to spread his passion for great coffee.

“We are thrilled to be at Sky Harbor Airport, especially in Terminal 4,” Kraus says. “Being at Sky Harbor Airport gives us an opportunity to not only expand and share our love for coffee, but also showcase to the world how great coffee can taste. We are extremely proud of our product and to be representing the best coffee the Valley has to offer.”

Included in the renovations are certain technological advances to improve service, including a mobile app, which can be used to have food delivered to your gate, as well as a tabletop ordering device currently being tested.

Douglas adds that, when the project is completed in early October, Sky Harbor will feature more local restaurants in one terminal than any other airport in the country.

“When travelers come to visit Phoenix or pass through our airport, I want them to know what Phoenix is all about, and soon they’ll be able to taste it,” says Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “They’ll know that our city and our airport support our local businesses, and that Phoenix is an epicenter of high-quality, modern and authentic dining.”

For more information about HMSHost and/or Sky Harbor’s Terminal 4 transformation, including when the local restaurants are expected to open, visit hmshost.com or skyharbor.com, respectively.

PHX skytrain - AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

All Aboard The PHX Sky Train

PHX Sky Train Stage 1 at Sky Harbor is a moving example of Hensel Phelps’ grand presence and reputation in Arizona

Ask Allan Bliesmer what’s most special about the $644M PHX Sky Train project, and his answer isn’t that surprising.

“The team effort toward a common goal,” responds Bliesmer, operations manager for Hensel Phelps Construction Co., general contractor for the Stage 1 fixed facilities of the massive project at Sky Harbor International Airport. “The city, designer, and Hensel Phelps addressed each challenge with a solutions-orientated approach.

“The people involved in the project refrained from developing or maintaining personal agendas, and worked together, utilizing each member’s expertise, to develop the best design and construction solutions for the project.”

Once Hensel Phelps was selected as construction manager for the first phase of the train’s stations and elevated guide-way tracks, preliminary work began and lasted 20 months — from June 2008 to February 2010. (Bombardier Transportation was chosen as the system provider).

Stage 1 — a 1.7-mile stretch — will transport airport visitors and employees between METRO light rail, east economy parking and Terminal 4, which serves 80% of Sky Harbor’s passengers. Stage 1 is scheduled for completion in 2Q 2012.

What was it about the company that helped Hensel Phelps land such a historic project? Prior to the start of the PHX Sky Train project, Bliesmer says, Hensel Phelps had just completed the automated train project at the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. The Dallas-Ft. Worth system was installed throughout the entire airport and spanned a total of 5 miles in length with 8 stations.

In addition, Hensel Phelps has completed billions of dollars of aviation work around the country including automated train systems, terminals, hangars, administration facilities, rental car facilities, air traffic control towers and parking structures at a number of airports.

But one feature that makes PHX Sky Train different from other projects is a 350- foot bridge that carries the train above an active taxiway that is large enough for a 747 to pass through. An article in a national construction magazine boasted that the project “features many innovative design elements,” including the bridge.

“The Taxiway R crossing is a unique item not generally featured at other airports around the world,” Bliesmer says. “In order to maintain full use of the taxiway, the design had to accommodate a ‘bridge’ that would not encumber the use of the largest aircraft planned at the airport.

“To satisfy this, a 350-foot cast in-place concrete ‘bridge,’ at an elevation of 80 feet above grade, was incorporated to provide the necessary clearance. Another innovative approach was the use of precast tub girders in lieu of cast in-place concrete structural elements for a majority of the guideway structure,” Bliesmer adds. “The use of precast allowed the construction team to minimize the real estate needed on the ground to install shoring required for a traditional cast in-place concrete approach, resulting in minimization of issues associated with public access, airport operations and safety.”

The automated train was a necessity. Sky Harbor serves 42M passengers a year, and the number is projected to rise to 40M to 50M in 2013. The goal is to remove about 20,000 cars and trucks — up to 20% of the traffic circling Sky Harbor — from the airport area. The project is also a boon to the local economy. Stage 1 has created an estimated 6,000 jobs.

What are some of the challenges Hensel Phelps faced?

“The primary challenge with the integration of such a large construction project into an active airport,” Bliesmer explains, “is completing the work without causing interruption to the airport and airline operations, as well as maintaining safe access by public and airport employees.”

In order to accomplish public safety and minimize any impact to the airport operations and airline operations, much of the work activity is conducted during night-time hours when flight activity and public access at the airport is at a minimum, Bliesmer adds.

Stage 2, which will continue through the airport to the rental car center, was scheduled for completion in 2020. But last June, the Phoenix City Council voted to move up completion of a .6-mile section to connect Terminal 4 with Terminal 3, along with a walkway for passengers to access Terminal 2, to early 2015. Final cost of the project: $1.5B.

“The state-of-the-art system installed at Sky Harbor is the latest and greatest in the industry,” Bliesmer says proudly. “Having the opportunity to work with the City of Phoenix and the aviation team at Sky Harbor has furthered Hensel Phelps’ experience and recognition throughout the industry.”

[stextbox]

PHX SKY TRAIN BY THE NUMBERS

  • 14M: Pounds of precast concrete
  • 12M: Pounds of structural steel
  • 5,000: Drawings issued for construction
  • 340: Subcontracts issued
  • 40: Miles of wiring (power cabling)

[/stextbox]

 

For more information on PHX Sky Train, visit Sky Harbors’ website at skyharbor.com/about/automatedtrain.html.

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

Future of Technology - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

The Future of Technology In Arizona: Where Do We Go From Here?

The future of technology: Science and engineering turned Arizona’s first 100 years upside down, so where do we go from here?


Think about the achievements in technology that came during Arizona’s first 100 years.

  • The first transcontinental telephone service between New York and San Francisco (1915).
  • The world’s first radio broadcasting station goes on the air  (1920).
  • Television has its first successful demonstration in the United States (1927).
  • James Watson and Francis Crick at Cambridge University describe the structure of the DNA molecule (1953).
  • The microchip is invented (1959).
  • The first test-tube baby is born (1978).
  • IBM introduces its first personal computer (1981).
  • Cellular telephones are introduced to consumers (1982).
  • Development of the World Wide Web begins (1989).
  • Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell (1996).
  • Apple introduces the iPod (2001).
  • Facebook is launched (2004).
  • Scientists discover how to use human skin cells to create embryonic stem cells (2007).

They are all innovations that have changes the way we lives our lives and do business.

Where will technology take us as Arizona enters its second century? How will it affect our lives? Here are technologies and scenarios that some of Arizona’s best and brightest minds see playing out in the state’s next 100 years.


The Future of Technology In Arizona


Future of TechnologyMark Bonsall
General manager and CEO
SRP

If I had to pick one technology with the potential to truly revolutionize the industry it would be finding affordable ways to store energy on a very large scale.  This would increase the value of intermittent renewable resources like wind and solar and could transform electricity into a more common commodity.  It isn’t clear that this is possible, but with the growing focus on electric vehicles and other storage technologies, it is certain there will be significant gains over the next century.


Future of TechnologyMark Edwards
Vice president of corporate development and marketing
Algae Biosciences, Inc.

Algae-based food, fiber, feed, fertilizer, fuels, and advanced medicines will transform those industries, as we know them today. The current serious problems of waste and pollution will be solved with sustainable algae-based production that recycles and reuses nutrients, water, and energy while regenerating air, water and soils. Our children’s children will have sufficient natural resources to produce the food, energy and transportation they will need.

Algae Biosciences is Scottsdale-based and focused on discovering and unlocking the powers of algae to resolve critical human issues – nutrition, health, energy and environment.


Future of TechnologySteve Sanghi
President and CEO
Microchip Technology Inc.

If I had to pick one (technology that will have biggest impact on Arizona’s next 100 years) it would be the renewable-energy complex of technologies. For Arizona, the primary renewable-energy opportunities can be broken into three categories—measurement, conservation and harvesting.  The world’s oil supply will eventually run out, and Arizona has more days of sun than most areas.  We must continue working to tap into this ever-present energy source.  At the same time, we must focus on developing the technologies that will enable individuals and companies to both measure and conserve their energy usage.  For example, Arizona has the potential to play a key role in developing the technologies that will be employed at the home, industrial and utility levels to make the burgeoning “smart grid” work.


Future of TechnologyJohn Lefebvre
President
Suntech America

The amount of energy generated through renewable sources like solar power has the potential to surpass that derived from fossil fuels in the next 50 years. We’ve already seen remarkable technological innovations in the solar field to increase efficiency, develop solutions for energy storage, and further reduce costs, with further improvements on the horizon. With over 300 days of sunshine, Arizona is naturally poised to take advantage of these advancements and its abundant resource by generating clean electricity without carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.


Future of TechnologyDiane Brossart
President
Valley Forward Association

The biggest issues facing Arizona over the next 100 years are managing a finite water supply and transitioning to a clean energy economy. Green technology and innovation will create economic and environmentally sound solutions, making Arizona the leading destination for living wisely and sustainably in a desert.

Valley Forward Association promotes cooperative efforts to improve the environment and livability of Valley communities.


Future of TechnologyKelly Mott Lacroix
Graduate research associate
Water Resources Research Center in Tucson

We do not have a silver bullet to solve our water supply and demand challenges The state and its water issues are too diverse.  Rather, there are many smaller pieces from the simple and small scale, such as rainwater harvesting, to the large and complex, such as increased reclaimed water use, that when taken together will constitute a solution.


Future of TechnologyBill Hubert
President and founder
Cology, Inc.

Universal, personal-application based technology in general, and highly-sophisticated, profile-driven applications that help consumers (students and parents in our industry) not only gain access to a broader spectrum of programs and services available – but an interactive relationship with providers that will help both sides of the “economic equation” benefit from the transaction.

Scottsdale-based Cology, Inc. is a leading provider of end-to-end private student loan origination and repayment servicing solutions for lenders.


Future of TechnologyCR Herro
Vice president of environmental affairs
Meritage Homes

In the next century, climate will take the lead role in transforming Arizona and its buildings into energy-producing solar collectors. Arizona has the ability to become the largest producer of renewable, clean energy nationwide. In residential construction, that has already started.  The first cost-effective solar communities debuted in Arizona. Meritage Homes introduced the nation’s first net-zero homes in Arizona, saving owners both energy and money. And Arizona utilities lead the country in sponsoring energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.  Arizona is shaping up to be a state powered by the sun in every way imaginable.


Future of TechnologyCatherine Niemiec
President
Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture, College & Clinic

Technology will be used to not only focus on the tiny gene, but to see the bigger picture of the bio-energetic field of the body. Not unlike what you would see in a Star Trek movie, technology would be used to assess and heal both the body and mind, taking into account the bio-electric system. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine has been focused on individualized medicine for thousands of years, with each treatment and formula specifically adapted to an individual, changing as the person changes and moves toward health. Thus, this dynamic medicine is the forefather of modern “individualized medicine” and can work well to make modern biotechnology more effective.


Future of TechnologyDanny Murphy
Airport director
Sky Harbor International Airport

With the explosion of mobile devices, coupled with high speed wireless networks, there is a new generation that will live their lives on mobile technology, using smartphones, touchpads and other mobile devices.
In the past we used to print so many information pieces about the airport. And while we still provide printed materials to an extent, our focus is on providing information via the web and for mobile units.


Future of TechnologyDr. Grace Caputo
Director
Phoenix Children’s Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center Pediatric Residency

Moving to a system where we utilize electronic medical records will really give us the ability to shape and improve health care across the board. Pediatric healthcare will be heavily impacted as we have just started to unravel genetic bases diseases. In the future, we hope to understand the genetic process of diseases so we can treat them and ultimately prevent diseases with wellness and lifestyle changes.


Future of TechnologyCatherine Anaya
Anchor
CBS 5 News

I think the internet technology we currently use to help in our news gathering will become a bigger factor in how we do things. Smart phones  (or whatever replaces them in the next 100 years) will replace cameras and studios creating more intimacy and accessibility. That accessibility will make it much easier to hold those in power more accountable for their actions which I hope will have a positive impact on how the state’s laws are created, shaped and enforced.


Future of TechnologyMahesh Seetharam, M.D.
Medical oncologist and hematologist
Arizona Oncology

Personalized medicine through whole genome sequencing (genomics), proteomics and noninvasive imaging will pave the way for the future.  Current research to evaluate for circulating cancer cells, and evaluation for cancer in urine samples are already being studied, and holds promise for the future.


Kenneth J. Biehl, M.D.
Radiation oncologist
Arizona Oncology

Immensely precise and conformal radiation treatments in the form of stereotactic radiation, high dose-rate radiation and molecularly targeted radiation will allow radiation oncologists surgical precision in assisting the people of Arizona to improve cancer cure and control. Just as the technological advances in the past have allowed women diagnosed with breast cancer to pursue breast conservation therapy rather than mastectomy, and have allowed men to preserve erectile function with prostate cancer, future advances will allow more Arizonans diagnosed with cancer to enjoy a better quality of life along with improved cure rates.


Michael Crow
President
Arizona State University

The biggest single technology to impact the future of Arizona will be individualized learning technologies that allow individuals to master subjects in ways customized to their particular types of intelligence and learning modalities.  This technology will allow people to learn more quickly and more deeply and more broadly. Those places, hopefully like Arizona, that enable and empower this kind of learning will see tremendous positive impacts from this technological development.


Where to invest in technology

Patricia Ternes, a financial advisor with RBC Wealth Management in Scottsdale says these are the four technology sectors to invest in going into Arizona’s next century:

1. Water 
Growing imbalances in global water supply and demand are well documented. Within that heading, the companies involved with water fall into four categories: (1) activities and technologies that increase supply; (2) the building of the necessary water structure; (3) processes that help reduce demand; and (4) water management.

2. Agriculture
When you look at the growth of the world’s population companies that are involved in agriculture and food production will continue to be attractive and important.

3. Health
Another important sector will be health care services and life sciences tools and services that provide better quality of life for the aging population.

4. The unknown
The fourth sector doesn’t exist yet.  Advances are happening so fast that something new will be created that will change our lives.


Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

W.J. Maloney Plumbing

W.J. Maloney Plumbing Changes Name To W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling — previously known as W.J. Maloney Plumbing — has changed its name in an attempt to promote the company’s new contracting and service offerings.

According to company president Kathryn “Kitty” Maloney-Langmade, W.J. Maloney has been a leading plumbing contractor in Arizona for almost 50 years. HVAC was added in the past two years and the new name reflects this change, allowing for a more accurate description of the company.

Kathryn Maloney, president of W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

Maloney-Langmade explains the reason behind the addition of HVAC, “We have adapted to the changing marketplace,” she says. She also adds that, “Our HVAC division handles both commercial and residential cooling and heating.”

W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling was founding in 1964 by William Joseph Jr. and Mary Kathryn Maloney. The company worked with some of the largest contractors in the state. W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling’s exemplary design build plumbing includes parking structures, penthouses, technical process piping and complex multi-story projects, including many of the prominent buildings in the Valley.

W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling’s recent projects include the Orthopedic and Spine Inpatient Surgical Hospital in Phoenix, the solar thermal project at the University of Arizona, the Sky Train Project at Sky Harbor International Airport and the Mariposa Land Port of Entry expansion near Nogales.

W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling provides both commercial and residential services, maintenance and repair. The company is Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certified.

For more information about W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, call (602) 944-5516 or visit wjmaloney.com

Centennial Series - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Centennial Series: Arizona’s History Impacts The Way We Live Our Lives

100 Years of Change: From ‘Sesame Street’ to scientific breakthroughs, Arizona’s history impacts the way we live our lives

During Arizona’s first century, every elementary school student in the state learned about the five Cs that drove Arizona’s economy — copper, cotton, cattle, citrus and climate.

There is a chance that if you ask Arizona elementary school students what C words drive the state’s economy now, their best answers might be casinos or Cardinals, whose University of Phoenix Stadium has been filled with fans, and hosted both a Super Bowl and a BCS championship game since it opened in 2006.

A lot has changed since copper and cotton drove the state, but that doesn’t lessen the impact Arizona’s first 100 years had on the way we live our lives today.

Here are a baker’s dozen events, people or projects from Arizona’s history, its first 100 years, that shaped the state or helped the state make history:

Gaming

In 1988, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in response to the proliferation of gambling halls on Indian reservations. IGRA recognized gaming as a way to promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal government.

By the end of 1994, 10 casinos were in operation in Arizona. Currently, 15 tribes operate 22 casinos in the state, creating a huge boost for Arizona tourism and the economy.

To put it into perspective, a study commissioned by the Ak-Chin Indian Community in 2011 showed that Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort alone accounts for 1,094 jobs, $36,713,700 in payroll, and a total economic impact on the community of $205,322,355. And those numbers represent figures before the resort added a 152-room hotel tower in July 2011.

Air travel

In 1935, the City of Phoenix bought Sky Harbor International Airport for $100,000. In 2010, the airport served 38.55 million passengers, making it the ninth busiest in the U.S. in terms of passengers and one of the top 15 busiest airports in the world, with a $90 million daily economic impact. The airport handles about 1,252 aircraft daily that arrive and depart, along with 103,630 passengers daily, and more than 675 tons of cargo handled.

“As much as anywhere in the U.S., Phoenix is a creature of good air connections,” says Grady Gammage Jr., an expert on Arizona’s history. “There is no good rail service (in Arizona). There are no real transportation corridors. Sky Harbor has had a huge impact.”

Road travel

Another transportation milestone occurred in 1985 when the Maricopa Association of Governments approved a $6.5 billion regional freeway plan for Phoenix and voters approved a 20-year, one-half cent sales tax to fund it. By 2008, the Arizona Department of Transportation had completed the construction and Phoenix boasted 137 miles of loop freeways that link the metro area.

The loop freeways have had a significant impact on shaping Phoenix and, ultimately, Arizona, says Dennis Smith, MAG executive director.

“The loop freeways resulted in a distribution of job centers around the Valley,” Smith says. “That allows every part of the Valley to achieve its dream and have employment closer to where the homes are. That distributes the wealth throughout the Valley.”

Smith says the freeways also extended the Valley’s reach to Yavapai, Pinal and Pima counties, creating a megapolitan area known as the Sun Corridor.

Master-planned neighborhoods

Arizona is home to countless master-planned residential communities, but the first one — Maryvale — opened in 1955 in West Phoenix as the post-war years exerted their influence. Its developer, John F. Long, wanted to plan and build a community where young people could buy an affordable home, raise a family and work, all in the same area. He named the development after his wife, Mary, and its influence is felt to this day.

“Because Maryvale was a master-planned community and because John did affordable housing, the master plan included a lot of parks, school sites and shopping areas,” says Jim Miller, director of real estate for John F. Long Properties. “It really was where people could live and work. If you lived in Maryvale, you weren’t more than three-quarters of a mile from a park or school. That forced a lot of other builders to adopt the same type of philosophy.”

The first homes sold for as little as $7,400, with a $52-a-month mortgage. The first week the models went on the market, 24,000 people stopped by to take a look.

Retirement communities

A year before Maryvale opened, Ben Schleifer introduced a different lifestyle to an older demographic. In 1954, Schleifer opened Youngtown in West Phoenix, the first age-restricted retirement community in the nation, according to research by Melanie Sturgeon, director of the state’s History and Archives Division. No one younger than 50 could live there. By 1963, Youngtown had 1,700 residents and Arizona was on its way to becoming a retirement mecca.

But it was builder Del E. Webb and his construction companies that firmly established the concept of active, age-restricted adult retirement in Arizona with the opening of Sun City on Jan. 1, 1960, next to Youngtown and along Grand Avenue. According to Sturgeon’s research and a magazine observing Sun City’s 50th anniversary, about 100,000 people showed up the first three days to see the golf course, recreation center, swimming pool, shopping center and five model homes. Traffic was backed up for miles. The first homes sold for between $8,500 and $11,750. Sun City had 7,500 residents by 1964 and 42,000 by 1977, the same year Webb decided the community was big enough and he began construction on Sun City West.

Law

Ernesto Arturo Miranda was a Phoenix laborer whose conviction on kidnapping, rape, and armed robbery charges based on his confession under police interrogation resulted in the landmark 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case (Miranda v. Arizona), which ruled that criminal suspects must be informed of their right against self-incrimination and their right to consult with an attorney prior to questioning by police. This warning is known as a Miranda warning.

After the Supreme Court decision set aside Miranda’s initial conviction, the state of Arizona retried him. At the second trial, with his confession excluded from evidence, he was again convicted, and he spent 11 years in prison.

Healthcare

The first successful surgery and use of an artificial heart as a bridge to a human heart transplant was conducted at the University Medical Center in Tucson by Dr. Jack Copeland in 1985. His patient lived nine days using the Jarvik 7 Total Artificial Heart before he received a donor heart.

It also put the spotlight on Arizona as a place where cutting-edge research and healthcare was taking place.

Copeland made several other contributions to the artificial heart program, including advancing surgical techniques, patient care protocols and anticoagulation. He also performed the state’s first heart-lung transplant and the first U.S. implant of a pediatric ventricular assist device. In 2010, Copeland moved to a facility in San Diego, where he continues to make an impact on health care.

Entertainment

Joan Ganz Cooney, who received her B.A. degree in education from the University of Arizona in 1951, was part of a team who captured the hearts and imaginations of children around the world with the development of Sesame Workshop, creators of the popular “Sesame Street.” Now in its 42nd season, the children’s television show uses puppets, cartoons and live actors to teach literacy, math fundamentals and behavior skills. Today, Cooney serves as a member of Sesame Workshop’s executive committee. In 2007, she was honored by Sesame Workshop with the creation of The Joan Ganz Cooney Center, which aims to advance children’s literacy skills and foster innovation in children’s learning through digital media.

Military bases

Williams Air Force Base in Mesa, which broke ground for its Advanced Flying School on July 16, 1941, allowed more than 26,500 men and women to earn their wings. It was active as a training base for both the U.S. Army Air Forces, as well as the U.S. Air Force from 1941 until its closure in 1993.

It also opened the door for other military training bases in Arizona, including Luke Air Force Base; which employs more than 8,000 personnel and covers 4,200 acres and is home to the largest fighter wing in the world, the 56th Fighter Wing; Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, home to the A-10 Thunderbolt II, which was used in combat for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991, destroying more than 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 military vehicles, and 1,200 artillery pieces; and Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, which specializes in air-to-ground aviation training for U.S. and NATO forces. In 1990, almost every Marine that participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm trained at Yuma.

Solar power

Solar power has the potential to make Arizona “the Persian Gulf of solar energy,” former Gov. Janet Napolitano once said. But despite the overabundance of sunshine, the industry didn’t take root in the state until the end of the last century.

The first commercial solar power plant in the state came in 1997 when Arizona Public Service (APS) built a 95-kilowatt, single-axis tracking photovoltaic plant in Flagstaff. In 1999, the City of Scottsdale covered an 8,500-square-feet parking lot with photovoltaic panels, to both provide shaded parking and generate 93 kilowatts of solar power.

Arizona installed more than 55 megawatts of solar power in 2010, doubling its 2009 total of 21 megawatts, ranking it behind California (259 megawatts), New Jersey (137 megawatts), Florida (110 megawatts), and Nevada (61 megawatts).

Water

Construction of the Central Arizona Project — which delivers water to areas where 80 percent of Arizonans reside — began in 1973 at Lake Havasu. Twenty years and $4 billion later, it was completed south of Tucson. The CAP delivers an average 1.5 million acre-feet of water annually to municipal, agricultural and Native American users in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties.

“Without the CAP, we wouldn’t have the population we have today,” says Pam Pickard, president of the CAP board of directors. “We wouldn’t have our economic base. We wouldn’t have the industry we have.”

But the CAP wouldn’t have been possible without another milestone that occurred nearly 60 years earlier — Hoover Dam and its reservoir, Lake Mead, 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Hoover Dam, constructed between 1933 and 1936, tamed the Colorado, which Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s official state historian, says was even more erratic than the Salt River. The dam created reliable water supplies for Arizona’s Colorado River Valley and, eventually, Central and Southern Arizona via the CAP.

Sports

On April 24, 2000 Arizona Gov. Jane Dee Hull signed a bill that created the Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority (initially known as the TSA). Later, it was renamed to the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority was instrumental in the constructions of University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals and an anchor of Glendale’s sports complex. The development of the stadium, also home to the Fiesta Bowl, marked a shift in the economic landscape of the West Valley and Arizona sports. The Stadium has already hosted one Super Bowl and will host a second in 2015.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority has also been instrumental in Cactus League projects — including Surprise Stadium, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Scottsdale Stadium, Goodyear (Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds) and in Glendale (Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.) The economic impact of Cactus League baseball is estimated at $350 million a year.

“There’s no doubt about it, sports is an integral part of any destination tourism package,” says Lorraine Pino, tourism manager at the Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our tourism literally exploded over the past few years.”

Isabelle Novak, Noelle Coyle and Tom Ellis contributed to this story.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012


Hoover Dam Construction, 1933-1936 - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Building Achievements Turned Arizona From Frontier Outpost To Thriving Haven

In 1912, when it became the nation’s 48th state, Arizona was a challenging place to live. It was sparsely populated with small communities scattered hither and yon. Travel between towns was grueling. The lower desert was unbearably hot in the summer, and water was scarce and unreliable.

Arizona would have had a dim future if it hadn’t engineered a reliable water supply, says Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s official state historian. In 1902, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act, Phoenix was an agricultural community that suffered through wild swings between drought and a flooding Salt River, Trimble says. Farmers and ranchers banded together as the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association to lobby for federal funding for the legislation’s first water reclamation project — construction of Roosevelt Dam northeast of Phoenix to tame the Salt and store water in Roosevelt Lake for future use.

This was the beginning of what would become Salt River Project (SRP), one of Arizona’s major utilities, and Trimble pegs the dedication of Roosevelt Dam in 1911 as the first step toward a modern Arizona. Today, SRP operates seven dams on the Salt and Verde rivers and delivers more than 1 million acre feet of water annually to Central Arizona.

But as Phoenix became increasingly urbanized, SRP’s 13,000-square-mile watershed couldn’t keep up with demand, and Arizona’s most populated areas were drawing more water out of the ground than was being replenished. As early as 1946, Arizonans began to hear about the need for delivery of Colorado River water to the Phoenix and Tucson population centers via a 336-mile canal called the Central Arizona Project. Construction of the CAP began in 1973 at Lake Havasu, and 20 years and $4 billion later, it was completed south of Tucson. The CAP delivers an average 1.5 million acre-feet of water annually to municipal, agricultural and Native American users in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties, where 80 percent of Arizonans live today.

“Without the CAP, we wouldn’t have the population we have today,” says Pam Pickard, president of the CAP board of directors. “We wouldn’t have our economic base. We wouldn’t have the industry we have.”

But the CAP wouldn’t have been possible without another milestone that occurred nearly 60 years earlier — Hoover Dam and its reservoir, Lake Mead, 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Hoover Dam, constructed between 1933 and 1936, tamed the Colorado, which Trimble says was even more erratic than the Salt. The dam created reliable water supplies for Arizona’s Colorado River Valley and, eventually, Central and Southern Arizona via the CAP.

Electricity

Electrical power generation in Arizona significantly preceded statehood and provided the “juice” for future development. Another major utility, Arizona Public Service (APS), traces its roots to 1886 in Phoenix. Electricity also came to Tucson in the 1880s, but the forerunner of today’s Tucson Electric Power (TEP) didn’t come about until 1892. SRP began delivering power to an expanding customer base in the 1920s, and created the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District in 1937 to operate the utility’s power generation and distribution system.

Statistics from these utilities bear witness to Arizona’s escalating hunger for electricity. TEP had 300 customers in 1903. That grew to 16,000 in 1932; 112,600 in 1970; and more than 400,000 today. TEP generating capacity jumped from 648,000 kilowatts in 1970 to 2,229 megawatts today.

Mergers led to the creation of APS in 1952. At that time, APS served 114,000 power customers with a 324-megawatt capacity. Today, APS serves 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties with a 6,293-megawatt capability. APS also helped bring nuclear power generation to Arizona. APS operates and owns 29.1 percent of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station located about 50 miles west of Phoenix. The largest nuclear power plant in the U.S., Palo Verde’s three units are capable of producing nearly 4,000 megawatts of electricity.

SRP’s electricity customer base grew to 7,684 in 1940; 169,773 in 1970; and 942,024 by the end of 2010. Another measuring rod — peak power demand — reached an all-time high at SRP in 2006 at 6,590 megawatts.

War, Manufacturing and Refrigeration

According to Trimble, the real turning point for Arizona industry came about in less than a decade during the mid-20th century. After America’s entry into World War II in December 1941, Luke Air Force Base in Glendale and Williams Air Force Base in Mesa became major training facilities for war pilots. Manufacturing for the war also contributed to Arizona’s economy, which continued to grow, Trimble says.

Then two critical milestones occurred closely together, say Trimble and another close observer of Arizona’s history, Grady Gammage Jr.

“There was a lot of home construction in Arizona after the war,” Trimble says. “GIs were moving here to start a new life. Many of them had trained in Arizona and liked the weather.”

Except perhaps for those summer temperatures, and they became less of a problem when affordable air conditioning became available in 1950, Trimble says.

Trimble points to 1950 as the year Arizona moved from a pioneer outpost to a modern state, thanks to refrigeration and a growing population that embraced it. Gammage, who is author of “Phoenix in Perspective: Reflections On Developing the Desert,” says window refrigeration units first appeared in Arizona in 1948. Two years later, Arizona led the nation in the number of window air conditioning units sold. By 1960, there was more central air conditioning in Arizona homes than window units, Gammage says.

“Refrigeration did a couple of things,” Gammage notes. “First, it was one of the critical building blocks that allowed people to move here. Second, it transformed Arizonans’ lifestyles.”

Master-Planned Communities

Arizona is home to countless master-planned residential communities, but the first one — Maryvale — opened in 1955 in West Phoenix as the post-war years exerted their influence. Its developer, John F. Long, wanted to plan and build a community where young people could buy an affordable home, raise a family and work, all in the same area. He named the development after his wife, Mary, and its influence is felt to this day.

Maryvale Billboard, Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

Photo: John F. Long Properties

“Because Maryvale was a master-planned community and because John did affordable housing, the master plan included a lot of parks, school sites and shopping areas,” says Jim Miller, director of real estate for John F. Long Properties. “It really was where people could live and work. If you lived in Maryvale, you weren’t more than three-quarters of a mile from a park or school. That forced a lot of other builders to adopt the same type of philosophy.”

The first homes sold for as little as $7,400, with a $52-a-month mortgage. The first week the models went on the market, 24,000 people stopped by to take a look. Long built 24,000 homes in Maryvale and by the mid-1990s, he and other developers had mostly finished the community.

Retirement Communities

A year before Maryvale opened, Ben Schleifer introduced a different lifestyle to an older demographic. In 1954, Schleifer opened Youngtown in West Phoenix, the first age-restricted retirement community in the nation, according to research by Melanie Sturgeon, director of the state’s History and Archives Division. No one younger than 50 could live there. By 1963, Youngtown had 1,700 residents and Arizona was on its way to becoming a retirement mecca.

But it was builder Del E. Webb and his construction companies that firmly established the concept of active, age-restricted adult retirement in Arizona with the opening of Sun City on Jan. 1, 1960, next to Youngtown and along Grand Avenue. According to Sturgeon’s research and a magazine observing Sun City’s 50th anniversary, about 100,000 people showed up the first three days to see the golf course, recreation center, swimming pool, shopping center and five model homes. Traffic was backed up for miles. The first homes sold for between $8,500 and $11,750. Sun City had 7,500 residents by 1964 and 42,000 by 1977, the same year Webb decided the community was big enough and he began construction on Sun City West.
Today, Arizona boasts many retirement communities.

Transportation

Two milestones that occurred decades apart cemented Phoenix’s future as Arizona’s population and economic hub.
In 1935, the city bought Sky Harbor International Airport for $100,000. Today, that investment is responsible for a $90 million daily economic impact. Sky Harbor also helped Central Arizona thrive.

Construction Interstate 17, Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

Photo: Arizona Department of Transportation

“As much as anywhere in the U.S., Phoenix is a creature of good air connections,” Gammage says. “There is no good rail service (in Arizona). There are no real transportation corridors. Sky Harbor has had a huge impact.”

The other milestone occurred 50 years later when the Maricopa Association of Governments approved a $6.5 billion regional freeway plan for Phoenix and voters approved a 20-year, one-half cent sales tax to fund it. By 2008, the Arizona Department of Transportation had completed the construction and Phoenix boasted 137 miles of loop freeways that linked the metro area.
The loop freeways have had a significant impact on shaping Phoenix and, ultimately, Arizona, says Dennis Smith, MAG executive director.

“The loop freeways resulted in a distribution of job centers around the Valley,” Smith says. “That allows every part of the Valley to achieve its dream and have employment closer to where the homes are. That distributes the wealth throughout the Valley.”

Smith says the freeways also extended the Valley’s reach to Yavapai, Pinal and Pima counties, creating a megapolitan area known as the Sun Corridor.

 

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

ATA Profile: Deborah Ostreicher, Deputy Aviation Director At Sky Harbor International Airport

Deborah Ostreicher
Deputy Aviation Director, Sky Harbor International Airport
www.skyharbor.com

As deputy aviation director of Sky Harbor International Airport, Deborah Ostreicher has a hands-on grasp of the travel industry. A typical day at the airport includes more than 1,200 aircrafts arriving and departing and more than 100,000 passengers coming and going. It’s no surprise that Sky Harbor is one of the 10 busiest airports in the world and has a $90 million daily economic impact.

Ostreicher’s professional background is in international business and marketing. She lived in Europe and the Middle East for about 10 years before coming to Phoenix. Although the travel industry always interested her, it wasn’t until 1996 that she became a travel professional. She joined Sky Harbor as the air service development manager, working to recruit airlines to Phoenix. The industry has certainly seen its share of changes since Ostreicher entered the scene.

“When I joined the industry, it was booming like crazy. With the economic downturn and post 9/11 era, things are certainly slower; and so is the cash flow that was once available for promotions and marketing,” Ostreicher says.

Yet Ostreicher sees her roles at Sky Harbor and as an executive committee member of the Arizona Tourism Alliance’s board of directors going hand in hand.

“As the area’s main airport and one of the largest in the entire Western region of the U.S., our role is to provide data and support to the efforts of the alliance,” she says. “Working together is critical, since a huge number of tourists come to Arizona by air and a large part of the airport’s business is the leisure market.”

Sky Harbor was not immune to the detrimental economic climate. Yet, the airport fared better than many others across the country.

“There has been an overall decrease (in passengers) of about 10 percent in 2009, but this is significantly better than many airports across the country. It’s important to keep in perspective that, rather than about 100,000 passengers a day, now we have about 90,000 per day,” Ostreicher says.

The demanding pace of keeping up with security changes, coupled with economic difficulties, is an ongoing challenge for the airport. Yet, it’s a challenge that Ostreicher is confident Sky Harbor can and will overcome. The recently announced Sky Train is one major project in the pipeline that is sure to bring growth and development to the airport.

“The Sky Train is by far the biggest project that will serve tourists, as well as the local community,” she says. “This will be ready for use by 2013, making it much easier for people to travel to, through and from the airport well into the future.”

Ostreicher recognizes the need to advocate the long-term benefits that a strong and vital tourism industry will have on the state. Though things may be difficult now, she says it’s still wise to invest in an industry that will be integral in Arizona’s economic recovery.

“The demand for tourism and air travel will undoubtedly bounce back,” she says. “But we can’t wait for that to happen to construct services necessary to serve this rebound. We have to do it now; and if you come to Sky Harbor, you’ll see that at America’s Friendliest Airport we are working to serve not only today’s customers, but tomorrow’s.”


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

Charles Miscio, a senior vice president at Colliers International

Could The Current Real Estate Mess In Arizona Have Been Prevented?

A few short years ago, when Arizona’s residential market was really cooking, Charles Miscio was getting his teeth cleaned when his dental hygienist made an ominous comment: She owned eight houses and was renting them out to investors, speculators and anyone in between.

“It seems like everyone got caught up in that irrational thinking,” says Miscio, a senior vice president at Colliers International, who has more than 20 years of experience in the Arizona real estate market. “The train had left the station and no one thought it would stop. Well, it took some major missteps by Wall Street, but I think everyone can agree that money train has stopped.”

Fortunately, Miscio adds, Arizona did learn some lessons from past real estate market cycles, and things, especially in the commercial sector, should begin to look better following another nine to 12 months of uncertainty.

“Mid-2010 is what we as brokers are looking toward for recovery,” he says.
Right now, real estate executives and economic experts concede, a credit crunch, plummeting home values and corporate uncertainty have consumer confidence at historic lows. Companies aren’t expanding, leasing or buying more office space or hiring workers. Consumers, in turn, are wary about their jobs and have resisted spending on everything from new cars to health care.

It begs the question, though: Could anything have been done to prevent the current malaise?

Miscio says perhaps those with business ties to real estate (finance, mortgage, brokers, developers, etc.) should have watched the indicators better and kept a skeptical eye on the ever-outreaching building patterns. Developments continually moved to the periphery of the desert, making long commutes a norm for many and impacting the quality of life for many more. Exotic financial structures, which seemed too good to be true, also emerged. As it turns out, reality eventually set in.

“We just need to pinch ourselves once in a while,” the Colliers executive says.
Pat Feeney joined CBRE in 1985, and has ridden many waves in the market. Today, he is a senior vice president dealing mostly with industrial projects. He says current action in all sectors is down, and like, Miscio, he believes any improvement is closely tied to the replenishment of consumer confidence. That could take a while, as the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, a widely watched gauge of consumer spending, continues to fall to all-time lows. Currently, confidence in the economy is the lowest on record.

Feeney has seen these cyclical patterns before and believes, in the end, this too shall pass; it’s just a matter of time, although there are a few caveats in this current cycle.

“Historically, cycles come and go — the wounds heal and everyone goes back into battle,” he says, adding that past cycles were always followed with an “oomph factor.” That “oomph” was the Internet and tech boom earlier this decade, and the housing boom of the mid-2000s.

“Where is that next oomph?” Feeney asks, citing comments made by an economic analyst at a national economic strategy session.

“…it took some major missteps by Wall Street, but I think everyone can agree that money train has stopped.” — Charles Miscio, Colliers International

“This dramatic improvement also needs to be worldwide, since all of our economies are tied together. I agree with the cyclical thought process; I just think this one will take longer. I just don’t know how long.”

Several things from past booms are playing a huge role in the current bust. A run-up in the cost of land over the past decade held the lid on the market, as did escalating construction and material costs. Some key zoning changes, mostly around Sky Harbor International Airport, have also equated to a real estate industry that could be much worse off.

“This time around, there wasn’t unbridled and uncontrolled activity,” Feeney says. “This was more economically controlled and driven.”

Like many, Feeney remains bullish on Phoenix. People will always want to escape the inclement areas of the U.S. and the congested and strange factor of California. Arizona is a great place to live and affordable housing, one way oranother, will return.

Jerry Noble, a first vice president at CBRE agrees: “Phoenix continues to grow and be a leader in U.S. growth. We have always seen dynamic employers looking for space in quality locations with an affordable work force. Our fundamentals just need to stabilize and we’ll get back to where we need to be.”


www.cbre.com
www.colliers.com

branding - AZ Business Magazine April 2008

Branding: The Mark Of Excellence

Companies need to build trust to build a successful brand

Great brands are made, not born. Ask any marketing expert and they’ll tell you that it takes a lot of hard work to build the recognition and trust necessary to create an indelible brand for a product or company.

“Really and truly that is what a brand is — trust,” says Nancy Stephens, an associate professor of marketing at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “When I see your brand mark on your service or your product, that tells me, ‘Yes, I know that company, I’ve had great experiences there every time, I know I can trust it. If it’s different, I don’t know if I can trust it, but maybe I can give it a try and I’ll see if I can.’”

The Valley is home to major companies that have dealt with significant branding issues over the last decade. The first, and most high profile, came about as the result of America West Airlines’ merger with US Airways in 2005. Almost overnight, a brand that had been ubiquitous in Arizona disappeared.

“It was a difficult decision to give up the America West name for us, because it was just so well-known and, we’d like to think, well-loved within the Valley and also certain communities like Las Vegas where we have another hub,” says Michelle Mohr, a spokeswoman for US Airways.

Eventually, of course, America West took on the US Airways name because company executives felt it better captured the more national and global direction the airliner was heading toward. Not unexpectedly, the name change created confusion among customers.

“We had logistical issues,” Mohr says. “US Airways had their ticket terminals in Terminal 2 in (Sky Harbor International Airport) and America West had theirs in Terminal 4. For some flights, you had to go to Terminal 2, for some you needed to come to Terminal 4. And then we had two separate ticket counters because there were two separate reservation systems at the airline. That could be rather confusing and frustrating to a customer.”

In the end, Stephens says the test for any company re-branding itself is how customers will react — and how the company will respond.

“(Changing a brand) is not an ideal thing to do and it’s an expensive thing to do because you’re going to have to send a message to a very crowded market that says, ‘We were that, now we’re this,’ ” she says. “I would not hammer with the media money until you have the experience down right, because then you get killed. Because if you say, ‘We’re still the same great company and we really care about you, and it’s going to be efficient and our employees are going to be very nice to you,’ and it’s not that way, then all your media money works against you.”

Another longtime Arizona company that is in the process of re-branding itself is the former Phelps Dodge. Louisiana-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold acquired Phelps Dodge in 2006. Despite the radical name change, Stephens says Freeport-McMoRan has different branding challenges than those faced by a retail customer-fueled corporation. Freeport-McMoran is a business-to-business company, but it still has constituents in the form of suppliers, buyers, investors and even the communities in which the old Phelps Dodge made its mark.

Another branding challenge companies’ face is when they take steps to change the look or even the name of a product. Locally, the Shamrock Foods Company decided to change things up in 1994 by creating the Shamrock Farms line of products, revamping its packaging and adding an illustrated “spokescow” named Roxie. It was a daring move for a company that had been around since 1922 in an industry not known for generating much excitement.

“They have taken a really boring, old product and made it pretty exciting with this new packaging,” Stephens says.

Sandy Kelly, director of marketing for Shamrock Farms, admits shaking things up was exactly what the company had in mind.

“It was a real pivotal turning point for the business overall and for the brand,” Kelly says. “We really looked at what was going on and how other consumer packaged goods brands went to market, and what we realized was that the dairy industry has typically been more commodity driven and there isn’t a lot of branding going on nationally. So we wanted to be different.”

Kelly adds that consumer focus groups continue to say they love Roxie, and as a result, the bovine has become the cornerstone of the company’s marketing campaign. In 1998, in an effort to take on soft drinks, Shamrock made some noise again by introducing milk in single-serve bottles instead of the traditional carton. The single-serve bottles are available across the country, including at 21,000 Subway locations. Just recently, Subway launched a milk mustache television ad featuring the company’s spokesman, Jared, holding a single-serve bottle of Shamrock Farms milk.

Also, the company has launched a new line of organic milk and emphasizes that it does not use the synthetic hormone rBST on its dairy cows.

While the company continues to update and add to its brand, it hasn’t lost sight of what makes a brand successful.

“We use the saying: ‘Tradition meets innovation,’” Kelly says. “We have a lot of trust built up with our consumer, but at the same time, we’ve been able to stay relevant with the needs of today, which is a challenge, especially in the dairy category. We’ve been able to have that trust, we’ve been able to build that trust.”

For more information regarding these companies visit:

wpcarey.asu.edu
fcx.com
shamrockfarms.net
usairways.com

busy tomorrow for Meeting Planners

Meeting Planners an Industry On A Roll

Meeting planners an industry on a roll

Only a few years ago, professional meeting planners in Arizona were struggling through a post-9/ll slump in business. Those days are now history. But don’t get the impression meeting planners are breathing a sigh of relief. Members of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International are much too busy for that. The number of meetings and events in Arizona is in a sharp rebound as the state’s economy hums along again and planners who once had nothing but time on their hands, can’t get enough of it today.

“It’s such a turnaround from three years ago,” says Bonnie Brant, national sales manager for Doubletree Guest Suites Phoenix near Sky Harbor International Airport. “We’re so busy and it’s a nice kind of busy. People are traveling again, rooms are filled, planners have a broader selection of events and venues. It’s great.” Brant, a chapter board member and 2006 Mentor of the Year, says the Doubletree steadily booked meetings and events all summer.

Michael Barnhart, CMP, a chapter member and national sales manager for Pointe South Mountain Resort in south Phoenix, is happy to be scrambling again. “The economy is definitely back and it’s nice to have demand again. I like being busy. It beats the alternative.” Planners say that business from associations remained steady during the lean years while corporate meetings nosedived. Now corporate business is back and planners are helping with incentive meetings for top producers, sales meetings, new product launches, board retreats and departmental brainstorm sessions. Because of its proximity to the airport, the Doubletree’s weekends are devoted primarily to military reunions for veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.

Some resorts and hotelsMichael Barnhart - meeting planners are funneling money back into their properties to attract more visitors. For example, Brant says the Doubletree refurbished all public areas in 2004 and also enhanced its meeting space, installing new lighting and soundproofing and softening the colors. “Repeat business is key and if you’re not providing renovations and high-tech features and good service, you are not going to be one of the ballplayers,” she says. But the good times also bring challenges. Planners are coming to grips with a time crunch they call compression. Clients struggle with their own lack of time and that trickles down to planners who now have a substantially tighter turnaround to do their jobs compared to previous years. “Usually, what we planned a year out, we are now planning 90 days out,” says Katherine Christensen, CMP, president and owner of Katherine Christensen & Associates and PRA Destination Management in Chandler. Sometimes, there is virtually no lead time, says Christensen, a past chapter president. “They call on Tuesday, asking me to plan an event for Friday.”

Planners who book hotel rooms are bumping up against higher rates as fewer rooms are available and the law of supply and demand flexes its muscle. Christensen sees it as a seller’s market in which booking terms are less negotiable. Part of the problem is that three major Valley resorts–Marriott Mountain Shadows, Doubletree La Posada and Radisson Scottsdale–closed in 2004 and 2005, Barnhart says. “Supply has dipped,” he notes. “With the economy coming back, we’ve got that pent-up demand from corporate America. Their national and regional meetings are in full force. Rates have gone up as much as 10 percent for February through March. Rates are just now getting back to where they were before 9/11.” Meeting planners at one Scottsdale corporation face the same problems with rates and space availability as they organize 60 to 80 events a year for their company. Courtney Aguilar and Shannon Urfer, each a marketing manager of events at eFunds Corporation and chapter member, say their greatest challenge is getting executives to understand that rates are higher and that space is hard to come by. Urfer, who serves on the chapter’s membership, fund-raising and holiday party committees, says from her experience, rates have climbed 20 to 30 percent over the past few years. “When we started looking for the 2007 location for our annual global sales kickoff, almost all the properties we looked at were sold out,” Aguilar says. “We booked both our 2007 and 2008 kickoffs in February of this year.”

Christensen has noticed a significant change in the kind of corporate people her company works with. Increasingly, she works more with procurement departments and less with internal event planners. The bottom line has become more important than the relationship, she says. “The deliverability of our services has not changed,” Christensen says. “What has changed is how we prepare our proposals and that is becoming more line-itemed. That’s fine, but as they pick apart the event to save money, they pick apart the ambience. We will do all that. Just don’t come back to me and say this is not what I originally described in my proposal.”

But since it’s better to be busy than not, planners are taking it all in stride. Christensen attended a MPI retreat over the summer and the busy times was a topic of discussion. “No one really has an answer as to how they are doing it; they’re just doing it,” she says. “We are all glad to see the business.”

Urfer sees meeting and event planners taking on an increasingly important role in the years ahead. “Meeting planners will become more integral and valued as people look to them not as order takers, but as someone who can provide direction,” she says. Brant believes the profession will have a bright future in metropolitan Phoenix. “We’ve got a new convention center coming in. Light rail is coming in. We will have the Super Bowl in 2008. It’s just a great place to be a meeting and event planner.”

www.azmpi.org
www.webeventplanner.com/doubletreeguestsuitesphoenix
www.efunds.com
www.kc-a.com
www.pra.com
www.arizonagrandresort.com

ABOUT MPI
Established in 1972, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest association for the meetings profession with more than 20,000 members in 68 chapters and clubs across the USA, Canada, Europe and other countries throughout the world. As the global authority and resource for the $122.3 billion meetings and events industry, MPI empowers meeting professionals to increase their strategic organizational value through education and networking opportunities. Its strategic plan, Pathways to Excellence, is designed to elevate the role of meetings in business via: creating professional development levels to evolve member careers to positions of strategic understanding and influence; influencing executives about the value of meetings; and ensuring MPI is the premier marketplace for planners and suppliers. More information can be found by going to www.mpiweb.org. Active since 1979, the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter is MPI’s 15th largest chapter in the world. The organization is comprised of over 460 members throughout the state of Arizona, representing a mix of corporate, association and independent planners as well as suppliers who provide a variety of products and/or services to the meeting and hospitality industry.The local chapter offers its members educational, networking, community volunteer, industry certification and professional growth opportunities throughout the year. For more information, contact Executive Director, Joanne Winter, at (602) 277-1494 or visit the chapter website at www.azmpi.org for up-to-date information on events and programs.

Arizona Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006