Tag Archives: West Valley

120249086

Washington Federal Promotes Hernandez to Assistant VP

Washington Federal announced Debbie Hernandez has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager. Hernandez has been with Washington Federal for more than 12 years.

In her position, Hernandez is responsible for increasing loan production and client base by growing the business checking and savings accounts and consumer checking and savings accounts. She is also responsible for increasing Washington Federal’s presence in the West Valley. Prior to joining Washington Federal, Hernandez was an insurance agent in Ohio.

“Debbie is a huge asset to our team here at Washington Federal,” said Trevor Bush, senior vice president and manager of Arizona retail banking division. “We are excited to see her continue to expand the presence and reach of Washington Federal.”

Hernandez earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in business from the Trumbull Business College in Warren, Ohio. She is also involved with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a volunteer for St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Hernandez is a Surprise resident.

BTMC exterior.jpg

Banner Thunderbird celebrates 30th anniversary

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a free community health fair/anniversary celebration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 9 on the hospital’s campus, 5555 W. Thunderbird Road in Glendale.

Banner Thunderbird opened in 1983 as a 150-bed-hospital with a single patient tower, eleven Emergency Room beds and six operating rooms. Today, Banner Thunderbird has four patient towers, 561 beds, an acre-size emergency room with 85 beds and 21 operating rooms.

To celebrate three decades of caring for the community, the public is invited to enjoy free food, entertainment and health screenings at a free community health fair/anniversary celebration at the hospital.

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, AZ, specializes in heart care, surgical services, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedic surgery, emergency care, behavioral health, cancer care and pediatrics including the West Valley’s only pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric Emergency department and Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health system with 24 hospitals in seven states. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com/Thunderbird.

cancer.ytratment

Cancer Center Creates Synergy with Like-Minded Life Savers

Cancer is a scary word.

“The word ‘cancer’ is actually the general name given to some 100-plus diseases from breast to lung to skin cancer, and is when cells in a specific part of the body begin to grow out of control,” said Dr. Daniel Reed, co-founder of Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC) in Peoria.

While the word itself may be general, those fighting its 100-plus diseases are anything but.

“No two cancer patients are alike – and no two patients’ treatment should be either,” said Dr. Reed, who understands this firsthand as his grandmother fought breast cancer while he was in medical school, inspiring him to go into the field.

Depending on a patient’s needs, he/she may require cancer treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of both. If being treated with a combination, West Valley patients were often required to go to different cancer centers throughout the Northeast and Southeast Valley – sometimes hours away – for regular care. Unsatisfied with West Valley patients’ access to nearby facilities and support services, Dr. Reed partnered with fellow specialists Drs. Christopher Biggs and Terry Lee in 2008 to launch Arizona Center for Cancer Care in Peoria. Their mission, simply put, was to become the future of cancer treatment in Arizona.

“Our multi-specialty treatment center was designed to give us the ability to offer comprehensive cancer care to patients on this side of town – something never done before in this community,” said Dr. Reed.

Upon launching the facility, the group quickly became the first of its kind to offer West Valley patients Brachytherapy, which is an effective, less-invasive treatment for prostate, breast, lung, esophageal, gynecologic and head/neck cancers, among others. They also became the first to invest in and offer Radiosurgery to the area using a state-of-the-art technology called RapidArc® radiation therapy.

“This very precise form of therapeutic radiation uses beams of radiation to treat cancerous tissues without a surgical incision or opening, allows patients to receive treatment in as little as 10 minutes, compared to the several hours it used to take with older technologies like the cyber knife and gamma knife,” said Dr. Reed.

In 2008 the radiation oncologist and team realized they were ready to expand and partnered with prominent medical oncologist Dr. Devinder Singh and his practice, Arizona Center for Hematology and Oncology, increasing the practice to 10 physicians and the West Valley’s first comprehensive cancer practice. By 2011, when the Peoria center became Arizona’s only freestanding radiation oncology facility to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for accreditation, they had also added gynecological cancer treatment to their growing list of patient services, another first for the West Valley.

Over the past year, two major events have happened:
First, it partnered with Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists (ABCS) and Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists (AROS) to expand into the Scottsdale and Southeast Valley markets.
Then, thanks in part to relationships with ABCS and AROS, the group joined together to enter into a long-term relationship with Scottsdale Healthcare, wherein AZCCC is now overseeing the Piper Center’s ENTIRE radiation oncology wing and beyond.

Today, the practice in total now boasts 52 physicians, more than 200 employees and 20 partner offices Valleywide as a result.

“We are a cancer center without walls whose services stretch into every inch of this community, offering the West Valley with the best doctors, best treatment technologies and best research in the country,” says Dr. Reed. “Cancer is a disease of survivors – and we want to keep it that way.”

The Offices at Reems.

Sperry Van Ness Represents the Seller in a 16-Unit Office Condo Portfolio Sale in Surprise

Justin Horwitz, Nicole Ridberg and Neil Sherman of Sperry Van Ness, LLC, in Phoenix represented Pacific Western Bank in the sale of the Offices at Reems, a 16-unit office condo portfolio located at 15515-15571 N. Reems Road in Surprise, Ariz.
The bank-owned shell and built-out condo units sold for $1,350,000 or $56 per square foot and closed on August 27. The portfolio is approximately 24,101 SF.
“The transaction turned out to be a win-win for both the buyer and seller,” said Justin Horwitz. “This sale put the Offices at Reems back on track to being a vibrant and desirable office condo project in the West Valley.”
The buyer, Reems and Greenway, LLC, was represented by Steve Cook of Escee Properties.

77293831

What do golf and surgery have in common?

Imagine sinking chip shots on three of the world’s most famous golf courses while chipping in to help fund a high-tech hybrid operating suite at Banner Boswell Medical Center. How’s it possible you ask?

Sun Health Foundation and Arrowhead Lexus have joined forces to sell drawing tickets for a chance to play in the 2013 Lexus Champions For Charity Golf Tournament, a five-day golf getaway for two, held Dec. 11-15, in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Ticket proceeds will help fund a new hybrid operating suite at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City.

Only 400 drawing tickets are available, with the winner and a friend earning the chance to “play like a pro” on three of Pebble Beach’s hallowed golf courses: Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay.

The winning package includes meals, carts and green fees; an incredible tee prize package; transportation between local airports and the golf resorts and a teaching clinic from a top PGA professional.

Tickets are $150 each or five for $600. Ticket sponsorship packages are also available. The winning ticket will be drawn October 3 at Arrowhead Lexus Peoria. Need not be present to win.  Purchase tickets by calling 623-832-7609 or visit sunhealthfoundation.org.

Hybrid Operating Suite
The $8.2 million project involves transforming a 40-year-old clinical space into a futuristic hybrid operating suite, the first of its kind in the West Valley. Construction will also include refurbishing and constructing two new OR suites. The hybrid will combine the latest surgical, cardiac catheterization and 3-D radiology technologies with real-time patient monitoring, allowing patients to stay in one place.

Interventional cardiologists, electro-physiologists or interventional radiologists and heart and vascular surgeons will work side by side. It will greatly benefit patients requiring minimally invasive valve procedures as well as those needing cardiovascular or vascular treatment. The results will be shorter recovery times, fewer complications, reduced pain and increased quality of life. Expected to be completed in late summer 2014, the project also includes expanding the Same Day Surgery unit. Ultimately, the project will allow Banner Boswell to continue to expand its comprehensive cardiac program to meet the current and future needs of the community.

Westgate Entertainment District

Two New Tenants Coming to Westgate in August

IT’SUGAR and RazzleberrieZ will open their doors this August at Westgate Entertainment District, adding even more family-friendly variety for West Valley patrons to enjoy.

IT’SUGAR, best known nationally as a novelty candy store, offers the world’s largest boxes of Nerds, Sweethearts and Pop Rocks, five pound Gummy Bears as well as candy themed accessories like Tootsie Roll shaped pillows and candy scented lotions. The new store will offer a fully stocked candy bar filled with a variety of favorites like gummy bears, hard shell candies, gumballs and much more. IT’SUGAR will be located in the 2,543 square-foot space next to Margaritaville, across from Yard House in the former Ride Makers location. Opening August 28, this is the first West Valley location for the company with four other Arizona stores in Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix.

“IT’SUGAR is the ultimate mixture of fun and indulgence. A little naughty mixed with a lot of nice.  With a nod toward sweetness and a wink toward irreverence, our goal is to bring out the inner child in all of us,” said Larry DeBerry of IT’SUGAR. “All of us at IT’SUGAR are thrilled to be a part of the outstanding lineup of retail, dining and entertainment offerings at Westgate. This will be our fifth location in the Arizona market, joining the 50+ other IT’SUGAR worldwide locations.”

With two Valley locations, RazzleberrieZ will open its third store at Westgate the first week of August, opening across from Yard House and next to IT’SUGAR. RazzleberrieZ offers the finest line of premium, low calorie, fat-free and dairy-free frozen yogurt, some with no sugar added. Guests can choose from over 70 toppings like fresh cut fruit, healthy granola, trendy mochi, Ghirardelli syrups and more.

“We are pleased to announce these two new leases, which is yet another indication of our positive leasing momentum,” said Jeff Teetsel, development manager of Westgate Entertainment District. “Like our leases with Chipotle in the Mexican fast-casual segment and Buffalo Wild Wings in the sports-bar niche, IT’SUGAR is the recognized market leader for candy stores and another example of the quality of tenants we have successfully targeted and attracted.”

For more information about Westgate Entertainment District, a retailer directory or to see what’s happening today, visit www.westgateaz.com.

Westgate Entertainment District

Glendale CVB Launches a New Blog

The Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau is offering a new tool to attract travelers to Glendale and the West Valley and help people keep up with events and tourism-related activities. The Glendale CVB is now blogging about the best places, deals and events to check out.

The Glendale CVB is launching this new blog to accompany the full lineup of interactive tools designed to help connect the traveler with the various sights and experiences available in Glendale and the surrounding West Valley cities.

“Visitors will still find great information on our full website, but now we are adding a new layer of connectivity that we encourage people to explore and share with others,” said Lorraine Pino, Glendale CVB manager. “The new tool will also allow us to engage CVB members to tell stories about their hidden gems as guest bloggers.”

Regular posts, featuring pictures and videos will be compiled from staff and guest bloggers. The blog can be accessed through www.visitglendale.com.

F-35-Wallpapers-by-cool-wallpapers-2

Goodyear backs additional F-35 squadron at Luke

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord was among a number of state-wide officials during the Department of Defense’s announcement of three additional squadrons to the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II fighter jet program at Luke Air Force Base.

Since the DOD’s initial announcement that Luke AFB will be the training center for the F-35s, cities and community groups throughout the West Valley have voiced their support for the military community and Luke’s mission of remaining the premier base for fighter pilot training.

“We are very pleased that Luke Air Force Base will now be home to three additional squadrons of F-35 Fighter Jets.” Goodyear Mayor Lord said. “The support of Goodyear and the surrounding West Valley communities played a huge role in this decision and we will continue to advocate on behalf of Luke and our military families.”

“Not only is this decision good for the security of our nation, but it will also have a huge economic impact on Goodyear, the West Valley and the State of Arizona.” Mayor Lord added.

The first three F-35A squadrons are scheduled to begin arriving at Luke AFB next year. Over the next several years, Luke will operate 170 aircraft; 144 will be the F-35A while 26 F-16s will remain for foreign military training.

Goodyear is among 13 Valley and West Valley municipalities partnering in the Luke Forward campaign that generated awareness of the positive impacts the Air Force’s next generation strike fighter will bring to the state. Through that community support involving tens of thousands of citizens participating in public hearings, the DOD recognized the importance of keeping Luke as the hub for fighter pilot training.

Two brand new training facilities are currently being constructed at Luke in preparation of receiving the F-35A fighter jets. An operations building will open later this year, while the 145,000 square-foot academic center is planned to open in mid to late 2014.

“This is great news for the region,” Goodyear City Manager Brian Dalke said of the DOD’s announcement on Thursday. “We value Luke Air Force Base as a neighbor as well as the economic support the military community currently provides to our city. We welcome the expansion of F-35 program with open arms. Not only will the program be beneficial for the local economy, it will strengthen national security.”

Westgate Entertainment District

Terminix Bringing 300 Jobs to Glendale

iStar Financial announced today that Terminix, the world’s largest pest control provider, will open a new customer care center at Westgate Entertainment District in October that will bring as many as 300 jobs to Arizona and help invigorate activity within the office buildings of the Entertainment District.

At 32,800 square feet, the deal is the largest office lease in Westgate’s history. The Memphis, Tenn.-based company is expanding its customer service operations to Arizona and will take over the entire second floor of the east office building beginning October 1.

“With Westgate’s attributes, including over 15 on-site restaurants and abundant parking, we strategically and aggressively targeted large corporate users and are pleased to announce the full-floor lease to Terminix,” said Jeff Teetsel, development manager of Westgate Entertainment District. “This is the largest office lease in Westgate’s history, and is another indication of our positive momentum. With our direct freeway access and ease and efficiency for employees to walk to lunch, we have a uniquely desirable mixed-use environment for office tenants.”

The announcement comes on the heels of strong leasing activity at Westgate Entertainment District in recent months including signed leases from Buffalo Wild Wings and Whiskey Rose Bar & Grill and the recent openings of Chipotle, Gallery Glendale and The Arizona Republic, which relocated its West Valley office earlier this year.

“This lease is a validation of the market’s response to the nearly $1 million in investments iStar has made in upgrades to the property over the past year that includes improving the parking lot and common areas and installing new signage to benefit office tenants,” said Teetsel.

Terminix, a company with revenues exceeding $1.3 billion, is the largest subsidiary of ServiceMaster, one of the world’s largest residential service networks. Terminix services more than 3 million residential and commercial customers in 47 states and 14 countries.

“This new Arizona facility reinforces our commitment to enhancing the Terminix customer experience and providing one-call resolution to any customer questions or concerns,” said Larry Pruitt, president of Terminix.  “Terminix already earns best-in-class service ratings from customers, and this new center will help us take that service to an even higher level.”

Terminix conducted a site selection process throughout the western United States, narrowed the focus to Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, and ultimately selected metro Phoenix and Glendale specifically.

CBRE’s Bryan Taute and Brad Anderson represented the landlord and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Aaron Sommer, of the Atlanta office, and Geoffrey Waldrom and Dan Dobric, of the Phoenix office, represented the tenant.

The City of Glendale Economic Development Department worked to expedite permit processing and coordination to help the tenant meet its expedited occupancy target date. Jeanine Jerkovic in City’s Economic Development department coordinated the City’s efforts, along with Department Director Brian Friedman.

For more information about Westgate Entertainment District, visit www.westgateaz.com.

Banner Good Samaritan Hospital

Banner Health Center preview on June 29

West Valley residents can tour the new Banner Health Center in Goodyear from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 29.The Center is designed to support high quality, convenient health care for the entire family.

Attendees will hear remarks by Banner Medical Group CEO Jim Brannon and Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord at 8:30 a.m., followed by a celebration including food, tours, giveaways, children’s activities and information about Banner Health facilities and services. Community members are invited to meet physicians and staff and even make an appointment.

“We want to become part of the fabric of the community by becoming the medical home residents look to for help in keeping their families healthy,” said Jim Brannon, chief executive officer of Banner Medical Group. “This Banner Health Center is designed to provide primary care to the entire family in one space. We want it to be the place you would choose for prevention, wellness, basic and complex medical care and the advice you need to thrive with chronic health conditions.”

At opening on July 10, staff physicians will include family practitioners and pediatricians. Banner Health Centers accept most insurance plans. The Center will be open extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Same-day appointments will also be available. Laboratory and X-ray services are also on-site.

Banner Health Center in Estrella will also be the gateway to the incredibly comprehensive services offered throughout Banner Health system, including Banner Estrella Medical Center and specialty facilities such as Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner Concussion Center.

This location at 9780 South Estrella Parkway joins the existing Banner Health Centers offering health care where you want it and how you want it in Gilbert, Queen Creek, Surprise, Verrado and Maricopa, Ariz. as well as South Loveland, Colo. For more information on the Banner Health Center in Estrella, visit www.BannerHealth.com/HealthCenterEstrella.

homes

Shea Homes reports steady sales for Q1

Shea Homes saw its sales hold steady through the first quarter of 2013, with its West Valley communities seeing higher than normal sales. Close to two thirds of the sales for Q1 came from Shea’s West Valley communities in Peoria, Buckeye, and Litchfield Park, which is a turn from the boom of its East Valley communities.

“Our overall traffic is up and sales have remained steady from last year, which was a huge recovery over 2011,” said Ken Peterson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes. “We have seen hot spots in the West Valley- specifically our luxury homes at Vista Montaña in Peoria, where home prices have averaged $600,000.”

Shea’s two newest product lines, luxury homes and luxury villas, have shown tremendous growth so much so that an additional 23, out of a total of 43 homesites, were opened at Vista Montaña II earlier this year and the luxury villas are being expanded to a new community breaking ground in Verrado later this summer. The new community, called Vallarta at Verrado, will feature 63 homesites with luxury villa floor plans similar to Shea’s Vistancia community; Caletas at Blackstone.

Shea has been active in the East Valley as well, specifically San Tan Valley and Gilbert, where its innovative product SPACES at Evans Ranch has only one inventory home left. Evans Ranch was opened in May 2012 and has sold out ahead of projections. Shea Homes is currently building 9 models at Marbella Vineyards opening late-summer and getting ready to break ground for models at their Bridges communities in Gilbert. With close to 500 lots soon available and showcasing a completely new approach to homebuilding Shea Homes continues to challenge industry standards.

“Our homes at Marbella will be something the Valley has never seen before in homebuilding, it will completely redefine the concept of how the industry has built homes in the past,” said Peterson. “This summer will be an exciting one for us.”

Traffic Congestion, Ways to Reduce in Phoenix, AZ

Public Identifies Transit Priorities for Southwest Valley

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), in partnership with West Valley cities and through extensive input from residents, has completed a transit system study that identifies a local transit plan for the Southwest Valley.

MAG has worked in partnership over the past year with the cities of Phoenix, Avondale, Goodyear, Tolleson, Litchfield Park, the town of Buckeye, Maricopa County, and Valley Metro in developing the plan, which is based on the transportation needs and priorities identified by more than 2,000 Southwest Valley residents. Residents prioritized a local transit system that is accessible, affordable, convenient, and connects to regional transit services.

The short-, mid- and long-term strategies in the plan for local transit services will guide communities in implementing new services as additional revenues become available.

A drop-in open house will be held this week to enable residents to see the plan maps and talk to the project team:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Centerra Mirage Elementary School
15151 W. Centerra Dr. South
Goodyear, AZ

The executive summary of the plan will be posted to the project website March 13th at http://www.azmag.gov/Projects/Project.asp?CMSID=4173. The full plan will be posted shortly thereafter. For more information, please contact Jorge Luna, MAG transit planner, atjluna@azmag.gov or by calling (602) 254-6300.

Sun Health

Dignity names new West Valley hospital

Dignity Health announced that “St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center” will be the name of its new West Valley hospital during an official groundbreaking at the planned 35-acre medical campus near the Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.

The $44 million Dignity Health facility is scheduled to open in early 2014 and will provide West Valley residents with a new alternative to receive high quality healthcare services. Dignity Health already operates three hospitals in the Valley including St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, which is home of the Barrow Neurological Institute in central Phoenix, and Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers. Dignity Health was previously known as Catholic Healthcare West.

When the new facility opens, the first phase will contain a 60,000 square-foot hospital that will include an emergency room, 24 inpatient beds, two operating rooms and diagnostic services. For the most complex medical cases, patients will benefit from the clinical integration with St. Joseph’s in central Phoenix. Established in 1895, St. Joseph’s today is nationally recognized for its specialty care and its expertise in treating the most complex medical cases.

“St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center was selected as the name of the medical campus because it builds on more than a century of healthcare in the Valley and people recognize St. Joseph’s as a beacon of quality care,” says Linda Hunt, Dignity Health Arizona President and CEO. “We intend to deliver that same excellence to the residents of the West Valley.”

The hospital will initially employ 200 staff and will have the capacity to expand to 200 inpatient beds as demand grows. The 35-acre medical campus will house community physicians and outpatient partners, giving patients one location for their healthcare needs.

“St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center will be a vibrant medical campus right in the heart of the West Valley,” says Gregg Davis, President of St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center. “The campus is designed to be a model for the nation’s changing healthcare environment and will change as medicine and the community evolve.”

The campus will serve as a collaborative venture in partnership with physicians in the West Valley to enhance and better manage the delivery of healthcare to patients in the area.

“This is a great project for the City of Glendale as the Loop 101 corridor near Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District is one of the city’s key economic focus areas,” says Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. “The new hospital will not only expand development west of the freeway, it will also attract other healthcare-related businesses and jobs to the area.”

While this is the first Dignity Health hospital in the West Valley, the organization began to lay the business foundation of its launch several years ago. Today, Dignity Health operates a family practice clinic and an orthopedic clinic in Peoria, imaging centers throughout the area, an outpatient surgery center and a partnership with the Minute Clinics located in the CVS pharmacies in Glendale and Goodyear.

Westgate Entertainment District

Generating Big Business out West

Nearly all retailers and restaurateurs will tell you that the key to having a successful business is largely based on the old adage – location, location, location.

For several national entertainment and restaurant brands with Valley-wide locations, revenue figures indicate that the West Valley now ranks number one in market share, with their top-producing stores at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.

The bolstering of year-over-year revenue figures for nearly all of the big-name tenants at Westgate is largely attributed to the support of iStar Financial, who took ownership of Westgate Entertainment District in September of 2011. More than $300,000 in improvements and beautification have been made to Westgate’s common areas over the past year. Additionally, a strong focus has been placed on a better targeted and promoted events schedule, the hiring of Vestar to aggressively market and manage the property and the engagement with tenants to refocus their marketing and promotional efforts.

“By far, my most profitable store in Arizona is at Westgate,” said Rip Riva, owner of Johnny Rockets and JR Burger Grill, who has four other Valley locations of the popular all-American restaurant, including Scottsdale Fashion Square, Shops at Norterra, Arrowhead and Gateway Pavilion in Avondale. “I’ve been in the restaurant business for 40 years and have owned more than 30 different franchise restaurants. There’s now a synergy at Westgate that you can’t find anywhere else. With all of the events taking place, we’re seeing a constant increase in new customers. In the past few months, there is a new feeling, a new look and a new attitude. I’ve been at Westgate since the beginning and I just extended my lease another five years.”

Similarly, AMC Theatres at Westgate, which is the largest AMC in the state featuring 20 screens and an IMAX, is the top revenue producing AMC Theatres in Arizona. Yard House, with three Arizona locations, notes Westgate as its biggest revenue generating restaurant in the state. And, Saddle Ranch Chop House, with one location in Old Town Scottsdale and the other at Westgate, cites Glendale as its top-producing restaurant.

“The West Valley is a big market for us,” said Jeff Hall, owner of Which Wich at Westgate. “Westgate is our cornerstone location and our success there has allowed us to expand to other parts of the state including Tucson and two soon-to-open locations in the East Valley. We’ve seen about a 15 percent increase to our top-line revenue over last year. Between the concerts, on-site and nearby sporting events, movie theatre and very loyal office lunch crowd, there’s a formula there that just works.”

In September, Just Sports expanded their Westgate location, adding an additional 1,000 square feet to the existing 2,000 square feet, making it the company’s flagship location. Their Glendale location is their highest producing store among 18 stores on the West Coast.

Westgate Entertainment District encompasses more than 25 restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues including Yard House, The Shout! House, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Johnny Rockets, Which Wich and AMC Theatres. More than 250 events take place a year ranging from live music every Friday and Saturday night at Fountain Park to Bike Nights, Radio Disney Wednesdays, a holiday ice rink and fan experience events.

Westgate is anchored by Jobing.com Arena, home to the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, headlining concerts and major events, and is adjacent to the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

For more information about Westgate Entertainment District and a retailer directory, visit www.westgatecitycenter.com.

KOOZA Photos 2007 004

Glendale CVB Rising in the West

Game on!

Cities like Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear, Surprise, and the other 14 cities that make up the West Valley are capitalizing on the rapid expansion of tourism and hospitality amenities — particularly spring training baseball facilities and other sports-related events — to grab a bigger share of the $18 billion that Arizona’s 37 million annual visitors spend.

As tourism in the West Valley continues to grow, the Glendale Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) is playing a bigger and more vital role to help drive visitors to West Valley hospitality businesses.

“The region provides the local and out-of-state traveler with an experience like no other,” says Lorraine Pino, Glendale CVB manager. “We are home to nine Cactus League spring training teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix International Raceway, Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, great outdoor festivals, historic districts in each of our cities, performing arts centers and unique shopping venues. And, of course, you can be an astronaut for the day at our Challenger Space Center.”

Despite this diverse range of attractions, tourism is a relatively new industry in the West Valley. As a result, not every community in the area is equipped to implement independent marketing and promotion initiatives. Glendale CVB organizes and facilitates these initiatives, partnering with more than 100 restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, resorts and hotels, and service organizations.

“We work closely with our hotels — such as the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa, Wigwam Resort, Hilton Garden Inn Avondale and many more — to provide lead generation and conference assistance,” Pino says.

Glendale CVB also serves as a liaison to large-scale entertainment such as Cirque du Soleil, which was held at University of Phoenix Stadium this summer, and mammoth events such as the Super Bowl, which will return to Glendale in 2015.

“When the Super Bowl was last held in Glendale in 2008, the Glendale CVB was not yet in existence,” Pino says. “But now that our bureau is in place for the 2015 game, the region will be in a better position to capture a greater share of visitor spending.”

Economists estimate that hosting a Super Bowl has an economic impact of $300 million-$500 million on the region.

“In addition, realizing that this mega event impacts the entire metro area and several destinations statewide, the Glendale CVB will be working with other tourism and hospitality organizations throughout the Valley to ensure that we provide the greatest fan experience possible, and to host the best Super Bowl possible,” Pino says.

By the end of 2012, Glendale will welcome yet another visitor destination when the Tanger Outlets Westgate is completed. The 328,000-square-foot retail development will feature 85 brand-name outlet stores and is expected to bring an additional 5 million-6 million annual visitors to the area.

With economic growth in the West Valley expected to continue its upward trend for years to come, Pino insists that communities must work together to realize the greatest benefit from an increasing number of visitors.

“It’s important that we all work together and pool our resources to achieve economies of scale,” Pino says. “This is the very reason the Glendale CVB came into existence: to serve as a regional organization to promote and showcase the 14 West Valley cities and to bring tourism business to the area. This regional approach is what will be needed for our hospitality businesses to continue to grow.”

C-47

WESTMARC presenting special award to Luke Forward group

While WESTMARC is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the annual Best of the West Awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel, a special honor will also be a part of the festivities – recognizing the region’s successful efforts to land the new F-35 training center at Luke Air Force Base, the region’s most significant economic contributor.

At the anniversary event, WESTMARC will announce three West Valley award winners: Economic Engine Award, Quality of Life Enhancement Award and the Excellence in Innovation Award. The John F. Long Lifetime Achievement and WESTMARC Leadership awards will also be presented at the ceremony.

However, an important part of the evening will be dedicated to presenting a special 20th anniversary award honoring the Luke Forward community engagement campaign that worked diligently for more than three years to build regional and statewide community support and was pivotal in the recent efforts to secure the new F-35 training center at Luke Air Force Base.

A special honor will be given to the group, featuring Luke Forward Co-Chairs Elaine Scruggs and Charley Freericks, to show WESTMARC’s appreciation for the efforts to significantly enhance the image, lifestyle and economic development throughout the region.

“The Luke Forward award was designed as a distinct honor for Luke Forward’s successful efforts to make the F-35 mission at Luke Air Force base a reality,” said Michelle Rider, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “The Best of the West event is a perfect fit to honor this group that has made such a significant impact in the West Valley.”

The Best of the West reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and awards at 7 p.m. Cost to attend for WESTMARC members is $250 per person, $2,000 for a table of 10. For non-members, $275 per person, $2,250 for a table of 10.

The Economic Engine Award will recognize individuals and organizations which have created a significant economic impact in the region. Honorees for the Quality of Life Enhancement Award will recognize educational, community, arts and recreational programs, facilities or leaders enhancing the quality of life in the West Valley. The Excellence in Innovation Award will recognize individuals and organizations demonstrating an innovative concept or fulfilling a need that preserves the region’s assets and resources and create an economic benefit for West Valley residents.

Presenting Sponsor of Best of the West is Cox Communications. Other sponsors include Republic Media, Banner Health, DMB, APS, SCF Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, City of Peoria, City of Phoenix, SRP, Sun  Health, Southwest Airlines, Wells Fargo Bank Arizona and Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium.

alter group

The Alter Group To Develop 605,700 SF Distribution Building

The Alter Group announced plans to develop a speculative 605,700 SF cross-dock warehouse/distribution center valued at more than $36M at its 162-acre Buckeye Logistics Center at Buckeye Rd. and 67th Ave. in Phoenix, said Michael J. Alter, President of the Chicago-based national commercial real estate development firm.

Groundbreaking is expected to take place in October.

According to Patrick E. Gallagher, Senior Vice President, “The Alter Group is presently talking to several capital partners to finalize the underwriting for this bulk distribution building. . There are only a couple of large warehouse/distribution buildings still available in this segment of the market; vacancy rates for spaces above 500,000 SF, particularly in the Southwest submarket where Buckeye is located, are currently in the low single digits.

“The West Valley has become one of the top areas in the southwest part of the United States for the development of large warehouse facilities to store, package and ship consumer goods ordered via the Internet. The southwest Phoenix market recorded 3.7 million SF of net absorption over the last four quarters of 2011.

Absorption was lower in 1Q 2012 but activity is strong. This steadily increasing user demand, combined with a lack of construction, has vacancy rates continuing to fall. With very few larger buildings available, rents are projected to increase by 20% by 2Q 2013 for large blocks of space.”

The new building will feature 32’ clear ceiling height; 112 dock high and four drive-up level doors; as well as parking for 324 cars and 173 trailers.

Buckeye Logistics Center is strategically located 1.2 miles from I-10 via two full interchanges at 67th Ave. and 75th Ave. The site, ideally suited for regional distribution, also has good access to I-10, which is important for receiving and sending shipments to Southern California markets and ports. Buckeye Logistics Center can support up to 3.1 MSF of distribution space. Three distribution buildings totaling 1.7 MSF have already been built at Buckeye Logistics. Phase I and II were awarded the NAIOP Industrial Project of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Current tenants in the earlier phases are Amazon.com, which occupies more than 1 MSF, and Kellogg’s.

For more information about The Alter Group, visit The Alter Group’s website at altergroup.com.

Phoenix is full of fun destinations for a short day trip.

Phoenix Day Trips

Want to get away, but don’t have the time to plan a vacation? Then a short, fun day trip is the perfect option. Check out this list of Phoenix attractions to plan a great day trip.

  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum
    37615 U.S. Hwy. 60, Superior
    520-689-2811
    Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden, the arboretum is a living museum of thousands of plants from around the world — displayed alongside native Sonoran Desert vegetation.

  • Dolly Steamboat, The
    Apache Junction
    480-827-9144
    At Canyon Lake, 90-minute nature cruises and 2-1/2 hour twilight dinner cruises.

  • Wickenburg
    216 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg
    800-942-5242
    Just 60 miles northwest of Phoenix in the northern reaches of the great Southwest’s Sonoran Desert. Wickenburg is noted for its clean air, good country living, Western hospitality and all-around high quality of life.

  • Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium
    16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park
    623-935-WILD (9453)
    Wildlife World Zoo has been an integral part of the West Valley for more than two decades, and with the opening of our new multimillion-dollar aquarium, we just keep getting better and better. The Zoo is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (The aquarium is open to 9 p.m.) That means we are open every day and night of the year — even holidays!
Green News Roundup- Green Wedding, Alternative Fuels

Green News Roundup – Green Weddings, Alternative Fuels & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about green weddings, alternative fuels, green burials and local sustainability-related events taking place throughout the Valley. Happy 4th of July!

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.


Green Wedding
This couple took eco-conscious to the next level by making their wedding a low-impact environmentally friendly affair.

Couple Recycles 400,000 Cans to Pay for Wedding
Green weddings certainly are in style! This couple took their dedication to the environment a step further when they used only proceeds from their recycled cans to pay for their wedding! The couple managed to recycle more than 400,000 cans and raise approximately $4,000 to pay for their specialy day. Local food, home-brewed alcohol and flowers grown specifically for the wedding make this wedding a truly low-impact, eco-friendly affair.

Green Homes that Float
From New Orleans to Dubai, from houseboats to Boeing planes turned into homes, these eight cool, and green homes float above the rest. All of these homes are eco-friendly and sustainable. Each has its own reason for floating, some are houseboats, some are meant to survive another massive hurricane in the Louisiana. These homes show that design and be functional, green and interesting.

Hurricane Alex Spreads Oil, Has Officials Pondering New Oil-Skimmer
As Hurricane Alex pushes oil to new places, disturbs more wildlife and discolors more beaches, officials may be considering a new option to remove the oil that is marring the gulf. Using an oil tanker that has now been converted into a skimmer, could be turning problem-causer into problem-solution.

Into the Green and Beyond
Some people are very dedicated to leading a sustainable lifestyle. They recycle, are conscientious of the environment and are dedicated to making our world a better place. Can this same dedication extend to the end of a person’s life? The New York Times Green Blog explores this issue and discovers an eco-friendly way to limit impact on the planet even at the end of a life: a green funeral. Traditional caskets wreak havoc on the environment, every year, 30 million board feet of hardwood, 104,000 tons of steel, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze and 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete is buried in cemeteries across the nation.  A greener option is cremation and burial in a biodegradable urn, caskets made from renewable materials and burials in fields and forests. Though these types of burials are rare in the U.S. right now, there are options for those interested.

Casa Grande Hosts Alternative Fuels Workshop
The Renewable Fuels Association’s Alternative Fuels Workshop is coming to Casa Grande, Ariz.  If you are interested in learning more about fuels from Biodiesel to ethanol to Propane to vegetable oil, this workshop is right for you.  The Alternative Fuels Workshop will answer your questions about how to use renewable and alternative fuels to power your business and your life.  Visit www.altfuelsalliance.org if you would like to attend the July 23 conference.

Green Companies Flock to West Valley
With its proximity to California, freeways, available industrial space and nearness to other manufacturers, the West Valley has become a haven for green businesses.  Recently, Linamar Corp., announced plans to open a facility, which will initially employ 52 people, in Glendale.  Linamar Corp., is only one of several solar companies and suppliers to open and operate a facility in Glendale.  This Phoenix Business Journal article details the West Valley’s solar expansion.

It appears the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility will remain in Mesa - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

A Threat By The Cubs To Leave Arizona Has Cactus League Sites Scrambling

Update:
It appears the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility will remain in Mesa. Team officials recently notified a group from Naples, Fla., attempting to lure the Cubs to the Grapefruit League that they plan to continue to negotiate exclusively with the city of Mesa. Mesa, meanwhile, reportedly is looking at four sites for the new facility: Recker Road and the Loop 202; the Riverview area; a downtown site; and near the Gaylord resort, planned for the GM Proving Grounds site. According to published reports, the Riverview area appears to be the leading contender for the facility.Spring training baseball in Arizona, a cash cow for Valley communities, is in need of another source of revenue to build new stadiums and refurbish existing facilities. The estimated 1.47 million fans who attended games played by the 15 teams that trained in Arizona this year contributed more than $300 million to the state’s economy, according to Cactus League Association estimates.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that owners of the Chicago Cubs, the biggest draw in the Cactus League, have threatened to move their spring home from Mesa to Naples, Fla., if they don’t get a new stadium and training facility.

Adding to the financial dilemma is that funding from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, which among other things supports spring training baseball, has virtually dried up, due in some measure to the economic downturn. The agency receives most of its money from tourism-related taxes on hotels and car rentals.

A legislative proposal to add a surcharge to all Cactus League tickets to help pay for a new Cubs stadium was as welcome as a blazing fastball from Randy Johnson in his prime. Efforts to push House Bill 2736, sponsored by House Majority Leader John McComish, basically struck out.

“We need to find ways to not only keep the Cubs in Maricopa County, but use those creative funding mechanisms to preserve and expand other spring training facilities in the entire West Valley,” says Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “Keeping the Cubs is important, as well as making sure a funding mechanism for the Cubs can be applied, as necessary, in the West Valley.”

Stepping to the plate, Peoria officials proposed a possible solution — the creation of special bonding districts. John Schell, intergovernmental affairs director for Peoria, explains his city’s interest.

“Without much discussion with the other teams or other affected entities, they (key legislators) added a surcharge to tickets and rental cars,” he says. “The ticket surcharge got us more involved because of the adverse impact it would have to our revenue-sharing agreement with the two teams that train in Peoria, the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. It was not feasible for us.”

The Peoria agreement, not unlike those of other Valley cities that host spring training teams, including Goodyear and Surprise, provides that if the state or some other entity puts a surcharge on tickets, Peoria would have to make up the difference.

“That would have cost us close to $300,000 a year to build a stadium in Mesa — with no ownership,” Schell says. “Imagine how the taxpayers in Peoria would have felt about that. So we were drawn into the discussion to try to identify some sort of funding solution.”

Schell notes correctly that the Arizona Legislature doesn’t have much of an appetite for new taxation, especially in the current economy. He and Peoria City Attorney Steve Kemp met with other host cities throughout the Valley and representatives of Major League Baseball to discuss options.

“It’s not a complete solution and it doesn’t involve any public funds,” Schell says. “We worked closely with the bond counsel for Major League Baseball and came up with a concept we called the revenue allocation authority.”

It was too late to be introduced at the Legislature this year, but Schell says there likely will be discussions on the topic even before lawmakers reconvene next January. It calls for the establishment of a district to issue bonds to pay for improvements or new construction of spring training facilities. Each district would have to be approved by voters living in the district and would not have taxing authority, Schell says.

“It’s a very strong tool,” Schell says. “It would use increment financing. It would capture the growth in the district. It would not become a general obligation of the city, and it won’t affect property taxes. People won’t feel the impact. It’s a unique way of financing.”

Schell says Major League Baseball, which helped prepare the proposal, is supportive.

Baseball insiders say they don’t think the Cubs will follow through with their threat and move to Florida. Although relocating to an Indian reservation, which is what the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies will do next spring, is an option, the Cubs have not expressed an outward interest in going that route. Others say if a deal with Mesa falls through, other Valley cities will make their pitch for the popular Chicago team.

Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett bluntly says the ticket surcharge proposal was a disaster and that he is adamantly opposed to such a scheme. On the possibility of the Cubs leaving Arizona, Barrett says he hopes they remain.

“They ought to talk to the tribes,” he says. “But, if they do leave, the world will continue to turn and the Cactus League will not disappear. The 14 other teams will survive.”

www.cactusleague.com | www.peoriaaz.com

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

The Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone Opens Up Business Possibilities In The West Valley

At a time when the West Valley could use an economic boost, officials have put the finishing touches on the proposed Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone. Under the administration of WESTMARC, an acronym for Western Maricopa Coalition, this new Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is seen as a welcome economic development tool that will spawn jobs and millions of dollars in new investment.

Participating cities are Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Gila Bend, Goodyear, Peoria and Surprise. Initially, four sites in three of the cities have applied for FTZ status: two in Goodyear at Interstate 10 and Loop 303, one in Surprise near Bell Road, and one west of Buckeye in an unincorporated area. The Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone is actually a series of trade zones, with each city acting independently but represented by WESTMARC.

Federal approval of WESTMARC’s application of the overall trade zone by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security is expected before the end of the year. Launched in 1934, the federal Foreign Trade Zone program provides for reduced or eliminated federal taxes and fees in connection with imports and exports. For customs purposes, an FTZ is considered outside the United States.

Consultant Curtis Spencer, president of Houston-based IMS Worldwide, says there has been quite a bit of interest in West Valley sites from brokers looking for build-to-suit opportunities, particularly for solar and other manufacturers.

Spencer says developers generally pay the initial fee of about $50,000 to be in the FTZ depending on proposed use. Companies locating in an FTZ also pay an annual fee, but Spencer estimates the savings to a company can range from $300,000 to $1 million a year.

A typical business in an FTZ pays wages 7 percent to 8 percent more than a similar company not involved in exporting and importing, and employs 10 percent to 20 percent more workers, Spencer says.

“Foreign Trade Zone activities now exceed the statistical equivalent of imports and exports carried by truck into and out of Canada and Mexico,” Spencer says. “It’s a significant portion of our economy.”

A company in the West Valley area that decides to seek FTZ status puts in an application that will go through WESTMARC, which holds the federal permit, and on to the federal Foreign Trade Zone board. Zones are not limited to the four that have been selected. Likely candidate businesses for an FTZ range from high-tech manufacturers to distributors.

“It should give a major boost in investment and job creation,” Spencer says. “In the next 10 years we should have added hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of new investment.”

Basically, FTZs speed up the supply chain, reduce importing costs and provide better security, Spencer says.

“It’s faster, cheaper and better,” he adds.

Regarding security, companies that have been certified for FTZ status by federal authorities undergo extreme scrutiny, and therefore are not likely to be dealing with unfriendly countries or terrorist organizations. Concern over the importation of contraband has heightened since the attacks of 9/11.

Harry Paxton, economic development director for the city of Goodyear, says participating cities can use the FTZ as a marketing tool.

“It says that these communities are ready to accept businesses involved in international commerce,” he says.

Goodyear, which was among the first to express an interest in establishing an FTZ three years ago, hopes to fill some existing buildings by offering significant property tax breaks. Personal and real property taxes in an Arizona FTZ are cut by 75 percent.

But the perception that such tax reductions will have a negative impact on a city is incorrect, Paxton says. The assessed valuation of an activated FTZ reduces to 5 percent from 20 percent, but still generates additional revenue when compared to agricultural-use sites that collect $300 per 10 acres. What’s more, Paxton says, the FTZ becomes a catalyst for other development not requiring FTZ tax benefits, resulting in a full tax rate on those businesses.

“It’s a win-win,” he says. “It helps us become more competitive.”

Mitch Rosen, director of office and industrial development for SunCor Development Company, says his company owns 250 acres that will be part of the FTZ.

“The reason we’re interested is that we believe it to be an exceptional tool to stimulate the economic development of the West Valley,” he says. “It’s a good way to stimulate quality employment and it creates a competitive advantage for Arizona and the West Valley. It encourages businesses throughout the country to elect to locate in the West Valley.”

Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC, expects FTZs to spring up throughout the sprawling West Valley as cities become more aware of the benefits.

“We are thrilled,” he says, “to help bring this economic development tool to our West Valley communities that will assist them, especially at a time like this.”

www.imsw.com | www.suncoraz.com | www.ci.goodyear.az.us

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

GPEC Profile: Candace Wiest, President And CEO Of West Valley National Bank

Candace Wiest
President and CEO, West Valley National Bank

Even before West Valley National Bank opened its doors on Dec. 23, 2006, a decision was made to join the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Becoming an active member of GPEC made good business sense.

“What I like about GPEC is its economic development focus,” says Candace Wiest, president and CEO of the community bank. “It goes to the heart of what community banks do. I’m a firm believer in the saying that a rising tide lifts all ships.”

One of the first benefits Wiest saw for her bank was how GPEC helped attract the Cancer Treatment Centers of America to the West Valley. The nation’s fourth Cancer Treatment Centers of America, located in Goodyear, opened on Dec. 29, 2008, bringing with it quality care for cancer patients and 200 high-paying jobs. But there’s more.

“It certainly helped with some of the housing issues in the West Valley, created a lot of options in terms of health care, and gave the area national recognition,” Wiest says. “I couldn’t bank the hospital itself, maybe, but I certainly can be the banker for a lot of the people out there.”

GPEC efforts benefit the Greater Phoenix’s economy on a macro level, Wiest says, as well as on a micro level helping its individual members.

She enjoys serving on GPEC Next, which is an advisory group through which some of the newer ideas flow before being submitted to GPEC’s board of directors. She applauds GPEC’s role in supporting solar energy, which produces a benefit for her bank.

“I certainly cannot finance any big solar companies,” Wiest says, “but we have launched a program to finance construction for businesses that want to convert to solar.”

The solid relationship between West Valley National Bank and GPEC is ongoing. Wiest is on the board of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, maintaining a link between the cancer facility and GPEC; and she is a trustee of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce University, named after the 14th U.S. president. The university already holds some classes in Goodyear and is considering an expansion, Wiest says, adding that GPEC is playing a role in that project.

Wiest says GPEC has done wonders to enhance the Valley’s image. While serving a pair of three-year terms as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, she heard numerous negative comments about the Phoenix area.

“GPEC has helped to debunk some of those myths,” Wiest says.

www.wvnb.net


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

AH Endovascular OR Suite

Executives From West Valley Hospitals Assess The Impact Of The Current Economy

The need for health care services continues to grow across the state, including the West Valley. And under the current recession, hospitals are being asked to do more with less.

Jon Bartlett, CEO of Arrowhead Hospital, says the health care industry is not immune to the impact of the bad economy, but he remains optimistic about the current and future state of the market.

“There are plenty of challenges, but we remain focused and disciplined,” he says.

In fact, he believes West Valley communities are home to some of the finest hospitals around, and the members of the community wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Today, people expect the very best health care outcomes, but they also demand world-class service,” Bartlett says. “It is our responsibility to meet their expectations.”

Arrowhead Hospital has been recognized with three stars in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ national database in 2007 and 2008 for its superior cardiovascular surgery outcomes.

Tom Dickson is CEO of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, a 413-bed acute care hospital that specializes in cardiovascular care, neurology care, pediatrics, obstetrics and emergency medicine. He says the slowing economy has actually allowed West Valley hospitals to catch up with their demands.

“Generally, the West Valley has been underserved in terms of acute care beds,” Dickson says. “Now that the economy has slowed and several hospitals have added additional beds, we are not in as critical condition as we were in recent years.”

With a recent expansion of the South Tower, which can grow to accommodate 600 beds, Dickson says his biggest challenge is retaining existing employees and recruiting additional workers to staff the additional beds and programs and services that are growing as a result of the tower.

“The most critical area of need is registered nurses,” he says. “We also have an acute shortage of physicians and other medical professions, including physical therapists, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and medical technologists.”

Jo Adkins, CEO of West Valley Hospital, says the West Valley currently has an adequate amount of hospital beds, but that may not be the case for very long.

“As growth returns to the West Valley, we will need to look at growth of both beds and services,” she says. “We need to stay in touch with the communities’ needs and grow the services so that we can remain a hospital of choice.”

Meanwhile, West Valley Hospital is already very strong in a number of specialties, including its heart and vascular center, chest pain center, emergency room, electrophysiology and obstetrics. But Adkins doesn’t mince words when it comes to the challenges facing the health care industry.

“(It has) taken a large hit,” she says.

Naming two recent 5 percent budget cuts, she adds, “That has had a $3.6 million impact on West Valley Hospital alone.”

Beyond working to overcome the challenges facing the industry as a whole, the leaders of these hospitals are 100 percent dedicated to providing the superior service they believe their community members deserve.

Bartlett notes that the emergency department at Arrowhead Hospital is making a concerted effort to decrease wait times, promising that patients are seen in less than half an hour.

“Our average wait time is 19 minutes,” he says.

And while Arrowhead Hospital does have plans to expand from 220 beds to 260 within the next 18 months, Bartlett explains that he doesn’t just want to grow, he wants to make sure the hospital is getting consistently better.

Lee Peterson, CEO of Sun Health Services (formerly Sun Health Properties), which recently merged with Banner Health, agrees that providing the utmost services and results for its patients is the hospitals’ top priority.

“Banner has a best-practice strategy that is very much in line with our passion for making a difference in people’s lives,” he says.

Boswell and Del E. Webb medical centers are now Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb.

“By coming together with Banner we were able to bring some immediate technologies, such as electronic medical records, in addition to research institutes, which are such a major part of Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb, to the West Valley,” Peterson says.

With the economy putting a freeze on growth for the most part, West Valley hospitals stand poised for continued expansion. All the while, they are not taking their eyes off their mission — to provide the residents of West Valley communities with first-class services administered by highly trained and compassionate health care providers.

West Valley Industry Turnover

WESTMARC Unveils The Results Of A Work Force Labor Market Study

What started as an initiative from the city of Surprise Economic Development Department quickly turned into an unprecedented work force study on the entire West Valley spearheaded by WESTMARC. The study came about through a collaboration of communities, corporations, government entities and educational institutions that contributed more than $150,000 to fund the report.

“West Valley communities have experienced tremendous growth since the 2000 Census. They were having difficulty addressing questions from business prospects concerning the size and skill levels of the regional work force,” says Surprise Economic Development Coordinator Megan Griego, who sits on WESTMARC’s economic development committee and was chair of the Workforce Labor Study of the West Valley. “The communities of the West Valley formed a consortium to better understand their region’s work force and to better promote its growth and development.”

Russ Ullinger, senior project manager of economic development for SRP, and WESTMARC co-chair and member of the economic development committee, adds that the concept for the study developed out of necessity.

“Numerous surveys and studies have identified work force as one of the most important assets when national site selection consultants consider different regions and locations for businesses,” he says.

“This is relevant in good economic times, as well as poor economic times. This study truly drills and provides specific labor information unique to the West Valley.”

Harry Paxton, economic development director for the city of Goodyear, who also acted as co-chair of the study, credits WESTMARC’s partnerships with the Maricopa Work Force Connection, as well as Maricopa Community College in the development and funding of the study. He also praises WESTMARC for bringing together work force professionals to get their input on what the study should entail.

In May 2008, WESTMARC enlisted California-based ERISS Corporation to prepare the comprehensive labor market analysis.

“That analysis involved a survey of all businesses in the West Valley with 20 or more employees — all such businesses were contracted and 1,100 completed the survey — and a detailed review of newly available government information,” Griego says.

The detailed data developed by the survey and the analysis of various government data sources is also available through www.usworks.com/westmarc, which presents the comprehensive information and data relevant to businesses, site selectors, economic development professionals, work force development professionals and educators into convenient and customizable reports.

The results of the study can now help the 15 West Valley communities represented in the report to identify their specific needs when it comes to work force issues, transportation and industry growth, and demand. For example, Glendale encompasses more than 6,000 firms, according to the report. Health care accounts for more than 12 percent of total employment in Glendale, which is higher than the Metro Phoenix area as a whole (9.1 percent), but is on par with other West Valley cities. The results also show that 19.6 percent of Glendale workers live and work in the city. The majority of other Glendale employees travel from Metro Phoenix (35.3 percent) and as many as 1.3 percent commute from Tucson.

In general, the study found there are more than 450,000 workers available to fill jobs for the right offer. In addition, there are growth and expansion opportunities in the industries of transportation, wholesale trade, traditional and non-store retail, as well as education. Regarding industry growth, health care leads the trend with a 6 percent growth rate. Construction and transportation/utilities follow closely with a 5 percent growth rate each, and retail in the West Valley has a 4 percent growth rate.

As part of the study, businesses were asked to rate their own work forces on a scale of one to seven, one representing the lowest productivity rating and seven the highest.Sixty-six percent of the area’s employers ranked their employees in one of the two highest categories.

Absenteeism is also a non-issue when it comes to West Valley workers as a whole. The majority of employers, 63 percent, reported that absenteeism is “not a significant problem” at their firms, and when absences do occur, 61 percent of employers reported that the cause is a legitimate illness with childcare.
Jack Lunsford, WESTMARC’s president and CEO, says ERISS Corporation did an excellent job with the study and the results have given them a course of action.



“We found that we have in the West Valley, even in this economy, a very large and qualified labor supply, and we still have some industries that are currently growing and that anticipate growth,” he says, adding that results also show West Valley communities need to implement a live/work/play strategy to avoid the problems with transportation issues.

Landis Elliott, business development director for House of Elliott, says the benefits of the study are numerous. “The study is a tool that the West Valley cities can use while working with potential locates to validate the high-quality employees we have in this region,” she says.