Scottsdale recognition and rankings
MSN Money names Scottsdale No. 1 spot for retirees
MSN Money came out with its top ten list of best places for retirees, and Scottsdale made No. 1. Here’s what it had to say, “The city packing the heaviest post-65 punch in America sits just off the northeastern fringe of Phoenix, luring newcomers -- or retaining longtime locals -- with plenty of play and rays. The biggest attraction is the weather (and) just how pleasant it is here.” Surprise also made the list, coming in fourth. Read the report in its entirety at http://money.msn.com/retirement-plan/10-cities-where-retirees-rule
Scottsdale earns 31st consecutive “Tree City USA” recognition
In honor of Arbor Day, Scottsdale was recognized along with 23 other Arizona cities by the Arizona State Forestry Division as a “Tree City USA.” Scottsdale was acknowledged for meeting the requirements for an unprecedented 31 years – the longest of any city in the state! In addition, Scottsdale received its 21st Tree City Growth Award. These awards highlight innovative programs and projects, increased commitment to resources for urban forestry and provide an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country. Councilman Dennis Robbins and Parks, Recreation & Human Services Director Jan Cameron accepted the awards.
Scottsdale/Dunn Transportation partnership deemed ‘Outstanding Transit Organization’ by AzTA
The Arizona Transit Association (AzTA) and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) held their 2013 Excellence Awards ceremony during their Annual Conference last week in Tempe, where the City of Scottsdale and Dunn Transportation were announced as the group’s Outstanding Transit Organization. The annual recognition is granted to an organization that demonstrates outstanding innovation, creativity, customer service and operational improvements in providing public transportation services. These two transit teams have worked together side by side every day for the past 20 years and were recognized for the joint development of the fare-free circulator service we know as the Scottsdale Trolley System. The working relationship between Scottsdale and Dunn Transportation exemplifies the best in public-private partnerships. The city works closely with Dunn Transportation to keep cost low while providing residents and tourists with the highest level of service.
Scottsdale chosen as a “best run city” for second year
Scottsdale is one of the best-run cities in the nation, according to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St. Scottsdale ranked 10th in the list of 100 cities. It’s the second consecutive year Scottsdale has made the list. The financial news and opinion company said Scottsdale “fared better than much of the state following the recession.” The city’s violent crime statistics - 1.81 per 1,000 people - was seventh lowest among cities, while its unemployment rate - listed at 6.8 percent - ranked 12th lowest, it said. The report also mentioned Scottsdale’s large public companies, including Kona Grill Inc. and stun-gun maker Taser International Inc. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the economies, standard of living and fiscal discipline of the 100 largest cities by population.
Scottsdale recognized for outstanding annual report
Scottsdale has earned another “Certificate of Excellence in Citizen-Centric Reporting” from the Association of Government Accountants. The Virginia-based association is dedicated to advancing government accountability. Scottsdale has earned the award three consecutive years in recognition for its annual “Report to Our Citizens.” The four-page report provides citizens with a brief snapshot of their government and its priorities, results and future challenges. The report was lauded as a visually appealing and understandable document that demonstrates accountability and transparency to its citizens.
Civic Center and Mustang libraries earn “Family Place Libraries” designation
Two Scottsdale libraries received national recognition for their support of early learning and parental involvement. By earning the Family Place Libraries designation, Civic Center and Mustang libraries join a network of 300 libraries across the country, in 24 states. “Family Place” builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children's growth and development.
Scottsdale named “Most Romantic City” in the U.S.
Scottsdale captured the top spot in Livilbility.com’s Top Ten list of most romantic U.S. cities in February -- just in time for Valentine's Day. The list highlights those small towns and mid-sized cities that set the stage for couples to write their own love story by sharing an exquisite meal, a romantic walk in the park or along the beach, or a night of live entertainment – all in picturesque surroundings. Scottsdale was chosen because, in addition to its unique local flavor, the city offers all the amenities couples look for – independent restaurants with diverse cuisines, a thriving arts and entertainment scene, beautiful scenery and plenty of places to relax. Get more details at http://livability.com/top-10/top-10-romantic-cities/scottsdale/az.
Scottsdale’s Aquatics program wins national award
The city of Scottsdale’s Aquatics program received a "Best Overall Commitment to Aquatics" honor from Aquatics International magazine. The “Best of Aquatics” awards celebrate a range of outstanding facilities, from waterpark resorts to universities and wellness centers. Several factors are considered when selecting honorees including programming, promotional materials, aquatic amenities and community involvement. Judges touted the city’s program for its depth of class offerings and commitment to water safety education. The city operates three year-round outdoor pools and a lessons-only seasonal pool.
Scottsdale, Phoenix ranked in top 50 U.S. Cities
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, both Scottsdale and Phoenix are among the best U.S. cities. Scottsdale came in at No. 43. The study called it "a richer, safer sister to Arizona's capital, Phoenix." Phoenix was ranked just below at No. 44 because of its more than 300 days of sunshine per year, good golf courses and South Mountain Park/Preserve, the largest municipal park in the country. Overall, the top city in the United States was San Francisco, based on the city's blend of entertainment, education and a prosperous economy. The study ranked the cities based on numerous factors, including its leisure attributes, educational attributes, economic factors, crime and air quality.
Scottsdale named No. 12 meeting destination in the U.S.
Scottsdale is ranked the No. 12 meetings destination in the United States by Cvent, a web-based software company that maintains an online database of meeting venues and event service providers. Cvent evaluated more than 1,000 cities, ranking them based on meeting and event booking activity. Phoenix was named No. 7 on the list.
Six Scottsdale golf courses named to Golf Magazine’s 2012 “Top 100 You Can Play” List
GOLF Magazine’s 2012 list of the “Top 100 You Can Play” has further bolstered Scottsdale’s position as “The World’s Finest Golf Destination.” Six Scottsdale golf courses were named to the publication’s list recognizing the 100 best U.S. public-access golf courses: Troon North Golf Club (Pinnacle Course) – No. 20; We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (Cholla Course) – No. 37; We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (Saguaro Course) – No. 40; Troon North Golf Club (Monument Course) – No. 52; The Boulders Golf Club (South Course) – No. 93; and Grayhawk Golf Club (Talon Course) – No. 99. GOLF Magazine’s “Top 100 You Can Play” list is published every two years. Courses are selected by an independent panel of industry experts and accomplished players. Also announced was the list of the “Best Public Golf Courses in Every State.” Thirty Arizona courses were included in the ranking and 14 of those were located in Scottsdale.
Spring Training Festival honored as state's top urban special event
Scottsdale’s Spring Training Festival earned the award for best Urban Special Event. The awards booklet notes, “The Special Events Award is presented to the event that best embodies the word ‘special, meaning it creates a unique draw for tourism and attracts visitors from outside the local area.’” The inaugural festival took place Feb. 25-26 on the Civic Center Mall and featured activities, displays and booths hosted by 14 of the 15 Cactus League teams. The 2013 festival is scheduled for Feb. 23-24 at the same location.
Maricopa Association of Governments: Regional Partnership Award to Combat Domestic Violence
Scottsdale was among 11 agencies honored recently for its work with the Domestic Violence Protocol Evaluation Project. The project is a collaborative effort to provide a more consistent regional response to domestic violence. The project is designed to assess practices used by law enforcement, prosecutors and victim advocates when handling domestic violence cases at the misdemeanor level. The goal is to keep victims safe and to hold abusers accountable. Staff from Prosecution, Victim Services and the Police Department participated in the Domestic Violence Protocol Evaluation Project.
Cactus Acres Fire Station Earns LEED Platinum Certification
Cactus Acres Fire Station has earned a “platinum” designation, the highest certification possible through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. LEED is a national standard for “green” buildings that uses environmental techniques to conserve materials and resources and reduce energy consumption while contributing to the health of its occupants. There are four progressively higher and more demanding levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The station, located at 9598 E. Cactus Road, opened in September 2011. It is anticipated this building will use 58 percent less energy compared to a similar non-LEED building. Its green building elements include a solar hot water heater, grey water from sinks and showers reused for irrigation, high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, more than 20 percent of materials used are regionally manufactured and flooring in the physical conditioning room is made from 100 percent recycled tires. Two other Scottsdale structures are certified platinum: the Preserve Gateway and the Downtown Scottsdale Fire Station, 7522 E. Indian School Road.
AZCentral names Scottsdale Stadium “Best Spring Training Venue”
In its sixth annual poll, AZCentral named Scottsdale Stadium “Best Spring Training Venue.” The entry says, “Going to a spring-training game in downtown Scottsdale isn't just about baseball. It's a take-the-day-off, pretend-you're-a-tourist, find-a-designated-driver event. It also touts the stadium’s nearby amenities such as shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
Sunset Magazine ranks Scottsdale a Top Community for Biking
Scottsdale received a top rating in Sunset Magazine’s list of “Ten Best Burbs for Biking.” Sunset awarded Scottsdale its “gold” ranking and reported that a whopping 75 percent of homes in Scottsdale are within a half-mile of a bike path or lane. The ranking covered the entire Western U.S.
Scottsdale named a Top 25 Arts Destination
Scottsdale is ranked No. 17 in AmericanStyle Magazine's list of the Top 25 U.S. Arts Destinations. Scottsdale's ranking is in the mid-size cities category of the magazine's 15th annual reader’s poll. On top in the category is St. Petersburg, Fla., followed by Dayton, Ohio, and Tampa, Fla. In the big cities category, Tucson ranked No. 24 followed by Phoenix at No. 25. The top three cities in this category were New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago. Sedona, Arizona, also made the list as No. 7 in the small cities category. The magazine, which has a circulation of 60,000, is designed for people who love art. For the complete list of winners in all categories, visit www.americanstyle.com/2012/06/top25artsdestinations/.
Scottsdale named a Top 10 Spring Break Destination
Yahoo Travel’s list of spring break destinations ranks Scottsdale among the top 10 spots to visit this March and April. Scottsdale earned its spot for a host of reasons, including spring training baseball and shopping. But the list also included a variety of other cities and vacation spots that are lower key than the traditional spring break vacation spots known to attract throngs of college kids. See the list of top 10 spots. (BizJournals.com/Phoenix, March 9)
Sunset Magazine honors McDowell Sonoran Preserve's Gateway, Conservancy with Environmental Awards
Sunset Magazine has recognized Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway and the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy with 2012 Environmental Awards. The Conservancy earned the "Best Local Land Trust," being recognized for "20 years of protecting the desert and mountains on the northeast edge of the metro area, caring for 21,400 acres of land included in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve." The magazine recognized "The Gateway" trailhead as the "Most Environmentally Friendly Visitor Center." It was cited for its sustainable features that have also earned it LEED platinum-certification. The rammed-earth building, with net-zero energy use, opened in 2009.
Phoenix/Scottsdale named one of America's 10 best Cities for Dating.
According to Yahoo! Travel, Phoenix/Scottsdale is one of America's 10 Best Cities for Dating. The communities were touted for an abundance of Sonoran Desert activities, world-class spas, and the ability to "peruse galleries during special evening receptions, courtesy of Phoenix's Artlink First Fridays, or the weekly Scottsdale Artwalk." The article also lists the area's culinary scene and "chic nightlife...especially in downtown Scottsdale" as reasons for top ranking as a dating-friendly area.
Scottsdale bests Chandler, Ranks as 8th Best-Run City
Scottsdale has outranked Chandler as the eighth best-run city in the nation, according to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St. The financial news and opinion company said it chose Scottsdale for its healthy employment, low poverty and stable Aaa rating. Among the largest cities, Scottsdale has the seventh-highest median income in the nation, the highest percentage of high school graduates at 95.9 percent, and is in the top 10 for unemployment and health insurance, according to the online article. Chandler, which came in ninth, has a Aaa stable rating, and in 2010 had the ninth-lowest unemployment rate among the largest cities and the sixth-lowest poverty rate, 24/7 Wall St. said. The Delaware-based company reviewed the economies, standard of living and fiscal discipline of the 100 largest cities by population. Virginia Beach, Va., ranked first, followed by Irvine, Calif., Madison, Wis., Fremont, Calif., Lincoln, Neb., Chesapeake, Va., Seattle, Wash., Scottsdale, Chandler and Plano, Texas. Miami, Fla., was labeled the worst-run city.
Scottsdale Named One of 15 U.S. Destinations on the Rise for 2012
Scottsdale ranked eighth of TripAdvisor’s top 15 U.S. destinations on the rise for 2012. Scottsdale was recognized for "more than 200 golf courses in the area, ample spas and wellness resorts, and cultural attractions such as master architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter studio," which help make the city "the perfect weekend antidote for life’s stresses." The diverse list, which offers something for all travel tastes and budgets, is comprised of destinations which have seen a remarkable increase in traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.com over the last year.
Scottsdale Library Honored for Cutting-Edge Technologies.
The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) has announced that the Scottsdale Library is one of four libraries nationally to be recognized for providing cutting edge technologies for customers. The specific technology highlighted is the Scottsdale Library's "Gimme!' book recommendation tool. From a smart phone or computer, a customer can receive a book recommendation based on a category they select. Gimme! also integrates with its Goodreads account.
Food and Wine Names Scottsdale One of America's Healthiest Cities to Visit
Food & Wine magazine included Scottsdale on a list of "America's Healthiest Cities to Visit." According to the magazine, "Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert and the Camelback Mountains, arid Scottsdale is a great spot for hiking, biking and golf. For every canasta-playing retiree, there's a vacationing spa-goer." The article highlights two CVB members, including The Boulders Resort, where "guests can golf at the championship course surrounded by mountains or take classes in rock climbing, mountain biking or desert hiking." FnB Restaurent also is featured as the place to eat "veggie-driven small plates, like eggplant with sun gold tomatoes, peppers and currants; and baby bok choy with miso and hazelnuts."
Granite Reef Senior Center Captures Prestigious Pinnacle Award
NuStep this month honored the City of Scottsdale’s Granite Reef Senior Center with its 2012 Pinnacle Award. The award is annually presented to the most outstanding senior center in the United States that best demonstrates a culture of whole-person wellness and active aging throughout their organizations. Judges applauded the center’s holistic approach to senior services, which include recreation, social services and socialization. They were especially impressed with the staff’s focus on customer service.
Scottsdale, Tempe the smartest big cities in Arizona
The East Valley is the place to be for the smartest big city folk in Arizona
New research from On Numbers shows that Scottsdale has the most brainpower among Arizona cities with a population of at least 100,000 people. It's followed, in order, by Tempe, Gilbert and Chandler. The rankings measure education attainment and found that nationwide Scottsdale ranks 14th for brainpower among 269 U.S. cities with at least 100,000 people. Tempe ranked 41st, Gilbert 44th and Chandler 48th. No other Arizona cities cracked the top 100.
Scottsdale named “100 Best Communities for Young People”
For the fifth consecutive year, America's Promise Alliance has named Scottsdale one of the 2011 100 Best Communities for Young People. Scottsdale was chosen from more than 300 communities nationwide. America’s Promise is the largest alliance dedicated to children and youth. The Alliance applauded Scottsdale for recognizing youth as a priority and incorporating after-school programs, prevention services and education efforts with the intent of improving student achievement and encouraging students to excel. Specific programs cited include the school district’s Service-Learning Program and the city’s Teen Employment Program (STEP) which provide students with leadership, career exploration and volunteer opportunities. Scottsdale Healthcare’s Neighborhood Outreach Action for Health (NOAH) mobile clinic was also recognized for providing more than 1,300 children with primary care services and 550 routine well child care visits last year.
Voice of the People Awards recognize high community ratings
The Voice of the People Awards are given by the International City/County Management Association and the National Research Center to communities that earn high marks from their residents as reported in the National Citizen Survey, a uniform survey tool used by local governments across the U.S. to assess resident satisfaction with community amenities and government services. Scottsdale is among nine cities nationwide to earn a Voice of the People award for excellence based on high resident satisfaction with city garbage and recycling services, and recreation programs and classes. Additionally, Scottsdale is among seven cities nationwide to earn a Voice of the People award for transformation, which is based on significant improvement in service quality between the most recent two surveys.
2011 Best of New Times
Best Free Place for a Kids’ Outdoor Birthday Party: Scottsdale Civic Center Mall
Throwing a party on a budget but want a cool location? How about right behind the Scottsdale Civic Center library, a stone's throw from the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art? Grab a spot right by Louise Nevelson's Windows to the West sculpture.This is a no-reservation, first-come, first-squat location. There are some picnic tables, but you can also haul in your own tables and chairs for the day. The entire area is surrounded by grass, so kids can play games on the lawn and burn off all the birthday cake they've consumed. Crafty!
Best Place to be at Sunset: Knight Rise
You have to know to look for it. Enter the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art — and you can walk straight ahead to the current exhibits, or turn right into the gift shop. Both wise options. Or, if it's close to sunset (hint: the museum is open late on Thursdays — and admission is free), take an immediate sharp left. Down a hallway you'll find a small, oval-shaped room, all concrete. It feels monastic, but settle yourself onto the hard gray bench and look up. From dusk to dark, the change through that ivory-framed hole is remarkable, as the pale sky takes a tour through the blue-hued section of your 64-pack of Crayolas. End your time in the small space with a dark velvet blue sky and a feeling that this is a day — and night — to remember.
Best Public Art as Tourist Attraction: Robert Indiana's Love sculpture
Who doesn't have a picture of themselves in front of the Love sculpture on the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall? Visitors to Scottsdale flock to the sculpture because it is one of only a handful of them in the country. It is large and, unlike most pieces of art, you can touch it and climb on it. This makes for a perfect picture-taking opportunity. We can't wait to see your Valentines.
Soleri Bridge earns 2 Crescordia awards;
3 other Scottsdale projects honored by Valley Forward
Scottsdale’s landmark Soleri Bridge and Plaza captured two top awards at the Valley Forward Association’s 31st Annual Environmental Excellence Awards banquet. The awards, known as Crescordias, annually recognize outstanding contributions to the sustainability of Valley communities. The Soleri Bridge and Plaza won top Valley Forward honors in both the Art in Public Places and Site Development and Landscape categories. Three other Scottsdale projects received awards of merit in the Valley Forward competition: The 96th Street Improvement Project, the Southern Scottsdale Character Area Plan and the Appaloosa Branch Library.
Scottsdale recognized among nation’s top bicycle-friendly communities
The city recently earned a Gold Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists. Scottsdale earned the title for achievements in engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning. According to the league, a Bicycle Friendly Community “welcomes cyclists by providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation.” Scottsdale was noted for significantly increasing the number of miles and connecting important gaps in its bikeways network and providing educational and safety outreach. The city also was recognized for adopting a comprehensive transportation plan with a bicycle element and Complete Streets policy.
Scottsdale named among top of America’s most fun, affordable cities
A Bloomberg Businessweek report ranks Scottsdale as the fourth in its top 25 of fun, affordable U.S. cities. The report says, “Downtown Scottsdale is full of some of the best dining in all of Phoenix. The nightlife in the area has a wide variety of clubs and bars. Scottsdale has nearly 200 bars and restaurants and a median home price of $140,000.” To be considered for the list, the cities had to have a wide variety of bars and restaurants and a median home price within 20 percent of the state median.
Scottsdale's credit rating remains at prized AAA
Scottsdale has maintained its AAA credit rating, and Standard & Poor's credit downgrade of the federal government is unlikely to have a significant impact on the city, according to David Smith, Scottsdale treasurer. S&P identified 66 U.S. cities last month that were being reviewed for a possible credit downgrade from a AAA rating, but Scottsdale was not one of them. AAA is the highest rating.
City receives Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award
For the 13th consecutive year, Scottsdale was awarded with an “Achievement of Excellence in Procurement” award from the National Purchasing Institute and various other procurement agencies. Scottsdale received high marks for innovation, professionalism, e-procurement, productivity and leadership attributes of the procurement function. The city is one of only 15 government agencies in Arizona and just one of only 57 cities in the United States to receive the award.
Scottsdale Recognized on RelocateAmerica’s Top Places to Live Report
RelocateAmerica has published its “Top 100 Place to Live” and Scottsdale ranks among the top. RelocateAmerica’s research team compiled the list after evaluating extensive data on the factors most important in a community: real estate and housing, economic health, recreation, and safety. But, it wasn’t all a numbers game. Just as important, and perhaps even more so, was the input provided by local residents, business and community leaders. There’s nothing that says community pride quite like a resident delivering a list of all the things that make their community special.
Appaloosa Library nationally recognized for innovative design and function
The Library Journal recently named Scottsdale’s Appaloosa Library a “Landmark Library,” ranking it seventh among the top 10 recognized. According to the journal, a Landmark Library “proves there is a new generation of smart, sustainable, and stunning buildings out there. Designed with the latest service concepts in mind, they put a whole new spin on the relationship between form and function.” Appaloosa Library was noted for both its award winning architectural design as well as its commitment to reducing energy costs and using recyclable materials. The branch library is at 7377 E. Silverstone Drive Scottsdale and opened in 2009. It serves about 72,000 residents.
Scottsdale named one of Top 25 arts destinations
Readers of AmericanStyle magazine named Scottsdale the fifth best art destination among 25 mid-sized U.S. cities with populations between 100,000 and 500,000. In all, readers named 75 arts destinations that were broken down by population into three groups. Readers gave Scottsdale high marks for its variety of art - from contemporary, to western and abstract - and its growing number of artists flocking to the city.
Celebrate Scottsdale’s 29th straight year as a “Tree City USA”
Scottsdale has earned the “Tree City USA” designation for the 29th consecutive year. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation. It offers technical assistance, direction and recognition for urban and community forestry programs in cities and towns. Arbor Day is observed on the last Friday of April.
Scottsdale named one of best warm-weather family destinations
Travel + Leisure magazine named Scottsdale one of the best warm-weather family adventure destinations. According to the article, “Sunny Scottsdale has a reputation for luxury, but it’s hard to beat for family adventure, offering everything from rattlesnake hikes to hot-air-balloon rides in the toasty desert.
Sunset magazine lists Scottsdale as “Best Place to Raise Kids”
Sunset magazine declared Scottsdale the best place to raise kids on its list of “The West’s Best Places to Live.” The lifestyle publication chose Scottsdale for its low crime rate, good schools and ample parks. The magazine also recognized the city for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s educational programs and local resorts that serve as a great summer escape for families.