But what about the Flag? Well after examining the area, we discover that the Flag is Fine. Flagstaff has long grown after being named after a pine tree used for a flagpole in 1876 as travelers come to the top of the mountain on the old trail. Although not as fast as other mega parts of Arizona's growth, it has been holding it against the growth of other parts of this great nation.
GMP's Metropolitan Gross Production increased about 6.3% during the decade 1990-2000. But real growth has been more recent and is expected to be 3.6% per year. Why, many second homes, retirees, and Metro PHX and southern CA refugees with doctorates. Indeed, there are more PhDs in Flagstaff than any other city in Arizona.
There are many self-employed workers who work at home as consultants. More people employed in the home office than any other place in Arizona and equal to that of Sedona. Tourism is declining, but only slightly at 2.2% and for tourist areas, less than most other places in the country, mainly due to the need for driving. Everything is widespread, many parks, Grand Canyon, Indian quotes. America West has increased flights. The flag is the starting point for all these places of interest. We have met people here from England, France, China and many countries there on the way to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Parks State as well as PHX and Los Angeles, many home buyers, motor home travelers and people on vacation, this said to be a year around the item. On any given day there are 5000 plus people traveling through and spending money. Many people come for the day to shop at the outlet center or just sit back and head to town from Sedona and we met a great couple from Williams. Many people who live on sticks come to town once or twice a week.
Tourism has recently been damaged due to fuel prices and the Kinder Morgan pipeline demolition a month ago. That's because no one can get gas and drive up the hill to get out of the heat (only about 2 hours with moderate traffic, you can fly at night if you have power). The flag is obviously anywhere from 10-15 degrees less hot in summer time. And when it hits 115 on PHX, everyone wants to leave. Wouldn't they get in there with the air conditioning to get a car and just end up in the Flag? No, just a joke, but it's a joke around town these days. The cost of living is above the country's average by a bit mainly due to the wealthy city dwellers moving up the hill. They usually come to the settled city and stay five years, get bored and go again. Except for the cave map resident, where he stayed in a cave 11 years in the state park and they kicked him out and told him he shouldn't come back?
Artificial real estate is causing tough boats for kids trying to buy in the city, sucking all the apartments together with the University of North AZ. They claim to be number 8 in the city for healthier places to live, bringing in Granolas. High schools have one of the lowest dropout rates in the country. Because of second-hand homes, enrollments in K-3s are falling, the trends of the older population age are happening.
Relatives who have just started find it difficult to stay. Some members of the yuppie football SUV, moving in, but not as fast as the retiree or older professional crowd, wanting to get out of the rat race and still be able to afford. This is happening in many similar cities we have visited.
Top employers include W.L Gore and Associates, which makes medical supplies; Flagstaff Medical Center; Grand Canyon Tourist Railway. Remember that the railroad has been there since 1881, NACOG – government training (and they also need training not?), SWCAA, Inc. Environment Products because of the help available to everyone.
Walgrens Distribution, Distribution and Transportation are going well there and there are just a ton of hotels and restaurants to cater to the tourist. The worst recently was telecommunications firm Sturner and Klien, though fortunately they have other avenues. Cat food manufacturers Nestle Purina and it smells like cat food on that side of town, ha ha ha, no real. The famous Lowell Observatory there too.
The cleaning industry is alive and well there both in the washing pressure and in the car washing machine. Five Guys Car Wash (HA), Flag Car Wash, Two Twin Car Wash. Also Pressure Washing, Flagstaff Pressure Washing, Perkins Power Washing, Tryton Enterprises, Joes Electricity Washing. Now remember that these are pretty good operators and there are only 57,000 people in the city living nearby. Excluding college kids and second homes. Which are both big numbers.
The service sector is alive and well in Flamur. Retail and Hospitality as well. The mall is expanding and there are currently about 723 construction workers building and these are helping the situation of affairs. The retail jobs created by this mall expansion are about 240 additional with nearly 48 non-affiliated support sites in the city. For a complete list of Room Businesses. Many jobs currently available for those who want to work?
There is some construction work on improving the school, as well as a revitalization downtown. Multi-million dollar project in the center of 6 blocks. Multi-level parking structure and shopping district. Economic Development people are working hard on keeping and expanding and training their supply of labor, trying to increase the number of high-wage jobs in the area to keep families in town and doing good. Many of the families moving down the hill complain about the traffic and want to return to their flag home.
Telecommunications are a big issue and they have a great fiber optic line from PHX now, for a great service. Satellite Broadband is available from two vendors. The area is also great for distribution companies with 80 trains arriving within the day, some people complain, but the rail is part of the landscape and has been since 1894 when it was incorporated.
The flag also has a distribution center along I-40 and an enterprise and large truck stop area. The technology park at the airport has just grown to 11 hectares. The university has special projects in renewable energy, energy and engineering. The Solar Project is very similar to the work of the Tempe University Center. In the city is Southwest Wind energy, production gets the benefit of college work from special projects and technology as well. Flagstaff has just emerged from the second tier drought and will most likely need to be careful with water resources as it expands, this is a significant issue for us on the flag. Golf courses, downtown divisions, city landscapes and cautious cities to use gray water.
There have been periods of drought restrictions on watering, and they were happy to see that we were low water users of car washes, they liked the idea and thought it was worth it. We have found the service sector to be in effect and if you provide a great service you will clash with work and so, being unable to seek service through the referrals you receive, is the kind of city and service demand is high and we see tremendous growth in that sector.
Unemployment is low at 4.9%. There is 11.3% American Indian who are great sources of work and they really come together well and provide so much of the city / city environment and heritage (still in the middle). The larger age group is changing rapidly and moving up. Currently 25-40 make up 30% of the population, but with a rapid rise it is the age group of 45-65. Tiger files predict 70,000 by 2010, I disagree, with all things equal I expect that number to be more like 85,000. The annual population growth is 3%, so it's really high, but it seems to be stable for some time, just releasing water supplies again.
Once raining for 140 days, then President Bush made a speech and it rained, needless to say compassionate conservatism took on a whole new meaning, having gained over a large portion of that 6980 feet above ground level. city. The annual rainfall was about 21 inches but lately have been much less. Snowfall is good at 100 inches and they need water to sink and collect. It rarely gets above 90 degrees during the summer but winters can be quite cold and very beautiful with all the snow, which draws year round on tourism. Being along I-40 is also a good stopping point for tired travelers and thus collects very little cash flow without easily saving it. In July, the sales tax went to 8,125%, and that is the city tax of 1.54%, the .8125% County tax and the State sales tax. This has greatly promoted the drive down the hill to buy new cars. Unfortunately this has not been good for that automotive sector, however new cash inflows have helped sales as well, so maybe the shock is not too bad. One owner of the Patel family hotel complained about the room tax increase, but said "that's okay because now they have to listen to my wife when she goes down to city hall because we're funding the place?" I laughed and then thought to myself that he has a point, luckily other nearby cities have hotel taxes too, but Winslow, AZ doesn't, Williams does. So it's a jump up. There is some Agriculture going on in Flagstaff and the farmers markets are doing quite well and there are some good things to buy here.
Today agriculture is somewhat small with only about 60 people employed in the sector and they are not large water users. The service sector employs just over 16,000 people and is growing rapidly. We were very interested in projects and job growth and the creation of new facilities.
We were also excited when we found that NAU had an employment office for students to find work, good source of work, the phone number is (928) -523-9463. Also good was Arthur's Workbench.
We have noticed that the crime rate is not very bad, but substance abuse is an issue. Issues of alcoholism and medication still persist, but overall crime has declined somewhat over the years as the population has grown. Most of all we really like it here and believe there are many possibilities. Judging by the competition and their busy schedules, a company committed to serving almost every service sector is as good as gold in the city of Pine Flag Pole.