The city of Phoenix is a booming metropolitan, hidden in the desert of Arizona. Many don’t think of the city being full of a vital population, incredible nightlife, and terrific arts scene with outdoor opportunities surrounding the area. They just think that it’s hot and dry without much to do–they couldn’t be further from the truth. Phoenix is one of the great destinations in America. Here are 7 Facts That You May Not Know About Phoenix in 2018.
5th Most Populated City
One of the most interesting facts that slip under many people’s radar is that Phoenix ranks as the fifth most populated city in the United States. Sitting behind metropolitan cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston–Phoenix currently has a population of 1.6 million. That’s a lot of people filling a 500 square mile area. Combined with the local, regional area, the population skyrockets to 4.6 million, making it the 12th most populated metro area in the US. Having that many people in an area leave it ripe for a tourism boom. In fact, tourism accounts for so much money to taxes that the local government was able to reduce the household tax burden by $843 per home.
Golf Capital of the American Southwest
With its incredible year-round temperature of 75 degrees and an average high of 86, the city of Phoenix has made itself known as the golf capital of the American Southwest. Boasting over 200 golf courses, there is a course for every skill level. If watching golf is more your speed, the PGA Tour hosts a number of events including the Phoenix Open in February, the TPC of Scottsdale, and the LPGA Tour.
Steady Economy Growth
Looking at a city’s economy is a good way to understand its growth. This is an area where Phoenix shines. While surrounding cities like Tuscon or neighboring states like New Mexico experience a downturn in economic growth, Phoenix is growing at a steady 2.5 percent. This is down a bit from 2016 but Phoenix is still outperforming the rest of the state. Uncertainty with the federal government has slowed the growth recently but analysts predict that when stability returns to the top of government, Phoenix is expected to head into the 3-4 percent growth rate.
One would think that a city with the population the size of Phoenix, that it would be a nightmare of congested roads and angry drivers. Compared to Los Angeles and Chicago, Phoenix is a breeze. In fact, if you compare average commute times with smaller but still substantial cities like Sacramento, Milwaukee, and San Antonio, the commutes are about the same at about 24 minutes. For a city of 1.6 million, this is unheard of. While the population cries out for an expanded public transit system, car transportation is doing well with its convenient grid system. The only time you may experience congestion is when the influx of “snowbirds” enter the state for the winter between November and February. If you are one that likes to bike, Phoenix is the spot for you. It’s Bicycle Boulevard is 4.6 miles of open bike lane that help commuters bike to work safely and environmentally friendly.
Sports Fans Unite
Phoenix is one of the few cities in the United States that has all four of the major professional sports franchises. NBA Basketball fans will be delighted to support the Phoenix Suns. Football fanatics can root for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. If you want to escape the heat of the desert, pop into an Arizona Coyotes game for your NHL fix. Those into baseball have the Arizona Diamondbacks. Still not enough? The Cactus League is the heart of Spring Training for Major League Baseball. The stars of today and tomorrow battle it out for early bragging rights. If you’d prefer to be in on the action, many recreational leagues take advantage of the great year-round weather.
Triple Digit Temperatures
Phoenix averages around 109 100-degree days during the year. Practically the entire Summer is filled with them. While this may be a negative to some, it’s an adjusted way of life for many others. It’s not uncommon to run from one air-conditioned building to another during the Summer season. The earliest recorded 100-degree day in Phoenix was on March 26th in the year 1988. The latest recorded 100-degree day was October 27th, 2016. When looking at the longest run of 100-degree days, the city of Phoenix saw 76 straight in 1993. That’s a lot of sun and heat!
Not only is Phoenix known for its 100-degree days but throughout the Summer, the city experiences a monsoon season. This leads to a lot of problems with flooding because the ground gets so baked and dried by the temperatures that the rain just sits on the hard surface. It’s a dangerous time to be driving around town but because it’s expected, the city has taken many precautions to work around the problem. The city is filled with cement canals that route water away from populated areas. The Phoenix Fire Department is extremely proactive in taking safety seriously with its citizens.