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Cultural Influences

One must go back decades, even centuries, to ascertain the historical roots of Phoenix’s diverse and often dazzling cultural offerings.  Arizona’s history is rich and colorful, and composed of many, many different peoples. There are the ancient ones, the Hohokam who have left behind their canals, dwelling places and petroglyphs dating back to the 1400s.  The presence of the Spanish conquistadors and the fact that Arizona was once part of Mexico are evident in many ways, ranging from beautiful old churches throughout the state to exciting fiestas to local Spanish street names.

The role of the pioneers and the cowboys, those hardy souls who endured great hardship and helped win the West, has inspired songs, stories and paintings.  Put the fruits of this cultural diversity together with a tradition of hospitality and, as they say, the rest is history.

Monroe High School, Phoenix

More than 300 days of brilliant sunny skies… mountain vistas as far as the eye can see… diverse cultures and friendly people… an amazing number of attractions… an exciting and colorful history…a modern metropolis that still retains its Old West flavor. This is what you have been looking for in a destination.

Downtown Phoenix at Night.  Welcome to Greater Phoenix, the city that fulfills great expectations, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure.

This Southwestern capital has leapt from the ninth-largest to the sixth-largest city in the U.S. in little more than a decade. At the same time, Phoenix has emerged as one of the nation’s premier tourist destinations. And no wonder. Only the number and diversity of the cultural offerings equal the abundance and variety of the outdoor recreational choices and sports venues. Earning many coveted industry awards, the resorts and hotels combine luxury and efficiency in unique ways. And, of course, the weather is the envy of the nation during most of the year.

The city’s adherence to its Old West character and values exercises a powerful attraction. There’s the importance given to wide-open spaces and protection of the desert environment, not to mention the emphasis placed upon hospitality and a general feeling of neighborliness. Fortunately, the city has not strayed too far from the rugged individualism that won the West. As a result, Phoenix continues to captivate visitors and keep them coming back for more.

The Wild West will always be synonymous with cowboy shoot-outs and dusty outlaws riding off into orange sunsets, pistols flailing. Train robberies, gold panning and scenes like these capture the hearts of both young and old.

It’s no surprise that 75 years ago, Greater Phoenix used images of the Wild West to successfully lure visitors to this scenic destination much the same as we do today. Back then, officials promoted the area by commissioning cowboy artists to paint scenes of Southwest culture, to be hung in railroad stations stretching all the way to the East Coast. Having grown from a small town site to the sixth-largest city in the U.S., Phoenix owes much of its development to a steady stream of visitors. The area’s strong foundation in tourism dates back to 1926 when the Southern Pacific Railroad finished building a line that connected Phoenix with California and Chicago. Fittingly, these are still two of our top visitor markets. With increased accessibility to visits, Greater Phoenix witnessed an increase in tourism, and many hotels and resorts quickly began popping up across the desert a trend that has continued. Now, more than three dozen resorts dot the local landscape. It all started about 75 years ago, in 1929, when a cornerstone of international hospitality was established with the advent of the Arizona Biltmore in the north section of town. The only hotel now in existence to have benefited from Frank Lloyd Wright’s creative genius, the Biltmore put Phoenix on the map as the site of a world-class resort hotel. Visited by every U.S. president from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, this “jewel of the desert” has received Mobil Travel Guide’s Five-Star recognition longer than any other U.S. establishment.

ARIZONA HISTORY

One must go back decades, even centuries, to ascertain the historical roots of Phoenix’s diverse and often dazzling cultural offerings.

Arizona’s history is rich and colorful, and composed of many, many different peoples. There are the ancient ones, the Hohokam who have left behind their canals, dwelling places and petroglyphs dating back to the 1400s.

The presence of the Spanish conquistadors and the fact that Arizona was once part of Mexico are evident in many ways, ranging from beautiful old churches throughout the state to exciting fiestas to local Spanish street names.

Downtown Parade, Phoenix

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The role of the pioneers and the cowboys, those hardy souls who endured great hardship and helped win the West, has inspired songs, stories and paintings.

Put the fruits of this cultural diversity together with a tradition of hospitality and, as they say, the rest is history.

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