by Greg Mengarelli, Mayor, City of Prescott
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Arizona’s Christmas City. The holiday season here in Prescott is one filled with beauty and joy, capping off a year filled with wonderful moments and milestones for our community.
As Prescott continues to receive recognition on the national and international stages and rank in various publications as one of the seven best Arizona cities to visit for Christmas (www.travelawaits.com), one of the 19 cities that must been seen in 2019 (www.Expedia.com), one of the 50 most beautiful towns to visit (www.theculturetrip.com) and top five best places to raise a family in 2019 (www.homesnacks.com), just to name a few, we are even more proud to call Everybody’s Hometown our home.
While these accolades remind us of the wonderful things Prescott has to offer, we also keep in mind areas in which we can improve and enhance our amenities. Throughout 2019 City staff and our partners in the community have worked diligently on revitalizations in and around downtown, including the recently updated and beautified Whiskey Row Alley, Granite Creek Corridor enhancements and ongoing work at the site of the future Hilton Garden Inn. These enhancements will make what is already a precious and historic part of our town even better for residents and visitors alike.
In addition to being Arizona’s Christmas City, Prescott is also proudly the Most Patriotic City in Arizona (www.insurify,com). This prestigious title is evident in our community’s Veterans Day parade, a great number of services provided to our veterans and active duty service members and our annual HopeFest.
This year we had the privilege of paying our respects to local heroes. On Sept. 7 the Courthouse Plaza filled with grateful community members for a special ceremony to welcome home members of the Charlie Company 1-158th Infantry “Bushmasters” Battalion. These Arizona National Guard citizen soldiers were deployed in the Middle East in support of overseas contingency operations from June 2018 to May 2019. It was truly an honor to welcome back these heroic men and women to Prescott and to their families.
Following the return of Charlie Company, Prescott played host to a highly distinguished living war hero, Lt. Col. Dave Hamilton, who participated in the annual Wings Out West Airshow in October. The airshow was a great success in its third year of partnership between Prescott Regional Airport (PRC) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, recognizing the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We were fortunate to have Hamilton, the last living Pathfinder pilot who flew on D-Day, present for this signature special event in our community.
Not only did PRC see success with the airshow, but this year also marked the first full year of service with United Express, operated by SkyWest Airlines. In reaching over 25,000 enplanements (boardings) in 2019, PRC has secured its position as a premier regional airport and has made access to Everybody’s Hometown even easier.
While this enhanced service has been exciting for our community, PRC’s regional accessibility and our second-to-none quality of life have caught the eye of renowned aviation company Eviation. Eviation has selected Prescott as the home of its innovative and industry-first all-electric aircraft, Alice. This truly puts Prescott on the map and offers an opportunity for Embry-Riddle and Yavapai College students to participate in groundbreaking work that could change the way people travel regionally.
Looking back on so many accomplishments, we can be proud of the direction we are headed and of the tight-knit community bonds we continue to hold. What a wonderful year 2019 has been, and how exciting it will be to see what 2020 holds.