by Harvey Skoog, Mayor, Prescott Valley
As Prescott Valley approaches its 40th anniversary since incorporation in 1978, the town is looking forward to some exciting developments.
The town celebrated a huge achievement when the Prescott Valley Event Center was built and opened in 2006. Expectations were high and the economy was roaring. National artists and championship-caliber hockey brought throngs of visitors to the center in the first two years. However, when the recession hit and discretionary entertainment dollars became scarce, the center struggled to attract new artists and visitors.
Now, that economic challenge has largely lifted, and the center is about to emerge from a reorganizational bankruptcy with a vastly improved operating position. Through all the struggles with this facility, the town worked hard with the new owner/operator of the building to make sure its doors never closed. With the town taking ownership of the center, it will be stronger than ever. A new anchor tenant, the Northern Arizona Suns, recently signed a long-term lease to play in the building, and will bring thousands of fans to see NBA-level players.
Having a successful event center in the middle of our community is important. It brings positive economics and entertainment, and provides a large venue for local events. Equally important, it is a job- builder and revenue generator for local restaurants, hotels and other shopping venues that people enjoy.
The success of the event center has been enhanced by the hiring of Spectra, a management company operating more than 140 medium-sized centers across the country.
Prescott Valley is also making tremendous progress on rejuvenating our roads and streets. In the midst of a five-year “catch up” maintenance program, many streets have already been upgraded and work is underway on several others. One exciting project in progress is Sunset Lane in Prescott Valley. Plans call for widening this busy roadway, putting in turn lanes and adding pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. Already finalized is the long-awaited Glassford Hill/Long Look intersection expansion and the Lake Valley Road widening adjacent to Liberty Traditional School.
As growth continues, the town is planning ahead from a facility standpoint to keep up with that expansion. The Prescott Valley Police Department will be constructing a two-story, 11,000 square-foot addition to meet the needs of the community.
Growth has also affected the local Yavapai College. Student enrollment is increasing rapidly in Prescott Valley. To accommodate the additional students, the college is adding a large, two-story facility that will include more classrooms, especially in allied health education, as health service needs continue to grow. Another benefit is that local youth will have Joint Technological Education District (JTED) courses on this campus.
Thanks to the citizens of this great community, Prescott Valley is doing well. Our budget for the fiscal year is in good order with a strong reserve and decreased bond debt. We’re operating in the black. The community remains one of the safest in the state. With the ongoing support of our residents, we’ll continue to strive for excellence.