Settling into 2021, Reflecting on 2020

by Greg Mengarelli, Mayor, City of Prescott

The year 2020 was certainly not the start to a new decade we all anticipated, and it presented many challenges and difficult times. Still, Prescott continued to shine and come together to support one another.

I know all of us are, now more than ever, optimistic that 2021 will shine a bit brighter as we continue working together to pursue our vision for the future and dive deeper into the ongoing changes in our community. 

Airport Success

Despite travel restrictions, Prescott Regional Airport has continued to safely and successfully maintain inbound and outbound flights for the convenience of our community and visitors. Enplanements continue to increase bringing vitality to the region, and an additional Los Angeles flight was added for the holiday season. The beautiful new state-of-the art passenger terminal is set to open in March. 

Economic Development & Community Enhancements

When the idea of a Center for the Future was initially proposed for development in North Prescott, a number of technology companies immediately began expressing interest in locating facilities here in everyone’s hometown. To meet that need, City staff used their innovative thinking to accommodate SimpleWan as the first of several companies to operate temporarily in a site to act as an incubator right in the heart of downtown Prescott. This is just the first step in bringing jobs and opportunity to our community.

Development in the Airport Commercial Industrial Zone will continue to focus on business development opportunities. CP Technology has already broken ground as you’ve likely seen driving down Highway 89. Doors are due to open in March, showcasing to similar industry leaders the opportunity here in Prescott.

Final touches have been made to make the new Hilton Garden Inn at Montezuma and Sheldon streets a remarkable addition to the Granite Creek Corridor and extension of downtown Prescott.

The exciting and successful collaboration between the City, Prescott College, Arizona Public Service (APS) and area historians was wonderful to see and lead to the opportunity to preserve and incorporate the Sam Hill Warehouse and railroad trestle into a beautiful new hotel. All of this will continue to have positive impacts on Granite Creek Park, the former APS utility yard, the new Founding Fathers Collaborative project and provide a stunning endcap to the Granite Creek trail. 

The Granite Creek Trail as part of the overall Granite Creek Area Master Plan will begin its revitalization in the spring. This will provide exciting opportunities for businesses along the creek, tie in an integral natural focal point in our downtown area and enhance resident and visitor ability to connect multiple areas of interest. 

Additionally, staff and consultants will continue work on the master plan for North Prescott. These projects will take place over the next year or so, and we will seek the input of the community to best meet everyone’s needs and continue the responsible and sustainable growth of Prescott.

Arizona Eco Development

The City continues conversations and negotiations with Arizona Eco Development (AED) to develop an annexation agreement conserving as much of our beloved Granite Dells as possible, while still allowing the property owner to exercise private property rights. 

The successful development of a Letter of Intent that the city, AED and special interest groups could all support was a landmark moment. The Development Agreement is in the hands of the developer, and a negotiation committee consisting of myself, Mayor Pro Tem Alexa Scholl and Councilmember Cathey Rusing will work with AED to bring forward a draft for the public’s review in early 2021. 

I continue to look at all the positive changes happening around us and wish everyone the very best in 2021!

Photo: Airport terminal under construction. Photo by City of Prescott