by Ray Newton
No doubt about it—the Prescott Chamber of Commerce motif for 2019 was “unity and teamwork.” Virtually everyone who spoke emphasized that theme at its Jan. 16 annual meeting.
Beginning with master of ceremonies Sanford Cohen down through the keynote speech of Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli, the terms “unity,” “cooperation,” “partnership,” and “teamwork” were stressed before an audience of 300.
Mengarelli pointed out that the Quad-City communities and their residents set aside differences and work for the social and economic betterment of the entire region: “We align with common goals, and we’re all the better for it.”
Mengarelli particularly cited achievements in Prescott during 2019, including paying down the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System by $30 million. That occurred notably because of prior voter passage of Prop. 443, which approved collection of sales taxes dedicated to paying for that fund.
Mengarelli also noted groundbreaking for the new passenger terminal and Prescott Regional Airport as being an economic boon for the area. Commercial passenger travel has grown to more than 73,000 since United Express, in partnership with SkyWest Airlines, began service in August 2018.
Other topics mentioned by Mengarelli were the ongoing construction of the Hilton Garden Inn at Sheldon and Montezuma streets, a significant increase in vendors at the Prescott Gateway Mall, progress on renovation of the Granite Creek Corridor in the heart of downtown, ongoing discussions about the Arizona Eco Development annexation into the Granite Dells, the bringing of Eviation all-electric aircraft manufacturing to Prescott, and continuing leadership efforts in conserving water.
In other action Jamaal McCoy of Findlay Automotive was introduced as the current C of C board chair, while Suzanne Springer of Prescott True Value Hardware was applauded as past chair. Danielle Rickert of Sir Speedy Printing is the chair-elect.
Cohen, who is a past C of C chair, provided highlights of the Chamber year. Among those:
- Membership now is 1,020.
- Website referrals numbered 365,441 during the six-month July-December period, for an average of 1,986 referrals per day.
- More than 26,000 people were “walk-ins” at the C of C office. Many were international visitors from the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe and Asia.
- The Chamber organized more than 1,020 walking tours of the downtown area.
- More than 500 Relocation and Visitor packets were distributed.
Chamber president and CEO Sheri Heiney urged those present to stay current with Chamber activities by viewing the website at www.prescott.org, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling the office at 928-445-2000 or visiting it at 117 W. Goodwin St.