Prescott is in the spotlight once again – make that twice again. It was recently set to be chosen by the readers of USA Today as one of the best destinations in Arizona and by Expedia as having one of the best downtowns in North America.
“We are delighted to be named one of the coolest Downtowns in North America by Expedia,” said John Heiney, community outreach manager for the City of Prescott.
“They cited our historical buildings, our use of green space, our arts and culture. Courthouse Plaza plays host to so many great events each year and this just adds to the atmosphere of the historic Whiskey Row with that true ‘Old West’ feeling.”
In no particular order, it was ranked among 20 downtowns in the United States, Mexico and Canada including Tacoma Washington, Boise Idaho, Cancun Mexico and Old Pasadena, California.
Prescott was described as the “wild, wild West,” in the wide-open landscape of Northern Arizona. Mentioned also were the “old-timey” saloons and the trendy cuisine scene.
Judges from Expedia called Whiskey Row a “historic thoroughfare” lined with saloons and unique shops. It invites tourists to “rock out with local bands,” during the summer concert series held from June through August.
Prescott was also judged on one-of-a-kind dining options, local arts venues, unique shopping experiences, fascinating historical sites and access to urban green space.
The USA Today readers’ poll has been an ongoing contest that runs until June 5. At mid-May, Prescott was running third behind Lake Havasu. The number one pick at this point was the London Bridge. People can vote once a day until the deadline. To learn more about the contest, call the City of Prescott Tourism Office at 928-777-1220.
As if that is not enough accolades, in March, Prescott was named one of the 13 happiest and healthiest cities in the nation by Time magazine. About the same time it was named one of the best places to live in the Southwest by Sunset magazine.
Kendall Jaspers, director of the Prescott Downtown Partnership, said he is not surprised at all the recent attention.
“I think it has a lot to do with not only our setting we have here, but we are the kind of people who love it here. They are accepting and hospitable,” he said. “They have a sense of pride about their town and they like to show it off.”
He said residents appreciate being recognized, but at the same time they have “high expectations,” for their town.
“The town makes a real effort to provide services and amenities people enjoy,” such as the summer concert series and events on the plaza.
Prescott Mayor Harry Oberg said he is “delighted” that the city’s historic downtown is considered one of the coolest in North America.
“It’s filled with unique shops, art galleries, historic hotels, the restored Elk’s Theater, the infamous Whiskey Row and the iconic Courthouse Plaza which hosts a full year of great events. It’s easy to see why.” QCBN