As we celebrated the groundbreaking on the new passenger terminal at Prescott Regional Airport (PRC) in early January, there was much discussion about the growth and development in our community. Celebrating nearly a year and a half of service with United Express and more than 73,000 total passengers as well as the support of the Federal Aviation Administration with more than $10 million in grant funding, it is clear that Prescott is a desirable place to be and travel from. So much of this centers around the slogan that holds our community together: “Everybody’s Hometown” – and as time goes on, that rings truer than ever.
Like many Arizona communities, Prescott is comprised of residents who have moved from all over the country to be here and business owners who have sought out Prescott as a place to do business. We are truly fortunate that so many people want to be here and as we look forward to the things to come in 2020, it is clear that this desire will help our community prosper.
In addition to the new passenger terminal, PRC is home to innovative aeronautical company Eviation and the all-electric airplane, Alice. The opportunity to house technology of this magnitude provides an exceptional opportunity for the younger generation in our community attending one of our local colleges to stay in Prescott following graduation and work with an organization that can provide a stable position and competitive wage. Outside of the airport, there is excitement surrounding the ongoing construction of the Hilton Garden Inn. This new hotel will be a focal point in the revitalization of an area in our community with much historical and sentimental significance that has been in need of improvements. And the improvements in this area and the surrounding Granite Creek Corridor will bridge a gap between our vibrant downtown and the rest of the community.
It is opportunities like this that are piquing the interest of business owners from outside of the Prescott area to come and be a part of the community. City staff has been working diligently to improve many of the processes for new business owners to come and invest in our community and continue the traditions of local business ownership and small “mom and pop” shops that make Prescott so unique. Streamlining processes and creating an environment of openness and accessibility have been beneficial for staff and the community. We welcome the chance to work with small business owners and enhance the services available to our residents.
Taking these changes into consideration, staff has also been looking into a variety of solutions and proactive measures to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our residents. Ongoing enhancements to the aesthetics and safety of Whiskey Row Alley and considerations around parking/traffic improvements in the downtown corridor will prove beneficial for residents, visitors and business owners. The recent adoption of a new water policy and considerations regarding future opportunities for conservation and better service in the expansion area continue to show that managed development is a top priority for our community.
It is wonderful to see Prescott make positive changes, continue to be the welcoming community it always has been and still hold onto the values and ideals that have made our hometown so special all these years. QCBN
By Greg Mengarelli
Greg Mengarelli is the mayor of Prescott.