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Official Visitors Guide

Peoria Everything to s ee and do in peoria , Arizona


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L i ve t h e D r e a m ! Peoria is an All-American city, from pioneer town to metropolis on the move. O n t he Tow n Peoria is brimming with new dining, shopping and entertainment. Sp ot l i g h t o n t he A rts Live theater, culture, and ‘space’ take center stage in Peoria.


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L iving L arg e Peoria ranks as one of Arizona’s great cities, boasting meticulously planned neighborhoods, high-caliber schools and quality of life. P osition of P owe r Visionary leaders and a dedicated economic development team have positioned Peoria as a magnet for visionary developers, major businesses and educated workers.

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Th e Sporting Lif e Peoria offers sports fans everything under the sun. Ge t O ut and Pl ay Anchored by gorgeous Lake Pleasant, Peoria is jam-packed with fun and enticing recreation activities.

G r e e t ing s Outside Greater Phoenix, Peoria probably is best known as the Spring Training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. Peoria Sports Complex – comprised of a stadium and 12 practice fields – was the first Major League Baseball Spring Training and player development facility in the country shared by two teams. In addition to Spring Training, the complex hosts Padres and Mariners rookies in the Arizona Summer League – and prospects from all the Major League clubs in the Arizona Fall League. We take our recreation very seriously here. Six-year-old Rio Vista Community Park was Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Pick for Best Phoenix Playground or Park. In addition to playing fields, it includes batting cages, a recreation center, a skateboarding park, a splash ground and an urban fishing lake. When we’re finished playing in Peoria, we like to check out the plays. The city’s cultural offerings include the Arizona Broadway Theatre and Theater Works, which stages productions at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts in Oldtown. I could spend all day bragging about present-day Peoria, but we have big plans for the future as well. Peoria is a regional leader in sustainability, reducing the city’s effect on the environment, conserving energy and encouraging citizens to meet their needs without compromising the needs of the future. We won the 2010 Big Green Award from the Arizona Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council for Corporate Green Practices, thanks to our overall sustainability efforts which are highlighted at The Vote Solar Initiative ranked Peoria No. 3 in Arizona (and tops in the West Valley) in solar energy permitting, factoring in the time and cost associated with solar permitting. Our General Plan strives to build a synchronous vision of Peoria’s future, integrating the aspirations of residents, businesses and city officials into a strategy for managing change. Also available on the city’s website is our primary tool for guiding development, providing a framework for making decisions by describing long-term goals for the city’s future as well as policies to guide dayto-day decisions. Beautiful northern Peoria offers vast stretches of undeveloped land and the potential for a prosperous, job-creating industrial corridor along the soon-to-be-completed Loop 303 freeway. Our plans for historic southern Peoria are to create a vibrant cultural and intellectual center anchored by the arts, higher education and medical research. So, come visit Peoria. Enjoy our amenities. And be assured that the best is yet to come. Sincerely,

Bob Barre††

8401 W. Monroe St., Peoria, Arizona 85345 (623) 773-7000

Editor-in-Chief Melissa Melton Layout and Design Photography Dan and Donna Hubach, Norm Hall, City of Peoria.

Published and produced in conjunction with Hennen Publishing For advertising opportunities contact Hennen Publishing (480) 664-0541

The Peoria Official Visitors Guide is published annually by the City of Peoria. Every effort has been made to make this Official Visitors Guide as accurate as possible. The City of Peoria and Hennen Publishing will assume no responsibility for errors, changes, or omissions. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. | PEORIAARIZONA



From the rich natural environment of picturesque Lake Pleasant in northern Peoria to a newly opened shopping and dining center featuring the latest retail trends at the city’s southern border, Peoria might be the answer for those searching for a city that offers something for everyone.


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Peoria is an all-American city, from pioneer town to metropolis on the move

History of success Located northwest of Phoenix, Peoria is a city with a long history dating back to pioneer days but with a modern-day story that is still unfolding. The city offers a 179-square-mile buffet of choices for visitors and residents. For nature lovers, it’s the home of the state’s secondlargest lake and a growing network of hiking trails. For sports-lovers, it is home to the state’s most popular Spring Training facility, with professional football, hockey and auto racing venues nearby.

For those who like the finer side of life, Peoria’s booming growth has brought an abundance of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Here you’ll find luxury auto dealers and trendy boutiques; relaxing spas and restaurants ranging from steakhouses to sushi bars. Nightlife enthusiasts can hang out at sports bars or dance to live jazz music at a swanky lounge. n by A n g el a r a bago- mussi Families attracted by topranked schools in the Peoria Unified School District find plenty to do with 26 parks and rinks for in-line and ice-skating, while retirees leave behind bad weather for sunny golf courses. Theater lovers can choose between a Broadway dinner theater as well as the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. Science buffs can explore the universe at the Challenger Space Center, which opened | PEORIAARIZONA


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in 2000 as the first stand-alone Challenger Center in the nation. Peoria’s gamut of amenities is gaining recognition nationally. Money magazine named Peoria one of the country’s top 100 “Best Places to Live” for 2008. Magnet for adventurers The promise of a prosperous future has long drawn residents to Peoria. The Peoria Historical Society collects memories of the city’s history inside a former two-room schoolhouse downtown. Longtime Historical Society member and native, Harold McKisson, traces his family roots in Peoria back to the early 1900s. He’s watched cotton fields and open space transform into a modern, vibrant city and shares the story of that transformation with museum visitors. The City of Peoria was established after the completion of the Arizona Canal in 1885, which brought to fruition William J. Murphy’s vision of farming in the desert using water from the Salt River. Murphy recruited settlers from Peoria, Illinois to venture west and build a new community out of once barren desert. Those pioneers gave the city its idyllic name reflective of its Midwest roots. Substantial growth While its history dates back 122 years, Peoria has seen some of the most tremendous change in just the last few decades. In 1980, it was still a small town with only about 12,000 residents. Since then it’s grown into the state’s fourth largest city – covering 179 square miles – and ninth most-populous with more than 146,000 residents. Peoria was the third-fastest growing city in Arizona from 2000 to 2006, with an expected population up to 500,000 at build-out in 50 years. The northern reaches of Peoria are seeing the biggest transformation as communities such as Lake Pleasant Heights, West Wing and the massive 7,100-acre Vistancia community flourish. With 13 communities under construction or planned for the area around Lake Pleasant and Pinnacle Peak roads, the population for northern Peoria is expected to reach more than 115,000 by 2025, the city estimates. The surge of residents moving into northern Peoria has attracted a flurry of development. New retail stores, restaurants and a planned hospital join city-led improvements such as a new LEEDcertified 22,000-square-foot library that opened in 2009. The Loop 303, opening in spring of 2011, will cut through northern Peoria as it provides a vital West Valley connection between I-17 and I-10 – making this one of the areas with the most potential for business development. An estimated 116,000 jobs could be created in the area over the next 25 years, says Peoria’s economic development services director, Scott Whyte.


Downtown redevelopment While the desert in northern Peoria has seen a rush of new residential, commercial and business development, the city’s original downtown, Old Town Peoria, also sees transformation in its future. The area has long been considered the heart of the city, and it is also the center of city government. A primary economic driver envisioned for the Old Town area is a residential university campus in the 127-acre lot adjacent to the municipal campus. Redevelopment plans for downtown Peoria were kicked off with the opening of the city’s $13 million performing arts center where Theater Works, a long-time West Valley nonprofit arts group, will hold shows for the next 20 years. The city also adopted a revitalization plan for the area and is leveraging future commercial growth on the university recruitment strategy. And for the next two years, the city is investing over $70 million in roadway and street improvements, commercial rehabilitation, and the building of three city parks. With such a promising future, Peoria proves you don’t have to travel far to find all you are searching for in a vibrant southwest city.

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Peoria is brimming with new dining, shopping and entertainment possibilities


If you can’t find something fun and exciting to do in Peoria, you just aren’t looking! But then, the city’s shopping, dining and nightlife scene might be one of the Valley’s best-kept secrets. In recent years, Peoria has exploded with an incredible variety of new eateries offering cuisine for every taste and

palette. New and revamped “lifestyle” centers provide a perfect setting for strolling, power shopping and people watching. Throw in great family amenities and attractions, and you’ve got an unbeatable mix of entertainment!


Entertainment District If you enjoy an eclectic lineup of dining and entertainment, check out the Entertainment District. This area boasts one of the highest concentrations of restaurants in Arizona. Begin on the east side of 83rd Avenue at Peoria Sports Complex, which holds year-round events including the Seattle Mariners’ and San Diego Padres’ Spring Training games. Continue on the west side at Arrowhead Fountain Center, where you’ll find more than 20 restaurants that span every ethnicity, style and price range. Plus, there’s a Harkins movie theater and the Arizona Broadway (dinner) Theatre. One of Arrowhead Fountain Center’s most unique restaurants is

SKYE, which presents gourmet dining, nightclub entertainment and dancing in a sophisticated contemporary setting. For a south-of-theborder experience, try Abuelos. Feeling Irish? Check out one of the city’s newest eateries, Lis Doon Varna Peoria Irish Pub. Much of the interior of this authentic Irish pub was designed and constructed in Ireland before being shipped to Peoria. Additional international venues include Cucina Tagliani’s fresh, homemade Italian food, plus Asian, Southwestern, steakhouse, barbecue and casual bar fare. “There are entertainment n by A n d re a M arkowitz opportunities for the entire family,” said Diana Bedient, executive director of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce. “Plus, there’s great nightlife for adults in this area.” | PEORIAARIZONA



d e s t ina t ion s P eoria Arrowhead Crossings 77th Avenue/Bell Road Lake Pleasant Towne Center 10072 W. Happy Valley Pkwy., (602) 866-0900, North Valley Power Center 79th Avenue/Bell Road Park West 9744 West Northern Ave., (623) 877-0096,


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Northern Peoria Travel north toward Peoria’s award-winning Vistancia community, you’ll find new retail meccas such as the Lake Pleasant Towne Center, which boasts popular national stores such as Kohl’s, Best Buy, Ross and Pier 1 Imports. Nestled near Lake Pleasant lies one of Arizona’s luxury resorts, Cibola Vista Resort and Spa. This resort offers luxury accommodations and amenities, rejuvenating spa services, golf, horseback riding, hiking and more. Shopping destinations You can enjoy shopping, pausing for a bite, shopping some more, and then going to dinner and a movie at one of the area’s unique malls. Whether you visit Arrowhead Towne Center’s more than 170 shops, its eateries, department stores and AMC Theater, or mall favorites at Arrowhead Crossing, or Park West’s specialty retailers, restaurants and Harkins Theatre, you’re sure to have a fulfilling day. Add the malls’ frequent special events into the mix – concerts, kids’ programs and more – and your day at the mall will never be dull. But it can be quite relaxing: Park West’s lifestyle and entertainmentoriented open-air design includes two beautiful parks and outdoor fireplaces. “Shoppers find tree-lined streets, and beautifully designed reflecting pools and architecture,” said Jean Ahsmuhs, Park West’s marketing manager. Just for kids…or kids at heart Looking for a fun chill and thrill? Check out Polar Ice Peoria and the Rollerplex Entertainment Center. Polar Ice Peoria, located in the Entertainment District next to Peoria Sports Complex, is a family-oriented facility offering ice skating, instruction, hockey leagues and birthday parties. Peoria’s Rollerplex, on 75th Avenue just south of Bell Road, harkens back to rollerskating rinks of old… but with a state-of-the-art spin. Rollerplex also offers league play, parties and open skating. For even more fun, Rio Vista Recreation Center inside Rio Vista Community Park offers indoor racket sports, gymnasiums, and fitness center and game rooms.

M u c h M or e The City of Peoria host year round community events that cater to all ages. From Bravo Peoria! the annual art festival that takes place at Sunrise Mountain library, the All American Festival with one of the largest July 4th fireworks show in the valley, to the Oldtown Holiday Festival in December with actual snow. Peoria offers it all! For more information on all of the city’s special events visit | PEORIAARIZONA


D ining D ir e c t or y BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse 9748 W. Northern Ave. (623) 772-6470 • Blu Burger Grille 9828 W. Northern Ave., #1705 (623) 877-3200 • Carolina’s 9030 W. Peoria Ave. (623) 487-1400 • Carvers 8258 W. Thunderbird Road, Suite 206 (623) 878-1116 •

Der Kaffee Kuchen 9814 W. Peoria Ave. (623) 933-0650 • Dillon’s Restaurant 8706 W. Thunderbird Road (623) 979-5353 • Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 9712 W. Northern Ave. (623) 772-9463 • FuNuGyz 8378 W. Thunderbird Road, #101 (623) 487-1271

A c c ommoda t ion s Cibola Vista Resort 27501 N. Lake Pleasant Road (623) 889-6700 • Extended Stay America 7345 W. Bell Road 623-487-0020


Ramada Inn 8955 NW Grand Ave. (623) 979-7200 • Value Place 8949 W. Sweetwater (623) 486-2345 •

Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria 9788 W. Northern Ave., #1440 (623) 486-4455 • Gyros Palace 8378 W. Thunderbird Road, #106 (623) 486-2160 Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli 8360 W. Thunderbird Road, #105 (623) 412-8100 Lakeside Bar & Grill 9980 W. Happy Valley Road (623) 566-1470 • Le Rhone Restaurant Bar and Supper Club 9401 W. Thunderbird Road (623) 933-0151 Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream 9784 W. Northern Ave. (623) 877-6667 • Meatballz Italian Deli 7557 W. Greenway Road (623) 487-1000 • Paradise Bakery & Cafe 9918 W. Happy Valley Road (623) 889-3308 • Peoria Cafe 8405 W. Peoria Ave. • (623) 979-7873 Red Brick Pizza 9832 W. Northern Ave. (623) 772-9986 • Sandbar Mexican Grill Peoria 9868 W. Northern Ave. (623) 877-6444 • Shanghai Grill 9044 W. Union Hills Dr., #101 (623) 825-3388 • Sushi Yuki 8345 W. Thunderbird Road, # 111 (623) 334-2335 Top Shelf Mexican Food Cantina 21910 N. 83rd Ave. • (623) 561-0050 Wild Horse West 8415 W. Carefree Hwy. (623) 566-0740 • | PEORIAARIZONA




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A rrowh e ad En t e r t ainm e n t D i s t ri c t Restaurants 1 5 & Diner 7541 W. Bell Road (623) 979-3073 •

10 Corner Bakery and Café 16222 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 878-4550 •

19 IHOP 8359 W. Bell Road (623) 412-1001 •

2 Abuelos 16092 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center (623) 412-2531 •

11 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 16845 N. 84th Ave. (623) 875-1136 •

20 K Sushi Bar and Grill 16055 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center (623) 486-4333

3 Ah-So Steak & Sushi Bar 16610 N. 75th Ave., #104 
 (623) 487-8862 •

12 Cucina Tagliani 8349 W. Bell Road (623) 412-2670 •

21 Krispy Kreme 16041 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr., # 1 (480) 325-6789

4 Applebee’s 8001 W. Bell Road (623) 878-1410 •

13 Denny’s 8131 W. Bell Road (623) 486-8505 •

22 Lis Doon Varna Irish Pub 16100 N. Arrowhead Fountains Way (623) 979-0730 •

5 Buca di Beppo 16091 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. (623) 412-9463 •

14 Elephant Bar Restaurant 16160 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 776-0100 •

23 McDuffy’s 15814 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 334-5000 •

15 Famous Dave’s Barbecue 16148 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 979-3601 •

24 Mike’s Rigatoni Bistro 8215 W. Bell Road (623) 979-0900

6 Cheesecake Factory 16134 N. 83rd Ave. 
 (623) 773-2233 7 Chili’s Grill & Bar 7717 W. Bell Road (623) 979-5850 • 8 Chipotle 16680 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 487-1907 • 9 Coldstone Creamery 8215 W. Bell Road, # 120 (623) 412-1926

16 Firebirds Wood Fired Grill 16067 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. (623) 773-0500 17 Fox & Hound Smokehouse & Tavern 8320 W. Mariners Way (623) 486-2007 • 18 Hooters Arrowhead 16550 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 776-0123 •

25 Moon Saloon 16554 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 773-2424 • 26 Olive Garden 7889 W. Bell Road (623) 412-4955 • 27 On the Border 7873 W. Bell Road (623) 878-7050 • 28 P. F. Changs China Bistro 16170 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 412-3335 • 29 Red Lobster 7921 W. Bell Road (623) 487-1570 • 30 Red Robin Gourmet Burgers 16233 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 334-4600 • 31 Satara Thai Cuisine 8350 W. Paradise Lane (623) 979-9696 • 32 SKYE Fine Dining & Live Entertainment 16844 N. Arrowhead Center Dr. (623) 334-0010 • 33 Salty Señorita 8011 W. Paradise Lane (623) 979-4822 • 34 Sweet Tomatoes 7565 W. Bell Road (623) 487-0307

Things to Do 1 Arizona Broadway Theatre 7701 West Paradise Lane
 (623) 776-8400 • azbroadwaytheatre 2 Arrowhead Harley 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. (623) 247-5542 3 Dolce Spa & Salon 8385 W. Mariners Way 480-722-0500 • 4 Harkins Theaters 16046 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center (623) 412-0122 • 5 Polar Ice Peoria 15829 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 334-1200 • 6 RollerPlex 16083 N. 75th Ave. (623) 334-8118 • 7 SKYE Fine Dining & Live Entertainment 16844 N. Arrowhead Center Dr. (623) 334-0010 • Accommodations 1 Comfort Suites 8473 W. Paradise Lane (623) 334-3993 2 Hampton Inn 8408 W. Paradise Lane (623) 486-9918 3 Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites 16771 N. 84th Ave. (623) 853-1313

35 Texas Roadhouse 16079 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. (623) 486-9093

4 La Quinta Inn & Suites 16321 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 487-1900

36 Tilted Kilt 16840 N. 83rd Ave. (623) 486-5458 •

5 Residence Inn by Marriott 8435 W. Paradise Lane (623) 979-2074 | PEORIAARIZONA


S p o t l i g h t on t h e A r t s Live theater, culture and ‘space’ take center stage in Peoria


A great city is defined by its rich past, its cultural diversity and the quality of its amenities. Peoria hits on all counts starting with a revitalized Old Town, the beating, breathing heart of the city. “There is a lot of potential in Old Town for redevelopment and new economic vitality,” said Scott Whyte,


by And re a Mar kowitz

the city’s economic development services director. And that is what all the buzz is

about. With the recruitment of a residential university, the city’s own Commercial Rehabilitation Program as well as Capital Improvement Projects in the area, and strategic private redevelopment projects, there is much ado about Old Town Peoria.


The Curtain Rises Arts take center stage in Old Town. At its heart is the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, a $13-million facility that is the cornerstone of Peoria’s downtown revitalization efforts. New Times recently named it “Best New Playhouse.” The state-of-the-art facility is home to Theater Works, Peoria’s critically acclaimed, award-winning community theater. Robyn Allen, Theater Works’ artistic director, is thrilled to be attached to such an impressive center. “Audiences are just loving it,” Allen said, “The auditorium is gorgeous and the seating is comfortable. It has a very intimate feel.” As the in-house theater company, Theater Works manages the center and stages year-round productions. The 20,000-square-foot facility houses two theaters: the 280-seat Mary Jane Gyder Main Stage and the intimate McMillin Black Box Theater, which can be configured to seat between 30 and 80 patrons. Theater Works Theater Works is celebrating 25 years of music, comedy and drama with recent award-winning productions such as Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, family favorite Snow White and Dale Wasserman’s Premiere (world premiere at Theater Works). As the longest running theater company in the West Valley, Theater Works focuses on bringing the performing arts to the community. Theater Works also provides a venue to showcase diverse artists and original works, off-Broadway plays, and neglected classics, all of which promote artistic expression and education. This is especially key in getting children excited and involved in the theater arts. With many programs for children, Theater Works is a leader in the Valley for providing youth the opportunity to receive acting, singing and dancing lessons. “We are very proud of our award-winning theater and first-rate productions,” said Jack Lytle, Executive Director, “as well as our community outreach programs.”

Theatres Arizona Broadway Theatre 7701 W. Paradise Lane, 
Peoria, (623) 776-8400 Peoria Center for the Performing Arts 8355 W. Peoria Ave., 
Peoria, (623) 815-1791 Theater Works 8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria, (623) 815-1730

Dinner and a show Arizona Broadway Theatre, located next to Peoria Sports Complex, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a stateof-the-art professional dinner theatre that showcases in each production, national, regional and local talent with actors, directors and choreographers. Arizona Broadway Theatre is an all inclusive entertainment venue offering an elegant dining experience accompanied by a Broadway-style musical. Unlike other entertainment venues in the valley, ABT provides a variety of plated appetizer and entree choices served at the table by an individual waiter. Dinner is complemented by a number of savory desserts, a full bar boasting an extensive wine list. The 2010-2011 Season includes 42nd Street, My Fair Lady, The Full Monty and Steel Magnolias. Out of this World Complete with a Mission Control room, Peoria’s Smithsonian Institute-affiliated Challenger Space Center is a public museum where visitors can jump up and “catch” a planet in a new, interactive “My Solar System” exhibit. Guided tours are given on the hour where visitors hold a real meteorite, blast off in an Earth-Space-TransportModule, and touch a vapor cyclone like a Mars dust devil. Do you have what it takes to be an astronaut? Become a crewmember on a two-hour simulated space mission. “You won’t find an experience like this anywhere else in Arizona,” said its Executive Director, Kari Sliva. “Whether families are coming to tour our interactive space exhibits or fly a simulated mission to intercept a comet, you’ll leave here with a new appreciation for exploring the universe.” Other Attractions Want more? In and around Peoria you can find many more unique attractions such as the Peoria Historical Society Museum or the West Valley Art Museum both in Peoria, and downtown Phoenix offers the Herberger Theater Center, Dodge Theater, Phoenix Symphony and the Orpheum Theater. | PEORIAARIZONA


Li v in g Lar g e Peoria ranks as one of Arizona’s great cities, boasting meticulously planned neighborhoods, high-caliber schools and an enviable standard of living


For mor e inf ormation • (623) 773-7300 Chamber of Commerce • (623) 979-3601 • Economic Development • (623) 773-7735 • Peoria Sports Complex • (623) 773-8700 • Peoria Public Libraries • Peoria Unified School District • Western International University •

It’s easy to see why Peoria is one of Greater

Arizona State University West campus •

Phoenix’s fastest-growing cities. In addition

Thunderbird School of Global Management •

to ranking as the safest city in all of metro


by And re a Mar kowitz

Phoenix, the community’s low property taxes, high job growth and affordable

lifestyle started attracting savvy residents and business owners well before Money magazine named Peoria one of 2008’s 100 “Best Places to Live.”


G e t t in g T h e r e Highways and byways: The nearby Loop 101 circles around Greater Phoenix, connecting Peoria with north/south Interstate 17 and east/west Interstate 10. Future Loop 303 also will connect Peoria to I-17 and I-10. Public transportation: Greater Phoenix’s Valley Metro bus serves Peoria’s Park & Ride facility (near the Peoria and Grand avenues limited bus routes), and other fixed routes (see for routes and schedules). The buses are wheelchair accessible and have bike racks. Call (623) 773-7435 for Dial-A-Ride and American with Disabilities Act (ADA) services. Nearby airports: Choose from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Scottsdale, Deer Valley, Glendale, Mesa and Goodyear regional airports:

Live, work and play Singles and families at every income level enjoy Peoria’s superior standard of living. “One of our Council’s goals is to create a community where you can live work and play,” said Kirk Haines, Peoria’s parks manager. It’s a goal that’s already being realized in mixed-use communities like Vistancia. Vistancia’s three villages offer resort-style living in homes that range from modest starters to upscale villas. Amenities include community golf courses, pools, tennis courts, a basketball gymnasium, spas, parks, restaurants, shops and schools. The Discovery Trail connects the villages and amenities with nonmotorized access. “Residents develop a sense of community with the central recreation facility where everyone can come together,” said Glen Van Nimwegen, Peoria’s community development director. No matter where you live in Peoria, its future interconnecting trail system will encourage a healthy lifestyle while you live, work and play; you can walk or ride your bicycle from home to commercial districts, parks and recreation centers.

a defining core of their educational experience,” said ASU president Michael Crow. The Thunderbird School of Global Management, also in Glendale, offers curriculum in functional areas as marketing, finance and operations, which prepare graduate students to enter the global economy. Glendale Community College offers more than 60 degree programs and 70 certificate programs. Its Institute for Business, Industry and Technology provides academic, vocational and corporate training programs for employees of manufacturing and financial firms, educational and health care systems and public entities. Apollo College’s Phoenix and West Valley campuses offer health care, dental assisting and hygiene, pharmaceutical and veterinary assisting programs. Peoria’s public libraries provide additional educational and cultural enrichment for all ages, including business resources for adults as well as music, film and story-telling programs for youngsters.

Quality education The Peoria Unified School District fulfills its vision statement, “Every student, every day, prepared to meet tomorrow,” with the support of top-notch faculty and programs. The rigorous K-12 curriculum includes individualized attention. Before and afterschool programs, arts education, career and technical education, special education, a gifted program, plus athletics and other extracurricular activities ensure all children reach their learning and achievement potential. Peoria’s City Council values education, and has listed as one of its directives to attract institutions of higher learning to the city. The university recruitment strategy is in fact, the top priority initiative of the Economic Development Implementation Strategy and something that the city has been focused on since 2009. The strategy targets schools with compelling and well-run programs that are looking to expand into the highly lucrative metro Phoenix market where demand greatly outstrips supply. Post-secondary schools in and around Peoria include the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Western International University and the University of Phoenix, which have campuses in Peoria and Phoenix respectively. Both cater to working students with live classes and online courses. Western International specializes in business programs while the University of Phoenix offers humanities, education, social science, business and more. In Glendale, Arizona State University’s West campus has more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees in four colleges: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Human Services, Global Management and Leadership and Teacher Education and Leadership. “The hallmark for students is engaged, integrated learning in which community involvement and benefit are not incidental activities, but | PEORIAARIZONA


Posi t ion o f p ow e r Visionary leaders and a dedicated economic development team have positioned Peoria as a magnet for visionary developers, major businesses and educated workers.


Creating a job for every available worker and ensuring that the available jobs complement workers’ skills would seem like a daunting task to any city’s leaders but Peoria’s. The city completed its Economic Development Implementation Strategy in the fall of 2010 and has

already moved forward on several of the eleven initiatives outlined in the three-year roadmap. Primary initiatives


by And re a Mar kowitz

include a university recruitment strategy, a healthcare strategy, revitalizing Old

Town Peoria, redeveloping the area’s entertainment district, and creating a robust business assistance program along with a bioscience incubator.


Despite the recession, commercial vacancies have either stayed flat or gone down as new businesses and retailers take a look at the West Valley. And Peoria, long the most affluent community in the West Valley, is a strategic location for expansion for many reasons: • The city is geographically well-positioned with easy freeway access and proximity to Sky Harbor Airport • Peoria has a strong high knowledge-based workforce • Peoria’s financial stability has proven itself throughout the recession: no tax or rate increases and no layoffs Commanding economic self-sufficiency Economic self-sufficiency is Peoria’s ultimate goal. “We don’t want to be just a bedroom community that relies on other communities for its success,” said Laughner. To that end, the city’s economic development roadmap has specified industries that the city should target for attraction and job creation. “Peoria is an island in the West Valley, with a strong demographic that is both skilled and technical,” said Bill Fredrick of Wadley Donovan Growthtech. It is this knowledge base that the city is leveraging in its primary business attraction strategy. Peoria’s leaders are complementing its freeways – which offer easy access to its employment centers, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the entire Phoenix metro area – with transit-oriented development. Such a plan creates compact, mixed-use communities that encourage residents to spend their money in Peoria. Park West and Vistancia are shining examples of transit-oriented developments. Park West’s urban western ambiance combines open-air shopping, dining and a Harkins movie theater with upscale apartment living. Future phases will bring offices and a hotel. “It’s a lifestyle center that entices you to park your car, walk around, window shop and go to dinner and a movie,” said Glen Van Nimwegen, Peoria’s community development director. Vistancia’s several residential neighborhoods mix in restaurants, shops, golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools and hiking paths in a natural desert setting. “The developers linked it all with trails so it’s a walkable community,” Van Nimwegen said. Old Town Peoria is the center of much attention as well with the development of a residential university adjacent to the heart of the Old Town area. The university, as its own economic catalyst, will drive investment and revitalization to the area, beginning with the

city’s Commercial Rehabilitation Program. The revitalization effort that began with building the new Peoria Center for the Performing Arts and the adoption of the Revitalization plan will culminate in the complete re-creation of the area as a full on transit-oriented development. Peoria’s future urban trail system will link neighborhoods with commercial and recreational areas while connecting developing areas to the north, allowing people to walk or bicycle from their neighborhoods to Peoria Sports Complex and even scenic desert mountain trails. “Developing an infrastructure that includes alternatives to driving goes hand in glove with Peoria’s ethic of environmental stewardship,” said Carl Swenson, Peoria’s city manager. A look toward future generations Peoria’s environmental stewardship includes aggressively addressing water conservation. With the opening of the city’s newest water reclamation facility in 2008, Peoria now recharges nearly 99% of its water and almost 10% of reclaimed water is used for landscape and irrigation. “We have some of the most comprehensive water use policies of any city in the Valley,” said Swenson. Redevelopment is another high priority. The city offers myriad opportunities to redevelop underutilized land and properties as well as infill development projects. Old Town is a prime example of the opportunity that exists in Peoria. The residential university campus adjacent to the municipal campus will kick off other redevelopment projects, both commercial and residential. And to jump start these efforts, the city hosted its first ever Investment Conference in November 2010 to introduce the various development opportunities that exist in Peoria. | PEORIAARIZONA



Peoria, Arizona may not be the center of the sporting universe, but a case could be made that it’s close. The city is a short drive from every major sport – baseball, football, basketball and hockey. Add to this the twice-annual NASCAR extravaganza at Phoenix International Raceway, and you have a sports paradise.


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Peoria offers sports fans everything under the sun

Peoria Sports Complex While there’s no doubting the popularity of Peoria Sports Complex among baseball fans – after all, it’s one of the top-drawing Spring Training venues in the Cactus League – the 18-year-old stadium’s reach extends well beyond baseball fans. Since opening in 1994, the Sports Complex has become the centerpiece of the vibrant Arrowhead Entertainment District attracting diners, shoppers and theater-lovers.

Year-round activity In fact, while spring is the stadium’s high season for attendance, the Sports Complex is busy year-round. It has been recognized as one of the most highly used complexes of its kind, with a success story other Spring Training sites strive to emulate. Counting both baseball and non-baseball events, the Complex attracts an estimated 450,000 visitors each year. It hosts n by A n g ela R a bago-M ussi many of Peoria’s signature events such as the Fourth of July and Halloween celebrations as well as other festivals, concerts and sports tournaments. First of its kind The $34 million training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners was the first two-team Major League Baseball Spring | PEORIAARIZONA


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Training facility in the country. In 2010, Spring Training attendance hit more than 200,000 and marks the seventh year running that games attracted more than 200,000 fans. Since 2004, Spring Training revenues at the complex have exceeded $5 million, with a record of $6.5 million in 2008. But beyond the numbers, the stadium is best known as a fanfriendly space. It was one of the first to add a spacious berm where fans can spread out on the grass to watch the game. The complex proudly offers the most affordable lawn seat in the valley and numerous discount opportunities such as Family 4 Packs for just $30. In 2008, improvements were made to 1,700 seats and “Autograph Alley” was renovated to more easily accommodate fans trying to collect player autographs. In a tradition that began opening season, Spring Training kicks off with an annual charity game between the Padres and Mariners to raise money for local charities. More than 600 volunteers in the Peoria Diamond Club lead the fund-raising efforts, working as ushers, ticket-takers and more at each Spring Training game. Bridget Binsbacher, Executive Director of the volunteer organization, said the group raises enough money to donate more than $100,000 in grants to local charities annually. And, in 2010 they surpassed the $1 million mark for total donations since its inception.


Stay and play When the final strike is called, there are plenty of activities in the area to keep ballpark visitors busy. More than 45 restaurants and an expansive shopping district with stores ranging from luxury auto dealers to well-known retailers are located near Bell Road and Loop 101. Visitors can choose from in-line or ice-skating at nearby rinks. They can catch the latest new release at two movie theaters or watch a popular musical just down the road from the ballpark at Arizona Broadway Theatre. Finally, they can relax at any of the nine hotels in Peoria – six within one mile of the Sports Complex – which offer plenty of options with over 700 rooms. One of Peoria’s finest accommodations is Cibola Vista Resort and Spa. Located just five miles south of Lake Pleasant, this vacation-ownership resort has a complete equestrian program, full-service spa and water slides. More than just a ballpark, Peoria Sports Complex has become a catalyst for growth in the city and a showpiece of the community. n

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Few cities in the Valley offer as rich a collection of recreational opportunities and amenities as Peoria. Whether


by And re a Mar kowitz

it’s biking or boating, hiking or

rock-climbing, there’s always an activity waiting for you!


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and families as the added site amenities will make your visit a true recreational experience. Shaded playgrounds for all ages of children, water splash and play areas for youth, and picnicking areas will make your visit to Peoria’s second community park memorable. You can even bring your canine pets to the off-leash dog park to run, swim, and socialize with their peers. Other attractions are also planned so come enjoy the experience and Play Peoria!

On the water Peoria is the proud gateway to Lake Pleasant Regional Park, which hosts a 10,000-acre lake that’s the area’s “Jewel in the Desert.” Go boating, hiking, picnicking, fishing, scuba diving, water skiing and camping. Familiarize yourself with the area’s natural habitat at the Desert Outdoor Learning Center. Be sure to catch the park’s special events, which include rangerled day and nighttime lake tours by kayak or canoe. “It is beautiful watching the full moon reflect off the lake,” said Terry Gerber, the park’s Interpretive Ranger. A great event for families to experience is the once-a-year opportunity to walk over Waddell Dam, the first Saturday in April. During summer months hunt scorpions after dark with black lights and watch them glow. “Kids love it,” Gerber said. When you crave deluxe accommodations, try Lake Pleasants’ two private marinas. The new 5-star, state-of-the-art Scorpion Bay Marina and Yacht Club has a floating restaurant, convenience store and deli, and live entertainment and “docktail” parties. Although the Pleasant Harbor Marina is private, it’s open to the public for launching boats, fishing, hiking, picnicking, shopping and hooking up campers in its 5-star RV resort. Hiking, biking, and playing Peoria, Arizona has it all. With more than 12 miles of mountain hiking trails, 15 miles of paved paths along river corridors, and another 10 miles of connector trails to the primary river trails system, there is something for everyone to recreate. Peoria’s 30 parks are some of the best in the Valley of the Sun and they are located within one-half mile of where you live, work, and play. Our trails are also conveniently located next to our restaurants, shopping areas, and Peoria Sports Complex where you can take in a Spring Training game in March. After your trek, cool off with a dunk in one of Peoria’s three public swimming pools, or relax under the soothing hands of a specialist at the luxurious Dolce Spa or Cibola Vista Resort. Hone your climbing skills on the climbing wall at the awardwinning Rio Vista Recreation Center inside Rio Vista Community Park. Maintain a healthy lifestyle while you enjoy the facility’s indoor racquetball courts, gymnasiums, exercise, weight, dance/aerobics and game rooms. Outdoors, Rio Vista Community Park offers a walking/jogging path, playground, picnic areas, volleyball courts, softball and multipurpose fields, a splash park, well-stocked fish-and-keep lake and skateboard area. For two-footed skating on blades and wheels try Polar Ice and the Rollerplex. Plans are well underway for the construction of Peoria’s second community park, located at the southeast intersection of 83rd Avenue and Olive Avenue. This 80-acre park, scheduled to open during the summer of 2012, will feature six lighted sports fields for baseball and softball, and four lighted regulation sized soccer fields. These sports fields will also provide all the needed comfort for spectators

Practice your swing! Arizona’s reputation for spectacular golf courses is legendary, and Peoria is no exception, with Trilogy Golf at Vistancia, Westbrook Village, Country Meadows and nearby Legends at Arrowhead leading the way. Swing your tennis racquet on lighted courts at neighborhood parks. Improve your batting average at Rio Vista Community Park’s Baseball Club complete with batting cages, and pitching tunnels. The Baseball Club is a great place to receive additional professional instruction to take your skills to a higher level. It’s also a great place to prepare for competing in tournament and championship ballgames at Peoria Sports Complex. n

For more inf ormat ion For information about Peoria’s parks and facilities, recreation programs, swimming pools and Sports Complex, visit is on the web at For information about Lake Pleasant go to:; Pleasant Harbor Marina:; Scorpion Bay Marina: | PEORIAARIZONA


Day t ri p s Peoria is the perfect starting point for some Arizona’s most well known attractions. While Arizona is well known as the home of the Grand Canyon, our nation’s 48th state also boasts the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the world, a historic Route 66 town, the London Bridge, water playgrounds and so

much more. And it’s all just a short drive away from Peoria – all you need to do is decide which direction you want to head. Williams Interstate 17 north to Interstate 40 and head west. Known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon,” this Route 66 town is like a postcard from the past, with great

restaurants and museums. It’s also where you catch the train to the Grand Canyon for a two-hour ride each way. Travel time: 2.5 hours. Info: Grand Canyon The Canyon’s newest offering is the Skywalk – a glass bridge suspended 4,000 feet above the Canyon floor and located in the Hualapai (Wall-uhpie) Nation. Travel time: 3.5 hours. Info: nps. gov/grca Sedona Known for its magnificent “red rocks” and fabled vortexes, this has become a favorite place for Valley residents to cool off in the summer. Travel time: 2 hours. Info: Jerome This town is a former mining town turned artists’ colony. Stop by the Jerome Winery – located on a hill high above town – for a glass or two, cheeses of the world and one heck of a view. Travel time: 2 hours. Info:

N e arby at t ra c t ions While there’s plenty to do in Peoria, there’s no reason not to check out some of the other Valley points of interest. The Desert Botanical Garden 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy. Phoenix, AZ 85008 (480) 941-1225 • The Phoenix Zoo 455 N. Galvin Pkwy. Phoenix, AZ 85008 (602) 273-1341 • Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass 5700 W. North Loop Road Chandler, AZ 85226 (480) 502-5600 •


Taliesin West 12691 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. Scottsdale, AZ 85259 (480) 860-2700 • Wet’n’Wild Phoenix 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road Glendale, AZ 85310-4002 (623) 201-2000 Wildlife World Zoo 16501 W. Northern Ave. Litchfield Park, AZ 85340 (623) 935-9453 •

Payson Dozens of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, cabins, lodges and RV parks are set amid the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the world. One benefit of the forest is some of the purest air in the world – think of it as a vacation for your lungs. Travel time: 1.75 hours. Info: Tubac Tubac is home to the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, the first state park in Arizona. It is an artist colony offering great shopping, restaurants and more. Travel time: 2.75 hours. Info: Lake Havasu City Featuring 450 miles of shoreline and every kind of water sport you can image – even a paddleboat adventure – Lake Havasu is the second home of the historic London Bridge. It was relocated from England in the late 1960s. There’s also a water shuttle that will deliver you to a California casino in less than 20 minutes. Travel time: 3.5 hours. Info:

A R I Z O N A S T A TE M A P U TA H Littlefield

Vermilion Cliffs Lees Ferry 89A


Grand Canyon

Lake Mead

Temple Bar

Hoover Dam



Las Vegas Grand Canyon West


o rad


Grand Canyon Village



Peach Springs


Ash Fork



Kingman Bullhead City 95 Oatman Fort Mohave

Slide Rock Sedona

Round Rock

Many Farms




Canyon de Chelly 191

Hotevilla Kykotswovi

Keams Canyon

Second Polacca Mesa Hopi





Flagstaff Walnut Canyon



Window Rock

Hubbell St Michaels Trading Post 15






Cameron Gray Mountain

Sunset Crater Volcano Riordan









191 59

264 Moenkopi



Kayenta Shonto


Tuba City


Teec Nos Pos



Grand Canyon

Hualapai Hilltop Havasupai


Mexican Water


Cow Springs

North Rim





r Rive


Lake Mead


Marble Canyon Vermilion Cliffs

Jacob Lake Grand Canyon Parashant


Monument Valley Tribal Park


Indian Wells 77

Homolovi Ruins


Sanders Chambers Navajo Petrified Forest

87 Joseph City Tuzigoot Holbrook Red Rock Clarkdale 191 Dead Horse Ranch Wikieup Jerome 180 377 Bagdad Cottonwood Lake Montezuma 77 89A Prescott Valley Montezuma Castle 95 Jerome 93 St. Johns Camp Verde Prescott Snowflake Lake Havasu City 96 Yavapai-Prescott Camp Fort Verde Heber Taylor 277 Lyman Dewey Verde Lake Havasu Strawberry 260 Fool Hollow Lake 61 Overgaard 260 Pine Mayer 89 Cattail Cove Lake Cordes Jct. Christopher Yarnell Tonto Show Low Alamo Lake Agua Springerville Buckskin Natural Payson Creek Fria Pinetop-Lakeside Mountain Black Canyon City Bridge Fort Parker Tonto Hon-Dah 60 Eagar 71 260 Apache Apache New River Wickenburg McNary Bouse 87 Greer Colorado Carrizo Cave Creek Aguila 60 River Alpine Carefree 72 188 Morristown 73 74 Sun City Wenden 95 Fountain Surprise West Hannagan Whiteriver 60 Fort Apache Salome Hills Ft. McDowell Tonto El Mirage Sun City Meadow Youngtown 88 Scottsdale Quartzsite PEORIA 88 Blythe Ehrenberg Salt River Litchfield Park San Carlos Glendale PHOENIX Tonopah Lost Dutchman Goodyear Globe Tolleson 60 Apache Junction San Carlos Buckeye Avondale Tempe Miami Mesa 191 Gilbert 70 Superior Chandler Queen Creek Boyce Thompson Gila River Casa 85 95 Kearny Grande Morenci Maricopa McFarland Ak-Chin Florence Hayden Clifton Winkelman Yuma Coolidge Thatcher Pima Territorial Casa Grande Gila Bend Ft. Yuma Sonoran Desert Prison 77 Safford Eloy Mt Graham 79 Duncan Dateland Yuma Oracle 15 San Manuel Picacho Yuma Crossing Roper Lake Wellton 85 Oracle Somerton Peak Catalina 191 Cocopah Catalina Ironwood Marana Mt Lemmon Forest San Luis Ajo Bowie Oro Valley Cortaro Willcox Why Tucson Saguaro Fort 186 Quijotoa 86 Saguaro Bowie Organ Pipe Dos Pascua Yaqui 86 Cactus Cabezas Chiricahua Benson 89 Vail Sells San Xavier Tohono Sells St. David Kartchner Sahuarita Green Valley Lukeville O’odham 181 Caverns Kitt Peak Pearce Madera Portal 80 Canyon 83 90 Tombstone 82 Tubac Presidio Tombstone Courthouse Sonoita Sasabe Sierra Vista 191 Tubac Important Roads Indian Reservations 80 Patagonia Tumacacori Hereford State Park Bisbee Divided Highways National Parks & Monuments Rio Rico Nogales Coronado Douglas

do Riv e


Chino Valley

Color a



Mormon Lake


Scenic Roads

State Parks Points of Interest


Interstate Highways Indian Roads

Interstate Highways 191 82


U.S. Highways State Highways | PEORIAARIZONA




Fredonia Colorado City Pipe Spring Kaibab-Paiute

Glen Canyon


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pho ne 623-537-0912 – fax 623-537 - 0 9 1 3 – tuscan yrid ge @ se ntin We know what you are looking for when it comes to choosing your new home. With 3 properties located in peoria, sentinel offers luxury features such as large, spacious floor plans, resident business centers, resort style pools, fully equipped fitness centers, movie theatres and much more. Please stop in for a tour, we’re waiting for you!

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City of Peoria Visitors Guide


City of Peoria Visitors Guide