There is no doubt we will reach the same conclusion — even sooner — about another visionary project: SkySong. The vision for the canals took 20 years to come together. SkySong has moved from idea to its ASU grand opening in less than four years. It is becoming a global center for innovation and is drawing firms from around the world. Is it worth it to invest in a project that taps directly into the new global economy and is putting southern Scottsdale on the global map? We are competing globally, not just locally. Is it worth it to provide a foothold in our city for the state’s largest university? Is it worth it to create thousands of high quality jobs for Scottsdale residents? The answer is a resounding “absolutely!”
As a member of the Arizona Bioscience Task Force, I know well the importance of research, bioengineering and new technology to our future. All three State universities, the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale Healthcare, and several research institutions, some in Scottsdale, are engaged in very significant research in these disciplines. I also believe that the emerging industry of sustainable technologies holds huge potential for future growth as our nation and others seek sources of clean and renewable energy, ways to treat and recycle water, and better ways to reduce and recycle waste products.
We must even more aggressively target the recruitment of high paying jobs in the bioscience and sustainable technology fields. We will be positioning ourselves and our economy for the future.
Already five solar energy firms, including two at SkySong, are in Scottsdale or have announced plans to set up offices here.
Another sector of our economy which historically has defined the character and quality of our community is tourism. One of my goals is to strengthen Scottsdale as a pre-eminent destination for tourism, for the long term. This past year, as reported in the press, I have held discussions concerning moving forward with a long-term vision for tourism. What types of investments will we need in the future to sustain our $3 billion tourism industry?
Tonight I am very pleased to say that a proposal has been accepted by the Tourism Development Commission for a “Destination Scottsdale” Visioning Project beginning early this summer. The process will include input from a broad cross-section of the community, and will be designed to develop the shared values, framework and long-range goals that should guide the community’s investment in this vital industry.
My vision is for all stake holders, including the Scottsdale CVB, our residents, hoteliers, restaurateurs, our signature events such as the Barrett Jackson Auction, the Arabian Horse Show, the FBR and many more to be at the table. I am very pleased that this very important initiative will be moving forward.