Phoenix, Arizona

With its booming tech sector, thriving construction industry and 211 days of sunshine a year, Phoenix is a favourite destination for investors and travelers alike.

With 211 days of sunshine, Phoenix is considered the sunniest major city in the US. Coupled with its easy access to a host of premier resorts, golf courses and other outdoor amenities, it’s no surprise it’s a favourite among retirees looking to escape winter’s chill. Located in south central Arizona, this metropolitan area is also gaining favour with the younger set. Case in point: the average age of its 4.6 million residents is 36. With multiple residential construction developments in the downtown core over the past few years, the city now boasts 7,000 new multifamily units and more are coming.

With a gross domestic product that’s outpacing the national average, the city is attracting more and more technology, financial services and healthcare sector companies setting up branches throughout Greater Phoenix. According to commercial real estate investment firm CBRE’s annual Tech-Thirty list, Phoenix ranked second only to San Francisco for strongest tech-sector job growth in all of North America in 2016.

The city ranks 13th out of the top-50 meeting places in the US, with a 900,000-sq.-ft. convention centre located downtown and 450 hotels in the Greater Phoenix area. Branded America’s friendliest airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International offers flights from 100 national and international destinations.

FACTS FOR INVESTORS

1. Key business: High-tech manufacturing, tourism and construction are the city’s major industries.

2. A top destination: Almost 27 million people visited Greater Phoenix in 2016.

3. A focus on health: Aside from rapid tech-sector growth, the city is carving a niche in medical instrumentation and cancer care. Mayo Clinic opened its fourth primary care clinic there in 2016.

4. Sports-minded: Phoenix is one of the few US cities with franchises in all four major professional sports (NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB). It also hosts spring training for the Cactus League, which encompasses 15 major league baseball teams.

5. It keeps growing: In 2015, the city approved a plan to invest US$31 billion over the next 30 years in expanding its light-rail system and other public transport to prepare for anticipated growth.

LEISURE TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS

1. Fly zone food: 75% of restaurants at the airport are locally owned, making it a favourite destination even for non-travellers.

2. All about the art: Downtown’s Roosevelt Row Arts District was named one of USA Today’s 10 Best City Arts Districts in America in 2014. Visitors can tour more than 70 galleries and arts-related spaces, with free shuttle service the first Friday of every month.

3. Desert museum: Phoenix is home to the Desert Botanical Garden, which features more than 50,000 cacti and other outdoor plant displays.

4. Take a hike: Boasting 80 km of trails through the Sonoran Desert, South Mountain Park and Preserve is the largest municipal park in the US and only minutes from the city.

5. Easy transit: In addition to the light-rail system, which provides access from the airport to downtown, there is a bike-share program throughout the city for easy travel.

Greater Phoenix, Arizona chart