This past weekend we attended Alternative Access, the 7thAnnual Caliber development company summit. Thank you to my friends Brion Crum and Sherry Calvert for the invitation. There was a lot of networking and great sessions on investing. But, for me, nothing was more valuable than sitting in on the session named, “Downtown is Looking Up” an inside look at the exciting activity happening in Mesa, AZ. This was an excellent session where they not only talked about the investment that Caliber is making into Mesa but, Mesa Mayor John Giles was a member of the panel.
Many of you know that Loree and I live in and run our business from Mesa, AZ and we love this city. In all honesty, in 2006 when I met Loree and moved to Mesa, I couldn’t stand it. I thought it was boring and it had nothing exciting going on. I begged her to move into Phoenix and she often lamented ever selling her home in central Phoenix. But, we are very glad we chose to stick it out in Mesa.
A few facts that Mayor Giles presented during the presentation.
- Mesa is one of the top 7 most artistic cities in the US – Expedia.com
- WalletHub says that Mesa is Arizona’s BEST big city to live in
- Mesa, is a top 50 city for outdoor fun
- Mesa is #14 on the list of the nation’s best places to eat
- Mesa is #18 on the list of household financial wealth
- Mesa is the #9th safest big city in the country
What really got to me is that Mesa, AZ is #7 on the top opportunity zones in the US.
Check out the graphic below.
As I learned more from the Mayor and the Caliber team about what is happening in the city that I live and work in, I got even more enthused. On May 17, they are opening the light rail extension they have been working so hard on, which will be less than ½ a mile from our home. Also, Arizona State University is building a campus in downtown Mesa, less than 2 miles from our home. If you know anything about economic development, when a school like ASU comes to your area, businesses and housing builders flock to the area as well. When new businesses open, so do the opportunities to serve your community.
Mesa has come a long way from the sleepy little suburb it was for so many years. Loree has been in the valley for several decades and recalls when the US 60 ended at Stapley! She only knew this because in her youth, she would come out east with friends to tube the Salt River. This is an activity that is still popular today but has seen some positive changes such as buses that take tubers up and down the adjacent road and onsite tube rentals.
Mesa was first incorporated in 1883 and 100 years later it had a population of 152,453. Today Mesa boasts a grand total of 484,587 residents. It has always been a great city for baseball too. In 1952 the Chicago Cubs chose Mesa as it’s home for Spring Training. They moved over to the beautiful new Sloan Park in 2014 and the Oakland A’s took over their former home at Hohokam Stadium.
There are many more great things about Mesa, like the Mesa Arts Center which opened in 2005 and the Mesa Grande Cultural Park where visitors can learn what life was like for the ancient Hohokam people who built many of the canals which are still in use today. Now, this blog is not intended to get anyone to up-root and move to Mesa, AZ nor is it a pitch for Selbst Consulting Group. This post is to let business owners know that there is more to your town or city than meets the eye. To succeed you need to get involved and learn about what is going on in the community around you. An opportunity may not open up for you right away, but we all know that in life and in business finding success is a marathon not a sprint.
I would like to once again thank Brion and Sherry for the invitation to the event. Thank you to Mayor John Giles for his leadership and love for Mesa, AZ and thanks also to Chris Loeffler and the entire Caliber team for the summit and for continuing to make investments into the city that we love and call home.
All the best in success,
Selbst Consulting Group is a full-service operations consulting firm. We specialize in working with business of any size but like to focus on those who are 2 – 20 million in annual revenue. Our process is simple, we prefer to help business owners with one major issue at a time. This way they still have control of their business. The project can be a simple as recruiting a new hire, documenting a workflow or even a drafting and publishing a standard operating procedure. Whatever the operational task, we can help.