August 8, 2017
I was very honored to receive a resolution of appreciation from the Economic Development Committee for my service as Chair. Truly, the work is done by all of us. Thank you, members of the Economic Development Committee, for your support throughout the year. This committee provides a table for many diverse interests and serves to bring important information to all of us.
This is an outstanding region because of the positive collaboration efforts between the private and public sectors, which both take their responsibilities seriously. We also have a world-class freeway system that makes our region globally competitive. The EDC has worked throughout the years to share best practices to make our region more globally competitive; I applaud your efforts.
We had a unique look at some of those best practices at our August meeting, including how the Final Four engendered state and regional cooperation and how Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is fulfilling a key aviation role in our region. I would like to thank you all for your dedication. I look forward to serving on the EDC to continue to grow the economy in the region and the state!
In March 2017, Arizona hosted the NCAA Final Four. The event was an outstanding success and had a positive impact on the regional economy with events happening around the Valley. Arizona Office of Tourism Executive Director Debbie Johnson provided an update on the economic impact of the NCAA Final Four in the region. The basketball games were only part of the fun for fans and visitors. The weekend included concerts, youth clinics and many other exciting experiences and exhibitions around the region. The two-session attendance was the second-highest total in Final Four history. The Final Four was broadcast in 176 countries and there were 9.6 million live streams. The Arizona Office of Tourism put in place major marketing efforts and tracked key data to measure the economic impact of the event. Some of the data tracked included hotel impact throughout the state, flight bookings, Arizona destinations and tax revenue. A press conference was held on August 9, 2017 to highlight the economic impact.
Along with serving the needs of its surrounding communities, the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport fulfills an aviation role in the local, regional and national air transportation system. The airport hosts more than 40 companies and provides service to 46 nonstop domestic destinations. It also serves two nonstop international destinations through Allegiant Air and WestJet. Executive Director and CEO J. Brian O'Neill provided an update on the development at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The airport contributes $1.3 billion annually to the Arizona economy and is developing as an international aerospace center with aircraft maintenance, modification, testing, and pilot training.
The growth and development of the airport has also created development in the surrounding area. Mesa Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives Aric Bopp discussed the substantial growth in the Mesa Gateway area due to its location and unique assets. The Mesa Gateway Area is a 35 square mile “aerotropolis” in southeast Mesa. Some of the assets in this area include Apple, Signal Butte Water Treatment Plant, Arizona State University Polytechnic campus, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, the Elliot Road Technology Corridor, and more.
Eighty percent of the global opioid use is in the United States, even though this country represents only five percent of the world's population. The rates are higher for people aged 45 years and more. One in three people between 45 to 64 years old have taken more than three prescription drugs in the last 30 days. The rate climbs to one in two for people 65 years and older. During his 2017 State of the State address, Governor Ducey announced several steps that Arizona will take to continue addressing the urgent crisis of drug abuse and addiction. Primus Pharmaceuticals Executive Director Mary Ann DeMarco and Government Affairs and Marketing Manager Jeri Kirschner provided information on the opioid crisis and how it can be mitigated. Primus Pharmaceuticals is a company headquartered in Scottsdale that develops innovative low-risk, fast-to-market prescription products for unmet needs in chronic diseases or recurring conditions with metabolic cause. The products are called medical foods, which are prescription medicines made from natural molecules found in foods. Medical foods are a key tool for physicians for pain management in chronic diseases. The committee members were invited to increase awareness about opioid use and the alternatives that could mitigate this crisis.
Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) staff noted that in the new fiscal year, ACA has attracted companies resulting in approximately 1,300 new jobs with a capital investment of nearly $250 million with an annual average wage of $68,000. ACA staff also commented that two companies that recently graduated from the ACA's ExporTech boot camp, sponsored by MAG, are utilizing the financial assistance provided by the program. The Phoenix company, Optilab, attended the Laser World of Photonics 2017 trade show this past June in Munich, Germany. Parker Fasteners from the City of Goodyear will attend the Mexico Aerospace Summit in Queretaro in August.
Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) staff noted that the prospect projects for fiscal year (FY) 2018 are very strong. There have been five locates that created approximately 300 jobs in the current fiscal year. GPEC continues to work on “The Connected Place” Campaign, which highlights sensor technology companies.
The next meeting of the EDC will be on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. at Grand Canyon University, 3300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix AZ 85017, in the Antelope Reception Center.
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