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Scottsdale and the surrounding Greater Phoenix area have benefited in the recent past from a national trend to diversify the financial industry base from its traditional hub on the Eastern Seaboard. Such efforts have provided companies with greater access to customers in the southwest and increased stability due to exceptionally low catastrophic occurrences due to weather. Companies moving into Scottsdale such as The Hartford, regional movements such as State Farm, as well as major Scottsdale expansions by such companies as Vanguard, Nautilus and Nationwide are all evidence of this trend.
The insurance and financial services sector has been established in Scottsdale since the 1970s when such major firms as Sentry Insurance and Scottsdale Insurance began their operations. In general, the sector offers higher value and higher paying activities than standard back office operations. Insurance and financial services industries have experienced strong growth in the region and the national projections for future growth in both employment and output are above average. In fact, Scottsdale has become known as the national center for the Excess & Surplus (E&S) insurance sector. Business Service companies are attracted to Scottsdale for a variety of reasons:
- An outstanding labor base with low relative cost of labor and a quality source of executive, administrative and managerial talent
- Strong dependability of energy supply with no major natural disasters
- Direct flight access for clients and corporate executives via the Scottsdale Airport, with seven day per week on-site U.S. Customs service
- Available corporate office space
- No corporate franchise tax
- Low workman’s comp & unemployment insurance costs
A strong local healthcare and bioscience industry cluster in the City of Scottsdale is the result of continued collaboration between local healthcare providers and innovative research and biotech companies. The Cure Corridor leverages Scottsdale’s highly-skilled workforce, of which 20 percent are in health or bio-related fields. The target industries in this cluster include pharmaceuticals, other biological products, medical laboratories and biotech research.
Scottsdale healthcare and bioscience jobs increased 18 percent from 2012-2017 compared to 15.9 percent in the Phoenix MSA and 10.7 percent nationally.
In the early days of Scottsdale’s hospitality industry, dude ranches and health spas flourished. In the 1960s the development of the local art industry and specialty shopping districts blossomed as the resort industry expanded. This ultimately gave way to the full service, amenity-laden properties that have made Scottsdale a successful destination for tourism for many years.
Today, Scottsdale is an internationally recognized tourism destination community, widely known for its golf courses, recreational amenities, climate and high-end resorts. An emerging Downtown with its urban “boutique” hotels, nightlife scene, numerous events and attractions, dining opportunities and art galleries complement the Old-Town western heritage and beautiful open spaces of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to provide visitors a unique and exciting destination for travel.
Scottsdale Tourism industry figures are impressive:
- In the past 10 years, the bed tax has generated more than $125 million in revenue for the City of Scottsdale. 1
- In 2016, Scottsdale had 8.8 million visitors, an increase of 1.8 percent from 2015. 51 percent were overnight trips and 49 percent were day trips. The overnight trips generated $1.2 billion in spending, an increase of 3.4 percent over 2015. 2
- Scottsdale received a fiscal return of about $1.30 from visitors for every $1 spent in operating costs in FY 2016/17. 3>
- The average room rate for Scottsdale market area hotels in 2016 was $188.29, an increase from the 2015 average of $184.85 per room. 1
- The percentage of room revenue to total hotel revenues for the City of Scottsdale in 2016 was 62.9 percent. 1
- Scottsdale’s bed tax revenues totaled $18,128,683 in 2016, up 5.6 percent from 2015. 1
- Annual occupancy for the Scottsdale market area in 2016 was 68.1 percent, up from 67.7 percent in 2015. 1
- The typical overnight leisure traveler to Scottsdale is 47 years old and the top five activities
SCOTTSDALE IS AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED TOURISM DESTINATION COMMUNITY, WIDELY KNOWN FOR ITS GOLF COURSES, RECREATIONAL AMENITIES, CLIMATE AND HIGH-END RESORTS. MORE THAN 9 MILLION PEOPLE VISIT SCOTTSDALE ANNUALLY.
SOURCE: EMSI 2018
Scottsdale is becoming known as an emerging center for technology development and is increasingly becoming the location of choice for New York and San Francisco companies looking for national expansion. Its environment combines successful entrepreneurs, a highly talented workforce and a burgeoning high-tech industry cluster. It is also home to several Inc. 500 technology firms. Arizona State University’s SkySong, The Scottsdale Innovation Center has advanced the emergence of technology companies in the city, launching more than 100 startups since its founding in 2008. Arizona has made a concerted effort in recent years to create a business-friendly environment by cutting red tape and repealing overly burdensome regulations that would otherwise make business more difficult for innovative firms.
Scottsdale has a strong base of highly skilled software engineers, programmers and systems analysts to support this industry with a number of companies establishing software development centers of excellence in the city.
Innovation and Tech Company Support Infrastructure
- 56 percent of the Scottsdale workforce holds a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Wide range of affordable housing options within a 15-minute drive time of all predominant Scottsdale employment corridors
- Excellent climate for data integrity
- Outdoor activities and walkable/bike friendly community with image attractive to young workforce
Over the past 20 years, Scottsdale technology companies have developed expertise in several key sectors that have made them industry leaders. Specific technology clusters that have emerged in recent years include wireless payment systems, security software and enterprise software.