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MJLO

Flagstaff

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I want to know more about Flagstaff. I know that it's the intersection of I-17 and I-40. I know that it's home to Northern Arizona University. I've heard that its politics are more liberal than the rest of Arizona. It's in the mountains, has not quite 60k residents. I also know that for a city it's size it has not even a midrise in it. What more is there to know about it. Anyone have pics? Facts? Any big developments going on ?

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I hate to disappoint, but I've been there 3-4 times and have never taken pictures of the actual city except for some random shots. Just some surrounding area shots. Actually, I may have pics, but I'll have to pull up the "archives".

Very liberal is more like it. Coconino itself is a red county, but Flagstaff has a hippy mindset. It's a really cool place to hang out, even if you're not up for the big outdoor NPS things (i.e. - Walnut Canyon, Wupatki, Grand Canyon). Three brewpubs, some pretty good restaurants, and a large, pedestrian-friendly Downtown. It's a little chilly in the winter and gets quite a bit of snow (I've read 100" annually). Just a couple of miles from the state's best ski resort.

I have a few friends who attended college there (many NAU graduates move to Tucson, which may explain the politics here somewhat) and they loved it. No jobs for them though.

NAU sometimes has construction going on, but Flagstaff has a pretty lame-dick economy. I'd actually love to live there, but I would probably never be able to find a job. 60k is a good estimate. There's not much growth there.

The College of Business Administration building went up late last year, and completely dominates the campus, if not the entire town.

cba5_med.jpg

More info.

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Colin i'm shocked! Never have you not had a picture of something.

I could say something like the Mobil gas station at the corner of 91st and Camelback and you'd have 13 different views of it! But not having a pic of a liberal hippy town! Dude those are your people! I used to think you were infalable my man.

But that's ok I still think you are the coolest damn person in Arizona. One quick question, if you use the word Lame - dick to describe Flagstaff's economy. What adverb would you put in front of the word dick to describe Tucsons economy?

What else do we know about Flagstaff?

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Colin i'm shocked! Never have you not had a picture of something.

I could say something like the Mobil gas station at the corner of 91st and Camelback and you'd have 13 different views of it! But not having a pic of a liberal hippy town! Dude those are your people! I used to think you were infalable my man.

But that's ok I still think you are the coolest damn person in Arizona. One quick question, if you use the word Lame - dick to describe Flagstaff's economy. What adverb would you put in front of the word dick to describe Tucsons economy?

What else do we know about Flagstaff?

Sorry to butt in, but I would call Tucson's economy "broke-dick" :)

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Okay, I do have views of Flag.

These were taken in September 2003. I hiked to the top of Mount Elden, aka TV Tower Hill (evidenced in the photos). I had been to Flagstaff in '01, but didn't stay long and just took a picture of my car in the snow after driving through a blizzard on I-40. I tried to stay at one of those dive motels on Route 66, and worked the manager down to $20 cash. However, the room was trashed, so some guys staying in the motel came and cleaned it up. But there was a real bad vibe, and when I discovered that the window was broken and wouldn't close, I got my cash back and booked it to the hostel, which turned out to be a really nice place.

Route 66 east of town. Wunderland on the left is a real pit of hell, one of the many nasty motels in Flag:

route661.jpg

I think Downtown Flagstaff is seen in the lower-left:

flag-view6.jpg

View of the West Flagstaff area from Mount Elden:

flag-view1.jpg

Looking west (I think):

flag-view5.jpg

flag-view7.jpg

I believe the Flagstaff Mall area is at the right:

flag-view8.jpg

Humphrey's Peak should be under that cloud:

flag-view3.jpg

Lookout tower on Mount Elden:

flag-view4.jpg

And something to keep you warm at night (a sweaty Colin):

flag-viewme.jpg

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I can only imagine the stories you're going to have to tell your children colin.

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Sorry to butt in, but I would call Tucson's economy "broke-dick" :)

Welcome, Erin!!!

A former Tucsonan? Tell your story, please! Where do you live now? What did you get your degree in? Have you been back since graduating?

Feel free to introduce yourself in the handy Roll Call thread.

Tucson's economy isn't that bad. I was able to move here in '03 during one of the lower economic points of the past 10 years (especially for the IT sector) and find a job (albeit not a great one) in 2 weeks. It took me 6 months to find a job that I actually wanted and now there are actually quite a few web developer jobs in town and I kinda have my choice.

I'd call Tucson's economy an old, stubborn horse: it doesn't always do what you want it to, but you can still get a good ride out of it if you know how to coax it.

That's a pretty bad analogy, actually. I'll think of something better tomorrow.

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Welcome, Erin!!!

A former Tucsonan? Tell your story, please! Where do you live now? What did you get your degree in? Have you been back since graduating?

Feel free to introduce yourself in the handy Roll Call thread.

Tucson's economy isn't that bad. I was able to move here in '03 during one of the lower economic points of the past 10 years (especially for the IT sector) and find a job (albeit not a great one) in 2 weeks. It took me 6 months to find a job that I actually wanted and now there are actually quite a few web developer jobs in town and I kinda have my choice.

I'd call Tucson's economy an old, stubborn horse: it doesn't always do what you want it to, but you can still get a good ride out of it if you know how to coax it.

That's a pretty bad analogy, actually. I'll think of something better tomorrow.

Thank you for the hearty welcome! My story, well I am not much of a storyteller but:

I attended UofA from '91-'95, received my B.S. in Computer Science. I loved living in Tucson though most people I knew

thought it was boring and wanted to move to a "big" city at graduation. After graduation I chose to stay and was able to land a development job at Hughes Electronics ( now Raytheon ). I stayed until 2000, got tired of Raytheon and moved to all places

Taipei, Taiwan with my fiancee ( now wife ). Currently I am still in Taipei and have not been to Tucson since 2001. However I will move back this fall and pursue a Masters, probably one of the new "Professional" programs or computer science, I'll be one of those old -- I mean "non-traditional" -- students always boring other students and with some real-world "war story "in class ... :)

Anyway, I am glad to hear the Tucson economy isn't too bad now, it wasn't great when I was there, but of course one could always find something in software, optics, etc., provided they were willing to accept mediocre pay and have more limited oppurtunities. I do clearly remember local business leaders touting Tucson as a future high tech mecca, optics valley and all that, juxtaposed with all the locals screaming "leave us alone", "we don't want to grow, stop building roads", "this town is owned by developers, stop before we become Phoenix", blah, blah, blah.. Some things never change! :)

( BTW There was only 640,000 people in the metro area when I moved there)

I am really looking forward to going back, though I am sure it is alot of nostalgia, and I will remember all the things I didn't like about Tucson after I get there. I have to say, though I just loved the outdoor oppurtunities, sabino, mount lemmon, gates pass, 10000 hiking trails, good biking, good weather, while still having a reasonable amount of "big city" cutlure, good food, shows, etc. Tucson culture always seemed to have a quirky, funky element that one would only find in small town Arizona ( Bisbee, Prescott, etc ). I hope that is still there! However, I wouldn't mind seeing a little upscale culture ala Scottsdale - Tempe, provided the quirky old Tucson can live side-by-side with it.. BTW I love your pictures of those cool neighborhoods near downtown, I used to ride my bike down there when I was a student, through those neighborhoods, I swear I was the only non-local at the UA who even knew about those neighborhoods. Everyone out-of-towner seemed to only know where the Tucson Mall and Dirtbag's was, and us computer science geeks only knew where Gould Simpson was .... A few knew of Club Congress...

Oh, forgot to mention I am from Arizona, Lake Havasu City to be exact, which I really don't have much to say about, there is not much of interest there except the London Bridge. Nice place to water-ski if you are into that..

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Welcome Erin! Taipei is where most of my family lives, quite a drastic change from Tucson eh?

But, MJLO you should definitely make a day trip if not a weekend trip to Flagstaff in the fall. The area is so beautiful, a great/gorgeous retreat from the heat and rather dull natural landscape that engulfs Phoenix (not a huge fan of desert landscape.) While I am at it, the Little American Hotel in Flagstaff is very nic eand quaint. Its a log-cabin style hotel. Its a great place to stay during the winter where it snows quite regularly in Flagstaff.

One of my friends from high school has a cabin up there and in the mid 90s we would retreat there wwith a bunch of friends. Its a greate place to escape technology and everything. Its easy to just sit outside and bask in the light sunligh and breeze while reading a book or just listening to music for hours.

I don't have any pictures but colin's is just a few to show you what Flagstaff has to offer.

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i've been waiting for somebody to start a flag thread, and now that they have - i can't think of anything to say.

those are great pics, colin. i've wondered what flagstaff is like from above, but i've never undertaken a mountain hike / drive to find out.

i have this problem of going places and never taking photos, but i'm trying to overcome it. my last trip to flagstaff was about a year ago and i didn't take any pics at all. but i love flagstaff - it's the most walkable, outdoor-urban town i know of in arizona. wonderful place to people-watch or hang outside when the weather is nice. you get the sense that it's unpretentious and no-nonsense, but still a liberal city. sort of a small santa fe without the snobs. if my gf had been willing to brave cold winters - and if NAU had the academic programs that UA does - we would have moved there instead of tucson. i love how close it is to the desert environment, yet a world apart.

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Welcome Erin! Taipei is where most of my family lives, quite a drastic change from Tucson eh?

But, MJLO you should definitely make a day trip if not a weekend trip to Flagstaff in the fall. The area is so beautiful, a great/gorgeous retreat from the heat and rather dull natural landscape that engulfs Phoenix (not a huge fan of desert landscape.) While I am at it, the Little American Hotel in Flagstaff is very nic eand quaint. Its a log-cabin style hotel. Its a great place to stay during the winter where it snows quite regularly in Flagstaff.

One of my friends from high school has a cabin up there and in the mid 90s we would retreat there wwith a bunch of friends. Its a greate place to escape technology and everything. Its easy to just sit outside and bask in the light sunligh and breeze while reading a book or just listening to music for hours.

I don't have any pictures but colin's is just a few to show you what Flagstaff has to offer.

yeah I really want to make an effort to get up there, and enjoy it before I go back home. The only experience I've had of Flagstaff is Getting on 17 from 40. I agree with you about the dull landscape of the valley, i'm not a big fan of the brown hills and the weeds.

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Wow, a Flag thread!? I can comment on all three "major" cities in AZ...moved from Mich. to Tucson to go to UofA in 1985, graduated in '89 with a real estate/finance degree; left for ASU Law School (knew too many people at UofA still and knew I would flunk out of law school if I stayed). Moved around a bit and ended up taking a legal job in, of all places, Flag. Loved living there...struggled to make a living even as a "professional." Left after 8 years to pursue a real estate career in Phoenix...here's me 2 cents.

Flag definitely the hippiest town but probably the best to live in (except for the cost of living-that's why I left). Most liberal by far but managable even for a conservative stuff shirt like me. Tough economy with few well paying jobs or large companies; lots of degreed bartenders...loved the people, seasons, out-door activity and clean air, hated local politics, the fact that others hated when you did well, the wind!!

Tucson what can I say great college town! GO CATS! Made great friends but to the last one we all ended up leaving for other places. Economy doesn't seem great in fact I still maintain real estate projects in Flag but none in Tucson even though I've looked. Campus was fun, area around the campus dumpy, foothills gorgeous!

Phx well what do you expect from the 6th largest metro-area...lots of traffic people moving here constantly, real estate booming (my house appreciated 100% in 3 years). A little fake and alot of new money. There are fantastic neighborhoods though if only my kids had good public schools in those areas. Like it here but miss the seasons and hate the 100 degree temps in Sept.

That's one guys opinion...

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Welcome welcome!

I'm always glad to see more Tucson fans.

Please do introduce yourself in the roll call thread if you get a chance. Also, give your name if you don't mind, although, if you do, just say "Bob" or something.

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It's a given that Flagstaff isn't growing nearly as fast as the rest of the state, but it is still growing.

It looks as though it may be the next one to tap the embattled Colorado.

Growing towns in N. Ariz. face water shortage

gonna be interesting when / if the time comes. flag and the rim area are more habitable environments than the valley and tucson, yet that region has been slower to grow. what are the big cities further downstream gonna say when flag wants a share of the colorado too? they were there first? but how justified is the location to begin with?

the sinking water table is what pisses me off the most. that's hard to regain until population declines. tucson's water supply has had to shift away from well water because of this.

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the sinking water table is what pisses me off the most. that's hard to regain until population declines. tucson's water supply has had to shift away from well water because of this.

I think that's why people in Tucson are so vehemently apathetic toward growth: they know it's killing their town.

How many years or at what population do you think we'll hit before there's a moratorium or restriction on new construction in Pima County??

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I think that's why people in Tucson are so vehemently apathetic toward growth: they know it's killing their town.

How many years or at what population do you think we'll hit before there's a moratorium or restriction on new construction in Pima County??

i think it will be lots and lots of years and there will be lots and lots more people. how's that for a general answer? in the near future, it would take leadership that would be willing to make itself unpopular with developers and newcomers - leadership that would probably be committing career suicide.

you've been here longer - so you probably know a good deal more about public opinion - but i just don't think there's anything close to sufficient consensus among tucsonans on this. and i think that is a huge part of what it's going to take - a lot of public will. no one in politics wants to be the bad guy. no one wants to voluntarily become anti-business in an area with the growth tucson is seeing. i came here and i didn't have to; now that i'm here i'm in the weird position of being against growth. i AM growth. so i can't say too much, except that i'm dead serious about getting the hell out of here if i can't act in a way that puts me in a position of being able to talk unhypocritically about these things. that's why i want to do land planning out here - to learn about this environment and what the strains and pressure points are, and then how to develop this stuff with a conscience (imagine that!), or discourage development entirely.

i really think the desert is not a place that needs development, period. but it's going to continue, and the water is going to become scarcer (which needs to happen sooner than later, for the sake of the region), so someone needs to help guide the inevitable growth in the least damaging way - that's my rationale for being out here. but i really wish there weren't bazillions of people in southern arizona. period.

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:offtopic::thumbsup: Ok so we are a little off of Flagstaff here boys. I reccomend an independent thread about Tucson and it's water table. And it's growth concerns in general. But I think it should be started by someone from Tucson. Because Matthew knows very little about it.

Let's talk about Flagstaff. Does it have anything that would be remotely considered a metropolitan area?

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Good call, Matt... Ben made some awesome comments, so I'll start a general Tucson thread.

What do you think are the chances that Flagstaff is going to work its way into becoming Arizona's Boulder in the next 20 years? Rising land costs, anti-development sentiment and an extremely liberal population foster that kind of community. I like the way Flag is now, but there's no way it will stay that way forever.

I think the interstate junction actually keeps it down to earth somewhat, and that's certainly something Boulder doesn't have.

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Boulder in Flagstaff, I highly doubt it. I have done some work with the Greater Flagstaff Economic Council and they and the City are constantly pointing at Boulder, Portland, etc. as how they see future Flag. However, I don't see it b/c:

1. Land locked by Federal and Indian Lands, coupled with;

2. Anti-growth sentiment especially when dealing with height and density;

3. High, high cost of living;

4. Lack of political will to "lure" higher paying employers;

No, I think Flag will consistently reinvent itself as what it is; a great mountain/college town within striking distance of a major metro area. Those who have found a comfortable way to live and work reap the benefits of a clean, small, active Arizona town!

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1. Land locked by Federal and Indian Lands, coupled with;

2. Anti-growth sentiment especially when dealing with height and density;

3. High, high cost of living;

4. Lack of political will to "lure" higher paying employers;

But haven't you just described Boulder right there??

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I visited Flagstaff last year. I'd always heard good things about it. Seems like a great place to visit but maybe not as great as a place to live. It did seem like a place that would be hard to find much of a job. Much about the city reminded me a bit of my home city Fayetteville. I've even heard people compare the two. But it seems Flagstaff doesn't have the advantage of a big university like Fayetteville does. I suppose building up the university there might be one of the best things to try. I imagine it could work it's way up as remaining just as a tourist city. But I don't think I'd recommend that route. If I were going to live in AZ I think I'd pick Flagstaff because of the climate. I think it would be just too hot for me in most of the other areas. :D

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I visited Flagstaff last year. I'd always heard good things about it. Seems like a great place to visit but maybe not as great as a place to live. It did seem like a place that would be hard to find much of a job. Much about the city reminded me a bit of my home city Fayetteville. I've even heard people compare the two. But it seems Flagstaff doesn't have the advantage of a big university like Fayetteville does. I suppose building up the university there might be one of the best things to try. I imagine it could work it's way up as remaining just as a tourist city. But I don't think I'd recommend that route. If I were going to live in AZ I think I'd pick Flagstaff because of the climate. I think it would be just too hot for me in most of the other areas. :D

Interesting thread. I just moved from Flagstaff to Providence, RI after living in Flag for 7 years.

My wife and I lived in Chicago before that (I'm originally from Boston), and during the Internet boom/bubble, there were a lot of unrealistic ideas going around, among which was that the Internet was Changing Everything

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