Story and Photos by Joan Fudala
To get you geared up for a season of houseguests, business events and experiences to share with family and friends, here are just a few of the changes that have taken place in the past 12 months in greater Scottsdale. Let’s support local businesses and events – new and existing – so they don’t end up in the “gone” category next year!
Restaurants/nightclubs: New York Bagels ‘N Bialys and Fellow Osteria at SkySong, Lou’s Bar & Grill at Papago Golf Course (honoring Lou Grubb), The Bubble Room, Starlite BBQ, Blue Clover Distillery and Restaurant, Selfmade at Hotel Adeline, Three Wisemen, Dorian, Riot House, Blind Dragon, Casa Amigos and Skylanes in downtown Scottsdale, Babbo Italian Eatery at The Pavilions, Sip Coffee and Beer Kitchen and Meatballz Inc. to Scottsdale/Shea area, Ahipoki Bowl on Shea, Blaze Pizza, Modern Market, Original Chop Shop, LemonShark Poke and Thai Chili 2 Go at The Promenade, Green Bin, Rubicon Deli and Lolo Patron Mexican Brewery and Kitchen in the Airpark area, Lou Malnati’s on Chauncey Lane, Bowlera and NCounter at Scottsdale 101, Liberty Station and Eggstasy at DC Ranch Marketplace, Parma Italian Roots at Grayhawk Plaza, PNPK at Silverstone, Raven Gastropub at La Mirada, Confluence in Carefree
Tourism, recreation & events: OdySea Voyager and Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs at the OdySea in the Desert complex; Paradise Ballroom at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
Retail and services: Apple store at Scottsdale Fashion Square, Can Monkey trash service, Ofo and LimeBike rentals and Bird electric scooter rentals, Sprouts at the Shops at Gainey Ranch, Airstream showroom on Hayden Road, V’s Barbershop at The Promenade, Organic Findings home store in the Airpark, Music & Arts at Scottsdale Fiesta
City of Scottsdale: New Aviation Business Center at Scottsdale Airport, including a privately-funded Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial featuring an authentic PT-17 Stearman aircraft on suspended static display and Volanti restaurant (center replaced the 1968-vintage SDL terminal building); new fire station on North Hayden Road in the Desert Foothills area; a street north of City Hall named in honor of architect Bennie Gonzales; Meg’s Café in the Civic Center Library; the late Mayor Herb Drinkwater’s 1928 vintage green truck is now on display at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park museum; new designation and logo for downtown Scottsdale: “Old Town Scottsdale”
Education and youth: Cloud Song Center, housing the Business School and Indigenous Cultural Center, opened at SCC; the Guenther/Curran Family Gymnasium and the Hilton Family Teen Center opened at the Thunderbirds Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale
Business: HonorHealth Medical Group opened a family medicine/primary care office in the Grayhawk Plaza shopping center; Acronis opened at The Quad; Hartford Insurance opened its new Western Regional Operations Facility in the Airpark area; Paradox opened in March; Turo car-sharing company; Cancer Treatment Centers of America Outpatient Care Center-Scottsdale on 90th Street; Times Media Group brought back the Scottsdale Progress as a weekly newspaper (Sundays); Carvana’s car “vending machine,” in Tempe
Faces in new places: Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce president/CEO is Mark Stanton; Interim SUSD Superintendent is Dr. John Kriekard; Kira Peters is Director of the Scottsdale Public Library System; Justin Owen is McDowell Sonoran Conservancy executive director; Gerd Wuesteman is president/CEO of Scottsdale Arts; Christina Haines is president of Scottsdale Community College; retired U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl was appointed to fill in for the late Sen. John McCain; Mary Jane Rynd is president/CEO of the Piper Trust
August-November elections (city, state, U.S. Congress): Kyrsten Sinema replaces Jeff Flake as U.S. senator representing Arizona; Solange Whitehead will be sworn into the Scottsdale City Council in January; Kathy Littlefield and Linda Milhaven were re-elected. Question 1 (to raise Scottsdale’s sales tax to fund road and transportation improvements) and Prop 420 (to amend the city charter regarding future development within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve) both passed. Patty Beckman and Jann-Michael Greenburg were elected to the Scottsdale Unified School District board. In September, Martin Harvier was elected president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Ginny Dickey is the mayor-elect of Fountain Hills.
Residential/commercial developments: LivGenerations Pinnacle Peak luxury senior living; Seven at Desert Mountain
Arts and culture: New Scottsdale Public Art includes glass installations at the new Aviation Business Center at Scottsdale Airport and One-Eyed Jack sculpture on Marshall Way
Restaurants: Butters moved from one site to another within Mercado Del Lago/McCormick Ranch; Crust pizzeria moved from Indian Bend to Mercado Del Lago; The Herb Box moved from Southbridge to the corner of Fifth Avenue & Marshall Way; Café Monarch moved across First Avenue into larger space.
Tourism: Remodeled bungalows at Smoketree Resort; major redo of The Phoenician Resort, its spa and J&G Steakhouse; the Carefree Resort & Conference Center has been renewed and debuted as CIVANA Carefree, a wellness spa resort that debuted its Café Meto; a former Days Inn on Scottsdale Road is now the Hotel Adeline; the Sanctuary Spa at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain has been renovated; Royal Palms Resort & Spa has been renovated; The Scott Resort has been updated; Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North has completed a redo; The Phoenician, Starfire and Troon North-Pinnacle golf courses have been updated.
Retail and services: The former Barneys New York site on the east side of Scottsdale Fashion Square will open as co-working space Industrious.
Education: After a fire in August, Navajo Elementary School closed for extensive repairs; Hopi Elementary School was rebuilt; Pima Traditional School is being renovated; The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has renamed its research arm the Parsons Field Institute in honor of a grant provided by the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.
City of Scottsdale: The LOVE sculpture moved to a site between the Civic Center Library and City Hall; a section of Drinkwater Boulevard and an eastern part of Civic Center Mall are temporarily closed for repairs; the city and its Scottsdale Fire Department awarded Maricopa Ambulance a three-year contract for ambulance transportation.
Other: University of Phoenix Stadium is now State Farm Stadium (home of the Arizona Cardinals); Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona is expanding its Scottsdale facilities and capabilities for youth; United Blood Services is now Vitalant.
Restaurants/nightclubs: Sassi at Pinnacle Peak; Wildfish Seafood Grille at the Scottsdale Waterfront; Cowboy Ciao on Stetson Drive; Kazimierz World Wine Bar; Market Street Kitchen at DC Ranch; Papago Brewing Co. taproom at Papago Plaza; Corner Bakery and Zen Culinary in the Airpark
Retail: Earnhart Scottsdale Mazda on Hayden Road; Toys R Us at The Pavilions and on Mayo Boulevard; Sam’s Club in Northsight
Structures razed for site redevelopment: Scottsdale Resort and Athletic Club; car wash on Indian School Road; gas station and Jack-in-the-Box on northeast corner of Indian School and Hayden roads; former location of Arizona School of Real Estate and Business on Marshall Way (pending)
Moved on to other places: Denise Birdwell left as SUSD superintendent; Mark Hiegel left as Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce president/CEO for a banking industry position; Dr. Jan Gehler retired as SCC president; David Smith will be leaving the Scottsdale City Council in January; Danielle Casey left as the city’s Economic Development director for a similar position in Sacramento.
Sadly, we’ve lost: Banking executive Richard Houseworth; civic leader Bill Mack; Discount Tire founder Bruce Halle; developer Fred Unger; civic leader David C. Lincoln; civic leader Wink Blair; publishers Hoyt Johnson (Scottsdale Scene) and Karen Wittmer Jekel (Tribune Newspapers); Arizona Republic theater critic Lyle Lawson; former Scottsdale Police Chief Fred Collins; former city public works director Marc Stragier (father of the nation’s first mechanized garbage truck, “Godzilla”); photographer Jerry Jacka; Frank Lloyd Wright scholar Bruce Brooks Pfeifer; former Scottsdale Councilman John Pickrell; business executive Loren McFarland; historian Bill Phillips; retired Bishop Thomas O’Brien; retired high school teacher/principal Evelyn Caskey; retired Saguaro teacher Lois Fitch; Senator John McCain; accounting firm co-founder Gail Horne
Other: The Maricopa Community College District eliminated its football program at the end of the 2018 season (including the Scottsdale Community College Artichokes team).
Tourism: Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley to open in 2019; eight new hotels are planned for downtown and southern Scottsdale, including a six-story hotel at the Don & Charlie’s site on Camelback Road, The Edition at Waterview, Winfield Hotel, Southbridge Hotel, Canopy, Museum Square, Papago Plaza, and Element at SkySong; a Fairfield Marriott is planned for DC Ranch Crossings; a Parada del Sol museum in downtown Scottsdale; Great Wolf Lodge and Salt River Hotel at The Block on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; a Country Inn Hotel to Thomas Road
Sports: A seventh golf course at Desert Mountain; ASU will host the NCAA golf championships at Grayhawk Golf Course in 2020; the Super Bowl returns to the Valley in 2023; the NCAA will bring its Final Four men’s basketball championship back to the Valley in 2024; in 2021, the San Francisco Giants will begin using a field at 64th Street and McDowell Road for non-game spring training workouts (games will continue to be played at a renovated Scottsdale Stadium).
Restaurants: Porter’s Tavern to Brown Avenue; Maple & Ash to Scottsdale Waterfront; Nobu to Scottsdale Fashion Square; Ocean 44 to the former Harkins Camelview site on Goldwater Boulevard; White Castle, Texas Roadhouse and Starbucks to The Block at Pima Center; Starbucks to Mountain View/Hayden Center; Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament to Talking Stick Entertainment District
Retail: Updates to Papago Plaza; At Home décor retailer to Northsight; Palmeraie office and retail complex will be adjacent to the planned Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley
Business: Mayo Clinic plans to nearly double the size of its Phoenix/Scottsdale campus at Mayo Boulevard and 56th Street; Airobotics drone company plans to open in the Airpark; a fifth office building is underway at SkySong.
Developments: Museum Square is planned for Marshall Way and Second Street; Revel Scottsdale senior community on the former site of Scottsdale Resort and Athletic Club; Nationwide to a site south of Grayhawk named Cavasson; YAM Circle (Hayden/Northsight in Airpark); a residential health care facility will replace the former location of Le Cordon Bleu/Villa Monterey Golf Club on Camelback Road.
City of Scottsdale: Major renovations coming for Scottsdale Stadium; Raintree Drive extension and traffic roundabout with public art; a new McDowell Sonoran Preserve trailhead at Pima and Dynamite roads with an amphitheater named in honor of Preserve leader Dr. Arthur W. DeCabooter; plans to renovate Scottsdale Civic Center Mall; a citizen-initiated memorial to Scottsdale’s fallen members of the armed forces to the grounds of City Hall; the Scottsdale Heritage Connection, a new space in Scottsdale Civic Center Library for local history research and browsing, will premiere in the spring; new fire station in McCormick Ranch area
A few 2019 milestones: 140th anniversary of the establishment of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (1879); 80th anniversary of Desert Botanical Garden (1939); 75th anniversary of the “G.I. Bill;” 50th anniversary of Alamos Mexico as Scottsdale’s first official Sister City (1969); 50th anniversary of Scottsdale Community College (1969-70 school year); 25th anniversary of establishment of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (1994); 20th anniversary of SMoCA (Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art – 1999).