Even casual readers of the Arizona Republic should recognize the byline of Peter Corbett, who covered real estate and development out of the Scottsdale Republic offices in the Airpark for a decade before being transferred to the media outlet’s headquarters in downtown Phoenix a year ago to focus on the business beat.
But Corbett—whose resume includes several years at the Scottsdale Progress newspaper—not only reported on North Scottsdale, he’s a 20-year resident of an Airpark neighborhood southeast of WestWorld. Corbett and his wife, Taffy, wanted to raise their two children in the Scottsdale Horizon neighborhood because they liked the McDowell Mountain views and the new parks and schools. Fast forward 20 years, and their daughter, Kelly, an Arizona State University graduate, shares an Tempe apartment with her brother, Austin, who is in his second year at Scottsdale Community College.
Taffy has had her graphic design business for 23 years, working with companies in the Airpark and elsewhere. She also designs the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s Mountain Lines quarterly magazine and is a Preserve steward. Local readers of today’s Arizona Republic, may see Peter Corbett’s byline on stories involving Airpark tech companies or retail coverage.
Gannett, the Republic parent company, uses the former Scottsdale Republic office on Raintree Drive for social media marketing.
“I’m proud of the work we do at the Republic,” Corbett says. “In mid-April, the Republic was recognized by the Pulitzer committee as a ‘Breaking News’ finalist for our coverage of the Yarnell Hill Fire. I was a part of a large team that covered the deadly wildfire.”
When Corbett and his wife aren’t working, they are playing tennis, hiking, kayaking or taking Southwest road trips.
So without further ado, Peter Corbett tells us why “You might be an Airparker if …”
• You remember running in the Greyhound Corporate Challenge that started and ended at what is now the Scottsdale Quarter.
• You spent too much time in some of the bars that have come and gone, including Downside Risk, Jilly’s, Barcelona and Marco Polo, which a friend dubbed the Wrinkle Room because of its mature crowd.
• You’re still waiting for Scottsdale to build that cool tunnel under the runways to unsnarl traffic jams during the evening rush hour.
• You parked with a college girlfriend in her Chevy Monte Carlo on the east side of the runway back when there were virtually no lights or buildings nearby and just a barbed-wire fence to secure the tarmac.
• You saw where Ted’s head is stored at Alcor. (That is, the cryogenically frozen head of baseball slugger Ted Williams, who has been in an Airpark warehouse freezer tank since July 2002.)
• You flew out of Scottsdale Airport on a DeHavilland Twin Otter aircraft for a scenic flight on Grand Canyon Airlines.
• You give a shout out to KFNN Money Radio, the 25-year-old station that is the voice of the Airpark.
• A fun afternoon with the kids included bumper boats, goofy golf and go-karts at Crackerjax.
• You get noise overload when the 20th supersonic military jet buzzes your neighborhood during the [now-defunct] Air Fair.
• You’ve visited all the potential locations in the Airpark considered for medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation warehouses.
• In a newspaper interview, you talked with Airpark booster Bill Arthur about the 1960s effort to create Scottsdale’s industrial park.
• You had a special parking pass during the Phoenix Open because golf fans were always trying to park in your office parking lot and leaving beer bottles in the bushes.
• You worked with and met a lot of great people while reporting the news out of two Arizona Republic offices in the Airpark.
• You’re a regular at the Ice Den’s Over Easy for breakfast; at Pita Jungle for lunch; and the Scottsdale Quarter’s Sol Cocina for its happy hour and tacos.
• You’ve noticed the traffic roundabout at Hayden Road and Northsight Boulevard is working better than you thought it would, but it’s disappointing the city isn’t yet moving forward with improvements to Raintree and Redfield Road. And in the meantime, the park-and-ride lot sits empty at Thunderbird and Scottsdale roads. Go figure.