Quarter horse association endorses Scottsdale bonds, community leaders join campaign

The Arizona Quarter Horse Association hosts the Arizona Fall Championship at WestWorld in September and the Arizona Sun Circuit Quarter Horse Show in February and March. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

The Arizona Quarter Horse Association has announced it is strongly supporting the trio of Scottsdale bond measures on the November 2019 ballot.

The Arizona Quarter Horse Association has endorsed all three bonds — Questions 1, 2 and 3 — with a particular emphasis on Question 2, and AZQHA CEO Doug Huls will join the bond campaign’s Steering Committee.

The For The Best Scottsdale Campaign’s Steering Committee is comprised of a diverse group of neighborhood, civic, tourism, arts and economic development advocates from all parts of Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and City Council members Suzanne Klapp, Solange Whitehead and Linda Milhaven have also joined the For The Best Scottsdale Campaign: Vote Yes on Questions 1, 2 and 3 as honorary campaign co-chairs, according to a press release.

The Scottsdale City Council supports the bonds and their investments in public safety, infrastructure repairs and senior services.

“We recognize how important the bond questions are for Scottsdale’s quality of life and economic vitality. That includes improvements and much needed renovations at WestWorld, an important economic and tourism engine for Scottsdale,” Mr. Huls said in a prepared statement.

“WestWorld is known worldwide for its equestrian and other events. Improvements in the bonds are important for maintaining and enhancing Scottsdale’s reputation as a world-class equestrian hub with substantial tourism benefits.”

The Arizona Quarter Horse Association hosts the Arizona Fall Championship at WestWorld in September and the Arizona Sun Circuit Quarter Horse Show in February and March.

They are among the largest events at WestWorld along with the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction and Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. The Arizona Quarter Horse Association has 480 members, the press release stated.

WestWorld hosts as many as 160 events annually with more than 911,000 visitors and attendees.

An overview of WestWorld Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, that articulates the wide open spaces at the tourism event hub. (Photo courtesy of the city of Scottsdale)

Question 2 in the bond measures has much needed and overdue renovations and modernizations for WestWorld. Horse barns will be renovated. Restrooms will be expanded and renovated. Arena lights and the public address system will be modernized.

WestWorld’s Arena will be renovated to provide more flexible event space. Permanent lights will be installed in the parking lot and 94th Street will be widened to improve access.

WestWorld hosts youth sports tournaments, RV and home shows, children’s and culinary events, The Junk in the Trunk Vintage show, dog shows and community events such as Scottsdale’s 4th of July Celebration. It also hosts other equestrian events.

Investments from the bonds will help WestWorld host its existing roster of events and attract new events and more tourists and tax revenue to Scottsdale.

“WestWorld is an economic engine and community asset that helps Scottsdale’s tourism, economic development and quality of life. The bonds are essential for its future,” Mr. Huls said.

The Arizona Quarter Horse Association joins a diverse roster of bond supporters. The Scottsdale Fire Fighters Association, Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, Police Officers of Scottsdale Association, Scottsdale Charros, The Thunderbirds and Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce have also endorsed the bonds.

The 386-acre WestWorld property is both a park and events center in Scottsdale’s geographic center. The land where WestWorld is located is owned by the federal government. The city of Scottsdale manages the property and events center and is responsible for its operations and capital improvements.

The three bond questions also build new parks and recreation facilities, expand senior centers, repair infrastructure at Civic Center Plaza and at the far southern end of Indian Bend Wash, build new and renovate existing police and fire stations and modernizes the city jail.

The bonds invest $319 million in 58 projects in all parts of the community. Scottsdale voters have not approved a major bond program since 2000.

Andrea Alley

“The Arizona Quarter Horse Association is a leading equestrian group in the state and has always been community focused. We welcome their support and the endorsement shows the breadth of backing for all three bond measures. Doug Huls will be an important part of our campaign leadership,” said Andrea Alley, co-chair of the For The Best Scottsdale campaign.

Additional honorary campaign co-chairs and Steering Committee members have joined the campaign.

Current Scottsdale City Council members Guy Phillips and Virginia Korte, former Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross and former City Councilman Robert Pettycrew have joined the For The Best Scottsdale Campaign: Vote Yes on Questions 1, 2 and 3 as honorary campaign co-chairs.

Prominent business and civic leader Paul Messinger already serves as an honorary campaign co-chair. Ms. Manross and Mr. Pettycrew served as mayor and on the Scottsdale City Council in 2000. That was the last time Scottsdale voters approved a major bond program.

The For The Best Scottsdale Campaign’s Steering Committee has also added new members from all parts of the community as support builds for the bonds.

Vernon Parker, a Scottsdale resident who was previously mayor of Paradise Valley, has joined the Steering Committee.

Vernon Parker

“The bonds are important investments for all parts of our community. They benefit neighborhoods and will make overdue infrastructure repairs and upgrades,” said Mr. Parker in a prepared statement.

Police Officers of Scottsdale Association President Damien Mendoza, Scottsdale Planning Commissioner Larry Kush, civic leaders Barry Graham and Jon Ryder and Scottsdale Arts President and CEO Gerd Wuestemann, have also joined the Scottsdale bond campaign’s Steering Committee.

“The bonds fund projects that are important to Scottsdale’s quality of life and building a better and safer Scottsdale now and for the future. We strongly believe this infrastructure package will benefit neighborhoods and economic vitality throughout Scottsdale,” Dr. Wuestemann said.

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