Downtown Scottsdale continues to impress, emerge as an economic engine

During the 20 years my wife and I have resided in Scottsdale, we have lived in three different areas of the city: north, central and downtown.

Wayne Ecton

Wayne Ecton

When I served on the city council, I participated in the meetings and events of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. That experience provided me with the opportunity to learn how other cities and towns were working to attract businesses and tourists to build their economies.

Those conversations also gave me an up-close look at which techniques were succeeding and which ones were failing. And why. I immediately found that many communities envied the success of Scottsdale. Those who were representing places all across the country said Scottsdale was doing things the right way.

A case in point is our evolving downtown area. While many cities struggle to rejuvenate their downtowns, Scottsdale’s is attracting new businesses, restaurants and residences. When we lived downtown near Main Street and Goldwater Boulevard, we were able to walk to shops, galleries and restaurants. It was not only great exercise, we were able to become part of the energy that the downtown area is generating.

The face of downtown is changing, literally. Young people are not only visiting downtown, many are moving there. The millennial generation is seeking a more urban lifestyle. They want to be able to walk or bike places — and our downtown provides it.

Our evolving downtown is becoming a major employment center as well.

The strides that downtown Scottsdale is making are significant. Many people and organizations, too numerous to mention, are contributing to making the area come alive with activity. But I think they would all agree that there’s much more to done. We can’t rest on our laurels.

The vitality of our downtown depends on business owners, property owners and our downtown residents working together — because I think we’re just getting started to make sure the success of our downtown is sustainable.

Editor’s note: Mr. Ecton was a two-term member of the Scottsdale City Council and is a member of the Downtown Scottsdale Economic Vitality Coalition.

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