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Flagstaff Economy Development

About Flagstaff

Flagstaff is located in northern Arizona, about 2000 meters above sea level, near the San Francisco Peaks mountain range and not far from the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff is known for three things: the famous observatory, the filming, and the surroundings' vibrant natural beauty. This is a wonderful city for those attracted by an unusual combination of desert landscapes, snow-capped mountains, craters and canyons, clean air and dark starry skies.

The first permanent settlement was established here in 1876, and over the past ten years, the town has grown to be the largest on the railroad line between Albuquerque and the west coast. The city grew rapidly thanks to the railway: by the end of the 19th century, about a hundred trains passed through it every day.

The small town stretches along the famous Route 66, and its compact downtown occupies only about five blocks in the western part of Flagstaff, near Mars Hill, where Lowell Observatory is located. The latter is a historical institute and is still an important center for astronomical research, which you can walk with an organized excursion. The excursion program includes the opportunity to look through the Clark 24-inch telescope and smaller telescopes.

Many years ago, the city's economic basis was the timber industry, the railway industry, and animal husbandry. Today these industries have been replaced by tourism, education, government and transportation. Significant employers in Flagstaff are Northern Arizona University and Flagstaff Medical Center. Tourism contributes to the economy as the city is visited by 5 million visitors every year.

Flagstaff pays great attention to the development of the scientific field. For the past 25 years, the Science Festival has been held in the city every September. This festival provides tourists and locals an opportunity to visit various presentations, museums, research centers, and much more.

The city is also home to the US Geological Survey, whose campus includes five research centers that focus on water issues, biology, western geography, astrogeology, geology, minerals, energy, and geophysics.

Employment Statistic

Below is a statistic on the employment of the population in various professions:

  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting – 1.1%
  • Mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction – 0.2%
  • Construction – 3.9%
  • Manufacturing – 6.9%
  • Wholesale trade – 1.1%
  • Retail trade – 13.6%
  • Transportation and warehousing – 2.8%
  • Utilities – 0.4%
  • Information – 1.2%
  • Finance and insurance – 1.8%
  • Educational services – 17%
  • Health care and social assistance – 12.3%
  • Accomodation and food services – 16.5%

Flagstaff is a wonderful city for those who don't like a large city's craziness but also don't want to be isolated in the country. The downtown area is very cute/unique with lots of great shops. There is a community feel to things that you don't get in a big city, but it is large enough to be anonymous if you want to be.