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Phoenix Facts

Welcome to Phoenix! Find information below about our city, including history, climate, and the tourism industry.

General City Information

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City of Phoenix 

  • Incorporation: 1881 

  • Population (city proper): 1.64 million (2022 Census estimate) 

  • Population rank (city proper): Fifth in the United States 

  • Median age of resident: 35.1

  • Area: About 500 square miles 

  • Elevation: About 1,100 feet 

  • Temperature: 75 degrees Fahrenheit year-round average. Visit our weather page for monthly averages.

  • Rainfall: 7.22 inches of annual average 

  • Hotel inventory (city proper): 166 hotel and resort properties with over 27,000 hotel rooms for visitors, as of January 2024.


Greater Phoenix (Phoenix & Central Region) 

  • Regional population: 5  million (10th most populated metro area in the U.S., according to 2022 U.S. Census Bureau). 

  • Greater Phoenix hotel inventory: More than 70,000 guest rooms at over 540 hotels, and 40 full-service resort properties.

  • Area: About 2,000 square miles 

  • Maricopa County — where Greater Phoenix is located — covers 9,224 square miles.

  • Greater Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, which is one of the wettest and greenest deserts in North America, thanks to between 3 and 15 inches of annual rainfall.


Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport 

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, dubbed America's Friendliest Airport, is the main airport for the Greater Phoenix area. It served more than 48 million passengers in 2023 and offers direct service to more than 120 domestic and international destinations, making it one of the busiest airports in the nation. With about 1,200 daily flights, Sky Harbor is also one of the most convenient airports.

  • Sky Harbor is a hub for two major carriers (American Airlines and Southwest Airlines).

  • More than 48.8 million people traveled through Sky Harbor in 2023. 
  • Sky Harbor has a $38 billion annual economic impact.

  • Sky Harbor was purchased by the City of Phoenix in July of 1935 for $100,000. The City paid $35,300 in cash and took out a $64,700 mortgage.

  • Sky Harbor's size: 3,400 acres.

  • Check out Sky Harbor’s website for information about security, flights, accessibility and the PHX Sky Train, or visit the airport's statistics page for information on passenger counts and flight operations.


General Facts 

  • Greater Phoenix is home to more than 160 golf clubs that offer more than 185 different golf courses.

  • Greater Phoenix consistently ranks among the nation’s top cities in the number of Five Diamond and Four Diamond and Five Star and Four Star hotels and resorts.

  • There are six lakes within a 75-minute drive of downtown Phoenix.

  • Phoenix is home to one of the largest municipal parks in North America. South Mountain Park and Preserve covers more than 16,000 acres and has more than 50 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails.

  • Greater Phoenix is the corporate headquarters of ten Fortune 500 companies: Avnet, Carvana, Freeport-McMoRan, Insight Enterprises, Knight-Swift Transportation, On Semiconductor, Opendoor Technologies, Reliance Steel & Aluminum, Republic Services, and Taylor Morrison Homes. (2023)

  • Phoenix has museums to suit nearly every taste. The Heard Museum (American Indian); Desert Botanical Garden (the world's largest collection of desert plants); Taliesin West (UNESCO World Heritage Site); the Phoenix Art Museum (the Southwest's largest art museum); the Arizona Science Center; the Hall of Flame (the world's largest collection of fire-fighting equipment); Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park (Hohokam) and the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) are among the cultural hot spots.

  • The Heard Museum has an extensive collection of American Indian artifacts, including the largest kachina doll collection (donated in part by the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater) of any museum in the country.


Climate Information 

  • Phoenix has an average annual rainfall of 7.22 inches, an average temperature of 75.05 degrees and an annual high temperature of 86.7 degrees. The average high temperature in winter is 68 degrees.

  • According to data compiled by the National Climatic Data Center, Phoenix basks in sunshine more often than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S. The sun shines on Phoenix during 85 percent of its daylight hours.


Historical Information 

  • The settlement that would become Phoenix was built on the banks of the Salt River in the early 1860s.

  • According to legend, Phoenix gets its name from one of the city’s first settlers: Cambridge-educated pioneer Darrell Duppa predicted that a great city would arise from the ancient Hohokam ruins like the legendary phoenix bird that was said to have risen from its own ashes.

  • Arizona is home to 22 sovereign American Indian tribes.

  • Phoenix’s earliest inhabitants were the Hohokam Indians. This tribe thrived in the region until about 1450 A.D. There is no record of the Hohokam after that, although they are believed to be ancestors of the Pima Indians. In the Pima language “hohokam” means “those who have gone.” 

  • The city of Phoenix officially was recognized on May 4, 1868, when the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors formed an election precinct there.

  • Statehood was celebrated on Feb. 14, 1912, and George W. P. Hunt was elected Arizona’s first governor.


Visitor Industry Information

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Phoenix Visitor Impact 

  • 19.5 million people visited Phoenix in 2022, including overnight and day trip visitors and one million international visitors. 

  • Estimated direct spending by these visitors in the city exceeded $4.4 billion.  

  • When considering indirect and induced spending, total economic impact from visitors to Phoenix in 2022  was more than $7.5 billion. 

  • Visitor spending impacted nearly 53,000 jobs in Phoenix in 2022. 

  • Total estimated state and local taxes generated through direct, indirect and induced impacts from Phoenix visitors was more than $626 million in 2022. 

Source: Tourism Economics 


Phoenix Visitor Profile 

  • Average Phoenix visitor age: 46.3 years old 

  • Median household income: $79,000 

  • Average number of overnights spent in Phoenix: 3.5 

  • Average travel party size: 2.6 persons 

  • The top five activities participated in by Phoenix overnight visitors: Shopping, sightseeing, visiting a landmark/historical site, going to a bar/nightclub, attending a celebration.

Source: Longwoods International  (2021 Visitor Profile)


Greater Phoenix Visitor Impact (Phoenix-Central Region) 

  • Estimated direct spending by visitors in the region exceeded $15 billion in 2022.

  • Visitor spending impacted more than 104,800 jobs in the region in 2022.  

  • Total estimated state and local taxes generated through direct, indirect and induced impacts from Greater Phoenix area visitors was over $1.6 billion.  

Source: Arizona Office of Tourism/Dean Runyan Associates 


Greater Phoenix Visitor Profile (Phoenix-Central Region) 

  • Average nights spent in region: 3.4 

  • Average Phoenix visitor age: 46.3 years old 

  • Average travel party size: 2.8 persons 

Source: Arizona Office of Tourism/Longwoods International


Bed Tax Information 

  • The "checkout" tax rate in the City of Phoenix is 12.57% and is broken down as follows: 

  • 5.50% State of Arizona 

  • 5.30% City of Phoenix 

  • 1.77% Maricopa County 


Sports Information

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  • Phoenix has three major professional sports leagues: Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), and Arizona Cardinals (NFL). In addition, Phoenix is also the home of the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA), Phoenix Rising FC (USL), and the Arizona Rattlers (IFL).  

  • Greater Phoenix hosted Super Bowl XXX on Jan. 28, 1996, Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008 and Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015. Phoenix once again hosted the big game in 2023, with Super Bowl LVII played on February 12, 2023.

  • Footprint Center, home to the Suns and Mercury, hosted three championship games in both the 2021 and 1993 NBA Finals. The Mercury hosted WNBA Finals games in 1998, 2007, 2009, and 2021. The NBA's 1995 and 2009 All-Star Games and the WNBA's 2000 and 2014 All-Star Games were also played at the arena. In July 2024, the Mercury will again host the WNBA All-Star Game.

  • 15 Major League Baseball teams play a combine total of more than 200 spring training games at 10 stadiums in the Cactus League, which drew a staggering 1.6 million fans in 2023.

  • Greater Phoenix is currently home to 15 Cactus League franchises: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Guardians, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. 

  • State Farm Stadium, home of Super Bowls XLII, XLIX and LVII, features both a retractable fabric roof and a roll-out grass field. 

  • State Farm Stadium hosted the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and again in 2024. The stadium also hosted the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. 

  • Greater Phoenix is home to college football’s Fiesta Bowl and Guaranteed Rate Bowl. The 2007 and 2011 BCS National Championship games were played at State Farm Stadium. The stadium also hosted the 2016 College Football Playoff. In addition, Greater Phoenix hosted NFL's Pro Bowl in 2015. 

  • The WM Phoenix Open, played each February at the TPC Scottsdale, is the best-attended event on the PGA Tour, averaging more than 700,000 spectators. 

  • Phoenix Raceway plays host to two NASCAR events each racing season. 


Resort Facts

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  • The historic Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort has hosted every U.S. president from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, and, ironically, Irving Berlin wrote “White Christmas” while sunbathing next to one of the resort’s pools. 

  • The Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale, a Curio Collection by Hilton, offers its guests rock-climbing clinics and nature-photography instruction amid the 12 billion-year-old boulders after which the resort is named. 

  • Fairmont Scottsdale Princess annually plays host to the WM Phoenix Open, the best-attended event on the PGA Tour. 

  • A professional astronomer leads complimentary stargazing talks under the Sonoran Desert sky weekly at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. 

  • The Hermosa Inn is the former guest ranch and studio of cowboy artist Alonzo “Lon” Megargee, whose painting “The Last Drop From His Stetson” adorns the inside of the Stetson Company’s premium cowboy hats. 

  • The Hotel Valley Ho hosted the private wedding reception of Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood in 1957. 

  • Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass employs a Cultural Concierge who is available to educate guests about the history and traditions of Pima and Maricopa tribes. 


Food Facts

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  • Chris Bianco brings exquisite Italian flavor to Phoenix with his locally and nationally cherished restaurant, Pizzeria Bianco. Born in the Bronx, Chef Bianco began his culinary career by working in a pizzeria at 13 years old. He has since been named the Best Chef in the Southwest (2003) and Outstanding Restauranteur (2022) by the James Beard Foundation. Bianco also oversees restaurants Tratto and Pane Bianco.

  • Phoenix’s own Vincent Guerithault is a master of Southwestern cuisine. Famous for applying his classic French technique to the indigenous ingredients of the Southwest, Vincent was named the Best Chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in 1993. Vincent was the first chef ever to receive a Citation of Excellence from the International Food & Wine Society. Guerithault’s restaurant, Vincent on Camelback, is a Phoenix favorite. 

  • Beau MacMillan, the former Executive Chef of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain and its signature restaurant, elements, is a Food Network star who also has served as the personal chef for Wayne Gretzky and cooked for international rock group U2. He is the culinary advisor of Cala at the Senna House Hotel in Scottsdale

  • Phoenix chefs have been nominated and been awarded James Beard Awards from 1992 to 2023: 

  • Best Chef: Southwest 

  • Vincent Guerithault of Vincent on Camelback (1992 Nominee, 1993 Winner, 2000 Nominee) 

  • Christopher Gross of Christopher’s (1993 Nominee, 1994 Nominee, 1995 Winner) 

  • Roxsand Scocos of RoxSand (1995 Nominee, 1996 Nominee, 1997 Nominee, 1998 Nominee, 1999 Winner) 

  • Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco (2000 Nominee, 2003 Winner) 

  • Mark Tarbell of Tarbell’s (2001 Nominee) 

  • Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Café (2010 Semifinalist, 2011 Semifinalist, 2012 Semifinalist, 2014 Semifinalist, 2017 Semifinalist, 2018 Semifinalist, 2019 Semifinalist) 

  • Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s Restaurant (2018 Semifinalist, 2019 Semifinalist) 

  • Charleen Badman of FnB (2019 Winner) 

  • Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House (2020 Semifinalist)
  • Danielle Lynn Leoni of Breadfruit & Rum Bar (2020 Semifinalist)
  • Stephen M Jones of the Larder + the Delta (2020 Semifinalist)
  • Samantha Sanz of Talavera Restaurant (2020 Semifinalist)
  • Ryan Swanson of Kai (2020 Semifinalist)
  • Lori Hashimoto of Hana Japanese Eatery (2022 Semifinalist)
  • Yotaka Martin of Lom Wong (2023 Semifinalist)
  • Roberto Centeno of Bacanora (2023 Semifinalist)
  • Derek Christensen of Bacanora (2023 Semifinalist)
  • Rene Andrade Jr of Bacanora (2023 Semifinalist)
  • Alex Brennan-Martin of Lom Wong (2023 Semifinalist)


Other Resources

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