Just two weeks into the New Year, Prescott has already landed on two lists of top communities in the U.S.
Two separate lists – one for must-see cities for 2019, and another for the best-performing small cities in the nation – have featured Prescott among their early-2019 choices.
For the second time in two years, travel company Expedia has included Prescott among its “Cities that must be seen.” This year’s list included 19 cities for 2019, while last year’s list included 18 for 2018.
“Making the list for the second year in a row, Prescott appeals to the get-away-from-it-all traveler in us,” the Expedia list states. “If you’ve noticed that some of your favorite outdoor destinations have been a bit crowded of late, this area has extra appeal.”
Lily Rogers, the travel writer who authored the Expedia feature, said Prescott was the only community to repeat on the 2019 list. “We wanted to feature it again because it has an enticing blend of nearby outdoor pursuits, annual events like the Prescott Jazz Summit, and other arts and culture points of interest,” she said.
In addition, Rogers said, “This year, we were really interested in places that offered unique perspectives on America – old or new – and spots like the Phippen Museum of Western Art fit that perfectly.”
The Expedia list notes that visitors can choose from more than 450 miles of trails, as well as kayaking, mountain climbing, and biking opportunities.
It adds: “In the downtown historic area, get acquainted with the past in old-style bars, including the Palace, Arizona’s oldest saloon.” The list also mentions the Grand Highland Hotel on Whiskey Row, and the Barley Hound gastropub on Cortez Street.
Prescott appears along with 18 other U.S. communities that range from large cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Chicago, to smaller towns like Bisbee and Tusayan, Arizona; Laramie, Wyoming; Peachtree City, Georgia; and Williamsburg, Virginia.
Expedia explains its choices as those that are “celebrating fresh starts and past accomplishments this year, and because they embody the assorted cultures and landscapes that define the best of this country.”
The entire list is available online at: https://viewfinder.expedia.com/features/cities-that-must-be-seen-this-year/.
Prescott also made a repeat appearance on the Milken Institute’s list of “best performing small cities,” – moving up seven spots this year (based on a survey that was done in 2017-2018).
While Prescott had the number-33 spot in the 2016-2017 survey, this year’s list places the community at number 26 out of 201 small U.S. cities.
Milken’s report states, “Health care, tourism, manufacturing, high-tech sectors, and all things housing-related elements set the top performers apart in this year’s Small Cities ranking.”
Most notable for Prescott, according to a news release from the city, was Prescott’s “significant job growth, which was a strong factor in the new ranking.”
“We are very pleased with this ranking, and the fact that Prescott is climbing on the list every year,” Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli said. “Our strong housing market, combined with gains in health care and light manufacturing have all played a part.”
Prescott was among three small cities in Arizona to make the top 100. Lake Havasu City-Kingman was ranked at number 59, while Flagstaff came in at number 71.
The top five small U.S. cities were: Bend-Redmond, Oregon; St. George, Utah; Gainesville, Georgia; San Rafael, California; and Wenatchee, Washington.
The city news release cites Prescott accomplishments such as: the arrival of the U.S. headquarters of Eviation, an Israeli-based company that hopes to build all electric community aircraft; partnerships with local colleges Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Yavapai College, and Prescott College in the continued attraction of high-tech industries; and the establishment of daily commercial air service to Los Angeles and Denver on United Express, operated by SkyWest Airlines.
The Milken Institute’s website describes the organization as “a non-profit think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs, and improve health.”