A healthy dose of good news never hurt anybody, especially when the subject is economic development.

Councilmember Patti Comerford, our Economic Development Manager Curt Woody and I saw plenty of optimism during the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development earlier this month in Flagstaff. The tone of the conference was more positive than I’ve seen in years. Conditions are improving and people are starting to invest in Arizona again. Our local and state governments must continue seizing this opportunity for beneficial and responsible growth by developing policies that are business-friendly.

A stronger economy is good news for us in Marana since we are perfectly situated in the Sun Corridor between Tucson and Phoenix. Our area is a prime location for business and industry to set up and be successful. That applies to more than just our community.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and successful businessman Fletcher McCusker say things are looking up there. They gave conference attendees an update on some of the more interesting things going on in Downtown Tucson, including major renovations at the convention center and plans for a new hotel. Exciting new restaurants and bars have been steadily opening downtown over the past few years and more people are moving and spending time there.

The University of Arizona campus is buzzing with activity. New, modern housing is under construction and opening as the student population continues growing.

Good news for Tucson means good news for all of Southern Arizona. Marana can only be successful if our friends in Tucson, unincorporated Pima County, Oro Valley and Sahuarita continue thriving.

We also want to do our part in helping make Southern Arizona the best possible place to live and work. Our plans for a revitalized downtown and a Heritage River Park that celebrates our rich history will draw people from across the region. Our staff develops and our council passes policies and procedures that encourage the development and expansion of commerce.

Our infrastructure is sound. Our community is clean, safe and healthy. We planned for a bright future even during the economic downturn. There are many reasons why our development services team is as busy as ever and why we’re excited about the future.

Things are looking up locally and across the state. Gov. Brewer, elected officials, economic development professionals and representatives from the private sector shared the same message during the conference. Opportunities for economic expansion are everywhere and Marana is ready to capitalize.

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