BANNED in 49 states...
Joined: Aug 2009, #21108
Location: Valley of the Sun
Weather: Usually 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Summer highs in the upper 80’s, winter highs can be in the 20’s at times. We used to get a lot more snow but are in a drought. About 300 days of sunshine per year. July and August afternoon monsoons.
Schools: Good elementary but squeezed in the middle schools. High schools are average. FUSD does promote the academics AND the arts so the schools here are better than many that are going back to basics with dropping arts and PE. FUSD makes it a point to keep PE and arts. NAU has excellent forestry, teachers and dental programs.
Commute: Early morning, after school and evening rush hours can be crowded but the rest of the day and weekends the streets are remarkably uncrowded. Flagstaff is only about 11 miles across at its longest so getting where you need to be is very easy.
Shopping: There is a mall, Walmart, Kohl’s, Barnes and Noble, Target, lots of smaller stores and Bookmans, a trade and buy bookstore. Restaurants run from Thai and Indian food to Mexican, Italian and Chinese. There’s a couple of Japanese restaurants and sushi bars.
Air quality: Excellent except during control burns. Lowell Observatory is in the city limits because of the low pollution and low lighting.
Economy: Low paying jobs, few jobs, high cost of living and high housing costs. Main employers are NAU, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Joy cone company, Purina, the tissue company, FUSD, City of Flagstaff, Walgreens warehouse and Gore.
Housing: Single family homes go for around $350,000 to 400,000. Condos for $200,000 and up though there are some for less than $200,000. Custom homes from $500,000 to well over a million. Manufactured homes for the $170,000’s to 200,000 and up. Rents are high, too. The cost of housing got so bad, NAU had to consider building housing for their teaching staff because they couldn’t attract professors because of the prohibitive cost of housing. Leases are high, many physicians are closing their practices and contracting with the hospital to save the cost of overhead.
Crime: Very low but there are areas where it can be bad. Overall for over 60,000 people population, there’s maybe 1-3 murders a year. The I-17 and I 40 corridors do have drug transports, but the crime element these usually bring seem to be in transit, not coming into town as much as Phoenix. There is some gang activity in the Sunnyside, Greenlaw, and Christmas Tree areas.
Good neighborhoods: Behind the Hospital, Cheshire, Coconino Estates off Hwy 180, Doney Park off Hwy 89, University heights, and some of the newer areas but these are more expensive. The country club area is nice but pricey. For friendliness, don’t go to the country club area or the area called Fox Glenn. Sunnyside is a bad area for crime as are the older part near Thorpe Park and Christmas tree and Greenlaw areas.
Culture: Educated, environmentally conscientious, university town people all over. Education is a focus in this town so there’s a lot for kids to do. There is a good hospital here and Urban trails and outdoor activities are big. The big reservations next door with their Hopi and Navajo people add the quiet, kind, non-consumptive attitudes of the Natives and their friendliness. Flagstaff people are for the most part (the snobby ones being the exceptions) very polite, friendly, considerate, and helpful. Compared to the nasty attitudes one gets off the seniors in other areas of Arizona, seniors here (and all people here) don’t have nasty attitudes or entitlement attitudes. There are the haves and have-nots, but overall Flagstaff is an ideal place if you are Democrat, liberal, pro-education, pro-kids, pro-family, open minded, pro-conservation and pro-environment. The city works to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. A train runs through the city about 60-80 times a day. Everyone recycles, most businesses do and the schools do. Water IS an issue so there are some restrictions.
What to do: Hike urban trails, ski when there’s snow, visit Cameron for excellent Native American food and arts, see and climb around the Wupatki Native Ruins AND visit Sunset volcano crater (both with educational centers) for the price of one park fee. Visit Walnut Canyon native ruins, see Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered, come to the Deer Park where you can feed and pet deer and other wild animals, get to see the rare White Buffalo, visit the Museum of Northern Arizona for all things geological, historical and cultural of the Colorado Plateau, come to the annual Science Fair, take a ski-lift ride in the summer and fall to see the peaks in all their splendor, ride ATV’s in the cinder pits, camp in local campgrounds, and do day trips to Sedona, Jerome, Grand Canyon Caverns and the Grand Canyon. Take the Grand Canyon Railway. Watch fireworks at the Fourth of July at Mormon Lake. Boat on Lake Mary, fish at some of the local lakes. See the free thousands of lights at Little America at Christmas time. Visit Los Abrigados in nearby Sedona for their astounding Christmas lights displays that change eaxh year and that take about an hour to walk through. Flagstaff has so much to do and see! (No, I don’t work for the chamber. )