Progressive and dynamic, Tempe is well known as an “All American City.” Over the decades, the city has moved far beyond its genesis as a small college town and Phoenix bedroom community into a vital urban center with a strong and diversified local economy. The powerful influence of Arizona State University, the state’s largest institution of higher education, contributes heavily to the first-rate amenities, youthful attitude, and stimulating environment that characterizes this attractive suburb.
To meet the retail and entertainment needs of more than 44,000 students, the city has developed quality services and commercial centers. Surrounding the university is a village atmosphere filled with restaurants, entertainment centers, and retail shops. Tempe has matured into an entertainment center for the entire Valley, showcasing the architectural wonder of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Gammage Center and the inverted-pyramid styling of the City Hall. Highlights include world-class cultural events, ASU Sun Devil collegiate sports, an award-winning recreation program, the annual Fiesta Bowl Football Classic, and the biannual Tempe Festival of the Arts along Mill Avenue. Tempe attracts 150,000 revelers to the largest New Year’s Eve party in the Southwest.
While ASU accounts for nearly 40,000 jobs statewide, the university joins other leading employers in Tempe. Literally hundreds of firms have settled into attractive industrial parks that are scattered throughout the city. Efficient transportation facilities serve the area, including the Superstition Freeway and the more recent addition of Loops 101 and 202—the latter forming connections to Interstate 10, Interstate 17, and State Route 51. Just beyond the city limits lies the vast Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport complex with state-of-the-art passenger and cargo services.