Flagstaff, Arizona is the largest city in Northern Arizona and is the regional center and county seat of Coconino County, the second largest county in the contiguous United States. Founded in 1894, Flagstaff, the highest elevated city in the United States, was incorporated in 1928. According to the census in 2003, Flagstaff’s population was approximately 61,000.
Flagstaff city limits include over sixty-four square miles located at the base of the San Francisco Peaks in the largest Ponderosa pine forest on Earth. At an elevation over 7,000 feet, year-round residents, students, tourists and second home owners enjoy four seasons with cool summer temps averaging 20 degrees lower than Phoenix.
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Flagstaff is a popular tourist area with attractions including Lowell Observatory, Arizona Snow Bowl Ski Resort, the Museum of Northern Arizona, numerous art galleries, sight seeing at the San Francisco Peaks and surrounding areas, historic downtown Flagstaff, and railway service to the Grand Canyon.
The largest source of employment in the city is Northern Arizona University with year round classes and the Center for High Altitude Training which hosts professional and Olympic athletes. Major private employers include W.L. Gore (a medical manufacturing plant), Walgreens, and Nestle Purina; while major public employers include the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Flagstaff Unified School District, Flagstaff Medical Center, and the U.S. Forest Service. The city is rapidly growing with 22% of the business licenses issued in 2004 being for construction contracting.
Transportation in the area includes the Mountain Line city bus service, Grey Hound bus service, Amtrak railways, numerous taxi companies, the Pulliam Airport with daily flights to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Los Angeles, Seattle and many more western destinations. Flagstaff also has a non-motorized Urban Trail System encompassing the entire city which promotes walking and bicycle travel. Interstate 40 runs East and West connecting to Los Angeles and Albuquerque and Interstate 40 runs South to Phoenix. Highway 89 connects Flagstaff to northern states with 89-A running south to scenic Sedona. Highway 180 connects to the Grand Canyon.
Housing in the city and surrounding areas varies widely. Improvements range from and include cottages built in the late 1800 to 1940’s, ranch style homes built in the 1950’s to 1980’s, several townhouse and condominium developments of varying ages, old and new singlewide and doublewide manufactured homes, newer single family housing developments, as well as high end golf course (gated and non-gated), equestrian, and lake communities.
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