Category Archives: Cities

Mesa Parks, Recreation and Commercial Facilities

Mesa Parks, Recreation and Commercial Facilities joins in on the fun with the National Recreation and Parks Association (NPRA) and celebration park and recreation month in July.

Parks and recreation have the power to strengthen communities, transform lives and protect the future. That’s why this year, Mesa joins cities across the country in celebrating the power of parks and recreation for the 30th anniversary of Park and Recreation Month—an annual event created by the NRPA and celebrated in July since 1985.

“From the inception of the Parks department back in the early 1940’s, Mesa has always believed that access to recreation is important,” Mesa Parks, Recreation and Commercial Facilities Director, Marc Heirshberg said. “Celebrating with the nation as a whole during the month of July is something we look forward to each year. While the rest of the nation is just starting to enjoy their warmer temperatures, we have the luxury of having outdoor access to parks, trails, pools and recreation centers all year round.”

Mesa will celebrate Park and Recreation Month through the month of July with some special events, but are encouraging residents to check out all that they have to offer from over 200 parks and retention basins, to community recreation center, pools, golf course, amphitheater and two ball parks.

To showcase the impact parks and recreation has in every community, NRPA is releasing a short animated video titled, “Power of Parks.” The video can be viewed at NRPA encourages all people that support parks and recreation to watch and share this video with the hashtag #JulyPRM30.

To learn more about Park and Recreation Month, visit and

Mesa Parks and Recreation is “Your Place to Play”!, serving Mesa residents, visitors and community through our award winning programs and events. They encourage you to try something new, or re-discover something you enjoy by visiting their parks, pools, recreation centers, golf course and more!

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit .

Light Rail Extension News

Central Mesa light rail extension set to open seven months early

Beginning August 22, Valley Metro Rail will be traveling to new destinations along Main Street into downtown Mesa. With service beginning seven months earlier than scheduled, the Central Mesa extension will soon take riders beyond Sycamore to Mesa Drive.

“This is a very exciting day for Mesa,” said Mayor John Giles. “I’m proud of the professional staff that was involved in this. The city and Valley Metro did a great job on this project, which is being delivered ahead of schedule and on budget.”

Cheers broke out when Mayor John Giles and Mesa Councilmembers asked the light rail train at Center/Main Street to “move” and reveal the opening date.

“This has been a great project,” said Mesa Vice Mayor and Valley Metro Rail Board Chair Dennis Kavanaugh. “The city, Valley Metro and our contractor have worked so well together to make this happen really seamlessly. It’s a hallmark of rail construction here in the Valley.”

It’s anticipated that the three-mile extension, which began construction in June 2012, will add 5,000 daily riders. It is funded by a combination of regional and federal dollars, having received a $75 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant in fall 2012.

“We are pleased to bring light rail to the Mesa community seven months in advance,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO. “It is a true testament of our team’s skillful coordination and expertise that we continue our positive track record of delivering projects on time to the local community.”

Train testing continues on the extension. Trains will be moving on Main Street from Sycamore to Mesa Drive. System testing will ensure the safe start-up of service.

About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix, Mesa, and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2014, total ridership for the system was 72 million passengers. The first 20 miles of light rail opened December 2008.

Eight light rail extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance.

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Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Falcon Field Assessment

The City of Mesa has received notification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that they will be preparing a Draft Environmental Assessment for the Phoenix metropolitan area. The purpose is to study multiple airports nationwide that are in and around busy metropolitan areas to determine if changes to arrival and departure procedures could help optimize efficiency and safety.

The Phoenix Metroplex Project, which will include Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and Falcon Field Airport along with Sky Harbor and five other local general aviation airports, may involve changes in aircraft flight paths and/or altitudes in certain areas.

According the FAA, “the changes would not require any ground disturbance or increase the number of aircraft operations within the regional airspace area.”

The City of Mesa is issuing this information to keep our residents fully informed of this national effort and to provide residents the opportunity to comment to the FAA as the study continues. The deadline for comments is Friday, May 15. The FAA also plans to host community workshops in the future.

For more information about the project and to provide feedback, go to

Google Maps Car Seen In Mesa AZ April 29, 2015

While sitting at my desk today, I got a glimpse of the Google Maps Car driving by my window.  Knowing that no one would really believe me, I grabbed my camera and hopped in my car to shoot at it – no, only through the lense.  As you can see from the short video clip, it’s not necessarily safe to try and video while driving.  But you get the idea.  For those whose FlashPlayer is out of date, I’ve included a still photo below.

Google Photo Car

After looking online a little about what Google Car is about.  I found a website where Google Car sitings are reported – all over the country!!

It is interesting what information there is about Google car online –

Looking a little farther, there are some really awesome Google sites that show amazing panoramic photos of places that Google car and other public contributors have been:

Grand Canyon shots is my favorite.  There is a search window on this site.  You can even find shots from the top of the Empire State Building.

Enjoy Google car and have some fun taking a trip in front of your computer!!!

Courtyard Marriott Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

A groundbreaking ceremony was held October 2, 2014, for a Courtyard by Marriott hotel that will be located adjacent to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

“Courtyard by Marriott is a great addition to the Gateway area and another sign of the growing success of southeast Mesa,” Mesa Mayor, and Airport Authority Board member John Giles said. “Travelers flying in to Gateway for business or pleasure will have a convenient place to stay with easy freeway access just outside the entrance to the airport.”

The hotel, located on Ray Road east of Power Road, is designed for business travelers but will also accommodate families.  All 99 rooms will include a desk and hospitality cabinet with microwaves and refrigerators.  The hotel will also feature a conference center, business center, full-service restaurant, 24-hour “mini-mart” and an outdoor pool and patio area.

“Breaking ground on this hotel is another important step in the growth of the Gateway area,” District 6 Councilmember Scott Somers said.  “The addition of a Marriott property to one of the fastest growing locations in the valley shows the commitment the City Council has made to making this a destination area in the State of Arizona.”

Courtyard by Marriott is being built by Sunridge Hotel Group, a Mesa-based hospitality development and management company.  It will be the ninth property built by Sunridge in Arizona and the first in Mesa.

“This is a great location for our newest hotel project and we look forward to serving the Gateway community,” Sunridge Chairman and CEO Paul Welker said.  “Marriott is one of the most respected brands in the hospitality industry and the hotel will be ideal for both the business and leisure travelers.”

Richardson Design Partnership was selected as the architect and Porter Brothers is the general contractor for the hotel.  There is a historical connection involving Porter Brothers.  Bill Porter, grandfather of current owners Dennis and Gary Porter, was in charge of construction at Williams Air Force Base, which eventually made a successful transition to become Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

The Courtyard by Marriott is scheduled to open in October, 2015.