Check out our Phoenix website specific for the PLIDA conference!


Things are different in the desert. The sky is bigger. The stars are brighter. The sunsets stop you in your tracks.

America’s sixth-largest city still has real cowboys and rugged mountains and the kind of cactus most people see only in cartoons. Phoenix is the gateway to the Grand Canyon, and its history is a testament to the spirit of puebloans, ranchers, miners and visionaries.

Projected against this rich backdrop is a panorama of urban sophistication: Resorts and spas that drop jaws and soothe souls. Stadiums and arenas worthy of the world’s biggest sports spectacles. Restaurants with inspired cuisine and inspiring patio views. Golf courses that beckon players the year round. Shopping centers as stylish and eclectic as the fashions they house.

What’s so fun about Phoenix?! Here’s a list of Fun Facts about this gorgeous location!

  • 1According to legend, Phoenix gets its name from Cambridge-educated pioneer Darrell Duppa, who saw the ruins and prehistoric canals of the Hohokam and believed another civilization would rise from the ashes.
  • Phoenix is the United States’ sixth-largest city with a population of over 1.4 million.
  • More than 16 million people visit metropolitan Phoenix each year and more than 37 million people visit Arizona each year.
  • Greater Phoenix (which includes, among others, the cities of Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale and Tempe) has a population of nearly 4.3 million and covers 2,000 square miles.
  • Phoenix’s elevation is 1,117 feet. 32
  • Greater Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, which is one of the wettest and greenest deserts in North America, thanks to 3-15 inches of annual rainfall.
  • Phoenix is home to one of the largest municipal parks in North America. South Mountain Park and Preserve covers more than 16,500 acres and has more than 50 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails.
  • According to data compiled by the National Climatic Data Center, Phoenix basks in sunshine more often than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S. The sun shines on Phoenix during 85 percent of its daylight hours
  • Greater Phoenix is home to more than 200 golf courses.
  • Phoenix is one of only 13 U.S. cities with franchises in all four major professional sports leagues: Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Arizona Cardinals (NFL) and Arizona Coyotes (NHL).
  • Greater Phoenix hosted Super Bowl XXX in 1996, Super Bowl XLII in 2008 and Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.
  • The Waste Management Phoenix Open, played each February at the TPC Scottsdale, is the best-attended event on the PGA Tour, averaging more than 500,000 spectators. 7
  • 15 Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training in the Cactus League, which in 2014 drew 1.63 million fans.
  • Greater Phoenix is home to college football’s VIZIO Fiesta Bowl and TicketCity Cactus Bowl. The 2007 and 2011 BCS National Championship games were played at niversity of Phoenix Stadium, and it will host the 2016 College Football Championship Game.
  • There are six lakes offering water recreation within a 75-minute drive of Phoenix.
  • Phoenix has museums to suit nearly every taste. The Heard Museum (Native American); Desert Botanical Garden (the world’s largest collection of desert plants); Taliesin West (home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation); the Phoenix Art Museum (the Southwest’s largest art museum); the Arizona Science Center; the Hall of Flame (featuring the world’s largest collection of fire-fighting equipment); Pueblo Grande Museum and 4Cultural Park (Native American) and the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) are among the cultural hot spots.
  • Arizona is home to 22 American Indian tribes. The Heard Museum has an extensive collection of American Indian artifacts, including the largest kachina doll collection of any museum in the country.