Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the state of Arizona. Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is a part of the Salt River Valley. The city is the 13th largest metro area by population in the United States, with approximately 4.3 million people in 2010. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.
Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community, many of the original crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus and hay (which was important for the cattle industry). In fact, the “Five C’s” (Cotton, Cattle, Citrus, Climate, and Copper), remained the driving forces of Phoenix’s economy until after World War II, when high tech industries began to move into the valley.
The tourist industry is the longest running of today’s top industries in Phoenix. Starting with promotions back in the 1920s, the industry has grown into one of the top 10 in the city. Due to its climate, Phoenix and its neighbors have consistently ranked among the nation’s top destinations in the number of Five Diamond/Five Star resorts. With more than 62,000 hotel rooms in over 500 hotels and 40 resorts, greater Phoenix sees over 16 million visitors each year, the majority of whom are leisure (as opposed to business) travelers. Sky Harbor Airport, which serves the Greater Phoenix area, serves about 40 million passengers a year, ranking it among the 10 busiest airports in the nation.
Due to its natural beauty and climate, Phoenix has a plethora of outdoor attractions and recreational activities. The Phoenix Zoo is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States. Since opening in 1962, the zoo has developed an international reputation for its efforts on animal conservation, including breeding and reintroducing endangered species back into the wild. Right next to the zoo, the Phoenix Botanical Gardens were opened in 1939, and are acclaimed worldwide for their exhibits and educational programs.
FOREVER FLAWLESS Store-Biltmore Fashion Park Mall
The Forever Flawless Store is located in Biltmore Fashion Park a luxury outdoor retail and dining plaza located in the Biltmore District of Phoenix, Arizona, along the prestigious stretch of East Camelback Rd. The recently renovated and expanded mid-century plaza is the city of Phoenix’s premiere address for high-end retail. The Biltmore Fashion Park, as well as the surrounding business and residential district, are named after the historic Arizona Biltmore Hotel, nearby.
Biltmore Fashion Park opened on 31 acres (130,000 m2) of land in what was once considered “the outskirts” of Phoenix, in 1963. Anchored at that time by San Francisco’s upscale I. Magnin and The Broadway. It was the city’s original luxury shopping and dining destination. During the 1960s and 1970s, The Gittings Portrait Studio at the Biltmore photographed the likes of John Wayne, Bob Hope, Princess Grace of Monaco, Barry Goldwater, Red Skelton, Sophia Loren, and many other celebrities and well-known figures who frequented the Biltmore. In the mid-1990s, the center was purchased by Taubman Centers for $115 million, helping Biltmore Fashion Park transform further into a premiere luxury shopping destination. During this period, the Biltmore underwent a transformation. Both original anchors changed hands, with Saks Fifth Avenue taking over I. Magnin’s former space and Macy’s taking The Broadway’s former space.
The center also introduced a number of new luxury retailers, including Cartier, Christofle, Cole Haan, Escada, Gucci, Landau, Lanciani, Louis Vuitton, Max Nugus and Ralph Lauren. The Biltmore was also chosen as one of three sites nationwide for The Galleries of Neiman Marcus; however, Neiman Marcus folded the concept two years later. The Biltmore continued to remain as the dominant luxury collection in Phoenix, drawing the metropolitan area’s at the time sole Allen Edmonds, Apple, Elizabeth Arden, Rangoni Firenze, Stuart Weitzman, and Waterworks stores. Tommy Bahama also opened a flagship store at the center. It is known for many upscale dining establishments. James Beard award-winner Christopher Gross of Christopher’s Fermier Brasserie and Paola’s Wine Bar top the list of Biltmore Fashion Park’s 12 restaurants and eateries.
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