The Airpark – Scottsdale’s Economic Engine
By Steve T. Strickbine, Publisher
The Scottsdale Airpark was a mystery to me 20 years ago when I met my buddy Alex for lunch. Back then, I was an accountant. I’d also grown up in the Valley, and had heard about this unique business community, but understand it? Not by a longshot.
Alex spent the length of lunch walking me through what made the Airpark special – its special zoning, its high concentration of businesses and that there were more professionally employed people living in this area than any other in the Valley.
He even pulled out a copy of the Airpark News, with the explanation, “This place is so cool, it even has its own magazine.”
I’ll be honest: I didn’t really get it. Not back then, though I absolutely get it now. The Airpark is one of the most unique business communities in Arizona and the country. And the Airpark News is both a point of pride for the area and a media outlet that produces its share of respected journalism and useful content for its more than 25,000 readers every month.
Life works in strange ways. About a month after that fateful lunch, I decided I was tired of my downtown commute and that I wanted to put my accounting education to more practical use. That led me to a “2.0 career” in the publishing business. About 10 years later, a business opportunity presented itself and I very fortunately became the proud owner of this magazine.
A whole lot has changed around here since Diana and her husband, former City Councilman David Smith, bought the magazine in the early 1980s, when it was just a few short pages. Diana’s hard work and dedication forged it into a formidable, well-respected publication in every publishing circle of the Valley.
I’ve heard the criticism that the Scottsdale Airpark has lost some of its charm over the years. I respectfully disagree. Time after time, I have attended events and gathering within the borders of the Airpark. Each time, I have come away with a feeling of pride and optimism for the future of what has become the City of Scottsdale’s economic engine.
Likewise, I can’t pick up a copy of the Scottsdale Airpark News and not come away feeling inspired by the vision, fortitude and passion of the people within its pages. It’s an honor to be a part of it.
I know that hindsight is 20-20, but I’m thankful for Alex’s introduction to the Airpark and the Airpark News two decades ago. He’s never said, “I told you so,” but he certainly did. “This place is so terrific, it even has its own magazine.” Making that happen is a tremendous point of pride for all of us at Times Media.