Phoenix, Arizona – August 1999

Welcome to Phoenix, Arizona. The sixth largest city in the U.S., and also the fastest growing one. This town is booming, and it’s easy to see why. The promise of an oasis in the desert and a laid back way of life, with it’s exploding job market, loads of resorts, golf courses, shopping and more, has been pulling people in from colder parts faster than you can say “fore”!

August 1999
Ok boys and girls, grab your sunscreen, your sandals, and a portable fan, because it’s summer in the “Valley of the Sun” , and it’s damn hot!!!! This means we Phoenicians have only one thing on our minds… keeping cool.

One thing I can’t help being bitter about is the fact that so many big concerts hit the valley at outdoor venues in the 110°+ heat of July and August. The last time I braved one of these “deathfests” I spent thirty bucks to get in, then spent another thirty bucks and two hours in line for fruit slushees, bottles of water, and anything else I could find to save me from heatstroke.

Luckily, this August brings us some great artists that have the decency to perform indoors.

It appears to be “whatever happened to…?” month at Mill Avenue Sport Rock in Tempe, where you can find ’80’s greats “The Outfield”, “The Specials”, and “Missing Persons” all on different nights. Call 480-303-0223 for details.

THE hep-cats themselves “The Brian Setzer Orchestra” swing into town on August 11th at the Celebrity Theater. Serious swingers only (Oh, behave!). Call 602-267-1600 for the scoop.

Also at the Celebrity Theater on August 24th, rock legends “Blondie” perform – how cool is that?

If these concerts aren’t cool enough for you, don’t worry – there are lots of other ways to beat the Phoenix heat this month – like staying in your air-conditioned home. Also, try not going outside.

Here’s some general info to get you acquainted.

From Phoenix, it’s a 4 hour to drive north to the Grand Canyon, and 4 hours south to Rocky Point, Mexico. Also, a one hour flight will take you to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or San Diego, CA., for about $80 if you book in advance.

Phoenix is extremely spread out, and public transport is quite limited. Unless you have a friend to cart you around, you could try renting a car,($20-$40) per day, or, if you find accommodation in downtown Tempe or Scottsdale, there’s lots to do within walking distance.

Sadly, there’s only one hostel in Phoenix, and it’ s a bit dodgy (the neighborhood is downright scary). Plus, it’s nowhere near anything to see or do. I’d honestly avoid it at all costs – try to find a cheap hotel, like the Days Inn at Fashion Square Mall, Scottsdale. Unbeatable location – and it’s about $40(off season) per room (2 double beds) – not bad, especially if you’re in a group.

Helpful Links
New Times

The Ultimate Arizona Guide