MAJOR LEAGUE SPRING TRAINING IN PHOENIX

Major League Baseball spring training in Phoenix is called the Cactus League. Baseball training in Phoenix has been going on since 1947. It starts every year at the end of February. Watching the games can keep you busy day and night. Fifteen teams now train here.

Baseball spring training has become a driving force for the Phoenix economy generating over 800 million annually. $544 million comes from fans making the trip to Phoenix from all parts of the world. 1.9 million fans visited the Cactus League games in 2015. Local entrepreneurs and business owners of all types have created ways to take advantage of this market. From window tinting services to spas, almost every type of business can profit from the influx of people and money into Phoenix during this time of year.

Cactus League games are played in Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise and Tempe. All games are an easy drive from each other. While you are in the area, visit the Spring Training Exhibit at the Scottsdale Civic Center, featuring historic photos, video footage and other baseball memorabilia. Join other Cactus League fans at Don and Charlie’s Steakhouse where they have a fantastic collection of sports memorabilia including over 700 signed baseballs, bats and magazines.

Salt River Fields is a newer ballpark with covered areas for shade and a sunken seating bowl. It is located at Talking Stick facility with a free shuttle to and from the stadium. The Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamond Backs play there.

The Cubs’ Sloan Park opened in 2014 with seating for 15,000. This is the largest spring training park and it mimics the Cubs’ own Wrigley Field.

The Cleveland Indians and the New York Giants were the first teams to train in Arizona in 1947. The Indians and the Cincinnati Reds now play at the Goodyear Ballpark.

Spring training is an exciting time of year in Phoenix. Visitors enjoy the hiking trails through desert rock outcroppings in and around the Phoenix area. Phoenix offers culture, great restaurants, wonderful entertainment, and nightlife.

 

 

 

 

Baby Boomers in Phoenix Arizona

Baby Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964. It is projected that many of them will live to be a hundred. From 2000 to 2010, the Phoenix baby boom population rose over 11%. The trend is for retiree’s to seek warmer climates and affordable housing, where they can access medical care, and elective procedures like cosmetic surgery.

There has been a slight decline in this demographic since 2007 when this age group comprised 24% of the population in Maricopa County. In 2013, the figure was 22%. However, less urban areas in Arizona have seen an increase in baby boomers. For example, Prescott had a 33% gain from 2007 to 2013.

As the sixth largest city in the US, Phoenix possesses amenities to draw this crowd. If the over 300 days of sunshine, dynamic sunsets, and desert mountains are not enough, there are also many activities for seniors. Sports enthusiasts like Phoenix because it has teams from four major sports: the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. The Phoenix Art Museum houses work from around the globe. Other cultural activities include: the Phoenix Symphony, Ballet Arizona, Arizona Opera, and the Carnival of Illusion show. Fall, winter, and spring offer perfect weather for hiking through nearby parks and gardens, like the Desert Botanical Gardens.

One of Sun City’s active adult communities was the first of its kind built in the US. Many similar projects followed. The Fair Housing Act was amended in 1988 to allow for retirement communities.

DMB associates are rewriting the criteria for active adult communities. Their Victory community caters to the new mindset of seniors. Thus, the Victory is an age-restricted area within a larger community containing all age groups. Statistics show that many seniors are continuing to work, and they want to be near their families, yet have a little space. The new senior works out, hikes, and prioritizes their time amongst activities they enjoy. They don’t want to be isolated from other populations, and prefer a more small town feel, like the new 200 acre Dove Tail Community north of Tucson.

Over 1,000 new active adult communities are currently being constructed across the US, including Lake Tahoe and Hawaii. These will accommodate the lifestyle of the baby boomers with smaller areas that provide walking trails, work out rooms, and do not isolate seniors from other demographics.

MY FAVORITE HOT SPRINGS

Glenwood Springs, Colorado won the most fun small town in America award. Take Interstate 70 from Denver past Vail. Soon you leave the dramatic canyon etched by the rolling white water of the Colorado River, and are hit with the rotten egg sulfur smell emanating from the world’s larges hot springs pool. As a child, I often visited this pool in Glenwood Springs. Across the street, under a remodeled and remodeled again building, lie the Vapor Caves steam rooms. This is one of my favorite hot springs. Above the caves are massage rooms and spa amenities. A long stairway leads to the caves. Inside are thick marble slabs mined from nearby Marble, Colorado. Hot vapor streams through the caves and steam fills the air. It is relaxing and spiritual. While I am lounging and sweating, I often imagine the Indian women, that years ago used the caves, perspiring beside me.

Next stop: Swan Lake British Columbia. Past Cranbrook BC, just north of Idaho, and before you reach Fairmont Hot Springs, there is a road heading east. After winding seven miles amongst big horn sheep, you come to a parking area. At the bottom of the trail, there are several natural hot springs pools. A river runs beside the pools. The temperature is just right, but the best part of this adventure are the friendly Canadians.

Backing up. From Bonners Ferry, Idaho head north toward Creston, British Columbia. Keep going to the ferry that crosses Kootenay Bay. On the other side of the lake go due north until you reach Ainsworth Hot Springs. Hot water flows from the pool into a semi-circle cave that you can walk through or sit in. My bucket list includes a visit to Ainsworth when monks from a nearby monastery are inside the caves chanting.

Don’t get me started on my bucket list. That will be a later post.