Margie Adler (left), Economic Development Specialist and Andrew Fairbanks (right), Tourism Strategies Coordinator, both with the Town of Oro Valley, spoke to the club on Thursday, 14 March 2024 about the economic vitality of Oro Valley including its support of businesses, new businesses in our town for 2023-24, the 50th anniversary of Oro Valley, tourism in our community including the tax revenue benefits, and "voluntourism"- a combination of volunteering and tourism.
One of Margie’s tasks, along with a goal of the town of Oro Valley is to build relationships with businesses in town. Among those businesses are primary employers, businesses whose products or services bring money from outside of the community into our town’s economy. Also, retail and other consumer facing businesses whose activities keep money circulating within the community. Add to that, start-ups and innovative companies, some who are “in home” style start-ups. Some of these are already up and running, but others need support and education for aspiring and new entrepreneurs. 
The economic plan calls for the mayor and Margie (the economic specialist) to call on 250 of the town’s businesses per year. Last year 271 of those visits were made. The town works closely with the chamber of commerce. Through their combined effort they conduct an annual business summit, with workshops on conditions and factors currently affecting our business community. is a site to help attract and supply information to businesses looking to relocate or add new business sites here in Oro Valley.
Finally, Margie shared about the Business Navigator on the town’s website. It lists every business in Oro Vally unless the business request to not be listed. Want to see a list of all the restaurants in Oro Valley go to the navigator. If you go to the presentation slides, there is a list of all the new businesses in Oro Valley in 2023. Did you know, an ALDI grocery store is coming to a location near Home Depot?
If the name Andrew Fairbanks sounds familiar, he has been a great help being the facilitator between the town and the club in planning this year’s club Taste event.  His primary responsibility is to attract tourists and events to Oro Valley, and help local businesses host those individuals and groups. This will also help bring “outside” dollars into the town’s economy.  
Our town has many factors that will attract visitors, hiking trails, historical sites, biking pathways, sporting venues, natural environment, proximity to other locales, to list a few factors. Recently Andrew was able to attract the Tucson Bike Classic to Oro Valley. It is hoped that similar steps can be taken to continue to be attractive to event planners.
The town partners with Arizona Tourism to promote visitors to the state and the town works in parallel to promote our town as a place to visit and stay while visiting attractions here and as a base to visit locations within a day’s travel. We have many factors that four of the main groups of tourist desire. Those groups are self-care seekers (those who already have a relatively healthy lifestyle and are seeking to enhance and expand upon their current well-being practices), families. luxury travelers, and outdoor adventurers.  
Another current trend is the opportunity for “voluntourism”, individuals and groups who want to help support the local communities of the destinations where they're visiting or meeting. Maybe there is an opportunity for a Rotary project contained in that experience. Did you know, the Blueberry Society of America just held their national meeting here in Oro Valley?  -Story by Amos Meyers
To view their presentation, click HERE.  To view the Town of Oro Valley website, click HERE