Vail, AZ (Zip Code 85641)
Elevation – 3,237 ft.
Population – 10,000
15 miles southeast of Tucson and 138 miles southeast of Phoenix.
The community of Vail is located approximately 15 minutes southeast of Tucson. Peacefully nestled near the base of the picturesque Rincon Mountains, Vail offers a casual lifestyle yet with the conveniences of being close to the city of Tucson. This community thrives and grows in part because it offers residents easy access to employment centers, shopping and services. Also important to many residents who choose to call Vail home, is the Vail School District, one of the fastest growing districts in Arizona. The district has won countless awards, achieved honors and been highlighted across the country.
Ideal weather conditions with year around Arizona sunshine makes this region attractive for enjoying an outdoor lifestyle. Residents and visitors can choose a wide range of activities suited for their desired lifestyle.
There are abundant options for real estate to match yours dreams and desires, such as master planned communities with golf courses and other amenities, improved vacant land lots ready for building the home of your dreams, horse ranches, estate-sized properties and 55+ active adult communities.
History of Vail
Vail is named after the Vail Brothers, Edward and Walter. They arrived in Arizona in the 1870′s, purchased the Empire Ranch and became cattle ranchers. They also developed a large silver mine operation in the Empire Mountains located southeast of Tucson. Using profits from ranching and mining, they expanded the ranch and by the 1900′s, the Empire Ranch covered 1,000 square miles, stretching from the Santa Rita Mountains (south of Tucson) to the Mexican border, between the Santa Cruz and San Pedro Rivers. In 1880, Walter Vail donated land for the Southern Pacific Railroad to lay down tracks east of Tucson and Vail became a station and water stop for the railroad. In recognition of the donation of land, the stop was named Vail and the town of Vail was born. Because of its prime location, along the main railroad tracks and roads close to Tucson, Vail came a cattle shipping center and it also served as the storage and loading facility for mined ore from the Helvetia Copper Mine. But as mining activity decreased and other methods of transportation were developed, Vail’s population sharply declined.
Present day Vail is a thriving and growing community with a population over 10,000 per the 2010 census – a 311% increase in population from 2000 to 2010. Vail never formed a municipal corporation (to become a city) and it remains an unincorporated municipality to date.
One reason for Vail’s popularity has to do with its location. It is conveniently located near Tucson. Tucson is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix, the state’s capital city. Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona, with a metropolitan population of a little over 1 million. As the population of Tucson increased, finding suitable housing became important. Outlaying areas of Tucson offered vast amounts of land prime for development, both for housing and commercial use. When companies such as Raytheon, IBM and the Arizona Science and Technology Park chose to locate in Vail, the result was a major housing boom. This area offers a variety of housing choices, such as master-planned communities, gated communities, golf homes, horse properties, and custom homes with acreage.
Another reason for Vail’s popularity has to do with its schools. The Vail School District was started in 1902, to provide education to children living in Vail and the surrounding ranches. The school district of Vail has an outstanding reputation for providing a high level of education to students. Vail has nine elementary schools, six middle schools and five high schools. The District serves over 10,000 students and employs over 1,600 people. The Vail School District also owns and operates a 593 seat performing arts theatre. The Vail Theatre of the Arts is a state of the art theatre featuring public and student events.
Vail is located within an easy drive to the University of Arizona, located in Tucson. The U of A is ranked among the top 20 public research universities and in 2011 was the largest public sector employer. Current student enrollment is approximately 40,000. Also located in Tucson are Pima Community College (one of the largest community colleges in the nation), University Medical Center and Pima Medical Institute.
Vail offers ideal climate conditions. The annual chance of sunshine is 85%. Located in southern Arizona, Vail’s temperatures are cooler than in the Phoenix area. The average high in July is 99.6F and the average low in January is 38.9F. The average annual precipitation is 13.7″. Tucson averages 11.59″ of annual rainfall.
Tucson and the surrounding areas, including Vail, offer a wide range of employment opportunities. Industries such as Aerospace, Defense, Bioscience, Solar, Transportation and Logistics, Environmental Technology, Information Technology (IT), Mining, Manufacturing, Optics, Plastics, Research and Development, and Tourism florish here. Tourism attracts more than 3.5 million tourists each year and is one of the largest industries in the State. Plus, there are a mired of business spin offs in support of these industries.
Top 25 Private Employers in Southern Arizona in 2011
- Raytheon Missile Systems
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
- UA Healthcare
- Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
- Carondelet Health Network
- Fry’s Food Stores
- TMC HealthCare
- Corrections Corp. of America
- Asarco LLC
- Southern Arizona VA Health Care
- Afni Inc.
- Bashas’ Inc.
- Target Stores Inc.
- Northwest Medical Center
- Safeway Inc.
- APAC Customer Service
- TEP/UniSource Energy
- Circle K Stores
- Sol Casinos
- Home Depot
- General Dynamics Information
- Eurofresh Inc.
Top 10 Public Employers in Southern Arizona in 2011
- University of Arizona
- State of Arizona
- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
- Tucson Unified School District
- U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca
- Pima County
- Tohono O’odham Nation
- U.S. Border Patrol
- Pinal County
It would be my pleasure to answer any questions you may have about this very desirable region of southern Arizona. Please contact me!
Live your life – love your lifestyle – Arizona!
Arizona Daily Star, Pima County College, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, University of Arizona, U.S. Census, Vail School District, Vail Theatre of the Arts