Top 10 Micro-Cities in North America - Surprise! Arizona

Landscape Atmosphere In Surprise! AZ.

Source

Out Of Nowhere, A Young City

Surprise!

This city was created by real estate developer after the fashion of a "planned city" that he provided for agricultural workers. Its location is the Salt River Valley in Maricopa County. The city offers a self proclaimed top-of-the-line K-12 educational system and well-kept neighborhoods that are always improving. The local mall uses the Surprise! logo.

The founder of Surprise in 1938 was Homer Ludden, a former state legislator. Reports have it that he named it after his hometown in Nebraska, but very little information is available about that village (see block to right).

Not incorporated as a city until 1960, Surprise AZ celebrates its 50th birthday in 2010 -- and Good News for job seekers: Money Magazine has declared Surprise AZ a Top American City for new jobs every year since 2000.

Sun City and Sun City West are retirement communities (planned communities) in Surprise AZ that were built by the real estate developer Delbert E. Webb, after whom hospitals and other facilities in the area are named.

Upscale communities, these two add to the success and attractiveness of Surprise as a chief retirement center as well as a business hub. Recreation is a large contributor to this business sector development in the form of numerous local golf courses (see SPORTS below). Mid-Careerists are drawn to this area as both a place of employment and a ready retirement venue in the future, without moving cross country.

Prasada Mall, on a scale with Mall of America is under construction near Surprise AZ at this time and will bring jobs and revenue to the city. See the master plan HERE.

Salt River Valley, South of Route I-10

A markerSalt River Valley -
Salt River Valley, Avondale, AZ 85353, USA
[get directions]

show route and directions
A markerSurprise AZ -
Surprise, AZ, USA
[get directions]

B markerSun City AZ -
Sun City, AZ, USA
[get directions]

C markerPhoenix AZ -
Phoenix, AZ, USA
[get directions]

Hometown Surprise - The Original Nebraska Town

According to the US Census of 2000, 22 males and 22 females lived in the original Surprise. Five were preschoolers and the remainder comprised adults under 65 years of age.

By July of 2007, the population count was down to 42! The biggest attraction there is the Big Blue River Bridge that was built in 1898 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Big Blue River Bridge NE, 1898

Planned Communities

Important Book: The Sun City Wars

The Sun City Wars by Kevin McHugh; Patricia Gober, Daniel Borough [University of Arizona; California State University, LA] --

Some researchers feel that planned communities or common interest developments (CIDs), are a hallmark of the fragmentation of American society– the isolationism of age groups, ethnic groups, professional groups or whoever can afford to construct a special interest community.

Sun City and Sun City West are two of these communities, for retirees that enjoy an above-average income in retirement. These communities are described as having restrictive covenants and deed clauses, powerful community associations, and strong citizens groups that press their political influence. At least one of these two is home also to highly politically influential older migrants.

The seniors in these two communities wield power by defeating school funding issues at the polls, controlling the Dysart Schools board, and seeking to de-annex themselves out of the district to avoid paying school taxes. While this may be the case, it is likely not unique to Arizona. However, some sociologists feel that CIDs of this sort are placing neighboring communities at risk for substandard education by defeating al the school levees.

Cougars, Sonoran Desert Museum

Top Three Local Industries

The Top Three Industries in Surprise, Arizona are Travel: Hospitality & Tourism, Retail & Wholesale, and Healthcare.

Top 10 Jobs Listed for Surprise AZ

With a total population 105,000, Surprise consistently offers a pool of approximately 25,000 - 27,000 job openings within 25 miles of city center in 2016. This is an increase over the 20,00 listings generally available 2009 - 2014.

Many of these jobs are in Phoenix, just 24 miles away. A full 12,000 of these jobs pay over $40,000 per year in salary and 6,500 hundred pay over $60,000.

Within 15 miles of Surprise, the leading job openings are listed below, most in Healthcare (bold)

  1. Physical Therapists
  2. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  3. Mortgage Loan Closing Specialists
  4. Retail and Wholesale Sales Reps
  5. Customer Service Reps
  6. Assistant Managers
  7. Sales Managers
  8. Medical Technologists
  9. Occupational Therapists
  10. Case Managers

Within 25 miles of Surprise, additional top job openings include the following:

  • Business Analysts
  • Salespersons & Sales Associates
  • Outside Sales Reps

Within 25 miles, the locations offering the most openings include:

  1. Phoenix
  2. Glendale & Luke Air Force Base (LAFB)
  3. Scottsdale
  4. Goodyear
  5. Peoria
  6. Surprise
  7. Avondale
  8. Sun City, Sun City West - Upscale retirement communities associated with Surprise AZ and just west of Phoenix.
  9. Tolleson
  10. Buckeye

Top 10 Job Listers and Largest Employers

  1. Banner Thunderbird Medical Center - Health
  2. Banner Boswell Medical Center - Sun Health System - Health
  3. US Federal Government, including military
  4. Critical Connection - Health - Placement service.
  5. Medical Connections - Health - Placement service.
  6. Banner Del Webb Medical Center - Health
  7. Arrowhead Hospital - Health
  8. Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center - Second site, Health
  9. Best Buy - Retail, electronics.
  10. Kindred Hospital - Health

Largest Employers, by size of Employee Pool

  1. Phoenix Sky Harbor Int'l Airport
  2. St. Joseph's Hospital
  3. Mercy Healthcare AZ
  4. Banner Good Samaritan Medical
  5. Honeywell Aerospace
  6. Banner Estrella Medical Center
  7. John C. Lincoln Health
  8. National Comupter System - Government
  9. Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
  10. Sun Health Boswell Hospital


Higher Education In Surprise!

  • Arizona State University West --This state university is well known and located just outside of Surprise.

Sports in Surprise AZ

GOLF Clubs and Resorts

Recreational Sports for Adults, Youth and ADA accommodations: SportsLink for Surprise.

A Japanese internment camp during World War II was nearby Surprise!

show route and directions
A markerSurprise -
Surprise, AZ, USA
[get directions]

B markerWhite Tank Mountain Park -
White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 20304 W White Tank Mountain Rd, Waddell, AZ 85355, USA
[get directions]

Approximate location of a Japanese Internment Camp.

© 2009 Patty Inglish

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Comments 2 comments

RVDaniels profile image

RVDaniels 7 years ago from Athens, GA

Surprisingly good hub!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

And a startling good comment!

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