BALLE Conference Tours Open to All

Local First Arizona is excitedly planning a plethora of events to show off Arizona during the BALLE conference, a three day gathering of local movement leaders and supporters that will be happening in Phoenix June 10 - 13th.  Part of the conference fun are four tours focusing on areas that we at LFA are especially proud of in our home state: adaptive reuse, urban agriculture, rural development and sustainability.  The tours are open to all so take a peek at what we are offering and come along with us, whether you are attending the conference or not. Adaptive Reuse Tour Commons+Cafe+StyleIn recent years, historic preservation groups, city leaders and entrepreneurs have stepped in to prevent Phoenix’s significant architecture from being razed and replaced with generic strip malls. New life has been breathed into historic and vintage modern buildings in unique ways. Local First Arizona Founder Kimber Lanning will be leading a light rail tour that shows how locally owned businesses are re-using buildings and by doing so, transforming the communities around them for the better. We'll visit the offices of WebPT in the warehouse district, soak in the Art Deco ambiance of the Luhrs Tower, check out the newly opened DeSoto building, check out the Phoenix Public Market, Lux Coffee and end at the Newton, a former restaurant that has been transformed into a bookstore, restaurant, garden shop and meeting venue.

Date: Wednesday June 10th Time: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cost: $75 per person includes light rail pass, tour guides and lunch Location: Tour starts and ends at the Renaissance Hotel, 50 E. Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Registration: SOLD OUT!!


Desert Urban Agriculture Learn about Phoenix’s burgeoning urban agriculture industry on this bus tour with stops at three different collaborative sites featuring multiple agriculture initiatives. Learn the story of the Hohokam, the first known farmers of the Phoenix basin and Phx renews veghow their heritage is inspiring an urban agriculture revival. Stops include the George B Brooks Sr. Community School, which focuses on STEM education and is home to several agriculture entrepreneurs; Maya’s Farm which is a certified organic farm that producing specialty vegetables, herbs, flowers, and eggs for local markets, restaurants, and schools; and PHX Renews, a vacant city lot that has been transformed into a community garden with plots for refugee farmers and agriculture education groups. See firsthand that food does in fact grow (quite well) in the desert! Local First Arizona’s Local Foods Director Steve Russell will lead the tour.

Date: Wednesday June 10th Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Location: Tour starts and ends at the Renaissance Hotel, 50 E. Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Cost: $75 per person includes bus transportation, tour guides and lunch Registration: Click here


Arcosanti Tour Arcosanti viewExperience a one-of-a-kind, intimate guided tour of Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri's prototype town designed to house 5,000 people. Arcosanti is an urban laboratory focused on innovative design, community, and environmental accountability. Their goal is to actively pursue lean alternatives to urban sprawl based on Paolo Soleri's theory of compact city design, Arcology (architecture + ecology). You will have a private tour of the grounds with Mary Hoadley, Arcosanti site coordinator, where you will see how a sustainable community exists in the desert and how local agriculture, green building materials, energy and a unique workshop program all come into play. Ace Bailey with Ultimate Art and Cultural Tours will lead this tour.

Date: Saturday June 13th Time: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Location: Tour starts and ends at the Renaissance Hotel, 50 E. Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Cost: $120 per person includes bus transportation, tour guides, site admission and lunch. LFA members & Localist members receive a 25% discount on this tour! Email [email protected] for discount code! Registration: Click here


Revitalizing Main Street in Rural Arizona ©2014 Rick D'Elia/D'Elia Photographic/ www.deliaphotographic.com/480-452-5723Once known as the bootlegging capital of Arizona, Cottonwood has experienced resurgence in recent years due to an influx of independent businesses. Hear from Cottonwood Economic Development Director Casey Rooney about how the city collaborates with restaurateurs, wineries, and retail shops to turn this once sleepy Main Street into a popular destination. We'll also visit neighboring Clarkdale where we'll hear from the city's Community/Economic Development Director Jodie Filardo on how entrepreneurs are changing the face of the town and Mayor Doug Von Gausig on the Verde River.  We will also visit the Southwest Wine Center and learn about the economic impact and job creation that the Arizona wine industry has had in the region. Local First Arizona Founder Kimber Lanning will lead the tour.

Date: Saturday June 13th Time: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Location: Tour starts and ends at the Renaissance Hotel, 50 E. Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Cost: $95 per person includes bus transportation, tour guides and lunch. LFA members & Localist members receive a 25% discount on this tour! Email [email protected] for discount code! Registration: Click here