Much of Tucson's economic development has been centered on the development of the University of Arizona, which is currently the second largest employer in the city. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, located on the southeastern edge of the city, also provides many jobs for Tucson residents. Its presence, as well as the presence of the US Army Intelligence Center (Fort Huachuca, the largest employer in the region in nearby Sierra Vista), has led to the development of a significant number of high-tech industries, including government contractors, in the area. The city of Tucson is also a major hub for the Union Pacific Railroad's Sunset Route that links the Los Angeles ports with the South/Southeast regions of the country.
The City of Tucson, Pima County, the State of Arizona, and the private sector have all made commitments to create a growing, healthy economy with advanced technology industry sectors as its foundation. Raytheon Missile Systems, Texas Instruments, IBM, Intuit Inc., Universal Avionics, Sunquest Information Systems, Sanofi-Aventis, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., and Bombardier Aerospace all have a significant presence in Tucson. Roughly 150 Tucson companies are involved in the design and manufacture of optics and optoelectronics systems, earning Tucson the nickname "Optics Valley".
Tourism is another major industry in Tucson, bringing in $2 billion-a-year and over 3.5 million visitors annually due to Tucson's numerous resorts, hotels, and attractions.
One of the major annual attractions is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, and its associated shows, all held generally in the first two weeks of February. These associated shows (such as gems, jewelry, beads, fossils) are held throughout the city, with 43 different shows in 2010. This makes Tucson the largest such show in the world.
In addition to vacationers, a significant number of winter residents, or "snowbirds", are attracted by Tucson's mild winters and contribute to the local economy. Snowbirds often purchase second homes in Tucson and nearby areas, contributing significantly to the property tax base.
There are also a number of middle-class and upper-class Sonorans and Sinaloans who travel from Mexico to Tucson to purchase goods that are not readily available in Mexico.
Nonprofits based in Tucson include the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Read more about this topic: Tucson
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Famous quotes containing the word economy:
“The basis of political economy is non-interference. The only safe rule is found in the self-adjusting meter of demand and supply. Do not legislate. Meddle, and you snap the sinews with your sumptuary laws.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“It enhances our sense of the grand security and serenity of nature to observe the still undisturbed economy and content of the fishes of this century, their happiness a regular fruit of the summer.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The counting-room maxims liberally expounded are laws of the Universe. The merchants economy is a coarse symbol of the souls economy. It is, to spend for power, and not for pleasure.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)