top of page

#7 March 2019/Bisbee Economy/All Bisbee


The data stream for Bisbee has dried up. I don't get building permits any longer, Joe Ward was compiling, not necessarily as part of his job, and he just doesn't have the time, I'm looking into it to see if there is some way to present the data. With no tourism director, there is no compilation of data-number of visitors, social media hits, website hits etc, so difficult to see what is actually happening. I've included the State sales tax info for lodging, restaurant/bar and retail. Although ADOR has not sent past years, at least there is a start from this FY for a base of information. Lotsa happenings in Bisbee. Interim City Manager Steve Pauken was brought  on board for three days a week. As you can see from the special session he is getting right to the task of getting a new CM. The former CM will get basically the severance package that is in the city charger as the City council voted to dismiss him without cause. As of last week 35 applicants have applied for the Tourism Director position. Applications will be winnowed by staff and I think a small committee with some business people will be selected to pare the list further. No word on who is on the committee. Budget sessions begin April 8. Whether the budget this year will follow what Smith (and Keri Bagley) did last year is anyone's guess. Smith was trying to assign percentages to each department for any admin or treasurer function in order to get the true cost of running a department. Am not sure it was successful and was somewhat confusing-given how  past budgets were calculated. I hope this year that the ill-named Visitor Center will be changed to Tourism Division (continuing under the Community Development Department in the City's Administrative structure) which would reflect the actual activites of Tourism development of which the VC is only a small part. Also hope that the Visitor Information Center is designated as the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the City as er Arizona Office of Tourism specifications. The now visitor center would become a passive information room adjacent to and part of the the Mine Tour. Please see below for an explanation of how to pay for all Tourism activities. Check out the legislature activity. Man, they are putting the screws to local control, voter protection, schools, teachers, and more. Bisbee has so little representation, we ought to be dumping dope overboard in protest. I hope to do an in depth issue on air b&b/VRBO/Home Away overnight rentals in Bisbee soon. The corporation air b&b is fighting  attempts by cities trying to regulate what is happening in their neighborhoods. they threaten lawsuits, form phony front groups, and generally fight regulations that are commonsense. The effects of taking long term rentals off the market in Bisbee is apparent in prices and scarcity of rentals, particularly in OB. Short term rentals not only have those kind of adverse economic effects, but they tend to 'hollow out' the cultural life of cities. When permanent residents are scarce and out of city ownership increases, volunteerism of all kinds decline; cultural activities are not supported, schools suffer, social clubs shrink, and pride of place withers. I continue to muddle along with gmail although I am beginning to learn to do a newsletter from my not-yet-done website on Wix. I tried mailchimp and just couldn't get it. I think I'm just too dense and unwilling to put in the time to learn either. But the wunnerful Bridget will hopefully show me the light at the end of the tunnel . fred

.................................. COUNCIL AGENDA

Work Session Tuesday March 26, 5:30 at city Hall 915 S Tovreaville Rd (across from the county waste transfer site)Background Of interest: the background notes detail a 4 month timeline (start to finish 3/26-7/16) and format for hiring a new CM. Whether there may or may not be a public component to the process is to be decided. It also details the procedure that Pauken used in Winslow when hiring his replacement before he retired. Likely will be a similar procedure since he just went through it. If you have something to say about how the process should proceed, go to the meeting and put it out there.


1. Discussion and Possible Direction regarding the City Manager recruitment procedure. Stephen Pauken, Interim City Manager

%%%%%%%%%%%%%% BED TAX RAISE PROPOSED The iBisbee committee voted to ask the council to set a special election in August to raise the bed tax to 4.5%.(This is to increase the existing bed tax, not have a second bed tax as was the recently 1% that expired 3/1) This would not affect Bisbee residents and likely would not diminish visitation. The bed tax is completely paid by visitors and does not go into the general fund.  A raise would bring in an estimated $160,000-$200,000 that would fund all Tourism activities including operation of the Visitor Information Office, Tourism Director, half time person salary, and a bump in advertising. (The 1% tax brought in about $40k a year for the past four years before expiring) Hopefully the council will vote  in the April 2 meeting to put the issue to the voters. Time is of the essence cause there has to be a decision by the end of April to hold a special election. Although an election would cost the city, I vaguely remember the sum of $8k mentioned for a special election, it would be 'paid back' by the additional monies coming into town. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ BISBEE MENTIONS

//////////////////////////////MOTEL NO MO, NOW, APARTMENTS TO SCORE Americas Best Value Motel has been transformed into Hermosa Vista apartments. (Beautiful View in english) Prices vary but include all utilities, frigs, kitchettes., furnished. Studio $625.00; One Bedroom $775.00, 2 Bedroom $995.00Will continue to have short and long term rentals

////////////////////////////// HOT N' SPICY MOVES

They done picked up their jars of hot stuff and moved to  8 Naco Rd in the Bisbee Tour Company building.

//////////////////////////////// THEY COME, THEY GO The massage parlor on Main is suddenly vacant. Did they get gone? lease up? Skip town?



Firewise has put out a call for Wildfire preparation in OB. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day  is held annually in the US and Canada the 1st Saturday in May.  

Firewise volunteer crews will go to disadvantaged  persons’ homes in Old Bisbee and reduce fire risk. Please let them know if you’d like to nominate any in your neighborhood.  ASAP. Please include the name of the owner (if you know), address and/or a description of the specific location, a photo (first ask property owner’s permission) and short explanation of why the property is a fire risk to itself or our community at large. 

More info and volunteer at 227-6504 or at


OLD TIME BEISBALL BEEN BERRY BERRY GOOD TO BISBEE The Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament returns for its 10th year on April 6th and 7th, 2019 at Warren Ballpark. In addition to two fun days of Vintage Base Ball, as a special treat, the Friends of Warren Ballpark have invited the 18 piece Old Arizona Brass Band to play on Saturday April 6th. They are performing as the 4th U. S. Cavalry Regimental Band from 11:00 to 12:00 at the Farmer’s Market and between innings and games at Warren Ballpark from 1:00 p. m. until the end of play. Tix are $15 for two days, $10 for one. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

Friends of the Bisbee Airport (Non-Profit)Peter Levine Marilyn Siebold Old Bisbee Firewise (Non-Profit) Al Anderson Bisbee Holistic Wellness Center (Non-Profit) 24 Howell St.Clair Levy Bisbee Soap and Sundries Inc. 25 Main St Amber Avery-Pierce Ronald Pierce Raider Fabrications 20 Black Knob View David Raider $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Housing Sales

It is clear that in January and February, at least, housing prices have been increasing over the past four years. Even given that any one house, if sold for a big chunk of dough could throw off the stats somewhat the four year historical trend has been for increased prices early in the year. (2016/$82k, 2017/60k, 2018/$96k, 2019/4105k)

January prices for the past four years have been 2016/$114k, 2017/$103k, 2018/$155k, 2019/$156k. There has also been a decreasing number of houses on the market as sale prices rise. Not sure what that indicates...could be population stabilizing, could be less people dying, could be more people staying, could be early year months are not the best time to sell property-there are generally more homes listed in late Spring/early Summer. Likely it is a combo of several reasons. Going back to 2017, there were 10 houses sold for $606,840 for an average price of $60,684.On the market for 78 days.  In 2016 there were 9 houses sold for $740,888 at an average price of $82,321 on the market for 237 days Ten houses sold totaling $1,052,000) in February compared to five totalling $481,000 last Feb. Av. Price was $105,010 this year compared to $96,200. However houses were on the market longer 175/150 and took 25 days longer to close. This year there were 79 active houses for sale, compared to 120 last year. The total days on market last year was 294 compared to 160 this year. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ SALES TAXES COLLECTED


At the State legislature there are numerous odius bills being heard (and likely passed). One, HB 2115  sponsored by the realtor Gail Griffin 'our representative', preempts cities from addressing landlord-tenant issues, an authority which has been handled responsibly in the past protecting both parties involved in these disputes. Another Daddy/Mommy-knows-best State issue usurping local control. 

She also opposes an effort to regulate air b&b short term rentals. HB2672, that among other provisions, allows cities and towns to receive and use certain information from TPT licenses about short-term rental properties and their owners and establishes a mechanism to address nuisance short-term rental properties that impact the quiet enjoyment of neighborhoods.There are many other bills curtailing voter participation, petition circulating, HB2026 would establish a right to action for any resident to initiate a lawsuit in superior court against a city or town believed to be in violation of state laws prohibiting the use of public resources to influence an election.Go here for info on all active bills:


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page