top of page

Business, Work Opportunities in Bisbee


Economic development is often thought of in relatively narrow terms: new businesses, expansion of existing business, retention of businesses, new residents, tourism growth, and job creation. And to be precise, economic development in this sense should mean a net gain of money flow into Bisbee.

While that is true, what is really talked about in Bisbee is community development of which economic development is one facet. Community development is a broader term and encompasses, amenities, roads, cultural activity, education, planning, transportation, housing, economic sustainability, and beautification.

We need to invest in our community. We need to show ourselves, and visitors that might be thinking of investing their money here, that we care about the future of Bisbee.

Bisbee is shrinking in population, about 1000 people per decade. Our city is in a precarious financial situation, primarily because of a reduced tax base, and terrible decisions by State legislators that have taken money from us and threaten to take more, but also because of promises that were made to public safety persons in better economic times. The level of services in our city; garbage collections, road repairs, building inspection, public safety, city worker wages, sewer inspections, are just about at the most basic level.

I’m not crying wolf or exaggerating, but to inject realism in discussions about our future.

This post is about building and flourishing as a community. Our tasks are clear; we need to attract people to live and work here, add and develop new sources of revenue, and keep residents from leaving. That’s the bottom line.

It’s in that spirit that I offer the following suggestions.

This is a wish/want/possibility list that I have been putting together for a couple of years. Some are suggestions from other people that I have poached, fragments of conversations I have had, stuff I have read, and my own observations. I suspect you would have many things to add to these categories (loosely defined). Many of these suggestions take money, volunteers, and cooperation, but some don't. Above all it takes a desire to make Bisbee a better place for those of us living here and people that visit. Perhaps this year you can find time and/or money to do one thing you haven't done before that makes our city a better place to be. Because if it ain't us, then who?

Possible Business Opportunities/Economic Development

(These ideas are predicated on the belief that we have a huge workforce when we include AP, Douglas, Naco, as well as Bisbee. Any development should have Bisbee, Cochise County, AZ, US citizens first, but if there are not enough US citizens applying for jobs, than green card workers would be welcome.)

Entrepreneur/Individual & Micro-Business Possibilities

Event planning

Cooking classes

Hiking and Trail Guide

Biking tours of Cochise County

Walking history tours

Cemetery History Tours

Develop wine tours



Mailing, Boxing, Wrapping, Service

Painting designs on helmets;’bicycle, motorcycle, football

Fabrication business

Machine shop for specialty parts

Drive a golf ball into the Pit business (daily business or non profit fundraiser?)

Medium Size Spa

Building on the substantial core of active body care practitioners, (yoga, massage, holistic health, chiropractic, exercise) Bisbee could use a medium size spa with full range of beauty, wellness, water, massage, and health treatments.

Boutique Hotel

40-60 rooms

conference rooms to fit 150

parking for 120 vehicles

built to fit historically, architecturally, and visually

Garment/Sewing/Bag Factory

High end fashion construction and sewing/AZ designers

Utilize existing work force in Douglas/AP/Naco/Bisbee

Reusable bag manufacturing

Poach AP maquiladoras

Establish Bisbee offices (Velcro used to have a Bisbee office)

Attract/establish factories using Free Trade Zone designation

New Specialty restaurants/food carts


o Organize small scale gardening for specific markets

§ Micro greens/lettuce /in city

o Nursery/in city

§ Cactus

§ flowers

§ bedding plants

o Hydroponics and Aquaponics container growing /in city

o Sulphur Springs Valley build sustainable/organic sector/out of city

o Medical Marijuana Greenhouses /out of city

o Marijuana cultivation (if legal)/out of city

Electric Highway/Benson to Wilcox

Work with APS and Sulphur Springs Electric to install electric vehicle charging stations in cities on hwy 80. Market to electric car owners.


· Coaster race (regionalize it)

· BRATS (Bisbee Rolling Art Transport Society) (state-wide)

· Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball (state-wide)

· Bisbee 1000 Iron Man (nationalize it, reduce resident price)


An electric bike race

Mule Mountain bike race

100 mile Cochise County marathon

Kids soccer camp (summer)

Kids tennis camp (summer)

Kids golf camp (summer)

Kids language camp (summer)

Mexico/US amateur golf (any time)

Mexico/US marathon event

Regional/statewide soccer shootout competition


· An Art Car Weekend

o Parade

o Park and look

· Astronomy

o Build an event around annual meteor showers

· Birder Events

o Welcome Back to the Sandhill Cranes (Nov./white water draw)

o Expand on Hummingbird banding

· Monthly Board Game contest (cribbage, scrabble, etc.)

· Host regional game competitions

· Monsoon Midnight Lightning show (July/August on airport road)

· Festival of the Bisbee B’s......B mountain, Be Yourself, Bee pollinators

· Books/Authors/Readers (March)

piggyback on the Tucson Book Festival; authors read/panel discussions

one on one author’s interview other authors

· Bisbee Lodging Tour (in conjunction with the Garden tour?)

· Music concert series outdoor Saturday night for 12-16 weeks (OB & Warren)

· Outdoor Juried Art Fair

· Artists studio tours (in conjunction with lodging tour? Garden tour?)


Develop a multi-use path along Hwy 80 connecting all of Bisbee

Work with Freeport to develop hiking trails

Develop trails on city property

Develop Greenbush draw

Encourage walking in town

Work with other cities to develop bike trails in the county


(predicated on my belief that Bisbee should become more colorful and a fun place to live and visit)

Create four Welcome to Bisbee signs Colorful Art-inspired

Hwy 92 entrance in San Jose

Naco Highway North entrance to US from Mexico,

Hwy 80 West (before traffic roundabout)

Hwy 80 East

Mural on the tunnel entrance on west end of tunnel

Landscape the Hwy 80/Old Bisbee off ramp (ADOT)




Paint Murals throughout Bisbee on private and public buildings, fences/retaining walls

Paint/tile many of the staircases of Old Bisbee

Create a waterfall using recycled water

Develop Bisbee as an outdoor Sculpture Center Sculptures in all 3 districts. Invite local/regional/national sculptors to submit designs and placement. Subsidize through Foundation, Individual, and Corporate grants

Paint Our Town Spruce up/paint businesses, add murals, add awnings in all districts

Work with Cochise College to establish a pottery/ceramic center in Warren or San Jose

Place painted Javalinas ‘sculptures’ and other local desert creatures on streets

Place outdoor musical instruments at the Lavendar Pit overlook for people to randomly play (

Put small historical markers embedded in the sidewalk on a ‘walk’ through town.


Work with school district on literacy programs

Volunteer at a school

Volunteer at Boys and Girls Club

Volunteer at the library


Plant trees (desert willow?) and cactus (ocotillo?)on both sides of Hwy 92 East bound to the traffic circle

Plant trees (desert willow?) and cactus on both sides of Hwy 80 west bound to the traffic circle

Become Southern Arizona Wildflower Destination

Buy wildflower seed and give it free to residents to sow everywhere in Bisbee.

Pick up trash, haul away abandoned vehicles, cut weeds, fix potholes


Bisbee Bloomers

Boys and Girls Club

Bisbee Library

Visitor Information Office

Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum

Bisbee Restoration Museum

Bisbee Coalition for the Homeless


Friends of Bisbee Animal Shelter

Friends of the Copper Queen Library

Friends of Warren Ballpark

Bisbee 1000

Bisbee Wellness Initiative

Bisbee Women’s Club

Bisbee Senior Center

Bisbee Radio Project

Bisbee Community Chorus



bottom of page