Avondale’s economic

Kenneth Chapa is Avondale’s economic development and tourism director.

As NASCAR drivers started their engines at the Phoenix Raceway during the championship weekend, hotels along Avondale Boulevard were already several laps into their race for revenue. 

When NASCAR races come to the Phoenix Raceway, the city of Avondale almost doubles in population size, said Kenneth Chapa, the municipality’s economic development and tourism director. During race week, almost 180,000 people converge on the city.  

“This is a second year in a row that we (Avondale) hosted the championship. NASCAR is a big deal. I mean, that’s basically like us hosting a Super Bowl two years in a row,” Chapa said. 

Last year was not representative of the economic impacts of the event on tourism, though, Chapa said. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the raceway and NASCAR limited the number of in-person guests. 

This year was a different story. The grandstands were open and sold out. De’Markus Tate, assistant general manager at the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Avondale, said his facility on Avondale Boulevard sold out during the week of the race. 

Tate said the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Avondale’s usual prices sit around $269 to $369 a night. During race weeks, the hotel can raise the prices about 50% to 100%, and tourists will still pay. 

“We made a lot from the events because every hotel does that. They all depend mostly on these big events because they can make so much money. It kind of carries them throughout the year,” Tate said. 

Prices can be over $529 for a single room at the Hilton Garden Inn during race weeks, Tate said. The hotel has about 120 rooms and can accommodate around 250 guests. 

Brandy Washington, the general manager of the Residence Inn by Marriott on Avondale Boulevard, said her hotel’s prices can double or triple on race weekends. 

“Both (NASCAR) races throughout the year are our biggest events of the year that are special events. They bring just major impacting as far as revenue or even just to the whole area in general,” Washington said. 

Even beyond NASCAR events, hotels in Avondale have an advantage because of their proximity to big event venues in the Valley, Chapa said. 

Tate said the Hilton gets weekend business from the Ak-Chin Pavilion concert venue, Cardinals fans, Spring Training events and games from the nearby sports complex. On Mondays to Thursdays, business is primarily corporate.

The city of Avondale is also undergoing significant commercial expansions that will bring in new sources of revenue, Chapa said. 

According to the Census Bureau, Avondale is one of the top 10 fastest-growing cities in Arizona by percentage growth. Avondale’s population increased by over 17% from 2010 to 2020. 

“The BLVD is probably going to be built out completely with multifamily and restaurants and retail, commercial (business) in the next few years. It’s going to look completely different on that plot of land,” Chapa said. 

The BLVD is designed to attract a wide variety of boutique retail and dining opportunities. The cost of living has gone up in response to the incoming businesses, but city officials say Avondale is still focused on creating a good experience for residents. 

“We really are committed to making sure that Avondale is what is good for our residents, not necessarily what somebody else wants us to be,” Chapa said. “What are our residents wanting to be?”