Goodyear Arizona

The photo used by Money magazine.

Forget about much-hyped cities like Scottsdale, Surprise, Fountain Hills, Chandler, Mesa and Phoenix.

They didn’t make the list.

Goodyear did.

Goodyear is one of the 100 best places to live in the United States, according to Money magazine.

Money ranked Goodyear No. 22 in the country, just after Columbia, Maryland, and Spring Valley, Nevada.

No other Arizona city or town made the list.

Goodyear was ahead of Asheville, North Carolina (No. 27), Arlington, Virginia (No. 30), Bend, Oregon (No. 34) and Santa Fe, New Mexico (No. 41).

While that may raise some eyebrows, Todd Heilesen of West USA Realty, for one, gets it. 

“I’ve lived here since 2002, I’ve raised my family here, so that does not surprise me given all Goodyear has to offer and the growth, all of the shopping and restaurants, the parks,” Heilesen said.

“It’s a great place to raise a family.”

Newcomers to Goodyear, the realtor said, are “impressed with how well kept the community is. Driving down Litchfield Road lined with palm trees, the general feel.”

The Money magazine story was titled “The Best Places to Live in America: From cities to towns to neighborhoods, here’s where you should — and can afford to — settle down.”

Money had this to say about Goodyear’s economy:

“With a brand-new Microsoft campus and a Nike manufacturing facility set to bring in more than 500 full-time jobs, the city of Goodyear, located just outside of Phoenix, has ample career opportunities. Job growth in the surrounding county increased by 23.1% from 2010 to 2018, and is projected to go up 7.7% by 2023.”

The weather also looked pretty good, to the Money folks:

“Goodyear gets 296 sunny days a year, and residents enjoy stunning desert landscapes nestled beneath Estrella Mountain Regional Park. There are two man-made lakes to help beat the Arizona heat, or folks can take a dip in the Gila River. Sports fans enjoy ballgames at the renowned Goodyear Ballpark, spring training home to the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians.”

Reporter Chloe Wilt tied in some history in the story.

“It’s only about a 25-minute drive, barring traffic, to arrive in downtown Phoenix, which offers a wide variety of bars and restaurants. If the city’s name sounds familiar, you should know that Goodyear was, in fact, founded over 100 years ago by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Factory as a place to grow cotton for its tires. There’s one more connection to a well-known brand: a Snyder’s of Hanover pretzel factory is also in town.”