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The state capital and largest city is Phoenix, which is the sixth most populous city nationwide. Phoenix is the center of the Phoenix metropolitan area which is also known as the Valley of the Sun and part of the Salt River Valley. Around 1960, Phoenix became a popular tourist destination for its exotic desert and unusual recreational opportunities. The downtown area of Phoenix developed significantly in the 1970s and was the site of major construction activity. In 2000, the city adopted a plan that split the city into nine urban villages. Each has its own planning committee directly appointed by the city council with the hope of developing a unique identity for each village. Some of these villages include Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, and Deer Valley. Arizona also has several other national monuments, forests, and national parks. One quarter of the state is dedicated to Indian reservations that are the home of several Native American tribes.

The majority of Phoenix’s early economy was based on agriculture and natural resources. Leading employment categories include office and administrative support, food preparation and serving, and transportation and material moving. Phoenix is the home to four Fortune 500 Companies. These include the electronics corporation, Avnet, the mining company, Freeport-McMoRan, PetSmart, and Republic Services. The city is also the headquarters of U-Haul International, Apollo Group, and Best Western.

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