The City of Peoria was established originally in the 1880s when William J. Murphy’s vision of fertile farm lands watered by the Salt River became a reality with the completion of the Arizona Canal in 1885. Once this canal was completed, Mr. Murphy attracted the attention of many prospective residents, and over 5,000 acres were developed in the area by citizens from Peoria, IL, alone. The City of Peoria continued to develop as a farming community and was incorporated in 1954 with one square mile. With a great deal of expansion in the past several decades, Peoria is now 117 square miles and home to over 137,000 residents. The city had growth of 171% from 1990 to 2005, and is the 4th largest city in Arizona in terms of incorporated area, and the 9th largest in terms of population. From a simple community of ranchers and farmers has grown a large, dynamic desert city.
Peoria is home to a diverse labor pool reflecting the wide range of industries found in the community. This labor pool is younger than the national average, and over 50% of the city’s residents have at least one year of college education. Workers include traditional blue collar workers, skilled and unskilled workers, and professionals in a wide range of fields and practices.
Peoria is known as the “Gateway to Lake Pleasant,” one of the finest water recreation areas in Arizona. You can sail, fish, ski, camp or take a dinner cruise at this fabulous park, just a few miles from home. There are executive and championship golf courses in Peoria, fantastic hiking trails in the White Tank Mountains or Bradshaw Mountains just minutes from town, and last, but not least…spring training! The Peoria Sports Complex is a world class facility that is the first Major League Baseball spring training and player development facility to house two teams – the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners. And, with over 300 days of sunshine, this facility is open and used year round by the teams.