Bisbee is "The other mile high city". At an elevation of 5300 feet, nestled in the Mule Mts., the temperatures are cooler than Phoenix, Tucson or even Sierra Vista, making it an ideal place to vacation or own a home in the southwest. The locals like to say that when you pass through the Mule Pass Tunnel, you go through the time tunnel. Believe it!! The architecture of Historic Old Bisbee is a beautiful collection of turn-of-the-century Victorian homes and buildings. There is a definite “Old World” charm that you will experience walking through winding streets of downtown. The many artist’s shops and antique stores are fascinating. This former mining community has evolved into one of the best areas in the country to own a second home or to retire to.
Here are other Bisbee information sources for you:
Bisbee Chamber of Commerce – www.bisbeearizona.com
Bisbee Visitor Center -- www.discoverbisbee.com
City of Bisbee-- www.cityofbisbee.com
School information: http://www.greatschools.org/arizona/bisbee/
Golf, you want golf that’s just down the road? Check this out:
The sudden flood of real estate onto the market and crash in housing prices, coupled with an attractive climate and picturesque scenery, led to Bisbee's subsequent rebirth as an artists' colony in the early 1970's. Chief among the visionaries who turned the ailing mining town into the tourist destinationn it later became, were trhee men who saw Bisbee's prtential during this time of exodus.
Artist Stephen Hutchison and his wife, Marcia, purchased the town's anchor business and architectural gem, The Copper Queen Hotel, from the Phelps-Dodge mining company in 1970 after the company had failed to find a local buyer. The deed to the hotel had been offered to any local resident for the sum of $1.00, will no success. Hutchison purchased and renovated the hotel, as well as other buildings in the downtown, which included a turn of the century Brewery and Stock Exchange. Hutchison began to actively market Bisbee as a destination where travelers could find the authentic, old southwest, complete with aging long-term residents who would recount their experiences from their easy chairs on the vast hotel front porch.
Hutchison's endeavors attracted another dynamic personality, developer Ed Smart, the second figure in Bisbee's '70's revitalization triumvirate. Among the many guests at the hotel from nearby California.
John Wayne was a frequent visitor to Bisbee and The Copper Queen. He befriended Hutchison and eventually partnered with Smart in his real estate ventures, completing the triumvirate. This period of Bisbee's history is well documented in contemporary articles in The New Yorker and in an article by Calvin Trillin in The Cornell Review. It was at this time that Bisbee became a haven for artists and hippies fleeing the larger cities of Arizona and California and, later, the increasing gentrification of places like Aspen, Colorado.
The rediscovery of Bisbee by baby boomers in the 1990's saw it develop a more polished look, complete with coffee shops and live theater. Many of the old houses have been renovated, and property values in Bisbee now greatly exceeded those of other Southeastern Arizona cities.
Today, the original city of Bisbee is known as "Old Bisbee" and is home to a thriving downtown cultural scene. Old Bisbee is also noted for its architecture, including its Victorian style houses and elegant art deco courthouse. Because it's plan was laid out before the automobile, Old Bisbee has an almost European feel. The town's hilly terrain is exemplified by the old three-story high school: each floor has a ground-level entrance.
In the May-June 2000 issue of Mordern Maturity, the AARP hichlighted what they called the most "alive" places to retire in the U.S. Bisbee was a runner-up as one of the "quirkiest" towns in America. You really have to come and visit.