This is the third in a series of four articles in which Florence’s mayoral candidates respond in writing to questions from the Florence Reminder. Grammar and typos are the candidates’ own. The General Election is Nov. 3.

Q. Is tourism important to Florence? If so, do we have all we need to offer tourists a worthwhile experience? If not, what ingredients or pieces do we need to complete the package, and how do we get them?

Kyle Larsen: Tourism should become important to Florence because of our History. Before you market and attract tourists, we need something to come to. Empty buildings do not impress anyone. We will work feverishly to get a steady flow of people to our town after we get store fronts occupied. In the meantime, we will keep doing (and add to) the events that bring people to Main St.

  • Tara Walter: The Town of Florence has been continuously working on tourism. Recently, we partnered with the Florence Chamber offering 25K of the CARES funding in a matching grant effort. Over the years, we have grown our events that draw local and out of town visitors. Florence has increased Activities and Events, Bringing People Together: Halloween Jr. Parada Parade and Rodeo Christmas on Main St. Jingle Bell Jog Make a Difference Day Memories on Main Car Classics and Customs Car and Bike Show Historic Home Tour Road to Country Thunder Florence Music Festival Arts and Culture Festival. Looking at large scale projects such as Grinders Sports Complex and Poston Butte Preserve, there will be a draw to demographics that may not have looked at Florence in the past. These projects will create destinations for people looking for recreation and fuel additional projects to create opportunity and growth in our area.

Q. What’s your favorite place to be, or thing to do, in Florence?

Larsen: I like to visit all of our businesses and frequent most of the restaurants. I visit the Hardware store on a very regular basis because I like DIY projects. I enjoy the music events and we have a first-class golf course that I like to use.

Walter: Florence offers many great places to different activities. When I want to get exercise and be outside, nothing beats a hike up F Mountain to get an aerial view of our great Town. Looking at some of my favorite Historic Homes and Landmarks gives me the nostalgic feeling of real Florence History. I wonder to myself what things looked like at that time and am I preserving the history that those who settled, grew up, lived and worked here would expect. However, nothing beats the Friday Night Lights at FHS letting loose with our great parents, friends and families cheering at my son’s football games!!!

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Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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