Payson, Arizona


Courtesy of the Arizona State Department of Commerce


Payson, located at the "Heart" of Arizona and a pleasant 90-minute drive from the Phoenix metropolitan area, is renowned for its beauty, recreational opportunities and, more recently, its dynamic business environment.

At an elevation nearing 5,000 feet, the area enjoys a mild four-season climate that attracts visitors from throughout the world the year around. Rich in its Western heritage, Payson - with an average trade population of some 28,000 - offers the atmosphere of rural America, with the amenities of a metropolis.

Principal Economic Activities...

The local economy is dominated by the tourism and retirement industries, with a growing emphasis on manufacturing and service firms. Also being encouraged is light industry that is compatible with the community's "High Quality of Life." Many Arizonans and visitors alike migrate to cool Payson in the summer. In the winter, the community attracts many visitors who want to enjoy its scenery, mild climate and rural atmosphere.

Among the area's major employers are the Payson Unified School District, the Mazatzal Casino, Banner Payson Medical Center, and the Town of Payson. In recent years, several manufacturing operations have located in Payson, including Precision Intricast (precision orthotics device manufacturer), Pulau Electronics, Custom Aircraft (airplane assembly/repair firm), and Daryl's Precision (precision machine work). Other employers include Gollipops (lollipop producer) and the Payson Candle Factory.

The Town of Payson Economic Development Department works actively with new and existing business to provide high quality business and employment opportunities for area residents. It operates a revolving fund loan program for use by local and relocating firms requiring low-interest financing. All of Gila County is an Enterprise Zone.

Scenic Attractions...

Nestled in the gently rolling hills of the majestic Mogollon Rim - a 7,000 foot, 200 mile long escarpment - Payson is just minutes away from the seven Rim Lakes and countless trout streams. Popular outdoor activities include hiking, fishing, camping, golf, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and hunting. One of only three pure air ozone belts in the world, Payson sits on the edge of the world’s largest stand of ponderosa pine.

Local attractions include the Tonto National Bridge, Shoo-Fly Indian Archaeological Site, Tonto Fish Hatchery, a llama ranch, a town-wide Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and the new 45-acre Green Valley Park featuring three fishing lakes and space for many recreational activities.

Payson also boasts the Recreational Fly-in Campground located at Payson Airport. Payson hosts the "World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo" in August and the Spring Pro Rodeo in May. Other festivals occur throughout the year, including the Art and Craft shows, the June Bug Blues Festival, and the State Championship Fiddlers Contest in September.

If you'd like an idea of what things look like around the area, take a cyber-stroll thru any one of the Galleries in the RIMages section of the site. Click the button and enjoy!

             Images of the Rim Country

1990 2000 2015
PAYSON 8,377 13,620 15,476
GILA COUNTY 40,216 51,335 53,159
ARIZONA 3.665 million 5.131 million 6.802 million

1990 2000 2016
Civilian Labor Force 3,033 3,367 6,608
Unemployed 110 94 1,005
Unemployment Rate 3.6% 2.8% 6.5%

1990 2000 2016
Taxable Sales ($) 93,413,750 241,901,550 242,322,450
New Building Permits 321 442 253
Net Assessed Valuation ($) 52,544,663 118,452,332 167,943,002

City - 3% County - 1% State - 5.6%

· Additonal demographic and economic data may be obtained by following this link to a web site compiled by Ronald Gunderson, Professor of Economics, Northern Arizona University.

Community Facilities...

Payson offers a broad range of community facilities, including a new 16,000 sf library, museum, state-of-the-art indoor multi-plex movie theater, three golf courses, three lighted tennis courts, an auditorium, swimming pool, two parks, a bowling alley and a new 36-acre multi-event outdoor entertainment center. The new Gila Community College complex consists of 20,000 sf in four buildings on 53 wooded acres.

COMMUNICATION - In addition to communication resources from the rest of the state, Payson has a local bi-weekly newspaper, The Payson Roundup, two local radio stations and one television station, and numerous television and radio stations from Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff. Cellular, fiber optics, cable TV, digital switching, local internet dial-up and local cable internet services are also available.

EDUCATION - Payson has three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, several private (charter) schools and a community college with five degree and three certificate programs. Northern Arizona University, in partnerdship with Gila Community College, offers undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information, call (928) 474-2224.

MEDICAL - The 44-bed Banner Payson Medical Center has helicopter medical transport and contains an emergency room and trauma center, radiology and laboratory facilities, operating suites, outpatient rooms, and a recovery unit. Other medical resources are two nursing homes and more than 30 medical professionals including physicians, osteopaths, orthodontists, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, opticians, and ophthalmologists.

FINANCIAL - There are three full-service banks and three mortgage banking offices in Payson. Payson businesses are eligible for assistance in financing fixed assets through the Finance and Administration Division of the Arizona Department of Commerce. Information on private activity bonds within the town may be obtained from the same source or from the Industrial Development Authority of Payson, Payson Economic Development Corporation, Arizona; c/o Director for Economic Development; Payson Town Hall; 303 North Beeline Highway; Payson, Arizona 85541.

GOVERNMENTAL - Payson is governed by a mayor and six council members. The town has a full-service police department and a full-service fire department with two stations. The Gila County Sheriff and the Department of Public Safety also maintain offices in Payson.

AIRPORT - Payson Municipal Airport (CTAF 122.8) supports some 30,000 operations per year on its lighted 5,500' x 75' runway at 5,157' ASL and offers FBO, fueling, maintenance facilities, hangars, tie-downs, flight instruction, scenic flights, charter service, and a restaurant. The latest addition is a "fly-in campground" with runway access.

INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES - There are two industrial parks available. One is just west of the junction of state Route 87 and state Route 260; the other is adjacent to Payson Municipal Airport. For additional information, contact the Payson Chamber of Commerce.

Electricity: APS, 1-800-253-5405
Natural Gas: Alliant Gas, (928) 474-2294
Telephone: Century Link, 1-800-244-1111
Water: Town of Payson, (928) 474-5242
Sewer: Northern Gila County Sanitary District, (928) 474-5257

LODGING AND MEETING FACILITIES - Payson is home to nine motels with a total of approximately 600 rooms; meeting facilities are available, with the largest seating 600 people. Additionally, the area offers several bed and breakfast and cabin facilities, as well as nine RV parks and six campgrounds.

Weather Statistic, averages*...

MONTH Daily Max °F Daily Min °F Total Precip (inches)
January 53.1 23.7 2.11
February 57.2 25.8 1.43
March 61.4 28.4 1.78
April 70.0 34.7 0.96
May 79.8 41.2 0.43
June 88.9 49.0 0.50
July 92.5 58.5 3.10
August 89.2 57.0 3.30
September 85.2 49.8 1.86
October 75.5 40.0 1.64
November 63.3 30.5 1.45
December 55.2 24.5 2.21
YEAR 72.5 38.6 20.77
*Payson Reporting Station, elevation: 4,913 feet.
Average Total Snow, Sleet and Hail Annually: 24.7 inches (Based on a 30-year average)

Source material:

Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 1380
Payson, AZ 85547
(928) 474-4515 FAX: 928.474.8812

Town of Payson HomePage

Arizona Department of Commerce
3800 N. Central Ave., Ste. 1400
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 280-1321 FAX: 602.280.1305


©The Onyx Group - Updated 03.20.18