GCU and its environs have been slowly gentrifying
The area around Grand Canyon University – stretching along Camelback Road and nearby Indian School from 21st to 37th avenues in west Phoenix – has been a little dicey for the past couple of decades, but recent efforts from the college have been slowly gentrifying the ‘hood. CONVERSION STORY: GCU was established as a nonprofit liberal arts college in 1949. Now, it’s a for-profit, private Christian university with a total of 72,000 students on campus and online. BUSINESS SCHOOL: In addition to construction of the GCU Stadium and GCU Arena for its soccer and basketball teams, respectively, the college is developing a four-story office complex to stimulate the surrounding economy. LOPE COUNTRY: The school’s mission to create “global citizens” has yielded outreach groups that work with local refugee populations.
La Pasadita Hot Dogs
Sonoran fare is el rey at this barebones but sweet hole-in-the-wall hot dog joint. Choose from five franks (Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Arizona and plain) or customize your own to pair with cheese fries. Better yet: Combine both dishes in salchipapas, a pile of crisp fries, chopped-up hot dog and condiments. Wash everything down with an agua fresca con crema, raspado or strawberry ice cream cone.
3601 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 623-900-4555, lapasaditahotdogs.com
We Ride Powersports
Gearheads can get their fix at this family-owned and -operated sports vehicle dealership (formerly Apache Motorcycles), which also has locations in Mesa and Scottsdale. The shop specializes in Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Spyder, Sea-Doo, Yamaha, SSR Motorsports and Can-Am vehicles, from ATVs and UTVs to dirt bikes and cruisers.
3618 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-973-5111, weridepowersportsphoenix.com
Grand Canyon Beverage Co.
Grand Canyon Beverage Co. is a “by students, for students” organization whose profits go to the school. You’ll find coffee bar staples like drip coffee, mochas, blended drinks and nitro cold brew. Try the Dirty Pumpkin, the lovechild of a pumpkin spice latte and a dirty chai. Breakfast options include croissant breakfast sandwiches, cold oats with fruit, and scratch-made pastries (baked goods are available all day).
Three locations on campus, gcbc.gcu.edu
Grand Canyon University Hotel & Restaurant
Like GCBC, this hotel and restaurant is a student-led, student-employed business. It’s a long walk or three-minute drive from the college (a shuttle service is available to ferry visitors to and from campus). In addition to its 150 rooms, fitness center and resort-style pool, the hotel houses Canyon 49 bar and grill, a cafeteria-style eatery with a communal space for chilling and playing cornhole. The hotel and restaurant are staffed by students majoring in hospitality management.
5115 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, 602-639-8502, gcuhotel.com
Above, from left: Grand Canyon Beverage Co., Grand Canyon University Hotel & Restaurant
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