Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One of 24

By Nate Thompson, Jerry Appel and Julie Albertson

Arizona heat can be a challenge to those who live in Phoenix, but for visitors unaccustomed to the furnace-like temps, it can also be dangerous.

That’s why the city of Phoenix employs a virtual army of people whose job it is to give directions and advice to people unfamiliar with the area’s Central Valley.

The orange shirt-wearing guides serve as a kind of concierge to the city’s visitors.

Mark King is a Downtown Phoenix Ambassador, and he had a plethora of advice for visitors to the nation’s fifth largest city.

“Keep hydrated and find the shade is what I tell people,” said King. “I carry a water bottle with me all the time and step into restaurants during the day to fill it.

The city also has misters that people can walk beneath when the heat becomes oppressive. “I’ve had people laugh about those, usually people from Canada,” said King.

He also directs people to visit the Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau where visitors have their questions answered and pick up colorful pamphlets detailing downtown activities.

Phoenix Downtown Ambassador Mark King explains how he helps visitors stay cool. (Photo by Julie Albertson)

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