Friday, November 28, 2008

Grand opening of our Phoenix store & info center, Dec. 4

We're holding the grand opening of Explore Arizona, our new Phoenix map-bookstore/outdoor information center next Thursday, from 11:30 am to 1 pm. It's on the ground floor of the Phelps-Dodge Tower at One North Central Ave and Washington St. in the Copper Square area of downtown. We validate for parking in the P-D garage.

The center is a joint venture between AZGS for the State of Arizona and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), operated by AZGS.

We're making Explore Arizona a one-stop shop for all state and federal information and publications on the natural history, natural resources, recreation, and environment of Arizona, as well as carrying a variety of retail products.

The full line of AZGS publications are available along with topo maps from USGS, BLM, and USFS, as well as growing variety of technical and popular products from other agencies and publishers.

We invite you to stop in see what we have to offer.

We've created this without using any state taxpayer funds. It's an entrepreneurial approach to providing greater services and access to government materials through a sustainable business model.


  1. Will those of us not in Arizona have online access to the books and maps soon? Looks like a nice store!

  2. We are required to use the state contractor to set up our e-commerce site. We've been waiting over a year now and they are not able to give us any estimate of when they can start creating the site for us.

    Now, the state is diverting the contractor to other projects, so e-commerce may be dead for the foreseeable future.

  3. This sounds like a great idea. Its nice to see agencies pooling their resources to make a much richer facility.

    While waiting for ecommerce they might simply post a price list of items available and a phone number. That will give anyone who really wants to buy a way to order by phone.

  4. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Interesting? BLM / AZGS "JV" space from the PD building w/ non taxpayer money - Where does the money come from? AZGS likely could have saved a nickle and shown some common sense interagency cooperation had they used space from the ADMMR building. ADMMR has lots of space, already has a much larger audience including already existing educational and professional vistors. The PD building is not on the destination of most people seeking Geo information. I propose ADMMR takes over the AZGS and its functions.
    Your friendly Mineral Exploration Geologist

  5. The space is rented by BLM which has their offices upstairs in the P-D Tower. AZGS did not have funds to open up an outlet in Phoenix, so partnering and leveraging our resources is the best way to provide services to the state's largest population center.

    We know a lot of folks don't like to drive downtown, but we do offer validated parking and the new light rail stops just across the corner.

    As for moving in with ADMMR, they told us there is no room. In fact, we've been told we have to vacate the one 8' x 8' office we are using in the ADMMR building because they need the space.

    I know there is still anger over the proposal to merge ADMMR into AZGS last year, but the reason for that plan was to use AZGS entrepreneurial expertise to bring in additional outside revenues and resources and help stabilize and subsidize the ADMMR operation. ADMMR had said budget cuts would force them to lay off 40+% of the staff and the situation is worse this year.

    In contrast,in the last 18 months, AZGS has opened a Phoenix branch office with 5 staff in it, opened the Explore Arizona center, and is continuing to grow at 25% per year. Now, more than 2/3 of our funding comes from external sources rather than state general funds. That is allowing us to weather the state budget shortfall better than agencies that rely entirely or mostly on state taxes.

  6. Let me elaborate a bit on the costs of the center to AZGS. BLM pays the rent and utilities and provides a full-time person to help staff the store. AZGS manages the operation and keeps the proceeds of all sales except for the custom maps produced on the BLM plotter.

    Because we are close to the ASU downtown campus we also are recruiting students looking for internships to help out in the center/store.

    When we opened, a fiscal analyst from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee came by to see what we are doing and how it is run. He expressed great pleasure at the arrangement and the operation.

    You should come by and discover Phoenix's new center for geologic information.

  7. Where can I find a ROCK HAMMER for purchase in Phoenix, AZ? Carmen

  8. Carmen, Brian Gootee in our Phoenix office has found rock hammers at Ace Hardware stores and Home Depot. One of the more popular brands Estwing. You can usually choose between wood and steel/rubber coated handles. Some geologists carry 3 and 5 lb. crack hammers for bulky rocks, and we've found these at the same stores.

  9. Im so happy Thank you Lee! Much appreciated!! My husband has been wanting one so guess who is getting an assortment for Valentines day! So glad I came across this site.

  10. Anonymous10:09 AM

    I and my family was here at visiting our parents, and my little daugther studing geology at the university, can you tell me bussines hours to visit the store?

  11. Unfortunately, we had to close the Phoenix store due to budget cuts. However, we do continue to operate our Tucson store, now relaunched as the Arizona Experience store.

    Store hours are 8am-5pm, M-F. But most of our publications and products are available online at