State Capitol News
8:18 am
Wed January 27, 2010

Lawmakers work to make Arizona oficially the Grand Canyon state

Phoenix, AZ – It's on our license plates, in tourism brochures and even on
signs welcoming visitors to Arizona. But state historian Marshall
Trimble said it was only after being queried by a school girl
that he discovered that Arizona is not the Grand Canyon State --
at least not officially. Trimble told members of the House
Government Committee he promised the girl he would remedy that.

(It would be wonderful, with our centennial coming up, it would
be a nice gift to the people of Arizona. And, besides, the people
of Arizona have had a lot of bad news this past year. And I think
this would be a nice thing to present to them to have a real
official state nickname.)

But Barry Aarons, lobbyist for the Arizona Tourism Alliance, said
there's more than just pride involved.

(About 10 or 12 years ago there was a survey done of foreign
visitors to the Grand Canyon. And 71 percent of them believed
that the Grand Canyon is in Las Vegas.)

Aarons said that's not surprising, as most tours of the canyon
originate there. So how much effect would an official designation
have? Hard to say. It would simply add the nickname to a list of
other official state items including turquoise as the state
gemstone, the palo verde as the state tree, the cactus wren as
state bird, the Arizona trout as the state fish and even the bola
tie as the official state neckwear. For Arizona Public Radio this
is Howard Fischer