Community Profile | City of Somerton

Western Arizona Economic Development District

City of Somerton

Background

Located in the fertile Yuma Valley, about 12 miles south of Yuma, at an elevation of 103 feet, is the City of Somerton. The city is approximately 12 miles from the Mexican border and 180 miles east of San Diego. U.S. Highway 95 (Main Street) and Somerton Avenue run north and south through Somerton and bounded by the Cocopah Indian Reservations (east and west). Established in 1898 and incorporated in 1918, Somerton's population has doubled during the last ten years, reaching 15,000.

Somerton has a long history of overcoming physical and economic adversity. Early settlers had to prevail over the Colorado River floods to realize the area's agricultural lands' tremendous potential. This potential was the driving force for establishing the Somerton School District in 1902, and the paving of Main Street in 1917.

The downtown business district survived a massive fire in 1926 and continued as a significant economic influence in Yuma County until the early 1960s. With a rich heritage and culture, Somerton has a downtown redevelopment plan that offers a package of incentives for businesses that locate in the downtown area or existing businesses that need to upgrade their premises.

Principal Economic Activities

Agriculture, medical services, and tourism are the primary economic activities in the local economy. Retail activity continues to grow along with the population. Somerton's small-town-feel, historic downtown, and culture are unique, and visitors from all over the Yuma Region enjoy coming to the many special events offered throughout the year.

The city's location between two major population areas running through U.S. Highway 95, Yuma to the north and San Luis, Arizona, and San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, to the south, makes Somerton an ideal location for special events and entertainment venues.

Scenic Attractions

Somerton is the native region of the Cocopah Nation, which is a large employer with seven different entertainment, lodging, and cultural attractions: The Cocopah Casino, The Cocopah Resort & Conference Center, The Cocopah Rio Colorado Golf Course, The Cocopah Museum and Cultural Center, Cocopah RV and Golf Resort, Cocopah Speedway and Wild River Family Entertainment Center. Somerton is a community that honors its cultural diversity and heritage, and more than 30,000 people flock to Somerton for the annual Tamale Festival every year in December.

Community Facilities

The City of Somerton offers many recreational and educational activities to its residents and visitors through its parks and recreation program and community services. The community center includes the Somerton Heritage Pool, gymnasium and YMCA Youth Center, Valle del Desierto Senior Center, Somerton Cultural Center, baseball fields, Main Street Ball Park, Joe Muños Municipal Park, and other parks with playgrounds and ramadas.

It is the mission of the Somerton Parks and Recreation Department to enhance the quality of recreational activities offered and the attractiveness of parks and facilities to provide a better quality of life to its residents.

Local Resources

City of Somerton

Hector Tapia,
Economic Development Director
143 N. State Ave.
P.O. Box 638
Somerton, AZ 85350
Phone: 928-722-7330
Email: Hector Tapia
Website: City of Somerton

Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation

Julie Engel,
President & CEO
899 E. Plaza Circle, Ste. 2
Yuma, AZ 85366
Phone: 928-782-7774
Email: Julie Engel
Website: Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation

Yuma County Chamber of Commerce

Kimberly Kahl,
Executive Director
180 W. 1st St., Suite A
Yuma, AZ 85364
Phone: 928-782-2567
Email: Yuma County Chamber of Commerce
Website: Local First Arizona

Local First Arizona

Kimber Lanning,
Chief Executive Officer
407 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602-956-0909
Email: Local First Arizona
Website: Local First Arizona

Arizona Commerce Authority

100 N. 7th Ave., Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-845-1200
Email: Arizona Commerce Authority Information
Website: Arizona Commerce Authority Home Page

Last Updated by University of Arizona - Yuma (CAST): 04/21/2021

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