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Flagstaff's New Years Pine Cone Drop

by Gary Nelson

Flagstaff's New Years Pin Cone Drop

What is the perfect way to ring in the New Year in Arizona's only true mountain town?  The eagerly-anticipated annual Pinecone Drop is fast approaching!  Flagstaff, Arizona's annual New Years celebration is not to be missed and is not only for the hardy folk that brave that brisk mountain air on New Years Eve.  And best of all, it happens right on the corner of Leroux Street and Aspen Avenue in Downtown Flagstaff.

Each year, a huge fabricated pine cone is lowered at exactly midnight in downtown Flagstaff along with a count down and an eager crowd.  The first drop is at 10PM  for families with children and for those that want to be snug at home at midnight on New Years eve.  2 hours later, the midnight drop is a bit louder and a bit rowdier but is a lot of fun! Here is some general info:

Here is what it looks like to actually witness the Pine Cone Drop:

As you can see, there is quite the crowd spilling out onto several blocks of downtown Flagstaff and even occupying most of Heritage Square.

The perfect spot in downtown hosts the event each year.  The Weatherford Hotel installs the pine cone in early December along with a countdown timer to build anticipation with Flagstaff's locals and tourists alike.  Here is some info on how the Weatherford Hotel had such a great idea and how that idea has taken off here in Flagstaff:

And finally...for the best insider tip I can give you...park at my office, walk down early and stake out a spot at your favorite haunt.  At 10 minutes to midnight, head outside and join the crowd! Keep warm, my it will be brisk!  


Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at

Happy Everything!

by Gary Nelson

This pretty much sums it up!  Happy Everything To Everyone!


Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at

Flagstaff Holiday Light Parade Lights Up Downtown Flagstaff

by Gary Nelson

Holiday Light Parade

This coming Saturday, December 12th is Flagstaff’s annual Light Parade.  Although this parade is much smaller than Flagstaffs annual Fourth of July parade that some think is the best in the nation, the Light Parade also packs in quite a few spectators to downtown Flagstaff to start the Holiday Season off right.

flagstaff holiday light parade

The parade starts at 6PM on Saturday December 12th, heading south on Beaver Street, east on Aspen Avenue and then north on San Francisco Street and finishes at about Elm Street.  Go a bit early to stake out that perfect spot.  If you have kids or are just a kid at heart, this event is not to be missed.

Here is a link to the Chamber of Commerce’s website for the event:

Also, here is a video posted several years ago by the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau:

Each year, Realty Executives of Flagstaff holds a client appreciation event in conjunction with the Holiday Light Parade, and this year is no exception.  Decorated to the hilt, Realty Executives blocks off the parking lot, serves hot chocolate and cookies, has Mrs. Claus giving out candy and reading stories to the wee folk and has fire pits to keep everyone warm.  If you are reading this, give me a call and perhaps we can arrange for you to crash the party!

Also, here is a link to my earlier blog post on other great things to do this December in Flagstaff!  Take a look:




Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at

Flagstaff Housing Update - December 2015

by Gary Nelson

Here is the information you are looking for about what is happening in Flagstaff housing in 2015.  Inside Flagstaff, the average price paid for a “home” in the past 12 months was $319,400 and the median price was $298,000. This compares to the 2014 calendar year statistics of an average of $308,500 and the median price for a “home” was $291,900. This is for all types of homes.

More accurately, a single family home has an average sales price of $382,500 this past 12 months as opposed to a our all-time high, which was the 2006 average of $452,200. The average townhouse is at $273,200 and a condo is at $163,600. It takes an average of 117 days to sell a home in the past 12 months. Again, this is for the city of Flagstaff for the past 12 months. Rural markets near Flagstaff are slightly different, so please contact me for accurate information in rural areas.

When reading the above information, keep in mind that I average information over a one year period, not quarterly and not monthly.  Why do I average over a 12 month period?  Because we are an extremely seasonal market and a small market at that!  A comparison of a one month period to that month of the year before may show an increase or decrease of activity, but a minor fluctuation in closed sales would throw the data off to indicate a problem in the market.  Also, sales in Northern Arizona are typically slow during the colder months and heat up nicely during spring and summer.

When looked at on a monthly basis, we are seeing a steady increase in values in townhouses, and in single family homes. Less so for condominiums. Condominium sales continue to remain sluggish due to the difficulty in financing them and most sales are still cash.  This will change in 2016 as FHA has announced changes to their condo guidelines.  More on that later!

I will be updating you soon with the 2015 year end market update.  Stay tuned for that in early January, 2016!

Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at

Flagstaff Events To Get You In The Christmas And Holiday Spirit!

by Gary Nelson


Looking for a great way to get into the swing of things this Holiday Season here in the Northland?  Take a look at these great upcoming events:

The Polar Express:  Take the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, AZ straight to the North Pole!  Inspired by the classic children’s book and the film by the same name. From now until January 3rd, with trains leaving daily at 5:30 and 7:30PM.  Some days have a 3:30 matinee. or 1888-848-3511 for info.  Williams, AZ Train Station.


A Christmas Carol:  Theatrikos Theater Company presents the classic Dickens tale on stage in downtown Flagstaff.  From now through December 20th.  Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30PM, Sundays at 2PM. or 928-774-1662 for info.  11 W. Cherry Avenue, Flagstaff.


The North Pole Experience:  Visit Santa’s Workshop at this not-to-be-missed and internationally acclaimed Christmas event!  This attraction has been rated as one of the top themed attractions worldwide to get you in the spirit! Tickets range from $34 to $55 and tours are available through December 28th or 928-779-7900.  Tours leave from the Little America Hotel, E. Butler Ave., Flagstaff.

Santa Visits Flagstaff:  Arriving by firetruck, Santa hits Heritage Square and lights the tree in Downtown Flagstaff on December 5th.  Call 928-213-2300 for info. Heritage Square, E. Aspen Ave., Flagstaff.


Riordan Mansion Holiday Tours:  Riordan Mansion provides a fully decorated tour of the Arizona State Park Thursday through Monday on the hour from 11AM to 4PM. For information call 928-779-4395.  Riordan Mansion Sate Park, 409 W. Riordan Rd., Flagstaff.


Flagstaff Holiday Light Parade:  The annual Flagstaff light parade will light up downtown Flagstaff on December 12th, starting at 6PM.  Get there a little early to stake out the prime seats.  Not as big as Flagstaff’s Fourth of July Parade, but just as spectacular. The parade starts on north Beaver St., heads south, then east on Aspen Ave., and north again up San Francisco St.  If you are reading this call ME for the best insider secret I can give you!  928-600-4279.

Flagstaff Luminarias:   Each year, the Coconino Estates and Rockridge neighborhoods light up the night with lights, luminarias and fun.  This is an old Flagstaff tradition and a local’s favorite!  This year’s event is December 13th starting at 5PM.  Get in line on Bonito Street near Marshall School and head SLOWLY north near Navajo Drive.  Exit is on Meade Ave. 


The Nutcracker Suite in Modern Barefeet:  Canyon Dance troupe presents this annual twist on The Nutcracker.  Modern dance is intertwined with ballet, hip hop and more in this updated version. December 11th and 12th at 7:30PM.  11AM Matinee on the 12th.  Tickets are $12 to $16. for more info.  Performance at Coconino High School main auditorium.


Christmas In The Mountains:  Featuring the Master Chorale of Flagstaff, this holiday event also features the Flagstaff Youth Chorale, the NAU Handbell choir and a guest orchestra.  Info at  Tickets are $8 through $20 with children under twelve free.

Free Holiday Movies: Presented by the Downtown Business Alliance at Orpheum Theater.  Every Saturday from 10:00AM to 1:00PM.  December 5: How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  December 12: The Polar Express:  December 19:  Elf.  Orpheum Theater, 15 W. Aspen Ave.


The Great Pinecone Drop:  Ring in the New Year with Flagstaff’s version of Times Square!  Presented at the Weatherford Hotel, this newish Flagstaff tradition is gaining traction each year and is very, very popular.  The first drop is at 10PM for families with kids and those that value sleep and again at 12 Midnight for the heartier types.  December 31.  Right on the corner of Aspen Avenue and Leroux Street in downtown Flagstaff.  Lots of places to warm up around this area, but you will find me at either Uptown Pub with the boys or with the girls.

Pine Cone Drop

The Polar Plunge:  For the nutters amongst us, the annual Polar Plunge is at Upper Lake Mary at noon on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2016.  Uh, no thanks.


Continuing into 2016 with some not-to-be-missed events:

Dew Downtown Flagstaff:  The ski and snowboard extravaganza on the streets of downtown Flagstaff returns this year with a modified setup.  This year, the slope starts a little lower on San Francisco Street and goes a bit further south.  Also new this year is a rumored ice skating rink at Heritage Square.  The event is free with some charges for VIP access and a few events.  January 30 and 31st, 2016.  For more info go to

Winterfest:  Presented by the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Winterfest is kicked off this year by

Dew Downtown Flagstaff and has events running through February, 2016.  Events include ski racing, dogsled pulls and races, the Kahtoola Agassiz Uphill Climb and much more.  For more info, visit and p-ay attention to my future blogs!  I will update you in January!


Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Contact Information

The Gary Nelson Group
Realty Executives of Flagsaff
15 E. Cherry Ave. Suite 101
Flagstaff AZ 86001
Direct: 928-225-3510
Office: 928-773-9300
Fax: 928-774-1102