by Joe Pyritz, Director of Communications Pinal County
How many of us have dreamt of flying on our own, like Superman does on the big screen and in comics?
Thanks to a Pinal-owned company called Arizona Zipline Adventures, you can stop dreaming about your chance to be Superman and actually be Superman – minus the Lex Luthor, of course.
Located just east of the town of Oracle, Arizona Zipline Adventures offers a lot more than zip lines. There is a small café serving a variety of sandwiches from local eatery Oracle Patio Cafe, hiking trails, a well-stocked shop for outdoor enthusiasts and a swing that must be seen to be believed.
“We had the idea about two years ago,” said Brandon Luthy, one of the principals of Arizona Zip Line Adventures. “We began going through the permitting process and in August, after we had all of our permits, we began to work on this place. After the permitting process, things came together very fast.”
The land where the zip lines are located is owned by Oracle rancher Joe Goss.
“This was the vision of Brandon Luthy,” Goss said. “I am thankful that we could put something like this together for benefit of the community.”
Since the closure of the mine and smelter in San Manuel, the area of the Tri-Community (Mammoth, San Manuel and Oracle) has been in a so-called economic limbo. A project such as a zip line brings much needed tourist revenue and exposure to an area that is rich in biodiversity.
“Just look around,” stated Pinal County Economic Development Director Tim Kanavel. “This is a perfect location for this endeavor. You are at the base of the Catalina Mountains. Looking north, you have the Galiuro Mountains and the weather up here is cooler than it is in the valley. You couldn’t have asked for a better spot. This zip line is going to be known nationwide.”
Luthy agrees and adds that this project has been welcomed by those who live in the area.
“The project has been well-received throughout the tourism community in Tucson, Pinal County and Phoenix, because this is the largest of its kind in the state.”
Those who make the trip to Oracle will find there are actually five zip lines to enjoy. A complete package will get you a ride on all of the zip lines culminating with the final run that is 1,500 feet in length.
The official grand opening of the zip lines was held on Friday, January 29. On that day, several elected officials, including all five members of the Board of Supervisors, were on hand to see what the newest tourist destination in Arizona had to offer.
“This is going to draw people from all over the county, the state and, I will venture to say, from all over the world, (people) will come here to experience this attraction,” Supervisor Pete Rios said at the opening. “This is going to benefit the people of Pinal County, but most importantly, it is going to benefit the community of Oracle. With all the people coming in, the small businesses that are located here are going to see a huge benefit.”
This is an activity that doesn’t have a huge footprint in the way of concrete along with bricks and mortar. Many are calling this “ecotourism” with the combination of enjoying an activity, while at the same time, experiencing the surrounding flora and fauna of the area.
For more information on Arizona’s longest zip line, log onto www.ziparizona.com. Cape and blue tights are not required!