Eloy, Arizona

Coordinates: 32°45′49″N 111°36′0″W / 32.76361°N 111.60000°W / 32.76361; -111.60000
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Flag of Eloy
Location of Eloy in Pinal County, Arizona
Location of Eloy in Pinal County, Arizona
Eloy is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°45′49″N 111°36′0″W / 32.76361°N 111.60000°W / 32.76361; -111.60000
CountryUnited States
 • City CouncilMayor
Micah Powell
Sara Curtis
Council Members
Dan Snyder
Sara Curtis
Jose Garcia
Sylvia Guanajuato-Rodriguez
Andrew Sutton
 • Total113.74 sq mi (294.60 km2)
 • Land113.68 sq mi (294.44 km2)
 • Water0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Elevation1,549 ft (472 m)
 • Total15,635
 • Density137.53/sq mi (53.10/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP code
Area code520
FIPS code04-22360
GNIS feature ID2410433[2]
WebsiteCity of Eloy

Eloy is a city in Pinal County, Arizona, United States, approximately 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Tucson and about 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census estimates in 2020, the population of the city is 15,635.


In 1880, as tracks were being laid for the Southern Pacific Railroad, a small number of boxcars were used as a camp for railroad workers. It was discovered that cotton could be grown in the area's climate. In 1902, the Southern Pacific Railroad named the area train stop Eloy, an acronym for East Line Of Yuma. Alternately, there is a legend that the area was initially called Eloi, after a railroad employee looked around at the barren desert and said, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" (Aramaic and Hebrew for "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"). A town called Cotton City was established in 1918, but in 1919 the newly established post office rejected that name in favor of Eloy. As part of Pinal County, the city incorporated in 1949.[3][4][5][6]


According to the city of Eloy, the city has a total area of 113.7 square miles (294.5 km2), all land.[4]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2011, there were 16,964 people, 2,492 households, and 1,988 families residing in Eloy. The population density was 144.8 inhabitants per square mile (55.9/km2). There were 2,734 housing units at an average density of 38.1 per square mile (14.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 58% Hispanic or Latino, 5% Black or African American, 41% White, 4% Native American, 1% Asian, <1% Pacific Islander, 31% from other races, and 5% from two or more races.

There were 2,492 households, out of which 50.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 21.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.2% were non-families. 15.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.57 and the average family size was 3.94.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 33.7% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 15.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 137.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 154.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,518, and the median income for a family was $28,494. Males had a median income of $25,295 versus $21,088 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,194. About 27.9% of families and 31.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.6% of those under age 18 and 24.6% of those age 65 or over.


The mayor of Eloy is Micah Powell, whose term runs from 2020 to 2022. He was previously vice mayor for three terms, starting in 2014. The vice mayor is Sara Curtis, whose term is from 2018 to 2022. The city council consists of the mayor, who serves a two-year term, and six city council members, who each serve four-year terms.[9]


The largest employer is CoreCivic and those CoreCivic prisoners are included in the census. CoreCivic operates four facilities: Eloy Detention Center (opened 1994),[10] Red Rock Correctional Center (opened 2006),[11] Saguaro Correctional Center (opened 2007),[12] and La Palma Correctional Facility (opened 2008).[13] As of 2020 the CoreCivic-operated correctional centers house detainees from states including Hawaii, Nevada, Idaho, and Kansas.[14][15][16]

Aerial view of the Eloy Municipal Airport, looking east

According to Eloy's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:[17]

# Employer Employees
1 CoreCivic 1,756
2 Eloy Elementary School District 140
3 City of Eloy 121
4 TravelCenters of America 107
5 Schuff Steel 105
6 Skydive Arizona 95
7 Santa Cruz Valley Union High School District 73
8 Otto Industries 70
9 Black Bear Diner 51
10 Republic Plastics 46


The closest major airports to Eloy are Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Tucson International Airport. Casa Grande Shuttle provides an airport shuttle to Sky Harbor.[18]

The Eloy Municipal Airport is a non-towered airport located in Eloy.[19]

Greyhound serves Eloy.


Eloy is also home to the world's largest skydive dropzone,[20] operated by Skydive Arizona, and bills itself as the skydiving capital of the world.[21][22] Two parachute manufacturers are in Eloy: Firebird USA and Sun Path Products.[23]

The city has an 18-hole, par-72 golf course, Robson Ranch Golf Club.[24] The Casa Grande Valley Historical Society & Museum was founded in 1964 and holds a collection of more than 50,000 artifacts.[24] Picacho Peak State Park is located 10 miles southeast of Eloy.[24] It is the site of the only Civil War battle in Arizona; the battle is re-enacted annually.[5]


Historic Santa Cruz School, built in 1913

The Eloy Elementary School District provides elementary education in grades kindergarten through 8 through its four schools:

  • Curiel Primary School (grades kindergarten through 3)[25]
  • Eloy Intermediate School (grades 4 through 6)[26]
  • Eloy Junior High School (grades 7 and 8)[27]
  • Toltec Elementary School (grades 4 through 8)

Eloy has one public high school, Santa Cruz Valley Union High School, and some residents attend nearby Casa Grande Union High School.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Eloy, Arizona
  3. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Eloy". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  4. ^ a b "About Eloy". eloyaz.gov. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Eloy". pinalcountyaz.gov. Archived from the original on July 25, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  6. ^ Fox, Caela (October 31, 2017). "How did Eloy get its name?". The Eloy Enterprise. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  9. ^ "City Council". eloyaz.gov. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  10. ^ "Eloy Detention". Archived from the original on November 10, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  11. ^ Red Rock Correctional Center
  12. ^ Saguaro Correctional Center
  13. ^ La Palma Correctional Center
  14. ^ Brady, Kat (June 18, 2010). "Using private prisons costs more than it seems (editorial)". Honolulu Star Advertiser. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  15. ^ "Saguaro Correctional Center". Correctionscorp.com. Archived from the original on September 25, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  16. ^ Dayton, Kevin (November 19, 2020). "Has Saguaro Prison Failed To Protect Hawaii Inmates From COVID-19?". Honolulu Civil Beat. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  17. ^ City of Eloy CAFR For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019, p. 145.
  18. ^ "Our Rates and Van Schedule | Casa Grande Shuttle". Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  19. ^ "Airports". eloyaz.gov. Archived from the original on March 5, 2021. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  20. ^ Clinch, Tanner (October 12, 2016). "Eloy parachute business to service skydivers". Arizona City Independent. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  21. ^ Skoloff, Brian (April 3, 2014). "Woman killed in Arizona skydiving accident amid world record attempt". CTV News. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  22. ^ "Skydiver falls to death while attempting to break world record for largest skydive in Arizona". New York Daily News. April 3, 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  23. ^ "Firebird Changes Ownership". USPA. June 1, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  24. ^ a b c Melendez, Jarrett (March 14, 2018). "Things to Do in Eloy, Arizona". USA Today. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  25. ^ "Curiel Primary School". eloyesd.org. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  26. ^ "Eloy Intermediate School". eloyesd.org. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  27. ^ "Eloy Junior High School". eloyesd.org. Retrieved April 5, 2021.

External links[edit]