Scottsdale’s favorable climate, irrigated desert location and beautiful scenery influenced its initial settlement. These early settlers supported a burgeoning artists and writers culture in the early 1900’s, and promoted Scottsdale’s affiliation with the earliest area resorts. In its early years, the area also saw the development of ranching operations that later inspired the “West’s Most Western Town” moniker. Scottsdale has become a study in contrasts, where residents and visitors can ride horseback ride through pristine Arizona desert in the morning and visit one of the country’s best contemporary art museums in the afternoon. It is now counted among the 100 largest cities in the nation, but retains its connection to its small-town, Western heritage.