Arcadia/Arcadia Lite

Named as one of Phoenix Magazine’s “Hottest Neighborhoods To Live In” - Once home to hundreds of acres of sweet-smelling citrus groves, this neighborhood consists of mid-century ranch and transitional homes. Highly respected schools, lushly landscaped yards, and popular eateries add to the allure.

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Known as Phoenix’s most acclaimed neighborhood, the exclusive homes in this neighborhood surround the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. Popular for its quality of life, the Biltmore area is known as a financial district surrounded by upscale shopping and dining.

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Paradise Valley

Despite the town's relatively small area and population, Paradise Valley is home to twelve resorts; making it a premiere tourist destination. Large, exclusive estates make P.V. attractive to high-net-worth individuals and is often named among the most expensive zip codes in the United States.

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Desert Ridge

One of Arizona’s largest master-planned communities in Northeast Phoenix, Desert Ridge is close to freeway access, corporate campuses, the Mayo Clinic, shopping, and dining. Highly regarded schools and a diverse mix of home types built by production builders make this neighborhood perfect for families.

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Gainey Ranch and McCormick Ranch

Nestled between Central and North Scottsdale, the Gainey Ranch and McCormick Ranch communities are mixed-use luxury communities, providing neighborhood living within a resort atmosphere. The two communities surround golf courses and provide bicycle paths, parks, public tennis courts, and man-made lakes for residents.

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Shea Corridor

The Shea Corridor is so named as it runs along the east-west Shea Blvd and extends to Fountain Hills. A number of communities in this central part of Scottsdale remain among the most highly-desired residential areas in the metropolitan area. Communities in the north side of the Shea corridor are nestled against the foothills, providing city light and mountain views.

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Known as the “magic zip code”, Kierland residents pay Phoenix city taxes but have a Scottsdale mailing address and most homes are situated on larger lots. The Kierland area is home to two award-winning school districts and is also popular for its proximity to golf courses, resorts, and shopping/dining.

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Cave Creek/Carefree

The Town of Cave Creek and the Town of Carefree refer to themselves as “Where the Wild West Lives” and “the best small town in Arizona” respectively. Known as quieter communities away from the energy of city life, these towns are known for being enclaves for artists and entrepreneurs. Both towns share the local landmark of Black Mountain, which served as part of a dude ranch until the 1970s.

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North Scottdale

The McDowell Mountains and Pinnacle Peak anchor North Scottsdale’s scenic landscape and form a breathtaking backdrop for homes in North Scottsdale. Once the grounds of cattle ranches, this area has been transformed and developed into several luxury home communities, golf courses, and fine dining/shopping! Although many call this area “North Scottsdale” the geographic center of Scottsdale actually falls in the middle of North Scottsdale!

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Central Scottdale

Home to Old Town Scottsdale, which the New York Times has called, "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having, "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene". However, surrounding Old Town Scottsdale are homes that were some of the first developed in Scottsdale with many of the houses as single level homes with ample lots on quieter streets. Recently, the Scottsdale Waterfront area has introduced several mid-rise luxury condo developments that offer excellent amenities.

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Big Surf Water Park featured in “How Old Can You Go?”

big surf

In the current issue of PHOENIX Magazine, the “How Old Can You Go?” section features the history of Big Surf Water Park. I have enjoyed Big Surf since I was a kid and always thought it has a bit of 60s and early 70s nostalgia. Here’s the full article:

On October 24, 1969, Tempe’s Big Surf water park put Arizona on the shredding map when it opened and debuted Waikiki Beach Wave Pool, the nation’s first man-made wave pool – 3.8 million gallons of water and a brisk tide for desert-dwelling Gidgets and Moondoggies to pop up and catch a wave. “It opened to a lot of fanfare,” says Big Surf’s public relations honcho and “de facto historian” Jeff Golner, who notes surf legend Fred Hemmings visited from Hawaii to attend the opening.

It started with a man obsessed. Four years before the opening, engineer and construction manager Phil Dexter was working for Del Webb in California and squeezing in as much beach time as he could. “He was just fascinated by waves,” Golner says. “When he saw people riding the waves, he was blown away. He basically said, ‘Why can’t that be done inland?’”

Dexter relocated to Phoenix and started mocking up models of a mechanical wave machine. He knew he could replicate his models on a larger scale, but lacked the $800,000 he estimated it would take. Dexter persuaded haircare company Clairol to back him. “They make waves in hair, why can’t they make [real] waves?” Golner says. Clairol flew in a Norwegian physicist to analyze Dexter’s largest model, which he constructed in an abandoned pool hall around 14th and Van Buren streets. He got the green light and construction began on a 40-acre plot of land in Tempe.

Clairol backed out in 1971 and sold the park to the El Paso, Texas, family that owns it today. Dexter was summarily fired and never returned. “It was kind of sad,” Golner says. Dexter died last October, but not before the Big Surf staff self-published a book for him about the park. Golner says Dexter was amazed at the changes over time – the coming and going of bumper boats, the removal of sand from the wave pool’s “beach” and reduction of water (it now holds 2.5 million gallons), and the addition of slides and rides, including the Mauna Kea Zip Line. The park hosted Dexter’s family this spring and the staff and surfer regulars did a surfers’ circle/paddle-out memorial ceremony in the wave pool to honor its late founder.

“I think there’s a nostalgia to this place. There are two and three generations coming here now,” Golner says. “I kind of consider it the Fenway Park [of water parks]. It’s got a lot of layers of paint on it, it has a little bit of wear to it, but it’s kind of cool and nostalgic. There’s a reason why it hasn’t been knocked down.”

To see the full story, click here.

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