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FALL / 09 While the Sonoran Desert offers amazing beauty and a charm all its own, visitors and residents alike sense that the Pinnacle Peak area of Scottsdale holds a special appeal. Almost magical in its ambiance, the communities of Pinnacle Peak are a highly sought-after destination for homeowners. Full-time residents and those with vacation properties within Pinnacle Peak have found the perfect combination of living well and living right. From luxurious guard-gated communities to family-friendly neighborhoods, the Pinnacle Peak area offers living choices as diverse as the people who call this place home. Golf aficionados find an abundance of world-class courses nestled among some of the finest real estate in the West. Silverleaf, Estancia, Whisper Rock and Troon are just a handful of the prestigious communities here coupled with a golfer’s dream. Fine boutique shopping and dining abounds at DC Ranch’s Market Street and The Boulders’ El Pedregal. For those pursuing an active lifestyle; hiking, tennis, mountain biking and nature viewing are easily found at premier desert enclaves such as Desert Highlands and Grayhawk. Windgate Ranch lies directly adjacent to the newest McDowell Mountain Preserve trailhead which provides miles upon miles of recreation for hikers and equestrians. The Scottsdale Unified School District boasts several “excelling” schools and many families find communities such as McDowell Mountain Ranch and DC Ranch to be the perfect place to live, work and play. Family compounds and heirloom estates are available in the posh communities of Canyon Heights, Prado and Lost Canyon. While living well is easily accomplished within the village of Pinnacle Peak, so is living right. Many area residents are building eco-friendly and sustainable homes and work places. Custom homebuilders are adept at creating masterpieces that speak to our environmental conscience. It seems as though the residents of this special place have a keen commitment to preserving its quality and legacy for generations to come. The Pinnacle Peak area and its many attributes have serenaded newcomers for decades. We invite you too, to discover the art of living, and the life you’ve been dreaming about. It’s all here…..

Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® 480.945.2651 www.SAARonline.com

FINE WINE AND JAZZ SERIES El Pedregal Sundays, Sept. 27th – Nov. 22nd 480.488.1072 or elpedregal.com Come out to El Pedregal to enjoy a glass of wine and relax to the smooth jazz performed by different musicians every week. CELEBRATION OF FINE ART Loop 101 & Scottsdale Road Jan. 16th – Mar. 28th 480.443.7695 or celebrateart.com Meet over 100 celebrated artists and view their studios all under one roof. BARRETT JACKSON AUTOMOBILE AUCTION WestWorld Jan. 18th – Jan. 24th 480.663.6255 or barrett-jackson.com Billed as “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Event,” this venerable annual ode to the automobile has become a must-do for Scottsdale residents as well as visitors from all over the world. SCOTTSDALE ARABIAN HORSE SHOW WestWorld, Feb. 11th – Feb. 21st 480.515.1500 or scottsdaleshow.com Over 2,000 Arabian horses and their owners come to compete for fame and glory at this ten-day event. Boutique shopping and glitzy events bring out more than just the horse enthusiasts.

FBR OPEN TPC Scottsdale, Feb. 22nd – Feb. 28th 602.870.0163 or fbropen.com A golf tournament unlike any other, the FBR Open has gained great popularity and boasts the largest viewing audience on the PGA tour. Many special events in addition to golf play supplement this popular affair. PARADA DEL SOL CONCERT AND RODEO WestWorld, Feb. 26th – Feb. 28th 480.990.3179 or paradadelsol.org Enjoy a weekend of boot stompin’ fun with a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo, dances, live country music and activities for the kids. PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL Harkins Cine Capri Scottsdale, Apr. 8th – 15th 602.955.6444 or phoenixfilmfestival.org Film buffs and movie lovers converge upon this eight-day event, the biggest independent film festival in Arizona. Enjoy all-day screenings, after-film discussions, parties, VIP events and perhaps even the chance to rub elbows with some of the actors and directors of the films. MCDOWELL MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL WestWorld, Apr. 23rd – Apr. 24th 602.343.0453 or mmmf.net Each year a dozen or more bands from all different genres are brought together to put on a show like no other. This event is great for all ages with a VIP area, marketplace and Kid Zone.

Information provided by the Pinnacle Peak – REALTOR® Marketing Session

This publication is available to view online at www.pinnaclepeakrms.org.

Produced by Desert Lifestyle Publishing • 480.460.0996 • DesertLifestyle.net


Over thirty years, Nelson has developed more than 9,000 acres and 8,000 home sites in North Scottsdale. He has overseen the construction of golf courses, commercial centers, parks and a botanical garden, where his wife Florence devoted twenty years to helping educate an estimated 6,000 school children annually through her Desert Center programs. Yet the desert still thrives amid all the change. Thanks to Nelson’s environmental leadership, lush Sonoran vegetation runs through and around low-slung neighborhoods and clings to the pristine upper slopes of mountains. Nature trails and preserves abound. By his directive, Troon North Golf Club donates $2 per round to the McDowell Sonoran Land Trust.

AN ENVIRONMENTALIST FROM THE START

The esteemed Pinnacle Peak area of Scottsdale that we’re fortunate to have today, arose from very humble conditions. If not for the foresight of Jerry Nelson, a developer and visionary, the landscape of the community would, quite literally, be unrecognizable. Follow here, the journey of a man with a dream and the initiative to see his dream through.

SETTING THE STANDARD

In 1969 developer Jerry Nelson could stand in the middle of Pinnacle Peak Road and see nothing but rolling Sonoran Desert. The handful of rustic dwellings nearby was submerged in palo verde, ironwood, and cactus. “It was thought of as a place to hunt quail or eat at Pinnacle Peak Patio,” Nelson says. “It had a cowboy image.” In fact, just seventeen years previously, a cattle drive – the last of its kind – had churned up dust along Scottsdale Road as it made its way from the Tempe railhead to a nearby ranch. Cattle still grazed amid creosote bushes. Today, North Scottsdale is quilted with spacious planned commercial centers. The transformation owes much to the trailblazing Nelson, whose upscale Pinnacle Peak Village and Troon developments set the standard for what followed. At Troon Village, for example, the Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish-designed eighteen-hole golf course was touted by Golf Digest as the nation’s best private golf course. Golf Magazine called the PGA-rated links “one of the 100 greatest courses in the world.”

Saving the desert was not a serious concern when Nelson, then a newcomer, bought a 160-acre parcel on the northwest corner of Pima and Pinnacle Peak Roads in 1969. Most developers considered desert terrain unattractive and a nuisance. Preserving it as natural landscaping, they said, would be expensive and cut into profits. It was easier to “blade” everything down with a tractor and replace it with grass and gravel. As a result, thousands of indigenous plants and centuries-old Saguaro cacti were destroyed. The public held largely similar views; especially out-of-state transplants partial to the grassy lawns and shrubbery of “back home.” Nelson, on the other hand, loved the desert’s austere beauty and spiny mountains. He believed natural landscape would enhance the attractiveness of low-density neighborhoods and increase the value. It would be expensive to remove the vegetation, store it, then replant it after construction, but Nelson believed buyers would be willing to pay the difference. He believed setting aside recreation areas and exempting hillsides from development was a must. Before he could put his theory to work, Nelson had major obstacles to overcome. He needed money, water, roads, and telephone service. In 1969 the northern border of Scottsdale stopped at Gold Dust, except for a finger of land poking Shea Boulevard a few blocks north. From that point, it was as if the twentieth century stopped. Everything beyond was unincorporated – a blank canvas in terms of amenities. His peers met plans for Nelson’s proposed Pinnacle Peak Village with skepticism – not entirely, he says, without reason. The only access to Pinnacle Peak from the south was Scottsdale Road. It was thirteen miles

to groceries. If Nelson needed a phone or gas, he had to drive 10 miles to Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard. Because of the distance, suppliers charged extra to deliver lumber and concrete. Even Valley National Bank (now Chase Bank) balked at giving him a loan. “They said nobody would live north of Bell Road (Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard) until 2000,” Nelson says. “So I got partners and financed it in bits and pieces by myself.”

THE DISCOVERY OF WATER

With the help of a hydrologist from Arizona State University, Nelson began drilling for water around Pinnacle Peak. At 560 feet – 110 feet deeper than originally estimated – he struck a huge aquifer. It was the first of eight wells sunk over the years by Nelson’s Pinnacle Paradise Water Company. When Scottsdale incorporated the thirty-six-square mile area north of Bell Road in the 1980’s, providing municipal services, the city assumed ownership of the wells. Nelson’s Pinnacle Peak Land Company set up “base camp” at the defunct Rancho Vista Bonita guest ranch, just across the road from Pinnacle Paradise, the first phase of his proposed Pinnacle Peak Village master plan. Nelson and his family lived in the main house while workers occupied the twelve guest cabins. To save time and off-site travel, Nelson’s wife Florence prepared lunch for the work crews.

AESTHETICS A PRIORITY

Pinnacle Peak Village created a template for North Scottsdale communities. Most notably, it imposed restrictions aimed at preserving the desert ambiance. Air conditioners, for example, could not be placed on roofs. Full lawns and non-indigenous vegetation were prohibited. The restrictions also provided for hillside protection. “They rankled some people at first,” Nelson says. “But we won them over.” Nelson insisted that power lines be underground. When told by the utility company that it would cost three times as much as stringing them up on conventional poles, he made an offer: his company would dig the trenches and cover them back up if the utility company would lay the lines. Today, there are no telephone poles to mar the scenery of Pinnacle Peak Village neighborhoods. The Pinnacle Peak Village experience lit a fire under a nascent environment movement that resulted in city ordinances and state

legislation. Over the years, Nelson has lent his expertise to several government advisory committees concerned with land use and the environment.

A COMMUNITY BEGINS TAKING SHAPE

In 1974 the guest ranch was torn down to make room for Pinnacle Peak Plaza, a Spanish Colonial-style commercial center with a general store, post office, shops and a gas station. The plaza was inspired by an off-the-cuff idea Nelson and Florence had sketched on shelf paper during their honeymoon. When the store opened in 1975, it provided much-needed basic food items and served as a stopover for sightseers en route to Pinnacle Peak Patio restaurant and Reata Pass Steakhouse. In 1976 Pinnacle Peak Country Club opened up for private membership. The exclusive development, wrapped snugly around the plaza, featured an 18-hole golf course ringed with luxury home sites. Within five years the country club sold out, a solid testimonial to Nelson’s conviction that discriminating buyers would flock to developments with desert landscaping. By 1980, nine more subdivisions had opened. A few years later, Nelson built Troon Village, a 2,655-acre community anchored by Troon Golf and Country Club and the acclaimed WeiskopfMorrish golf course. The 48,000-square-foot clubhouse received the Grand Award for Architectural Design at the 1987 Pacific Coast Builders Gold Nugget Awards. According to Nelson, it cost his company $1 million to remove cactus from the golf course site, keep it alive and re-plant it after construction. Additional expense was incurred when the remains of an ancient Hohokam Indian Village were unearthed, and Nelson halted construction while Arizona State University archeologists explored the site. In 1989 Nelson broke ground for Troon North, which straddles Dynamite Road between Pima and Alma School Parkway. Troon North is a selfcontained community offering parks, schools and shopping. It also features two Weiskopf-Morrish golf courses, a resort and several types of living quarters. The scenic community adjoins a 19,000-acre state preserve open to hiking and bicycling. With an average elevation of 2,700 feet, residents are guaranteed cooler summers. Today, Nelson shows no signs of slowing down. Asked why he feels so strongly about desert preservation, Nelson answers, “I never wanted my kids to look back and say ‘Dad you ruined the desert.’” To read this article in its entirety, log on to www.PinnaclePeakRMS.org.


Over thirty years, Nelson has developed more than 9,000 acres and 8,000 home sites in North Scottsdale. He has overseen the construction of golf courses, commercial centers, parks and a botanical garden, where his wife Florence devoted twenty years to helping educate an estimated 6,000 school children annually through her Desert Center programs. Yet the desert still thrives amid all the change. Thanks to Nelson’s environmental leadership, lush Sonoran vegetation runs through and around low-slung neighborhoods and clings to the pristine upper slopes of mountains. Nature trails and preserves abound. By his directive, Troon North Golf Club donates $2 per round to the McDowell Sonoran Land Trust.

AN ENVIRONMENTALIST FROM THE START

The esteemed Pinnacle Peak area of Scottsdale that we’re fortunate to have today, arose from very humble conditions. If not for the foresight of Jerry Nelson, a developer and visionary, the landscape of the community would, quite literally, be unrecognizable. Follow here, the journey of a man with a dream and the initiative to see his dream through.

SETTING THE STANDARD

In 1969 developer Jerry Nelson could stand in the middle of Pinnacle Peak Road and see nothing but rolling Sonoran Desert. The handful of rustic dwellings nearby was submerged in palo verde, ironwood, and cactus. “It was thought of as a place to hunt quail or eat at Pinnacle Peak Patio,” Nelson says. “It had a cowboy image.” In fact, just seventeen years previously, a cattle drive – the last of its kind – had churned up dust along Scottsdale Road as it made its way from the Tempe railhead to a nearby ranch. Cattle still grazed amid creosote bushes. Today, North Scottsdale is quilted with spacious planned commercial centers. The transformation owes much to the trailblazing Nelson, whose upscale Pinnacle Peak Village and Troon developments set the standard for what followed. At Troon Village, for example, the Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish-designed eighteen-hole golf course was touted by Golf Digest as the nation’s best private golf course. Golf Magazine called the PGA-rated links “one of the 100 greatest courses in the world.”

Saving the desert was not a serious concern when Nelson, then a newcomer, bought a 160-acre parcel on the northwest corner of Pima and Pinnacle Peak Roads in 1969. Most developers considered desert terrain unattractive and a nuisance. Preserving it as natural landscaping, they said, would be expensive and cut into profits. It was easier to “blade” everything down with a tractor and replace it with grass and gravel. As a result, thousands of indigenous plants and centuries-old Saguaro cacti were destroyed. The public held largely similar views; especially out-of-state transplants partial to the grassy lawns and shrubbery of “back home.” Nelson, on the other hand, loved the desert’s austere beauty and spiny mountains. He believed natural landscape would enhance the attractiveness of low-density neighborhoods and increase the value. It would be expensive to remove the vegetation, store it, then replant it after construction, but Nelson believed buyers would be willing to pay the difference. He believed setting aside recreation areas and exempting hillsides from development was a must. Before he could put his theory to work, Nelson had major obstacles to overcome. He needed money, water, roads, and telephone service. In 1969 the northern border of Scottsdale stopped at Gold Dust, except for a finger of land poking Shea Boulevard a few blocks north. From that point, it was as if the twentieth century stopped. Everything beyond was unincorporated – a blank canvas in terms of amenities. His peers met plans for Nelson’s proposed Pinnacle Peak Village with skepticism – not entirely, he says, without reason. The only access to Pinnacle Peak from the south was Scottsdale Road. It was thirteen miles

to groceries. If Nelson needed a phone or gas, he had to drive 10 miles to Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard. Because of the distance, suppliers charged extra to deliver lumber and concrete. Even Valley National Bank (now Chase Bank) balked at giving him a loan. “They said nobody would live north of Bell Road (Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard) until 2000,” Nelson says. “So I got partners and financed it in bits and pieces by myself.”

THE DISCOVERY OF WATER

With the help of a hydrologist from Arizona State University, Nelson began drilling for water around Pinnacle Peak. At 560 feet – 110 feet deeper than originally estimated – he struck a huge aquifer. It was the first of eight wells sunk over the years by Nelson’s Pinnacle Paradise Water Company. When Scottsdale incorporated the thirty-six-square mile area north of Bell Road in the 1980’s, providing municipal services, the city assumed ownership of the wells. Nelson’s Pinnacle Peak Land Company set up “base camp” at the defunct Rancho Vista Bonita guest ranch, just across the road from Pinnacle Paradise, the first phase of his proposed Pinnacle Peak Village master plan. Nelson and his family lived in the main house while workers occupied the twelve guest cabins. To save time and off-site travel, Nelson’s wife Florence prepared lunch for the work crews.

AESTHETICS A PRIORITY

Pinnacle Peak Village created a template for North Scottsdale communities. Most notably, it imposed restrictions aimed at preserving the desert ambiance. Air conditioners, for example, could not be placed on roofs. Full lawns and non-indigenous vegetation were prohibited. The restrictions also provided for hillside protection. “They rankled some people at first,” Nelson says. “But we won them over.” Nelson insisted that power lines be underground. When told by the utility company that it would cost three times as much as stringing them up on conventional poles, he made an offer: his company would dig the trenches and cover them back up if the utility company would lay the lines. Today, there are no telephone poles to mar the scenery of Pinnacle Peak Village neighborhoods. The Pinnacle Peak Village experience lit a fire under a nascent environment movement that resulted in city ordinances and state

legislation. Over the years, Nelson has lent his expertise to several government advisory committees concerned with land use and the environment.

A COMMUNITY BEGINS TAKING SHAPE

In 1974 the guest ranch was torn down to make room for Pinnacle Peak Plaza, a Spanish Colonial-style commercial center with a general store, post office, shops and a gas station. The plaza was inspired by an off-the-cuff idea Nelson and Florence had sketched on shelf paper during their honeymoon. When the store opened in 1975, it provided much-needed basic food items and served as a stopover for sightseers en route to Pinnacle Peak Patio restaurant and Reata Pass Steakhouse. In 1976 Pinnacle Peak Country Club opened up for private membership. The exclusive development, wrapped snugly around the plaza, featured an 18-hole golf course ringed with luxury home sites. Within five years the country club sold out, a solid testimonial to Nelson’s conviction that discriminating buyers would flock to developments with desert landscaping. By 1980, nine more subdivisions had opened. A few years later, Nelson built Troon Village, a 2,655-acre community anchored by Troon Golf and Country Club and the acclaimed WeiskopfMorrish golf course. The 48,000-square-foot clubhouse received the Grand Award for Architectural Design at the 1987 Pacific Coast Builders Gold Nugget Awards. According to Nelson, it cost his company $1 million to remove cactus from the golf course site, keep it alive and re-plant it after construction. Additional expense was incurred when the remains of an ancient Hohokam Indian Village were unearthed, and Nelson halted construction while Arizona State University archeologists explored the site. In 1989 Nelson broke ground for Troon North, which straddles Dynamite Road between Pima and Alma School Parkway. Troon North is a selfcontained community offering parks, schools and shopping. It also features two Weiskopf-Morrish golf courses, a resort and several types of living quarters. The scenic community adjoins a 19,000-acre state preserve open to hiking and bicycling. With an average elevation of 2,700 feet, residents are guaranteed cooler summers. Today, Nelson shows no signs of slowing down. Asked why he feels so strongly about desert preservation, Nelson answers, “I never wanted my kids to look back and say ‘Dad you ruined the desert.’” To read this article in its entirety, log on to www.PinnaclePeakRMS.org.


FALL / 09 While the Sonoran Desert offers amazing beauty and a charm all its own, visitors and residents alike sense that the Pinnacle Peak area of Scottsdale holds a special appeal. Almost magical in its ambiance, the communities of Pinnacle Peak are a highly sought-after destination for homeowners. Full-time residents and those with vacation properties within Pinnacle Peak have found the perfect combination of living well and living right. From luxurious guard-gated communities to family-friendly neighborhoods, the Pinnacle Peak area offers living choices as diverse as the people who call this place home. Golf aficionados find an abundance of world-class courses nestled among some of the finest real estate in the West. Silverleaf, Estancia, Whisper Rock and Troon are just a handful of the prestigious communities here coupled with a golfer’s dream. Fine boutique shopping and dining abounds at DC Ranch’s Market Street and The Boulders’ El Pedregal. For those pursuing an active lifestyle; hiking, tennis, mountain biking and nature viewing are easily found at premier desert enclaves such as Desert Highlands and Grayhawk. Windgate Ranch lies directly adjacent to the newest McDowell Mountain Preserve trailhead which provides miles upon miles of recreation for hikers and equestrians. The Scottsdale Unified School District boasts several “excelling” schools and many families find communities such as McDowell Mountain Ranch and DC Ranch to be the perfect place to live, work and play. Family compounds and heirloom estates are available in the posh communities of Canyon Heights, Prado and Lost Canyon. While living well is easily accomplished within the village of Pinnacle Peak, so is living right. Many area residents are building eco-friendly and sustainable homes and work places. Custom homebuilders are adept at creating masterpieces that speak to our environmental conscience. It seems as though the residents of this special place have a keen commitment to preserving its quality and legacy for generations to come. The Pinnacle Peak area and its many attributes have serenaded newcomers for decades. We invite you too, to discover the art of living, and the life you’ve been dreaming about. It’s all here…..

Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® 480.945.2651 www.SAARonline.com

FINE WINE AND JAZZ SERIES El Pedregal Sundays, Sept. 27th – Nov. 22nd 480.488.1072 or elpedregal.com Come out to El Pedregal to enjoy a glass of wine and relax to the smooth jazz performed by different musicians every week. CELEBRATION OF FINE ART Loop 101 & Scottsdale Road Jan. 16th – Mar. 28th 480.443.7695 or celebrateart.com Meet over 100 celebrated artists and view their studios all under one roof. BARRETT JACKSON AUTOMOBILE AUCTION WestWorld Jan. 18th – Jan. 24th 480.663.6255 or barrett-jackson.com Billed as “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Event,” this venerable annual ode to the automobile has become a must-do for Scottsdale residents as well as visitors from all over the world. SCOTTSDALE ARABIAN HORSE SHOW WestWorld, Feb. 11th – Feb. 21st 480.515.1500 or scottsdaleshow.com Over 2,000 Arabian horses and their owners come to compete for fame and glory at this ten-day event. Boutique shopping and glitzy events bring out more than just the horse enthusiasts.

FBR OPEN TPC Scottsdale, Feb. 22nd – Feb. 28th 602.870.0163 or fbropen.com A golf tournament unlike any other, the FBR Open has gained great popularity and boasts the largest viewing audience on the PGA tour. Many special events in addition to golf play supplement this popular affair. PARADA DEL SOL CONCERT AND RODEO WestWorld, Feb. 26th – Feb. 28th 480.990.3179 or paradadelsol.org Enjoy a weekend of boot stompin’ fun with a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo, dances, live country music and activities for the kids. PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL Harkins Cine Capri Scottsdale, Apr. 8th – 15th 602.955.6444 or phoenixfilmfestival.org Film buffs and movie lovers converge upon this eight-day event, the biggest independent film festival in Arizona. Enjoy all-day screenings, after-film discussions, parties, VIP events and perhaps even the chance to rub elbows with some of the actors and directors of the films. MCDOWELL MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL WestWorld, Apr. 23rd – Apr. 24th 602.343.0453 or mmmf.net Each year a dozen or more bands from all different genres are brought together to put on a show like no other. This event is great for all ages with a VIP area, marketplace and Kid Zone.

Information provided by the Pinnacle Peak – REALTOR® Marketing Session

This publication is available to view online at www.pinnaclepeakrms.org.

Produced by Desert Lifestyle Publishing • 480.460.0996 • DesertLifestyle.net


Pinnacle Peak Fall 09