Sunday, October 28, 2012

Arizona’s Mountain Shadows Resort

Postcard showing the “twice-Olympic-size swimming pool” at Mountain Shadows Resort, with Camelback Mountain in the background

My hardy thanks are owed to the anonymous commenter who pointed out, relative to my recent Rap Sheet post concerning the early 1960s TV series The Brothers Brannagan, that the Arizona resort out of which the private-eye sibling stars of that show operated was a real place. I’d thought it was fictional.

The Mountain Shadows Resort, located on the northeastern side of Camelback Mountain in Arizona’s Paradise Valley, between Phoenix and Scottsdale, apparently opened in 1959. It was at one time owned--or at least managed--by real-estate developer Del Webb (who went on to found the retirement community of Sun City, Arizona). And for decades, it was a popular and profitable year-round tourist destination, complete with a “twice-Olympic-size swimming pool” and an 18-hole golf course. However, the landmark, 336-room hotel on the property--where much of The Brothers Brannagan was shot--closed in September 2004 (though the resort golf course and clubhouse remain in operation).

The Phoenix Business Journal reported in July 2012 that California-based Crown Realty & Development Inc. “acquired the property for $42 million,” but “the owners’ plans to immediately ramp up revitalization efforts were stalled as the economic downturn hit shortly after the acquisition ...” Crown Realty later “defaulted on its [$32 million] loan and fell behind on property taxes ...,” and filed for bankruptcy. As near as I can discern from Web news reports, the future of Mountain Shadows--whether to redevelop and reopen the hotel, or build new residential units on the property--remains, at best, murky.

Aerial view of the Mountain Shadows Resort in 1980

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