Sunday, October 23, 2011

Developer lays out ideas for dude ranch in Scottsdale

Taber Anderson had just stepped from his Range Rover to explain his plans for a north Scottsdale guest ranch when a roadrunner appeared, as if on cue, and scurried across the road.

Anderson wants to turn his 220-acre site southeast of Dynamite Boulevard and 128th Street into a modern version of the kind of dude ranches that have largely disappeared from Arizona over the past few decades.

Scottsdale had its share, including Rancho Vista Bonita at Pinnacle Peak and Pima roads and the Paradise Valley Guest Ranch just north of downtown.

"We don't have a guest ranch in Scottsdale anymore," said Anderson, adding that his concept would be a 21st-century take on the Old West experience.

Anderson, who worked with his father, Lyle, developing Desert Highlands and Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, has yet to submit plans for the project, which he is calling Reata Ranch. He expects to submit a rezoning request by the end of next month.

The land is zoned for homes on roughly 1.6-acre lots and Anderson is seeking a zoning category that allows guest ranches, resorts and homes.

At least 122 homes could be built under the existing zoning, Anderson said.

Linda Whitehead, a Coalition of Pinnacle Peak member, said she toured the site with Anderson but wanted to withhold judgment on the project until he submits detailed plans.

Ranch blends ritzy, rustic

Anderson suggests that Reata Ranch would blend ritzy and rustic in a no-roughing-it style. He describes it as "glamping," a mash-up of "glamour camping."

Reata Ranch would have an old Arizona feel of the Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley or Tucson's Tanque Verde Ranch, the developer said.

Another example, in a different geographic context, is the Carneros Inn in California's Napa Valley. Guest cottages with outdoor showers and private courtyards blend in among vineyards and apple orchards.

It's a building style referred to as "agritecture," Anderson noted.

Reata Ranch borders state trust land along 136th Street that the city wants to acquire in December for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It's in the city's Dynamite Foothills Character Area that calls for preserving the rural character with open space, minimal development impact, low building heights and no street lights to compete with starry skies.

The guest ranch would include hiking and equestrian trails linking to the nearby preserve and McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

Eco-resort planned nearby

Reata Ranch would share some characteristics of the Reserve eco-resort that Lyle Anderson plans to build northwest of Dynamite and 122nd Street, Taber Anderson said. Father and son have no ownership interest in each other's projects.

Scottsdale approved Lyle Anderson's plan last November for 180 hotel rooms, 127 villas and 17 estate homes on 213 acres near the Golf Club Scottsdale.

Reata Ranch would have a similar number of lodging units and homes, the younger Anderson said.

He also wants to include a wildlife release center where injured animals and raptors could be released after they have been rehabilitated.

Rachel Sacco, Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau president, said she would love to see a guest ranch in Scottsdale.

"It's one of the few things we don't offer," she said.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Oct. 22, 2011 06:47 AM

Developer lays out ideas for dude ranch in Scottsdale

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