Sun Cities

Much has changed since Sun City, Arizona debuted on January 1, 1960.

In the beginning there was a single nine-hole golf course and a whopping five floor plans from which to choose in Del Webb’s new development northwest of Phoenix. More than 230 homes were sold that first weekend of Sun City’s existence and more than 400 future residents took the plunge over the first month.

Changes came quickly in the following years – eight other golf courses opened for play, Boswell Hospital was built and the original phase (New Life 1) eventually was joined by additional homes to the north.

By 1978, the original Sun City was built-out fully and Del Webb’s DEVCO turned its attention further northwest along Grand Avenue to Sun City West. There DEVO continued its original blueprint of building a community centered around multiple golf courses (one for every day of the week, as The Recreation Centers of Sun City West like to best, with multiple community centers also providing additional activities.

Sun City West also became the home of the Sundome, now known as the Maricopa County Events Center.

When Sun City West was fully built, Del Webb again looked to the northwest … this time two miles further along US 60 to what now is the intersection of Grand Avenue and Loop 303 for construction of Sun City Grand. Approved in 1995 and now all but built out, Grand offers three separate golf courses as well as activities at the community center.

And with the completion of Grand, Del Webb/Pulte looked west again to the northern edge of the White Tank Mountains for construction of Sun City Festival.

While the increase in active adult communities throughout the Northwest Valley and the Greater Phoenix real estate market has provided multiple choices for those looking for such a lifestyle, the four Sun Cities in along Grand Avenue/U.S. 60 remain among the Valley’s primary retirement destinations.