In the early 1970s, E.J. Robson envisioned the master-planned community of Sun Lakes. Phase 1 of that community – now Sun Lakes Country Club – was completed in 1979. Construction of Phase 2 – now Cottonwood Palo Verde – commenced in 1979. Nine holes of the Cottonwood golf course were completed in 1980. The dirt and gravel Riggs Road was paved in 1981. 1982-1983 were banner years with the completion of the Cottonwood Clubhouse complex, a full 18-hole golf course in Cottonwood, availability of cable TV and the formation of many clubs. 1984-1985 saw the completion of the Palo Verde golf course, the formation of Palo Verde as a gated community area and the building of the Palo Verde Clubhouse. Street lights were installed in Cottonwood in 1986. In 1989, the restaurant and dining operation that was located in what is now the San Tan Ballroom was moved to Palo Verde, the ballroom was built, a Capital Reserve Fund was established to support future maintenance needs and transition agreements were drawn up for transferring ownership of the Cottonwood Palo Verde amenities from the developer to the homeowners. In 1993, a double-wide trailer was purchased and located in the Cottonwood parking lot to serve as the “temporary” Administration Building. The transition of Cottonwood Palo Verde ownership and maintenance responsibility from the developer to homeowners was finalized in 1993, with the first all-homeowner Board of Directors elected in 1995. During these formative years, there was also substantial work done to improve the golf courses, irrigation systems and landscaping and to establish committees and governing documents.
Cottonwood Palo Verde has come a long way since these early years and is a much sought-after community for senior retirees. Cottonwood Palo Verde consists of 3809 home lots and approximately 7000 residents. It is a truly “active retirement community,” with par 72 and par 62 golf courses, seven tennis courts, four pickleball courts, five swimming pools, racquetball courts, bocce ball courts, putting and chipping greens, driving range, two restaurants and lounges, a vast array of clubs and activities, a range of entertainment options and a large ballroom for plays, banquets, concerts and other entertainment.
Through the support and generosity of the homeowners, Cottonwood Palo Verde has seen numerous improvements in recent years that have aesthetically enhanced and revitalized the community. For many years, the maintenance of the golf courses and common areas was operated out of a collection of lean-tos and crude structures. During 2007-2008, a modern golf course and grounds maintenance facility was constructed in Cottonwood. In recent years, substantial renovations have greatly improved the Palo Verde maintenance facility. During 2008-2010, the Cottonwood and Palo Verde clubhouses, the San Tan Ballroom and the pro shops underwent major renovations and modernization. In 2012, the Cottonwood Palo Verde footprint expanded with the purchase of the vacant lot at the comer of Riggs Road and E.J. Robson Boulevard. 2014 saw a major community improvement with the retirement, after 21 years, of the “temporary” double-wide trailer Administrative Building. It was replaced with a beautiful, modern building, located on the southern portion of the Riggs Road and E.J. Robson Boulevard lot. The John R. Dobson Administration Center houses all Association management and administrative functions as well as Homeowner Services. Later this year, construction will begin on a new 13,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art co-ed Fitness Activity Center (FAC). The new FAC, to be located on the northern portion of the Riggs Road and E.J. Robson Boulevard lot, is slated for completion in 2019 and will feature the latest in fitness equipment, multi-purpose rooms and saunas. Cottonwood Palo Verde has seen four decades of growth, change, enhancements and a wealth of supportive, happy homeowners.
Plan to celebrate 40 years of the Cottonwood Palo Verde community. An exclusive 40th anniversary celebration event for Cottonwood Palo Verde homeowners will be held on November 17 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Palo Verde Clubhouse restaurant. This commemorative event will feature a sumptuous dinner buffet that includes fresh seafood appetizers, prime rib, sea bass, pesto chicken and other delicious offerings. There will be music for dancing, an anniversary t-shirt and champagne glass for each attendee and even limo service between the Cottonwood Pro Shop and the Palo Verde restaurant 3:30 to 9:00 p.m. Tickets for this memorable event are $25 per person and go on sale at Homeowners Services Tuesday, October 2.