By Jini Simpson and Dan Schweiker —
That’s all one can say once you witness the breadth and depth of construction and progress now taking shape at the new Ritz-Carlton project in Paradise Valley.
Over the years we have been two of the project’s staunchest supporters. Both of us served on the Paradise Valley Town Council in the past. It is very rewarding for many who were involved to now see the plans we considered at various times coming to life.
It is impossible to grasp the magnitude of what has been achieved so far on the property. Driving past and glancing over the fence does not begin to show what is taking place on the 120-acre site located at Lincoln and Scottsdale Roads. Hundreds of workers are constructing daily. The longest resort pool in North America is being created. The incredible views are impossible to miss. The hotel lobby is taking shape. Graciously designed residences are coming out of the ground or nearing completion. Park like drainage areas with walking paths wind through the whole property.
To say this is going to be a special project for Paradise Valley is an understatement. It will be the talk of the town and talk of the state when it opens next year, the first Ritz-Carlton built from the ground up in this country in a decade.
As with the other wonderful resorts in Paradise Valley there is no doubt this new one with its restaurants and shopping will be a terrific amenity for residents. That said, it’s likely something else too.
The amount of sales tax revenue it will produce from construction to operation is staggering, likely terminating forever the need and talk of a property tax in Paradise Valley. It helps assure many of the Town’s quality of life and public safety funding goals can be met without additional tax burdens, a prospect that has been raised from time to time.
We realize that there was opposition to this project by some people in the Town and particularly from members of the Town Council. We respect those opinions. But now is not the time for grudges or small ball thinking. The hotel is nearing completion and will exist. We should all be getting together to get behind it to ensure that the whole project gets completed with the least amount of friction and the best chance for ensuring success. It is time for everyone to work together in deed and word. The past is the past and we now have the opportunity to create something exceptional.
Paradise Valley didn’t need the Ritz to become a remarkable community. It already is. But there’s no doubt it will make the Town that much more so.
We can celebrate when this impressive and beautiful project opens next year. We will thank the incredible determination of the private sector to make it happen. We will applaud those who stood for the vision and voted to make it happen.
The next months are about the anticipation. But we can’t wait for the excitement and enjoyment that will last many, many years.
Both Schweiker and Simpson served on the Paradise Valley Town Council.