If the anti-Ritz crowd defeats plans for the posh resort, it also likely will kill plans for the resurrection of long languishing Mountain Shadows, a spokesman for the venerable resort’s redeveloper said.
The 68-acre Mountain Shadows property at Lincoln Drive and 56th Street would revert to a 1992 development agreement that allows the sprawling resort buildings and golf course to be demolished and the all single family homes to be built in their place, said Jason Rose, spokesman for Crown Realty and Development.
When former owner Host Marriott voiced plans to develop the property according to the 1992 agreement, it upset town officials, who depend on resorts for taxes, and it upset nearby residents, who used the resort amenities, including the restaurants, spa, health center and golf course.
Crown, which is developing a similar project Montelucia, just down the road from Mountain Shadows, bought the already shuttered resort Mountain Shadows in January, 2007 from Host Marriott with the idea of saving the golf course and rebuilding the other resort amenities along with some residences.
But a similar plan to build a Ritz-Carlton resort at Scottsdale Road north of Lincoln sparked a referendum from some Paradise Valley residents who want the resort but not the residential component that goes with it.
The rest of the community gets to say yea or nay to the Ritz project Nov. 4.
But Rose said no resort project can get funding without residences, and that includes Mountain Shadows.
“For the Ritz election, the stakes are exceptionally high and critical to Mountain Shadows,” Rose said. “If the Ritz doesn’t (get voter’s support) it will mean people in Paradise Valley are saying, ‘We don’t put a premium on resorts.’ And Mountain Shadows will look at – if not execute – the 1992 development agreement which governs the property.”
Town Councilwoman Virginia Simpson said she’s hopeful Paradise Valley residents will look at the actual Ritz proposal and not vote on misinformation she said the anti-Ritz group has been circulating about the project.
If residents look at the project proposal, they will like it and reject attempts to stop it, she said.
Simpson said that the long-approved special use permit for the Ritz property, which could be executed and would not be subject to referendum, allows much taller, bigger resort buildings and more density than the current plans.
Simpson said that if the Ritz plans get squelched by residents, developers likely would shy away from the proposed redevelopment of Mountain Shadows or any other future resort in the town.