I am in love with Fountain Hills! Nestled in the Sonoran Desert, it is a place that I would very much like to call home. The landscape is alien, colorful, and endlessly fascinating. The Saguaro Cactus reign as king over the other unusual and unique plants that make this desert a green desert. The Sonoran Desert is the only place where the Saguaro grow in the wild. There isn’t very much grass but instead, many different kinds of scrubs that put on a breath-taking display when the rains come and they burst into bloom. Fountain Hills, set in the bottom of a bowl-shaped valley, surrounded by mountains, at the very edge of what the people living in the Sun Valley, known as Phoenix, call the rim. Four Peaks separates Fountain Hills from Scottsdale (about a 15 minute drive), with the Superstitions Mountains to the east, and at the foot of Red Mountain. At sunset, a face appears on Red Mountain that very much resembles the face of Jesus, watching over the small city of Fountain Hills. It is a beautiful spot and a wonderful place for a winter vacation. It is also a perfect place for boomers to spend their retirement years and a great place to live and work for those boomers who can’t retire.
Fountain Hills is a planned city, founded in 1970, with a current population of 24,000 with a planned build-out population of 35,000. Designed by Charles Wood who also, designed Disney World in California. At the center of town is a wonderful, huge park with a lake in the middle and a fountain that sends a spray of water 560 feet into the air, every hour on the hour for fifteen minutes. The shopping district surrounds the park which is in turn, surrounded by condominiums. It has the feel of a Southwestern Pueblo (a very nice pueblo!). In the hills that surround Fountain Hills, are many beautiful homes of both full-time and part-time residence. Many people leave during the hot summer months but there are those who tough it out by staying indoors in summer, much the same way in which people who live in colder climates endure winter. Fountain Hills is higher in elevation than Phoenix and its temperatures are generally ten degrees cooler but temps can go as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The low altitude and dry air make the heat easier to bear but 120 degrees is still very hot!
Many of the people in Fountain Hills are retired and the local economy is built around catering to retired, elderly people and tourists. Many of these people are quite wealthy but there are people living in Fountain Hills from all economic walks of life. Agism isn’t a factor for people to consider when seeking employment as all the local businesses are happy to hire older workers. This makes it an ideal spot for both retiring boomers and those who must work through retirement. The area offers excellent health care with the world-famous Mayo Clinic, a short fifteen minute drive away. There are also excellent clinics and physicians that call Fountain Hills home. Phoenix also, offers some of the most up-to-date health care in the world. Since the economy is based differently than much of the rest of the country, the housing bubble didn’t hit as hard as in the other communities surrounding Phoenix. However, property is much more affordable than it was a few years ago and it is a great time to invest in a condo, patio home, or house. The oldest housing was built in the seventies and some of these condos can be picked up now for $100,000. or less. They are an ideal investment for boomers who are unsure where to invest their money in these times of economic uncertainty. With the continuing devaluation of the dollar, real property is an investment that will always have relative value even if the economy bottoms out. Many boomers invest in these condos as vacation homes that will one day, become their full-time residence upon retirement.
Fountain Hills is a warm, friendly, beautiful, small city and I can’t wait because I’m headed there this weekend! I am a blessed boomer! As an artist, I enjoy the beauty most and any town with over 100 pieces of public art works is the place for me! The shopping is great and I plan much of my shopping around the times when my husband and I are able to visit there. Some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world are in Fountain Hills. I also enjoy swimming and soaking in the hot tub while we are there. It is the perfect, relaxing, vacation spot for me. Yes, I truly am in love with Fountain Hills, a grey hair paradise for retiring boomers or boomers like me who will be working for many years to come.