Developer polls Paradise Valley residents on Ritz-Carlton reaction

A graphic rendering of the proposed Paradise Valley Ritz-Carlton development project. (Submitted graphic)

A graphic rendering of the proposed Paradise Valley Ritz-Carlton development project. (Submitted graphic)

Developers of the proposed Paradise Valley Ritz-Carlton resort community conducted a telephone poll earlier this month that revealed support for the development.

The survey was conducted Sept. 11-12 and found 64 percent of the 211 respondents supportive or somewhat supportive of the Ritz-Carlton project. Despite a favorable impression of the importance of resorts in general to the town’s overall stability, the survey also showed strong opposition to the creation of a local property tax.

Most of those interviewed felt the town is on the right track.

Five Star Development conducted the survey. Company officials say the callers were selected at random from phone numbers included in the voter registration files.

“There are approximately 10,000 registered voters in Paradise Valley,” said Five Star spokesman Tom Evans. “The survey was answered by a total of 211 registered voters — a typical sample size compared to other polls done in the past on Paradise Valley issues.

“Of those who responded, 64 percent indicated they were supportive of the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley proposal based upon what they have seen, read or heard about the project.”

The poll asked several questions. Below are the questions and the percentage each response garnered.

  • Thinking about local matters would you say that things in the Town of Paradise Valley are headed in the right direction, or have they gotten off track?
    *Right direction,65.9 percent.
    *Off track, 10 percent.
    *Unsure, 23.7 percent.
    *Refused, 0.5 percent.
  • What about Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins?  First, please tell me if you have heard of him and second whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of him, or if you don’t know, you can let me know that as well.
    *Heard of/favorable, 43.1 percent.
    *Heard of/unfavorable, 4.3 percent.
    *Heard of/No opinion, 29.9 percent.
    *Never heard of, 22.3 percent.
    *Refused, 0.5 percent.
  • And what about the Paradise Valley Town Council?  In general would you say that you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Town Council?  If you don’t know or are unsure you can say that as well.
    *Heard of/favorable, 42.2 percent.
    *Heard of/unfavorable, 10 percent.
    *Heard of/no Opinion, 35.5 percent.
    *Never Heard of, 12.3 percent.
  • In general, how important would you say Paradise Valley’s numerous resorts are to the town government’s finances and the community’s quality of life?
    *Very important, 66.4 percent.
    *Somewhat important, 21.3 percent.
    *Somewhat unimportant, 5.2 percent.
    *Very unimportant, .09 percent.
    *Unsure, 6.2 percent.
  • Montelucia, located at Tatum and Lincoln. Would you say that you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable opinion of that resort property?
    *Very favorable, 34.1 percent.
    *Somewhat favorable, 29.4 percent.
    *Somewhat unfavorable, 13.7 percent.
    *Very unfavorable, 6.2 percent.
    *Unsure, 15 percent.
    *Refused, .09 percent.
  • Based on what you have seen, read or heard about the Ritz-Carlton resort project would you say you are:
    *Strongly supportive, 37 percent.
    *Somewhat supportive, 27 percent.
    *Somewhat opposed, 8.1 percent.
    *Strongly opposed, 11.4 percent.
    *Unsure, 15.6 percent.
    *Refused, .09 percent.
  • Would you support or oppose a property tax?
    *Strongly support establishing a property tax, 9 percent.
    *Somewhat support establishing a property tax, 10.4 percent.
    *Somewhat oppose establishing a property tax, 10 percent.
    *Strongly oppose establishing a property tax, 61.6 percent.
    *Unsure, 9 percent.

The majority of those responsding to the poll — 64.5 percent — were over the age of 55. In terms of party affiliation, 42.7 percent were Republicans, 27.5 percent Democrats and 19.4 claimed to be Independents.

Mr. Evans says his client is pleased with the results.

“The Five Star Development team is pleased to see that the level of support for a Ritz-Carlton in Paradise Valley continues to be extremely high,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Town of Paradise Valley to grant the wish of the vast majority of Paradise Valley residents and make this exceptional project a reality.”

The resort planned on just over 100 acres of land within the Town of Paradise Valley will be the first of its kind and the only new Ritz-Carlton built in the last decade, proponents say.

Design plans call for an elevated lobby structure meant to provide panoramic views of both Camelback and Mummy mountains, use of virtual reality to enhance a customer’s experience and specific landscaping offering patrons a lush experience in the middle of the Sonoran Desert.

Scottsdale-based Five Star Development is preparing a 105-acre swath of land an arrow’s shot from Scottsdale and Lincoln roads for a Ritz  Carlton project that includes six development-area characteristics:

  • Area A: 200-room resort on 20.3 acres
  • Area A1: 120 resort-branded villas
  • Area B: 89 single-family homes on 28.7 acres
  • Area C: 55 resort-branded, single-family homes
  • Area D: 100 condominiums on 8.3 acres
  • Area E: Influx design as deannexation of 16.2 acres is yet to be determined

The Paradise Valley Planning Commission is expected to host public hearings on a formal recommendation vote on the proposed Ritz-Carlton plan Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Tuesday, Oct. 20 at Town Hall, 6401 Lincoln Drive, according to Eva Cutro, the town’s community development director.

“Staff’s recommendation on Oct. 6 will be for continuation until Oct. 20,” she said Sept. 29. “Not sure what staff will recommend for the 20th.”

Not everyone supports for the project. In a recent letter to the Independent, Town of Paradise Valley resident Michael Shoen expressed concern over the potential increase in traffic and noise created by the resort.

“The Ritz-Carlton will bring more traffic, traffic noise, construction machinery, asphalt, maintenance crews and machines, HVAC noise and heat, dust, accidents, crime, traffic lights, strangers and transients into our community,” stated Mr. Shoen, a town resident since 1964.

“I already have my choice of lovely resorts within easy biking distance. I don’t need another and I don’t need the problems which this new, mega-resort will necessarily generate.”

North Valley News Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at 623-445-2774 or at tthornton@newszap.com

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