Perhaps this is the first time you are visiting or you are a seasonal visitor that we have the pleasure of welcoming year after year. Either way, we are pleased to welcome you and glad you are here. Almost one million people live in the metropolitan Tucson area, only about half actually live in the City of Tucson. Many reside in Tucsons Northwest side, specifically the towns of Oro Valley and Marana and the area in-between that is unincorporated Pima County. This area is commonly known as Northern Pima County.
Begun more than 60 years ago, the Casas Adobes community has grown to encompass a 23-square-mile area inhabited by nearly 60,000 residents. The crown jewel of the community is Tohono Chul Park, a 49-acre desert preserve complete with nature trails, a museum, art gallery, educational center, demonstration garden, green house, gift shops and Tea Room.
The Northwests oldest and most picturesque shopping center (which mimics the quaint neighborhood markets of developer Sam Naninis hometown in Italy) Casas Adobe Plaza has a unique character and charm. Foothills Mall, the only shopping mall in the Northwest, offers shopping and entertainment experience with more than 70 stores, six restaurants and a food court, a 15-screen Cineplex and a regular slate of events and activities for all ages.
Northwest Medical Center is a full service hospital offering state-of-the-art technology and care through its emergency room, urgent care and outpatient services and Arizonas first freestanding Womens Center, dedicated to the unique healthcare needs of women.
The southern foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains have been drawing the nations wealthy for more than 80 years, building huge luxury homes with spectacular views of the Tucson valley. The areas rolling hills are home to four of the states most exclusive resorts: Loews Ventana, the Westin La Paloma, the Westward Look Resort and Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch and Resort.
More than 50,000 people live in this unincorporated community sprinkled with fine dining and the fast food establishments, banks, galleries, grocery stores, specialty shops and indoor and outdoor entertainment venues.
While the area boasts gorgeous homes and resorts, the Foothills is also the home to one of natures jewels. More than one million people a year visit the breathtaking Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, at the communitys northeastern edge. Its 3.8 mile paved road into the canyon offers access to Sabino Creek and a number of swimming holes, picnic areas and trailheads.
Wide-open spaces, majestic mountain views and small-town peace and quiet are only a few of the natural amenities the community of Catalina has to offer. An estimated 7,500 residents enjoy cooler temperatures and heavier rainfall than their neighbors, thanks to the areas 3,200-foot elevation and close proximity to the mountain range. The absence of city lights makes Catalina a prime stargazing location.
A variety of small businesses serve the community as well as several of the regions most popular restaurants. Catalina is home to the world-renowned resort and spa, Miraval Life in Balance. Offering fitness, classes, horseback riding, rock climbing, hiking, plain old pampering and more, the spa draws visitors from around the world to this rural desert oasis.
SaddleBrooke is a large master-planned retirement community built by Robson Communities that features country-club style living with two championship golf courses, two clubhouses and activity centers and some of the best views of the Catalina mountains in the area.
Since SaddleBrooke first broke ground in 1986, more than 3,000 homes have been built there with another 1,000 planned. Another large Robson community is planned just to the north of SaddleBrooke that will be called SaddleBrooke Ranch. More than 6,000 homes are planned for both families and retirees.
A little farther to the north and bending around the northern edge of the mountains is Columbia Universitys Biosphere 2 Center, one of the largest living laboratories in the world. The 250-acre campus includes a 27-room hotel and conference center, shops, a visitor center and the 3.15-acre Biosphere facility. The Biosphere 2 Center is open seven days a week.
Oro Valley is perhaps the most well-planned town in Arizona. Everything that is built in Oro Valley is meticulously reviewed so that it blends with the landscape, preserves neighborhood character, fits well into the towns traffic flow master plan and, most importantly, preserves those fabulous views. Quality of life is high in Oro Valley due to the quality of the towns schools, police force, golf courses, parks and recreation facilities and the towns neighborhoods.
Oro Valley is one of the safest places to live in America with a crime rate that is almost negligible. The towns police force has grown with the community, and has been recognized as one of the finest medium-sized police departments in the state.
There are three private and four public golf courses in Oro Valley, each with its own unique charm and style. The town is in the midst of building a comprehensive walking and biking trail system. Located next to the 5,500 acre Catalina State Park, the town has two large town parks, and is planning construction for two more, including a community center that is expected to include a performing arts auditorium.
The 2000 census showed that the town of Marana was the fastest growing municipality in Arizona, increasing its population by more than 500 percent during the preceding decade. Given the towns continued growth, its very likely Marana will still be at the top of this list following the 2010 census.
Newcomers will be able to choose from affordable homes in master-planned communities built on the flat farm fields or the million-dollar homes of the golf resort communities being built in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains. Many of the plans have already started with the burgeoning master-planned communities of Continental Ranch, Continental Reserve and Dove Mountain. In between the communities will lie exceptional shopping centers, restaurants, parks and recreation facilities and industrial parks, and a large swath of protected desert is set aside for the preservation of endangered plants and animals.
The largest livestock auction house in the region, Marana Stockyards, remains a town fixture, as do the numerous guest ranches and horse properties sprinkled around the town. Agriculture, the heart and soul of the town and the reason it exists, has also been integrated in areas for continued farming and agricultural uses that will blend with the more modern suburbia.