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Updated Feb 6, 2014 - 10:45 am

Mountain Shadows demolished to make way for new resort

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. -- It was the end of an era on Wednesday for a Paradise Valley resort.

The Mountain Shadows resort at 56th Street and Lincoln Drive opened in 1959 and spent the next three decades as one of the most prestigious resorts in the Valley. Then, in 2004 it closed, remaining vacant ever since.

Paradise Valley Mayor Scott LeMarr said it's time for the resort to go.

"It was asbestos-ridden and had some very old, antiquated mechanical systems," said LeMarr. "It really didn't fit the current luxury resort parameters that guests and tourists to our town expect today."

Crown Development bought Mountain Shadows from Marriott for $42 million in 2007. After years of bankruptcies and legal problems, Crown CEO Robert Flaxman is ready to build a new resort with the same name.

Same name, perhaps, but a very different resort.

"The old resort represented the Arizona of its time -- the late 1950s into the 1960s," Flaxman said. "The new resort is going to represent Paradise Valley of the 21st century. It's going to be forward thinking, more modern, and contemporary and is going to appeal to the current consumer tastes."

But one area of the old Mountain Shadow isn't going anywhere. Despite the resort's closure nearly a decade ago, the golf course has remained open and operating and will remain a part of the new resort.

Flaxman said the new Mountain Shadows will also have several amenities.

"[Amenities] will include a spa, fitness center, swimming pool, bar, restaurants, retail shops and resort and residential housing, as well as a full-service luxury hotel," Flaxman said.

Along with the 150-room boutique hotel, 140 new homes will be built at the site. Flaxman expects they will range in price between $1 million and $4 million.

The new Mountain Shadows is expected to open in 2016.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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