Our Heritage
In the early 1970s, a group of Minnesota businessmen bought the Box Bar Ranch. They believed the ranch’s unique location, nestled along the Verde River on the edge of the Tonto National Forest, would make the perfect retreat for golf and nature lovers to escape the cold winters of the north. That philosophy continues today at Rio Verde and is best expressed in a letter Ray King, founding partner and first Rio Verde president, wrote in 1973:

"When I first pulled together the people who helped me develop Rio Verde, I insisted that each share my commitment to the future of this community. My message to the team was this: Rio Verde isn’t going to be one of those 'get rich quick and get out' developments. First, we’re going to plan Rio Verde with the idea that we’re designing it for ourselves and for our very own families. Second, we’re going to carry out those plans to the letter—no matter what the cost in time, effort, or money. And third, we’re going to make darned sure Rio Verde remains the kind of community that first convinced people to live here. That’s what I insisted on…and that’s what’s been done! We call Rio Verde 'the Arizona you come to Arizona for.'”

As a community, we have kept the promise of Ray King’s message. We continue to enhance amenities, invest in the golf courses, and strive to make life enjoyable for everyone who lives here.

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“The custom homes on big lots made moving to Rio Verde an easy choice for us.” - Jim and Marti Justus, Minnesota

Ranking Arizona
Ranked 2015’s #1 Active Adult Community and #1 Private Golf Course in Arizona by AZ Big Media.

GEM Award
Winner in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Presented by the Arizona Women’s Golf Association.

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
Building a Home a Year for 19 years. 

Audubon International
Green Community Designation since 2011. Won the Sustainable Planning Award in 2015. Awarded Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community 2015

Firewise Award
Certified FirewiseCommunity since 2010.

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“Being an Audubon International Green Community and receiving their award as a Sustainability Community are notable achievements. To learn more about Rio Verde’s sustainability efforts please view this video.” - Sal Celona, Rio Verde

Rio Verde’s magnificent, unspoiled desert setting has been preserved through good stewardship. Native landscaping is encouraged to conserve water and coordinate with the flora found in the adjoining Tonto National Forest and McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Our country club and the Rio Verde Community Association take great care to irrigate with recaptured wastewater. Solar panels power the community center plus many homes. 

Audubon International granted Rio Verde the Audubon Green Community Award in 2011 for its strong commitment to environmental stewardship, planning, and actions to keep the land and air healthy. In 2015, Rio Verde received Audubon’s Award for being a Sustainable Community by adopting a long-term community vision for sustainable living.

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