Preferred Communities

Desert Oasis

Rio Verde Country Club’s motto is “Living the Life We Imagined,” and if you’re looking for a community that boasts all the amenities you want for an active lifestyle, along with stellar views and a welcoming membership, Rio Verde might be right for you.

Notwithstanding all the changes at Rio Verde over the past two decades — golf course renovations, a recent $3.75-million clubhouse overhaul, new fitness facilities, and several new members — that idyllic lifestyle remains the same. 

First … the views. Thanks to being surrounded either by public land — on one side by the four million-acre Tonto National Forest, on another by the McDowell Mountain Preserve — or land owned by its developers, the private community’s long-distance vistas will never be encroached upon. 

And then there’s the warm welcome afforded every new resident who seeks out Rio Verde’s golf-enriched, active lifestyle. “We were a bit concerned about moving to a new community without knowing anyone, but we were immediately welcomed and asked to participate in EVERYTHING!” said John and Megan Crosland, who moved to Rio Verde from Alberta, Canada.”

Finally, there’s the ever-evolving slate of amenities and social activities that nowadays includes tennis and pickleball courts, an art studio, fitness center, library, hiking trails, biking, and at the center of it all, a bustling clubhouse with two dining venues and two 18-hole parkland-style golf courses designed by Tom Lehman.


Located just 15 minutes east of North Scottsdale, Rio Verde got its start in the early 1970s when investors from Minnesota bought thousands of acres with grazing and water rights. Part of that land included the Boxbar Ranch, which dates to the 1800s and is close to the nearby Rio Verde River, a quarter mile from the community. 

The original developers took advantage of the property’s natural topography. From the Rio Verde River on the east side to the McDowell Mountains on the western border, there is a constant upward slope of a few percent. That gives the majority of residences long-range views of nearby mountains and remarkable sunrises.

Today, Rio Verde features close to 1,000 homes of all shapes and styles: attached homes, duplexes, and 1.5-acre lots with up to 7,000-square-foot homes, with prices ranging from $400k to more than $2 million. While the community used to comprise 80 percent seasonal residents, about half of the owners are now “year-rounders.”

“Rio Verde has a very wide range of ages, and one of the things that younger people like about it is there are some smaller homes,” said Anthony Paino, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Rio Verde Country Club. “The era of the 5,000- to 7,000-square-foot homes is mostly over. That makes for a nice mix in the community. And Scottsdale is close for those who commute there.”

Many residents take advantage of the biking and hiking trails in and around the community, which has its own gate that opens to the 30,000-acre McDowell Mountain Preserve. Every homeowner is a social member of Rio Verde Country Club, and multiple types of golf memberships are available. 


“You don’t have be a low handicapper to enjoy our two courses,” Paino said. “Both are very walkable, and during the winter months I’d estimate about 25 percent of our golfers do so.” 

The existing courses both contain holes that were part of the original routing that debuted in 1973. In 1981, 36 holes became available: the 6,535-yard White Wing course, which has more undulating and elevated greens, and the 6,602-yard Quail Run course, a tree-lined and more forgiving layout than its counterpart. A tip of the hat to Lehman for his thoughtful efforts on both layouts.

The back nine on Quail Run includes forward tees that form the Roadrunner Course; a 1,088-yard par-3 layout used for “9 and Dine” events, casual late afternoon gatherings, and as a venue to introduce juniors to the game.

“We now have over 500 members, so operations are well-funded and there is still plenty of tee availability,” Paino said. “The community continues to be attractive to our age demographic, including those just now entering the 55+ age bracket.  If you’re going to join here, you are likely going to want to live here.”


In addition to the vast array of amenities, plus its own post office, Rio Verde rolls out the red carpet for new residents. 

“Everyone knows everyone here,” Paino said. “Newcomers go into the clubhouse for the first time and a large number of our members and residents will introduce themselves and then invite them to dinner. There is a sense of family. Everyone belongs here. People care for each other.”

Another important aspect to membership at Rio Verde Country Club is access to the worldwide network of courses and lifestyle offerings through the Troon Privé Privilege program. “Troon has been a great benefit for Rio Verde,” Paino says. “It’s a real showcase of what happens when you have a very active, dedicated membership, and pair it with professional management.”

In other words, it may just be the life you have imagined!

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