When the Del Webb Development Company opened Sun City Arizona, Jan. 1, 1960 it was embarking on a brave new venture -- a master-planned retirement community built specifically for active adults. (MORE) Until this time, retirees were expected to retreat from life so they could sit at home and rock away their golden years. The notion that you would pull up roots, move to a vacation spot, buy a stylish home, and surround yourself with fun and pleasure in a community of people just like you was not considered available. But Del Webb Sun City Arizona turned that thinking on its head, and in the process, it set the gold standard for quality retirement living. (Excerpts from SunCityArizona.org)
Del Webb built several more Sun Cities in Arizona, mostly on large, less expensive parcels west of Phoenix. (The original Sun City had been a cotton field.)
Meanwhile, the Phoenix/Tucson areas become more and more crowded; the drive from a Sun City to downtown Phoenix became a series of backlogs; the pleasant winter weather attracted snowbirds. As temperatures rose in the late Spring, the snowbirds flew(or drove) back to Canada and elsewhere, and the hot summer economy of Phoenix/Tucson suffers.
Las Vegas was growing rapidly from a gaming Strip to a major year-round Metro area. It became a world entertainment capital. (In its desire to build on the outskirts, The Del Webb Company purchased land in Summerlin beyond the then western suburbs and also in the southern slopes of Henderson, which then was a small town whose south main paved road, Eastern Avenue, terminated at the Del Webb acreage. Sun City Anthem and Sun City Summerlin have become the two most desired Sun Cities in the Las Vegas Metro area. Thank you, Mr. Webb, for introducing the country to a most desirable housing product for those who are age-qualified active adults.