Sun City and Sun City West, Arizona

These towns were designed from the start to be a retirement community. Located about 12 miles northwest of Phoenix, they began as a partnership between builder Del Webb and cotton farmer J.G. Boswell who owned the land. On New Years Day in 1960 they opened their doors with a 3 bedroom model, and sold 237 homes in 3 days. Sun City West was begun in 1978, when all of the land slated for Sun City was built up. Population in Sun City is estimated at 45,000, and at 28,000 in Sun City West. 1200 of the 8900 acres in Sun City are golf courses, and the golf cart is used for transportation almost as much as the car in these communities. There is no industry there, except for some service businesses and medical services that are supported by the residents. Almost all income is derived from Social Security and other retirement plans. There are, however about 350 clubs and organizations, and eleven recreation centers.

Neither area is incorporated, and they rely on the county for services. The people who live there love it, but they are sometimes resented by younger folks in the Metro Phoenix areas. Conflicts arise occasionally regarding property taxes (Sun City residents have no inclination toward paying any taxes to support the school system), and elderly drivers are never appreciated by the younger set.

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Last revised: October 30, 1998