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Rio Verde Community History

"Rio Verde is a successful 55+, retirement community with a small town feel, where the residents have worked together to create a very special lifestyle" - Wayne Stewart, Winnipeg


Rio Verde was first conceived as a winter golfing community in the late 1960s by a group of Minnesota investors. Rio Verde today is a thriving low density, active adult community of 980 custom built homes ranging in price from $150,000 to over a $1 million. Built on 762 acres with over 200 acres of traditional style golf courses, Rio Verde residents enjoy an abundance of green space.

Significant dates in Rio Verde’s history:

  • Centuries ago, the Verde River Valley was home to the Hohokam people who irrigated corn, bean and squash crops with water from the Verde River
  • Around 1400 AD the Hohokam abandoned the area leaving only camp and burial sites
  • 1865 Fort McDowell was established just south of Rio Verde
  • 1903 the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation was created on land adjacent to where Rio Verde is located today
  • 1905 the Tonto National Forest, bordering Rio Verde, was established - encompassing 2,873,200 acres
  • 1919 the Box Bar Ranch was established along the Verde River
  • 1964 the McDowell Regional Park was created, encompassing over 21,000 acres
  • 1970 the Page Land & Cattle Company purchased the Box Bar Ranch, making way for the development of Rio Verde
  • 1973 Rio Verde development began and the post office was established & the Quail Run golf course opened for play
  • 1979 - 1980 the Rio Verde Country Club members purchased the Quail Run golf course from the developer and became a private country club & 9 holes were added to Quail Run creating a 27-hole golf course
  • 1980 the Rio Verde fire station was established
  • 1981 six tennis courts built
  • 1982 another 9 holes were added creating 2, 18-hole courses – Quail Run and White Wing
  • 1983 the first Community Center was opened
  • 1989 the current Rio Verde Community Church was dedicated (and enlarged in 2002)
  • 1991 the current 27,000 square foot clubhouse was built
  • 1993 the community pool was built
  • 1999 current clubhouse renovated
  • 2003 the Community Center was remodels and expanded
  • 2007 - 2009 the White Wing and Quail Run golf courses were renovated tee to green under the guidance of Tom Lehman Golf Course Design Group.
  • 2011 the $6 million golf course renovation debt was paid off by Rio Verde Country Club members and community residents, leaving the Club debt free.  This was acccomplihsed with no member assessment.
  • 2011 the community pool and spa were remodeled
  • 2011 two pickle ball courts built
  • 2012 Rio Verde was designated an Audubon Green Community, the first in Arizona and the second private community in the United States