The venerable 50-year-old Paradise Valley resort Mountain Shadows is back on the market. The 337-room resort at 56th Street and Lincoln Drive has been shuttered since 2005, when Marriott International told then-owner Host Marriott to fix it up or lose the Marriott affiliation.
The golf course, although still open for now, could be scrubbed if a new purchase deal is completed.
California-based Crown Realty Development, which was already transforming aged neighboring property La Posada into the luxurious resort and residential complex InterContinental Montelucia, bought Mountain Shadows from Host Marriott in 2007 for $42 million. Montelucia opens today.
For more than a year, Crown has been working with the Town Council and Paradise Valley residents to come up with an acceptable plan for Mountain Shadows.
The council and immediate neighbors seem to have reached accord on a redevelopment plan, but some residents still don't like it.
The naysayers also panned a planned Ritz-Carlton resort complex development and secured enough signatures to force a vote on overturning the council's approval of that project. The proposition is on today's election ballot.
Mountain Shadows' future hinges on that vote, said Jason Rose, Crown spokesman.
Crown has several people interested in buying Mountain Shadows, Rose said, but if Paradise Valley residents nix the Ritz, potential resort developers could walk away from a possible deal.
In that case, the property would revert to a 1992 agreement forged when the town annexed the property, Rose said. That agreement would allow a developer to scrap the golf course and convert all 68 acres to residential development, including up to 584 two-story condominiums, he said.
"Things will be clearer after (tonight)," Rose said. "It will be public reinforcement of resort development. If (the Ritz) goes down, it will be problematic for Mountain Shadows. There would be little or no political will to approve a Ritz-like project."
Rose said neither the Ritz controversy nor the $335 million cost of Montelucia, which was more than twice the original budget, were deciding factors for Crown in putting Mountain Shadows back on the block.
Crown CEO Robert Flaxman, who spent five years developing Montelucia and more than a year trying to appease neighbors on his vision for Mountain Shadows, wants to spend more time at home with family in California and on projects outside Arizona, Rose said.