Today's Forecast Sunny. Hi 75
Wind Calm
Commentary and Perspective from one of America's most unique small town areas, edited by Preston Westmoreland of Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty.

     Carefree times name            Preston photo
Volume 6, Spring Edition 2020
              Equal HousingLyon symbolRealtor logoFacebook linktwitter


COVID 19 CHANGED EVERYTHING! Carefree (PW)   As the world shuts down to avoid the spread of the pandemic, our life procedures certainly changed also. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey designated Realtors as an essential service and we received requests to see property, especially our remote and secure Golden Star Ranch  in Cave Creek, which had recently been featured on TV.  So we donned our masks and gloves and traveled in separate cars and maintained separation at the property!   




This month's quiz-

What is this a picture of?
Scroll down for the answer! 

What happened to real estate locally when Covid 19 hit? Curious to know how the corona virus has affected real estate in our area? You may be very surprised. In the N. Scottsdale area where we specialize, I did a random check of three communities. Carefree, the luxury golf community of Desert Mountain, and the distinctive Scottsdale community of Sincuidados.
In Carefree, there have been 2 cancellations of house listings, since the Corona news broke. 61 homes remain Active for sale, and 22 are under contract. And 6 of those we
nt under contract in the last 15 days, in middle of the Covid 19 crisis. I showed our Dream St. listing to a California buyer yesterday and the buyer had on a large respirator mask and rubber gloves, but he was looking.
Take Desert Mountain, where there are 129 houses for sale. There were 2 cancellations 27 are under contract and 10 sold in the last two weeks. In Sincuidados, one cancellation, one taken off the market temporarily, 8 active and 6 homes under contract. We are doing 3 showings today at various areas. Remember, where we are, in Maricopa County, was the fastest growing county in the United States last year. We are still authorized by the governor to conduct our business and show in separate vehicles, wear gloves and a mask, and instruct buyers not to touch anything in the home.

Syleste Rodriguez, host of "Cool House" takes a drink of the wonderful water from artesian wells.

Secret Ranch showcased on Fox10s "Cool House"

Cave Creek (PW) Its a hidden ranch near Cave Creek that is so secret, that unless you are there, you can ONLY see it from an airplane!  We opened the private Golden Star Ranch, for   Fox10's Syleste Rodriguez  and crew, who came out and featured the property lately.  The Golden Star was the site of the largest mining camp in the area in the late 1800s and has been held in private ownership for decades, but is now on the market.  Its heavily shown to buyers who want a safe and secure sanctuary, especially with recent global health concerns.  The ranch has rare artesian wells that pump out of the ground over 11,000 gallons of clear water a day.  In addition, the huge stamp mill was donated to the Cave Creek Museum where it was reconstructed over a period of 3 years with 9,000 hours of volunteer work. 

Its demonstrated several times a  month and you can get the schedule from the Cave Creek Museum website.   The amazing amount of water helps grow over 50 varieties of fruit and nut trees and flowers, in a virtual Garden of Eden. Priced at $2.9 mil See a tour here:Golden Star Ranch 



Quiz Answer. . .

 This amazing opening scene from a sci fi movie filmed on the Golden Star Ranch, shows a walled compound where the town of Cave Creek use to be. The movie is set 1,000 years in the future and was a big-budget pilot directed by Adrian Carr who did Crocodile Dundee. Carr liked the location and used the various cliffs and mine tunnels in the shoot.


Thanks for reading our blog!  Check out our Fall Issue for the latest news and special events for our visitors!

Sotheby's logo

Who is this guy writing this blog?

Find out more: 

Who is this Guy? 

For more information on this area and it's Incredible properties:  




Take a drone tour of the Carefree Town Center!
Carefree (PW)- Its amazing how the old dusty Carefree town center has been transformed into this Village showcase, with nearly $17 million spent on the center and amphitheater, Kiwanis Splash Park and the astonishing cactus gardens.  Rimmed by restaurants, and galleries, you'll enjoy this quick drone tour of Carefree!  Thanks for watching. 
Tour Carefree Town Center

Movie-making returns to the Foothills!
I was reminded after the recent death of Kenny Rogers, that the movie "The Gambler" was shot on the Western set of Carefree Studios, near the present-day Whisper Rock Golf Course.  There have been so many movies filmed in the Carefree and Cave Creek area in the past. I was also doing a  TV interview on Fox 10 with Dr. Lynne Kitei, the expert on the Phoenix Lights, and Dr. Lynne mentioned that she played a role in a landmark Cohen Brothers movie filmed in Arizona, "Raising Arizona." Check out Dr. Lynne today, and her roll as the mother in "Raising Arizona" below! Bet you would never recognize her.

 That's why I thought it a great story when Director Adrian Carr, who did Crocodile Dundee, and top cinematographer Ross Berryman (American Pie, Atlas Shrugged, countless TV shows) joined forces to film a big budget pilot film at Cave Creek's Golden Star Ranch. The movie Solus, set 1,000 years in the future, demanded a site where no signs of civilization where visible. They used the mine tunnels, and cliffs of the property in the production, which featured an opening scene with an amazing walled fortress city, where Cave Creek stands today!

Below, photo from Solus of two main characters wandering in the wilderness, trying to track down the source of a mysterious signal.

Below, a candid photograph of the same actors taking a break between filming at the ranch!

Below, utilizing the Golden Star's many mine tunnels, the actors go into the diggings

At the wrap-up, the crew posed for a photo.  The pilot is currently making its way on the rounds in Hollywood.

Above, the actors on the mountaintop, overlooking the futuristic walled city.  An amazing example of cinematography and special effects on "Solus"

If you are interested in the Golden Star Ranch as a super private sanctuary and getaway, please check out this short video tour. The property is available for $ 2.9 million and includes 38 patented acres, home, bunkhouse/casita, cabin and horse facilities. Shown by appointment only.

See the Golden Star Ranch

New Hotel being built in Carefree 

 Carefree (PW)  A hotel that was originally slated to go into Cave Creek, is now under construction near the Sundial, in Carefree, and town leaders expect the new Hampton Inn hotel to be a major boon to local businesses. Developers held a groundbreaking ceremony  for a Hampton Inn in downtown Carefree, according to the town’s Facebook page. The 97-room hotel is expected to open in late 2020 near the town’s landmark sundial and will serve as a long-sought "anchor" property for the village.  Plans call for a pool and spa, meeting rooms, a fitness center and breakfast and bar seating. Scottsdale’s ProFab Construction is the contractor for the project, and Nebraska-based CFM Realty is the developer. Mayor Les Peterson took part in the ceremony along with representatives from the companies involved. The construction site is pictured below:



Amazing photos of our area during the virus precautions. All restaurants offer take out only, most stores closed, even the town halls are deserted.
downtown Carefree below

  Harold's empty parking lot

The Roadhouse in Cave Creek, closed

Another rare view of Carefree's main area with nobody there, the amphitheater is empty as well.

 Below, is how busy it CAN look when things are normal. Bike Week was even cancelled, however the year before, there were thousands of riders in town

Guess who use to work on the mining survey crews here?
Cave Creek (PW)  Since we have mentioned the mines several times in this edition, we ran across a story you might find interesting.  In the late 1800s, when the Cave Creek Mining District was very active, survey crews were assembled to plot out the lines of the claim, involving a chain crew and a flagman to signal the surveyor.  One gentleman who spent some time here as a Flagman, left after a short tenure, to join his brother in another bustling mining town called Tombstone, Arizona.  He later became sheriff was involved in the most famous Western gunfight in history, Gunfight at the OK Corral.  And in fact, in Cave Creek, True West Magazine is headquartered and Bob Boze Bell is the supreme authority on the Earps. Check out this document from the Cave Creek Museum when a survey crew was sworn in. See if you can find Wyatt Earps signatures! He signed it several times!

We sincerely thank you for checking out our Carefree Times blog, and during these uncertain times with the pandemic going on, we pray that you and your family stay healthy and have a successful rebound.