2024 New Resident & Visitor Guide

2024 New Resident & Visitor Guide for the city of Maricopa.

InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide NEW RESIDENT & VISITOR GUIDE 2024

The charter school ‘where every child is known’ Page 62 Pathway to success

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Live Your Dream Now. Tour move-in ready homes in Maricopa by the #1 home builder in the U.S. 347




Cobblestone Farms


The Lakes

Rancho El Dorado

Acacia Crossings

Brian Petersheim Jr

The Villages

Province Homestead North

North Maricopa

Maricopa Manor

H 3

Maricopa Townsite




Estrella Park


Rancho Mirage

Maricopa Meadows

H 5

Desert Passage San Travasa

Santa Rosa Crossing

Desert Cedars


H 4

Neely Estates


El Rancho Santa Rosa



Santa Rosa Springs

Palo Brea

Red Valley Ranch


Eagle Shadow

Avalea/Trilogy 3. Rancho Mirage 37456 W. Vera Cruz Drive phxranchomirage@drhorton.com (480) 648-0362

1. The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado 41019 W. Sunland Drive phxlakesatred@drhorton.com (480) 841-9196

2. Palo Brea 16765 N. Palo Azul Road phxpalobrea@drhorton.com (480) 530-7250

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5. Tortosa 35961 W. San Ildefanso Ave. phxtortosasales@drhorton.com (480) 470-6237

Eagle Wing

Daltessa Heights

Eagle Shadow (The Sanctuary) (

Hartman R

Eagle Wing

D.R. Horton is an Equal Housing Opportunity Builder. DRH Properties, Inc., Broker. Home and community information, pricing, plans, elevations, included features, options, terms, availability, amenities, and co-broke, are subject to change and prior sale at any time without notice or obligation. Drawings, pictures, photographs, video, square footages, colors, features, and sizes are for illustration purposes only and will vary from the homes as built. Square footage dimensions are approximate and vary by elevation. If Buyer is working with a licensed real estate agent or broker, the agent or broker must accompany and register buyer on first visit to the community. See sales agent for complete details and pricing including a list of available homes. Prices vary by community. D.R. Horton reserves the right to cancel or change all offers without prior notice. Furnishings and decorative items not included with home purchase. Prices shown are base home prices and do not include closing cost and fees, lot premium, modifications to plans and custom features which may substantially affect final cost of the home. *Ranked #1 Homebuilder in the U.S. by Builder 100 I Builder Magazine. Construction by DRH Phoenix East Construction, Inc., License #ROC 064532-B. Rancho El Dorado The Lakes Province Homestead North Santa Rosa Crossing Desert Cedars Palo Brea Glennwilde Desert Passage San Travasa Neely Estates Santa Rosa Springs El Rancho Santa Rosa Rancho Mirage Tortosa Sorrento Eagle Shadow rilogy Eagle Wing Red Valley Ranch Cortona Senita The Villages North Maricopa Maricopa Manor McDavid Estrella Park Maricopa Townsite Alterra Maricopa Meadows Acacia Crossings Cobblestone Farms Rancho El Dorado The Lakes Province The Villages North Maricopa Acacia Crossings Cobblestone Farms Cobblestone Farms

T h e S a n u

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Maricopa Manor McDavid

The Lakes


Estrella Park Maricopa Townsite


Daltessa Heights


Eagle Shadow (The Sanctuary)

Hartman Ranch

Eagle Wing

Glennwilde Acacia Crossings

Rancho Mirage

Maricopa Meadows

Desert Passage

Santa Rosa


The Villages

Province Homestead North

Welcome to Maricopa

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6 Welcome letters 10 Maricopa’s rich history 12 City’s history museum 14 ‘The Duke’ 16 Mike Ingram

42 Public safety 44 Courts 46 Nonprofits 52 HOAs

56 Real estate 60 Education 70 Outdoor recreation 75 Health Guide 99 Arts and culture 100 Business directory 107 Restaurant Guide 130 Churches

20 Two decades and counting 26 Twenty years of leaddership 30 Community 32 City and county contacts 36 Elected officials 38 State and federal contacts 40 Voter registration and driver’s licenses

Welcome home! C ongratulations on choosing Maricopa as your new home! with you! Often, among the most difficult things about moving is finding the right service providers who offer high quality at a fair price. Connecting you with the right providers is among the missions of this publication. It’s difficult to imagine a service that isn’t included in this guide! You’ll also find all of the civic and governmental information you need to actively participate and make a difference in the city you now call home. At InMaricopa , information and service are at the heart of our mission. This guide is our way of reaching out and helping you through your first days. You will find those who populate our city to be a lively, diverse mixture that keep it a fascinating and interesting place. Few cities are growing faster, so as you become acquainted, remember that a sizable portion of the population is right there We have provided 24/7/365 local news coverage since 2004 on our website, inmaricopa.com. It is updated several times each day. This is augmented by our social media, primarily our Facebook page. Our monthly magazine, InMaricopa, is delivered to about 30,000 residents every month. And our periodic specialty publications, like this one, are intended to enhance local knowledge. The breadth and depth of our stories coupled with our reach into the community is unmatched. We are the go-to source for Maricopa news. If you cannot find what you need in this guide, let us know! We’ll try to help. And don’t hesitate to contact us with a story idea, or photo, or news tip! We hope you enjoy this guide, and, again, welcome to Maricopa!


Advertising Director VINCENT MANFREDI

Managing Editor ELIAS WEISS





MISSION Inform readers/viewers. Enrich advertisers.

BELIEFS We believe in: • An informed citizenry. • Holding ourselves and others accountable. • The success of deserving businesses.


• Integrity • Accountability

• Open, honest, real-time communication • Prosperity for clients, community, company

Elias Weiss MANAGING EDITOR Elias@InMaricopa.com 520-568-0040, ext. 103

Vincent Manfredi ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Advertising@InMaricopa.com 520-568-0040, ext. 108

InMaricopa 44400 W. Honeycutt Road, Suite 101 Maricopa, AZ 85138

520-568-0040 Tel 520-568-0050 Fax News@InMaricopa.com Advertising@InMaricopa.com

ON THE COVER: Sequoia Pathway Academy high school senior and varsity basketball player Aracely Aceves practices her shot in the charter school’s gymnasium before a road game against Anthem Prep Nov. 29, 2023.

Published advertisements are not an endorsement of products or advertising claims by InMaricopa. No part of this magazine may be reproduced by any means without the prior written permission of InMaricopa. Copyright 2024.

4 New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024 • InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide


Welcome to Maricopa A s mayor, and on behalf of our city council, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the wonderful city of Maricopa! Maricopa is proud of its history and looks toward a continued prosperous future. We’ve been incorporated for just over 20 years, so we’re really a young city. I believe you will discover why Maricopa is a community that new businesses, new residents and guests have come to love and enjoy. As you may have already found, many families who make Maricopa their home quickly become invested, and we welcome your involvement! It’s a fabulous place to raise a family. Our school systems, both public and charter, have dedicated leaders and teachers who truly care about your children. Our city staff are renowned throughout the region for our signature parks and recreation offerings. These events are intended to entertain and bring our community together to build life-long bonds and shared memories. In October 2023, the city showcased our pride in our city by hosting the 20th Anniversary Wild West Music Fest. I received wonderful comments from both residents and visitors about the quality and enjoyment of this event. Make sure you check out all our wonderful event opportunities. Our city council, city manager and staff strive to create a thriving environment for commercial opportunities like restaurants, retail and employment. As we continue to broaden our Adventure Corridor, there is no shortage of activities to keep you busy, involved and entertained. The residents of Maricopa are what make this community so special. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, Maricopa is rapidly becoming a large city while retaining a small-town feel. We host many nonprofits that serve our seniors and children, our special health, family, educational and leadership needs, and so much more. If you like to volunteer, a little research will help you find the right group I’m certain will welcome you. Maricopa is an inviting city where you may find a new friend in the grocery store, at the park or even at a city council meeting. My husband and I have lived here since before the city was incorporated. We immediately found ways to enrich our lives by truly being a part of this wonderful community. I know you will find great ways to enhance your life as well. If you ever have questions, the best thing to do is ask someone. We are all ready and willing to help. I know it won’t take long for you to understand this remarkable city and why so many people love living here. On behalf of the entire Maricopa City Council, welcome home! Welcome to Maricopa!

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InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide • New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024



Maricopa Historical Society

Shortly after Maricopa found its new home, Maricopaville succumbed to the flames of a destructive fire, taking most of its buildings and homes, and sending its few inhabitants east to Maricopa Junction. During the next 35 years, Maricopa Junction experienced modest prosperity building churches, a hotel and schoolhouse. In 1912, under President Taft, the federal government established reservation land south of Maricopa Junction. Less than a year later the federal government shrunk the reservation by half due to opposition from area farmers. Ak-Chin Indian Community was established in 1961. The population of Maricopa in 1920 was 381. In 1930, in the first year of the Great Depression, that number was reduced to 143. Later, in 1935, the M&P Line closed. Over the following decade, the area struggled with the effects of the Depression and then a war- time economy. After World War II, the community began to again experience modest growth, even expanding the schoolhouse to accommodate the growing population. Over the next 60 years, some of the most well-known Maricopa families — Smiths, Farrells, Andersons and Burks — moved to the community and established their roots. In 1995, State Route 347 was finished, paralleling the old M&P Branch Line. The City of Maricopa officially incorporated in 2003. In less than 15 years, Maricopa’s population grew from just over 1,000 to more than 43,000 in 2010. Today, the population is more than 70,000.

M aricopa has had three distinct locations, each with its unique history. Prior to and during the early colonial period, native bands of the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee-Posh (Maricopa) lived in the Valley around the Gila River. Relying on native trails and the “good-natured” tribes in the area, a stagecoach route was established just west of Pima Butte connecting Tucson with Phoenix. Along that route south of the Gila River, about eight miles northwest of the current city limits, a relay station was built. Settlers called the stop Maricopa Wells after the O’odham word for the Pee-Posh people. A steady supply of fresh water made it a desert oasis fed by wells reaching into the underground Gila River. When Arizona became a territory in 1863, there were only three communities in the state with considerable size — Tucson, Prescott and Maricopa Wells.

Prior to the construction of the Southern Pacific Railroad, Maricopa Wells was a major supply post on the Transcontinental Mail Line and Butterfield Overland Stage Mail Line. Upon completion of the SPRR in 1879, the post was moved south to meet the tracks at its second home — Maricopaville — about 3.5 miles west of its current location. Maricopaville suffered a short life, lasting only about seven years before being moved to its third and final locale. There were intentions to build a second rail line to connect Maricopaville to Phoenix (M&P Branch Line), but residents in Tempe became upset by the prospect of being excluded from access to the north-south line. In 1886, their noise eventually forced the M&P Branch terminus (Maricopa Junction) east to where the city of Maricopa is today. In 1887, the first M&P train went into operation, and a year later the Maricopa post office opened.

10 New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024 • InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide

Alternative Payment Options • Online at www.ed3online.org · ED3 Mobile App • Automated Phone System or with a Customer Service Representative · (520) 424-9021 • City Office (Drop Box available) · 41664 W. Smith Enke Rd., Suite 100 • District Office (Drop Box available) · 41630 W. Louis Johnson Dr. • Checkout by PayGo * • Maricopa Fry’s or Walmart * *These methods of payment may not post same business day.

ED3 Programs 1. Pre-Paid Metering

2. Time-of-Use Program 3. Level or Budget Payment Plan 4. FREE Quarterly Home Energizer Workshop 5. Home Energy Audit 6. Year-long Rebate Offers * *While funds are available.

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Customer Service Center 41664 W. Smith Enke Rd., Suite 100 (520) 424-9021 customerservice@ed-3.org



W Smith Enke Rd

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Outages and Emergencies 24 Hours/7 Days a week at (520) 424-9021

District Office and Mailing Address 41630 W. Louis Johnson Drive (520) 424-9311 Tel (520) 423-4949 Fax



InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide • New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024


The Maricopa Museum and Visitor Center has a wealth of historical information and displays about the area.

Bryan Mordt


all balsa wood and a laser, so it made an exact replica of the depot. Just a few days ago, we got these photos of the locomotives that ran from here to Phoenix. These are really rare. “At the time, Maricopa was even being considered for the state capital, so this depot they built was considerably larger than the one in Phoenix. Isn’t that cool?” It took Shirk and other members of the historical society years to find items for the museum. “I am a researcher by trade, and I keep going,” he said. “Just (in early October), we were not getting a lot of information on Maricopaville because it was only there a few years.” Maricopaville moved after seven years when it was learned the junction of the Southern Pacific and the Maricopa and Phoenix lines was going to be a few miles away, so the settlement moved to what was then called Maricopa Junction, now Maricopa. “I was interested in the old Maricopaville station, so I dug until I found a Southern Pacific person who gave me a blueprint of it, and then they said, ‘Did you know that Maricopaville station was taken apart and moved to Los Banos, California?’ I said, you’re kidding,” Shirk said. “They moved it on flatcars 750 miles. I contacted the Los Banos Historical Society and got a picture of that reconstructed depot.” While the building has history of its own, there’s much more inside, with concentration on the three places that have been Maricopa in some form. “People always ask a lot of questions about that, because even people living in the area don’t always know that history, and how that came about,” Shirk said. “But the railroad was the driving force of all of that.”

M aricopa regards itself as a 21st- century city on the move. Actually, it has been on the move since the middle of the 19th century, when its hub settlements made a series of short moves to its current site. So, perhaps it is fitting its first museum also has covered some ground. The Maricopa Museum and Visitor Center, op- erated by the Maricopa Historical Society, opened in October at 44240 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. It is housed in former barracks that in the 1940s was part of Williams Field, an Air Force installation in Chandler where pilots were trained for World War II. “We procured the building in 1987 when they were getting ready to close the base, and moved it here,” said Paul Shirk, president of the Maricopa Historical Society. Initially, the building was the city library. It later became a veterans center. Now, it is loaded with information and memorabilia, including a big dose from John Wayne’s connection to the area,

that tells of Maricopa’s journey from Maricopa Wells to Maricopaville to Maricopa Junction, which was the place now known as Maricopa. The city’s past is full of colorful lore. Perry Williams, the first mayor, albeit self-proclaimed long, long before Maricopa was incorporated (in 2003), had a pet bobcat he paraded around town on a leash. “It’s just a joy bringing all this stuff together so people can understand Maricopa was a happenin’ place,” Shirk said. “We want to continue to tell that story.” Shirk’s pride and joy is a scale replica of the Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad Station, from which trains made their first journey to Phoenix in 1887. Fire destroyed it in 1931. Originally a school project, the replica was dilapidated and falling apart when Shirk got his hands on it, he said. “I got in touch with Southern Pacific and got their book that gave the exact colors and the way the wood was, vertical and horizontal, and I re-created this station,” he said. “I did this with

12 New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024 • InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide


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Wayne and Johnson moved into the cattle business in the 1960s, running a feedlot near Maricopa and a ranch near Springerville.

John Wayne was born Marion Morrison in Winterset, Iowa.

He grew up in Southern California and became a movie extra and then an actor after losing his scholarship to USC in the 1920s.

One of Wayne’s favorite watering holes was Table Top Tavern in


Wayne bought 4,000 acres of farmland between Maricopa and

Johnson’s wife Alice put Wayne on a weight-loss program for his

Stanfield in the late 1950s.

movie roles.

At the peak of the Wayne and Johnson cattle partnership, they

had 85,000 head.

Wayne died of cancer in 1979.

El Dorado Holdings CEO Mike Ingram campaigned to have a

portion of State Route 347 (Maricopa Road) named John Wayne Parkway.

The Duke Golf Course draws its name from Wayne’s nickname. Some streets within Rancho El Dorado — Sagebrush Trail, Rio Grande, Rio Lobo, Cahill and others — share names with Wayne movies.

He partnered with local cotton farmer Louis Johnson, who managed Wayne’s farm. The two later merged their properties. Both now have roadways named for them in Maricopa.

14 New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024 • InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide


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I was real excited to be a part of that deal, the Louis Johnson and John Wayne history behind it and what that means to the whole community down there. And preserving that history, you just don’t have any idea what that means to me.” When El Dorado Holdings had Red River in escrow, Ingram received a call from Louis Johnson, Wayne’s long-time business partner in Maricopa, whose property was in the middle of Red River. Johnson said he wanted to be a partner in Ingram’s real estate plans and set him up with Willard Sparks, one of the largest commodity traders in the nation. Another partner, Dr. James Little, became one of Ingram’s best friends. IT STARTED WITH A ROAD When Ingram began buying farmland around Maricopa, some residents thought he could be key to solving a serious problem: Maricopa Road. Community leaders like Alma Farrell, Jane Askew and Ann Donithan were hosting meetings in their homes to get property owners on board with widening the deadly, two-lane strip. Leading farmers Bill Scott and John Smith reached out to Ingram, getting the ball rolling for the Maricopa Road Association. “He recognized that we needed to have a four-lane highway coming out here,” Smith said. “So, we got together and posted a bond issue. We knew that the county wouldn’t help finance it. So, we voted on it, and it just barely passed.” In 1989, Arizona Department of Trans- portation was ready to accept the road if the association could raise half the money. “The citizens of western Pinal County all had a big, big part in making that happen,” Ingram said. “Alma Farrell was a big part of that. She had many, many meetings, actually gave me a place at Headquarters to work out of in those days. In a room between the bar and the restaurant, that was my little office there in Maricopa. And we went to work on it.” Former U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini brought federal money to the table. Pinal and Maricopa counties also came on board. Gila River Indian Community agreed. Property owners around Maricopa voted to tax themselves for the improvement district. “Mike worked hard, a lot harder than I did,” Smith said. In tragic irony, Jane Askew, who had been a passionate voice in widening the dangerous

M ike Ingram is not crazy or stupid. movers and shakers thought he was nuts. Now the chairman of El Dorado Holdings, which he founded in 1992, Ingram became one of the most influential people forming the modern history of Maricopa. After creating Rancho El Dorado and sister subdivisions The Villages and the Lakes, El Dorado Holdings still has thousands of acres in and around Maricopa set for residential and commercial development. It has thousands more acres in other communities it is also developing. That may be obvious to observers now, but 25 years ago, many of Arizona’s most knowledgeable But Maricopa continues to be Ingram’s baby. The work has been a combination of puzzle pieces and chess moves to find the right combination of partners and investors in what others thought was a hair-brained scheme. “I had this vision and plan for a new city there,” said Ingram, 78. “At the time, we had entitlements through Pinal County. There was no city of Maricopa. Maricopa was less than 500 people.” His first deal in real estate was with partner Marty Ortman, with whom he purchased El Dorado, a ranch formerly belonging to John Wayne near Stanfield. That gave their fledgling company its name. Then they purchased other farms in the vicinity in 1992 and became known to other landowners. He still clearly remembers the day Karl Eller called and asked him to lunch at Phoenix Country Club. The late Eller was an advertising mogul and John Wayne fan, who had purchased the Red River Ranch in 1980

Developer Mike Ingram ignored skepticism and followed his vision for Maricopa.

from the late actor’s estate. “I need you to think about buying the Red River from me,” Eller told Ingram. “But I need you to close it in a week.” Eller had a loan with a local savings-and- loan company that had collapsed and been taken over by the U.S. government. He made a deal with Resolution Trust Company, the government’s asset-management company, to pay off the loan. Time was running short. He offered Ingram a fair price. “So, we bought the Red River in ’92,” Ingram said. “I had a love for John Wayne my whole life. When we bought El Dorado Ranch,

16 New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024 • InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide

homebuilders, Ingram went hunting for a water company. He went to Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Dallas. “Nobody would put in a water company or wastewater,” he said. “So, we put in the water and the wastewater.” Eventually, Global Water agreed to take over most of Maricopa’s water system, inheriting those early lines. Ingram asked Cox to provide cable service. That was another no-go from a company that did not believe Maricopa would be a success. Then Ingram found Orbitel and talked its principals into being a partner in the venture. “Orbitel was certainly one my favorite projects of all time,” said Rick Anderson, a partner in Orbitel at the time. “Mike’s group had a great vision for Maricopa. I have never witnessed anything like growth in the early days of Maricopa.” Anderson said when he was asked to pull something together after Cox passed on the opportunity he was impressed with the developers. Two decades later, Cox finally would come to Maricopa. “I found the Rancho El Dorado group very straightforward in their approach to forming a partnership that formed the foundation for the success of Orbitel,” Anderson said. President John Schurz said the founders of Orbitel “believed in the city of Maricopa and its residents. There is a ‘Can Do’ spirit that permeates throughout the community. And, like Mike Ingram, Orbitel saw the potential in Maricopa.” Then Ingram received back-to-back doses of bad news. “The darkest day of my whole life was the day Arizona Public Service told me they wouldn’t bring me electricity,” he said. “Qwest said they wouldn’t bring fiber optics.” Electrical District No. 3 was serving farmers in the area with hydroelectric power. Ingram saw they did not have the capital or the know- how to bring thousands of homes online. So, he flew to California to convince Edison Power to partner with ED3 on a new utility company. “About that time, Qwest called after they saw the utility formed, and they said, ‘We’re on our way with fiber optics,’” Ingram said. Looking back, it might have been easy for Ingram to quit trying to open so many closed doors. “People didn’t believe in it. I would go to these meetings at these restaurants, and people would say I was the craziest man in the world,” he said. “We built this four-lane divided highway and thought we could build a town down there. I was absolutely the laughingstock of the real estate community.”

Kyle Norby

you’re going to take the people to those other places.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not. It’s an emerging market.’” In 2000, Nathan and his partner, David Mullard, took the first phase of 1,000 lots and sold to three homebuilders. It took them just 10 weeks. Nathan said a top selling point was the newly widened road. “The affordability in the Southeast Valley was going away, just like it is again, and so Maricopa exploded,” Nathan said. Many homebuilders wanted to go cheap, building homes with carports and swamp coolers, roof-mounted air conditioners and composition roofs instead of tile. “Mike was like, ‘No, I’m creating a whole new city,’” Nathan said. “We went with the builders that Mike believed would build the quality product that he demanded. He never wavered from that once.” Ingram said if he had settled for the county standards, he wouldn’t have put in curbs and sidewalks and could have chip-sealed the roads. He said Maricopa would look like Arizona City today. Instead, he wanted standards like those in municipalities like Chandler and Gilbert. At Nathan’s insistence, the homebuilders agreed. Ingram was spending $14 million on The Duke golf course and another $3 million on landscaping for phase 1 of Rancho El Dorado and wanted quality homes to go with it. With no impact fees at the time, homebuyers could get an 1,800-square-foot home for what they would pay for a 1,300-square-foot home in Chandler. The homebuilders were just the first hurdle. Utilities had no interest in coming to Maricopa. When he had 1,103 lots in escrow with five

roadway, was killed in a crash on that very road in 1990. The main park in Rancho El Dorado is named in her honor. The widening of the section of Maricopa Road, newly named State Route 347, to two lanes in each direction was completed in 1996. Despite naysayers calling it a road to nowhere, Ingram knew it was vital to his plans. He started piecing together his properties, buying farmland from Smith and others. THE NEED TO BELIEVE Ingram knew he still needed a powerful real estate broker to bring in homebuilders. Each one he called in Phoenix shot him down, telling him Maricopa would just be a bunch of mobile homes. “In those days, all the interest was on Casa Grande,” he said. “I went to every broker in town and showed them my idea. And every broker except one said, ‘Mike, you’re absolutely crazy. You’ll never sell one lot. You’ll never sell one home until Casa Grande is completely built out. Do you not understand that Casa Grande has doctors, they have shopping centers, they have car dealers, they have dentists? You have a Circle K and Headquarters, and NAPA was there.’” The one broker who listened was someone Ingram did not want to approach in the first place. James “Nate” Nathan of Nathan & Associates brokered some of the biggest deals in the state, including Johnson Ranch, Power Ranch and Copper Mountain Ranch in Casa Grande. Ingram saw him as a major competitor. Nathan listened because he saw what Ingram saw: tiny Maricopa’s proximity to the East Valley and Sky Harbor. “You could tell growth patterns,” Nathan said. “He said, ‘I can’t list this with you because


InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide • New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024


TWO DECADES and counting

I nMaricopa celebrates its 20th year of operation this year. Over the last two decades, InMaricopa published 26,000 articles about the happenings in Maricopa (more than four stories per day on average) and has proven itself as the go-to source for citizens who want to know about the community in which they live. InMaricopa has been there for it all. We published our first story a mere few months after the city’s incorporation in the fall of 2003. The goal here at InMaricopa has been to cover the successes and failures of this city, and to do it with accuracy, consistency and urgency.

Bartle launched Outside the Box Marketing in 2000 and was looking for an opportunity to take advantage of the growth.” New kid on the block In 2004, there were two monthly newspapers in the tiny town of Maricopa, then home to just over 4,000 people. Bartle felt Maricopans deserved better. “They didn’t serve the community like I thought they could have,” Bartle said. “I knew we could compete in that arena. I had a background in advertising and sponsorship, and I liked to write. I felt like I could do it, so

We believe in an informed citizenry and the reason we’ve been able to further that goal all started with the dreams of one man, Scott Bartle, the founder and publisher of InMaricopa . Bartle launched our newsgathering organization as 85239.com in March 2004 as a hyperlocal, online news source for the growing community in the midst of a housing boom. Bartle’s father, Jeff, was part of the team that developed what was then called Southern Dunes Golf Club. “That’s how I got introduced to the town of Maricopa,” Bartle said. “They had incredible projections for growth.”



Fabulous Founde

BUSINESS The importance of marketing. Local expert shares tips. Page 2

Maricopa News. Classifieds. Coupons. Business Directory. Community Calendar. Message Board.

Everything but the kitchen sink.

NEWS New traffic study promises new roads, eventually. Page 8

COMMUNITY Feed Our Families drive to raise money, awareness of hunger in Maricopa. Page 16


MakINg MarICOpa “We did something in Pinal County that had not been done in almost 25 years; we created a city.” — Edward Farrell, city councilman and founding member of the incorporation committee

Work from home

<5 miles 6-15 miles 16-25 miles 26-35 miles >36 miles

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20 New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024 • InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide

and information for a town that only had monthly newspapers was an immediate game-changer for the community.” The concept was to follow the online news site with a weekly printed publication, but it became obvious the printed and online products were competing with one another. As a result, the InMaricopa Magazine that now fills Maricopans’ mailboxes each month first got its pages glossed in 2006 as a quarterly publication. A monthly newspaper would follow in 2009 in addition to the quarterly magazine. In 2016, the publications were consolidated into the monthly magazine we all know today. But, if you were to travel back in time, you’d see the magazine and website were called 85239, the city’s zipcode at the time. The problem, however, came when the U.S. Postal Service started adding and eventually changing the ZIP code as the town quickly became a city. Just a few years after starting the company, the Postal Service split the city into two codes down John Wayne Parkway, using 85239 and 85238. Then all the 852 codes were transferred from Pinal to Maricopa County and Bartle took action. “OK,” Bartle remembered thinking at the time. “I’d better take my brand out of the hands of the U.S. Postal Service. That’s when we came up with InMaricopa.” A primetime player arrives A key moment in the operation’s history came in 2017 when co-owner Vince Manfredi joined the team. “Vince is a terrific partner. He’s really good with people and smart,” Bartle said. “Some of his strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. We complement each other well. He’s made a big difference, not just

we started an online newspaper.” The news website quickly took off and became the real-time news center for the rapidly growing city. InMaricopa represented change, which meant asking difficult questions and holding leaders accountable. However, some in the community were determined to keep the status quo. “In retrospect, I wish I had a better sense of the mindset of small-town Maricopa,” Bartle said. “Many were not only resistant to the change we brought to the market, they proactively sabotaged our efforts. I’d like to think there would have been a better and less stressful way to navigate those relationships.” Bartle didn’t have much to throw at the business other than grit, determination and as he put it, a “stubbornness and a refusal to fail.” He knew it was a high-growth market and if he “could just get up on the surfboard, the wave of development would get me to shore.” Bartle is modest about his sacrifices but admits to putting quite a bit of sweat equity into the enterprise. Those early days were lean. “I didn’t sacrifice much — just my 30s and early 40s,” Bartle quipped. “It was all-in for a very long time. There were weeks I clocked 40 hours before breakfast Wednesday. There was a seemingly infinite amount to do and no money to pay for help, so working until I couldn’t see straight was the rule, not the exception.” The vision takes flight The word got out about 85239.com, which during those days bore the moniker “Maricopa’s Homepage.” The buzz on the street was palpable. “As soon as we launched 85239.com, it was clear our model was a winner,” Bartle said. “The immediacy of our news

“I didn’t sacrifice much — just my 30s and early 40s.” Scott Bartle, publisher

EDUCaTION Kids ‘get fit’with Arizona Cardinals’Keilen Dykes. Page 18


ers Day


BY THE NUMBErS Maricopa daily commuters



35 Source: InMaricopa.com Survey


InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide • New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024

in the company but in the community. There are few who share his extraordinary commitment to serving our community.” Manfredi said early on he noticed InMaricopa offered an important service to the growing community. “When I first moved to Maricopa, InMaricopa (85239 at the time) provided us with a lot of information about the community,” said Manfredi. “We read the newspaper, magazine and website. I am proud to be part of a company that provides that much information to new and existing residents.” Manfredi said the reason he became a partner in the company is Bartle’s belief system. “Scott is a different type of person,” Manfredi said. “He gives 100% to what he is doing. He is a guy who has integrity. When it comes to even the smallest thing, you know you can trust and rely on him to do the right thing. You don’t find that much in the world today. When he gives his word, he follows through. He’s a guy who holds people accountable, works hard and he loves the community.” Success over the long haul Bartle wanted a publication that would be around for years to consistently inform citizens about the goings on in their community — the good, the bad and the ugly. There were plenty of shortcuts that could have been taken along the way, but Bartle realized the focus from the start was on quality journalism and not making a quick buck.

“My life would have been easier and profits much greater had I not been so committed to content and quality,” Bartle said. “That’s not a regret per se, but the business model I chose was not for the faint of heart.” Along the way, Bartle has nurtured a company that thrives on telling the stories of Maricopa. He roots hard for Maricopans and the businesses who have supported InMaricopa along the way. Bartle said during the last 20 years, his greatest pleasures have come from the success of this community and its citizens. “Employing Maricopans and contributing to other entrepreneurs’ and business owners’ and operators’ success makes me proud. So does much of the content we publish that is easy to take for granted. If we don’t tell many of the stories we tell, they will never be told. And I’m proud we are still standing two decades later when countless other businesses — and many naysayers — are not.” As for the future of InMaricopa , Bartle said it’s all about the community. “I really defer to our readers and our advertisers to identify what the future looks like. We are just a conduit to serve the community — both the business community and the general citizenry,” he said. “We are small enough and nimble enough that we can make changes to our business model as necessary to fill the voids that exist.”

“My favorite thing about InMaricopa is the kindness shown throughout the community.” Audra Bratton, The Villages at Rancho El Dorado

“If there is an accident on the 347, let me just check the InMaricopa page real quick. They have better updates than Google maps!” Marcella Macyn Senita



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Class of 2022 • MHS 1

22 New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024 • InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide


Welcome, new neighbors! Settle in and get ready for an exciting time in Maricopa’s history. You might've noticed new buildings popping up around town. Maricopa is gearing up for big things – new stores, restaurants, medical and industrial spaces. And here’s the scoop: there's ample room for your entrepreneurial spirit! Back row left to right: Vice Mayor Amber Liermann, (520) 316-6824. amber.liermann@maricopa-az.gov Councilmember Eric Goettl, (520) 316-6821 eric.goettl@maricopa-az.gov Councilmember Henry Wade, (520) 316-6825 henry.wade@maricopa-az.gov Councilmember Rich Vitiello, (480) 358-8051 rich.vitiello@maricopa-az.gov Front row left to right: Councilmember Bob Marsh, (520) 316-6837 bob.marsh@maricopa-az.gov Mayor Nancy Smith, (520) 316-6822 Nancy.Smith@maricopa-az.gov Councilmember Vincent Manfredi, (520) 316-6823 vincent.manfredi@maricopa-az.gov

But it's not all business here. We're serious about fun, too! With Copper Sky, Pacana, and Lake View Parks, there’s plenty of space to get outside. You can even attend one of the many events hosted year-round. What truly defines us is our people— engaged, supportive, and welcoming. You’re not just moving in; you’re joining a vibrant tapestry of community spirit. Join us in unlocking Maricopa's full potential together!




For more ways to get involved, visit www.maricopa-az.gov/volunteer

InMaricopa was there in 2004 Here’s a peek into the past with some stories InMaricopa broke in its first year of existence.


Andrew Cole benefits raise $20,000 March 15 In our first story ever published, friends, family and neighbors of Andy Cole came out in droves for a pair of fundraiser events to help defray Cole’s medical expenses. Cole was a 52-year resident battling cancer. More than 300 people attended the barn dance, which featured silent and live auctions, live music by Jim Monk and his Almost Country Band and tunes spun by DJ Eddie Rodriguez. Cole died Sept. 10, 2010.

Votes are in for first elected city council May 19 For the first time, the people of Maricopa elected a city council. Six of the 12 candidates joined Kelly Anderson, elected in the primary, on the council for two- or four- year terms. Stephen Baker, the leading vote-getter, and Phyllis Von Fleckinger were the only rookies to join the council. Anderson, Will Dunn, Edward Farrell, Kelly Haddad and Brent Murphree were returning, having served on the interim city council appointed upon the city’s incorporation Oct. 15, 2003. Anderson was The May 26 Maricopa Unified School District board meeting included a work-study session on a revised kindergarten schedule to commence with the 2004- 05 school year. The changes proposed by MUSD Superintendent Alma Farrell, which would incorporate full-day and alternating full-day kindergarten in addition to the existing half-day schedule, were met with opposition from the PTO. MUSD instituted but later rescinded free full-day kindergarten during the recession. Proposed park negotiations to begin Oct. 6 The Maricopa City Council met Oct. 5, to grant permission for negotiations to begin with Element Homes, the agent and developer of Glennwilde. Element Homes agreed to build a public park, which opened in 2006 as Pacana Park. Ground broken on second elementary school Oct. 8 Ground was officially broken for the second new appointed mayor June 1, 2004. Kindergarten schedule prompts spirited debate May 26 elementary school built in Maricopa on the north side of Rancho El Dorado Parkway. Update: After the opening of Pima Butte, MUSD created four more elementary schools. PGA, British Open champ comes to town Dec. 14 World-famous professional golfer John Daly brought his game to Maricopa. On Dec. 17, the PGA Tour Pro appeared — and played — at Southern Dunes Golf Club, which in 2010, was purchased by the Ak-Chin Indian Community and rebranded Ak-Chin Southern Dunes.




“I’ve always enjoyed the magazine and found it to be a good advertising medium. It gave us just another source of getting the message out to our customers.” Rick Anderson, Orbitel Communications co-founder on why he became a day one advertiser

Bashas’ preview quite a party July 13


Bashas’ opened its doors to thousands. A celebration the day before the July 14 grand opening filled the parking lot and store aisles alike. Bashas’ became the city’s first supermarket. Its presence gave Native Grill and Wings, at the time known as Native New Yorker, the confidence to open a restaurant a year later.



City to acquire library’s assets Aug. 4

The Maricopa Community Library became the Maricopa City Library following the Aug. 3, unanimous vote of the Maricopa City Council. It was an agreement by which the city accepted the donation of the library, its operations and related assets, and it became effective Sept. 1 that year. The Maricopa Library and Cultural Center on Smith-Enke Road opened in 2009. The former Maricopa Community Library is now the Maricopa Veterans Center. Maricopa ‘booming’ Aug. 14 Destination Maricopa met for the third time Aug. 13, at the First Baptist Church with 25 interested citizens in attendance. “Everyone knows Maricopa is booming,” said Councilman Will Dunn. “In 2000, we had 1,048 residents and today there are about 7,000. With approximately 230 building permits per month, that’s roughly 1,000 new residents each month.” Update: Recent U.S. Census figures have Maricopa’s population at a tick over 70,000.






24 New Resident & Visitor Guide 2024 • InMaricopa.com/NewResidentGuide

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