I discovered Arizona back in 1999. Little did I know that coming here was going to change my life like it did.
I was doing a national stadium racing series and one stop happened to be in Phoenix. Many of the parts on the race car that I was running came out of shop in Phoenix and I'd become "phone friends" with a couple of the guys at the place I was purchasing parts. When I came through Phoenix, to attend the race, I hooked up with the guys and they took me out for a dirt bike ride out in the desert. When we got back to the parking lot, I looked over at Neil and informed him "I want to live here." That dream never left. I'd found where I was supposed to be.
I continued to come back to Arizona for the next 15 years, knowing that I'd be living here one day.
Roughly seven years ago, I started looking for a place to build. I talked to the friends I have here in Phoenix about places to look and was directed to go out and look into the desert in the Northern Scottsdale area - larger tracts of land, out of the city, but still had the availability of pizza being delivered. After a couple of weeks, I came across the perfet spot; 5 acres that wasn't on the market. My realtor gave me a little heads up of "I may know of a place that's going on the chopping block, we may be able to snag it." He was right.
I signed the paperwork while sitting in a Kinkos in Albuquerque, on my way back to Ohio.
A couple of years later, while my daughters were in High School, the time had come to start looking into building. I would stay in Ohio until my youngest had graduated and then I was moving to my Paradise. Time to start interviewing builders.
Once again, I asked a couple of my Phoenix Friends if they had any suggestions. Two of them did, two interviews were set up.
The first builder was interesting. A "good 'ol boy", if you will. He found out that I was an off road/dirt junkie and all he wanted to do was talk about the places he'd been, the trails he knew, the off roading that he was interested. I kept trying to talk to him about building, he kept talking about the dirt.
The second builder was suggested to me by the same friend that suggested the realtor that helped me find the land. This builder, Gene Leech of GBL Enterprises, was straight up, straight forward and wanted to talk about building. "I'll cost you 10% more than most of the others, but you'll get that 10% in service and the quality of what you end up with." He was hired on the spot. My first e-mail with him, regarding the starting of the design of the house was March 18, 2011 and working with him over the past four years has been an absolute pleasure.
The house is version number three of a design that my step-father built on South Padre Island back in 1969. I always liked the layout and design of the Island house. It separated the master section of the house from the rest of it, it had one big room in the middle and it had a guest wing on the other end. In 1984, my parents decided, now that I was out of the house and starting my life, that it was time for them to move and build a new place. Version number two was started in the Hill Country of Texas, northwest of San Antonio about an hour and a half. I honored their vision by doing version three.
After two and a half years of designing, in October of 2013, we broke ground and the build began. I was also blessed with meeting the love of my life, who had a vision that paralleled mine and she helped me in the design, as did my builder. This place has been a labor of love among three people: An artistic custom home builder, an incredibly visionary beautiful lady and myself, the engineer.
Of course, being a guy, the first thing I designed was my shop, but that was a simple, straight forward place. The house was massively more intricate.
So here it is, the R&R Resort, from the ground up.
The pictures are in a bit of a random order and there may be some duplicates, but regardless of that, Enjoy!