Robson Communities Stabilizes Senior Living

SaddleBrooke Ranch provides its residents with a community that enhances the luxurious living style of amenities and remaining active.

By Kim Singletary
Photography by Mark Boisclair


For the more than 40,000 residents of a Robson Resort community, their ideal vacation is being lived every single day. The vision of real estate veteran, former Marine Corp helicopter pilot, and member of the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, Ed Robson, Robson Communities began with a dream.
For more than a decade, Robson had been working in the home building industry, first with Coldwell Banker and then as director of corporate sales for the Del Webb Corporation. Then one day in 1972, he found himself standing on 2,560 acres in Chandler, Ariz., 20 minutes southeast of Phoenix, envisioning a community just for active adults. That vision became the community of Sun Lakes.

Four decades later, Robson Communities is one of the largest, privately-owned home building operations in the U.S., and there are now seven Robson Resort communities — six spread throughout the Phoenix and Tucson areas and one in Texas’ Dallas/Fort Worth region. Of the seven, four have been rated among the “Top 100 Best Master-Planned Communities in the Country” by Where to Retire magazine.

One of those communities is SaddleBrooke, just outside Tucson, Ariz. Developed in 1986, this idyllic getaway tucked in a peaceful desert setting is home to more than 8,000 happy residents that enjoy access to three restaurants, a stunning country club, sports club and top-of-the-line performing arts theater. SaddleBrooke was so successful that the builder soon had a problem that every home builder wants to have — there was too much demand for the one community to satisfy. “The SaddleBrooke community had been extremely successful, so Ed Robson wanted to find another piece of land in the same general location for the continuation,” said Deborah Blake, senior vice president of marketing for Robson Ranch Arizona Construction Co.

In 2002, development began on Robson Resort Communities’ newest project, SaddleBrooke Ranch. Located just 4 miles from SaddleBrooke, SaddleBrooke Ranch shares its predecessor’s incredible location, the high Sonoran desert terrain overlooks the Santa Catalina mountains in a setting that makes you feel like you’ve “gotten away from it all,” while you’re still only 20 minutes north of downtown Tucson. In addition to the desirable setting, SaddleBrooke Ranch also shares SaddleBrooke’s focus on energy savings — all homes in both communities are HERS rated for energy-efficiency and built in accordance with EPA Energy Star guidelines. Offering plenty of room to grow and meet the needs of the ever-increasing, active-adult population, SaddleBrooke Ranch will comprise approximately 6,000 homes when completed. Currently, about 300 homes have been built and sold within the community.

Built for the way active adults want to live, the 13 different models in the three home series that make up SaddleBrooke Ranch all include an emphasis on outdoor living — a nobrainer in a city that boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year with an average daily temperature of just around 82 degrees. The two-bedroom (plus optional den,) two or two-and-a-half bath homes include features such as outdoor rooms, courtyards, porches and guest casitas. Open floor plans range from 1,486 to 2,808 square feet and feature generous great rooms, golf cart garages, gourmet kitchens and spa-like baths.

While SaddleBrooke Ranch features the same attention to detail and thoughtful planning that are a hallmark of all Robson Resort Communities, Blake said the real thing that sets this community apart from the crowd is its centerpiece — one of the most impressive clubhouses ever seen at an active-adult community in Arizona. “The La Hacienda Club is a 20,000-square-foot community center that includes a fitness club, indoor pool, full service spa, bistro and multipurpose rooms,” Blake said. “It was just awarded ‘Best Clubhouse in America’ by NAHB at the 2012 National Sales and Marketing Awards, as well as ‘Best Clubhouse’ at the 50+ Housing Awards. And at the ‘Best in American Living Awards,’ the La Hacienda Club received the highest award of Platinum for the community facility category.”

The La Hacienda Club truly is something you have to see to believe. With indoor and outdoor pools, plus a lap pool and whirlpool, residents have their pick of every way to take a refreshing dip in every season. To get the heart rate up, La Hacienda features a fully-stocked fitness center; not one, but two, lighted stadium tennis courts; and four pickle ball courts. But when it comes to relaxation and pampering, the club really shines with the full-service, Esperanza Spa and Salon Del Sol; the Hombres Barber Shop; a fireside, TV lounge perfect for watching the big game; and Bistro Viente, a relaxing spot for lunch or dinner that is also home to community wine tastings and cooking demonstrations.

Robson Communities knows that today’s active adults are exactly that — active. Having more spare time means that now they will finally have the time to devote to the hobbies they love or learn new skills that have always been on their “bucket list.” Offering a staggering array of options to grow, learn and socialize, SaddleBrooke Ranch’s La Hacienda Club is home to the Learning Center and Arts Room, a hobby haven for everything from pottery and woodworking to learning how to use the latest software on the market.

If this wasn’t enough, residents also have access to more than 100 clubs and groups, including everything you could imagine. From gatherings of Francophiles to the Metaphysical Study Group, to a Friday morning Quilt Club, motorcycle club, dance team, RC model flying and boat club are all made optional. In addition to the outstanding clubhouse get all of this luxury and action for home prices from the high $100,000s to high $300,000s.

While Robson Communities doesn’t seem to have any problem selling homes, the company sweetens the deal even further — offering creative marketing programs like the “Preferred Guest Getaway” and “Fly & Buy.” The former offers potential buyers a chance to test-drive any of the available communities. Included in the getaway (currently priced under $300,) is a four-day, three-night stay in a fully furnished home, a free round of golf, a complimentary dinner at the community restaurant hosted by community homeowners, access to all the available amenities, and even a golf cart and two bicycles to encourage buyers to explore the entire area for themselves. For the “Preferred Guests” that make the jump to buy during their getaway, Robson Resort Communities rewards them by reimbursing them for their getaway and airfare up to $1,500.

While it may not be a quick and easy feat to adequately cover the myriad of offerings that make up Robson Resort Communities’ latest project, it is easy to explain the essence of the community’s success. “Consumers love the pristine desert location, gated security and the amazing amenities of the La Hacienda club, 18-hole championship golf course,” Blake said. “SaddleBrooke Ranch provides a very special place to live a full life and pursue lifelong passions.”

Kim Singletary is the editor-at-large at 50+ Builder. She may be reached at

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