Is The Sun Setting on Sun City?

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, May 13, 2018.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Yesterday i was scrolling through websites looking for information on John Meeker. Woeful is the only word i can use to describe what i found. He devoted his life to making Sun City what it is today and gets nary a nod. Some day i will right that travesty.

    As i was searching, oddly enough i came across several things i had written. In reading the back page of 2013/2014 Issue of the Best of Sun City, it struck me just how good it was. I know, i shouldn't be vain about my own musings, but i do like reading some of the stuff i penned along the way.

    The magazine is still posted on the RCSC website, but finding it is a challenge. Rather than making you search, here's the back page...great reading for anyone thinking about buying in Sun City AZ:

    Is the Sun Setting on Sun City AZ?

    Above is a question I am asked often by media people. Coupled with these facts: people are working later in
    life, Sun City AZ is the oldest age restricted community in the country and there are 1000s of senior communities competing for that niche market, the question is well warranted.

    My answer never waivers when asked and perhaps the question itself is one of the key reasons for producing
    this magazine. We all know talk is cheap, and on the previous 23 pages we have taken you on a visual journey
    of Sun City AZ; past, present and future. Does it look like we are dying?

    The history of the community speaks for itself. It is steeped in tradition, value and values. From its beginnings we know it was all about seniors coming here to play their lives away. Calvin Trillin wrote in the April 1964 issue of the New Yorker the one problem he foresaw was seniors would get weary of a life filled with nothing but leisure.

    He was right. What he didn’t see was the community coming together to take ownership of a process of self-
    governance. One that would create a setting where those living here would give back millions of hours of
    service a year; where life was as much about playing as it was about building a sense of community that would set us apart from the countless others that tried to replicate us.

    Having read any number of the oral histories at the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum, there is one theme repeated again and again in those interviews: “I love Sun City.” Consequently when those moving here are asked about how they feel about the community, the answer most often is, “what’s not to love?” After 53 years it’s still that same love affair.

    Sun City AZ is that kind of a place. The magic of what makes us special isn’t one thing; it is the combination of hundreds of things. The RSCS’s role/goal is to help maintain a lifestyle that residents love. At times it is daunting but as long as people are willing to participate in our governance, Sun City AZ will remain a great place to live. While we will always have those awesome sunsets as witnessed on this page, we will never see the sun set on this community; those living here won’t let it happen.

    The Best of Sun City AZ 2013 | 2014 is a tribute to each and every one of you who were smart enough to buy
    in what we see as the best value in age-restricted communities across the country

    .Congratulations for buying here and helping keep Sun City AZ a special place with a very special way of life.

    On behalf of the RCSC Board of Directors and Management,

    Bill Pearson
  2. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    We kept those writings, along with two Sun City books, purchased at the Sun City Museum on a shelf with things to be kept always. For the longest time they were on the coffee table. I hope the museum has also kept copies.

    You are a talented and persuasive writer as well as excellent Sun City historian. I always hoped that you and Mr. Roloff would colaborate on a book. Some day is now.
  3. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Thanks Emily; my inspiration came from those remarkable early brochures produced by DEVCO. They were simply brilliant. That's why the history is so fascinating. Most people think Sun City was destined to succeed, and nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, it should have failed. The cards were stacked against it. And once they had picked all the low hanging fruit (buyers from AZ and CA) it was all but dead.

    There-in lay the genius of Meeker. He refused to let it go quietly into the night. He never stopped trying things, pushing against the current, infuriating his superiors and spending whatever it took to make it work. He was excellence personified and yet most have no idea who he even was. The innovations he brought into the Sun City marketing strategies are still used today. But more importantly, the values he wove into the fabric of the community are ever-present in Sun City and still separate us from the countless others out there.
  4. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    I wonder what it takes to have a street named changed in SC? Meeker should have one. I nominate 99th Dr. ;) Who needs a 99th Street and Drive?'s a source of confusion. I know many people would not want to change their addressed stuff, so it would be an uphill battle.
  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    There's already a Meeker Blvd in SCW, so that won't be happening. There are other areas we could dedicate to him, but there would have to be a massive educational uptick before we get there. Perhaps when we are able to buy the Lakes Club we could name it after him. That's assuming the RICO suit every gets resolved between the parties now owning it.
  6. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    My post was tongue in cheek. I know a a street name change would never happen. I can only imagine the $$ outrage at such an idea.

    There’s a RICO lawsuit with lakes club?
  7. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

  8. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    You know, I'm saving reading of the RICO stuff for the weekend. I'm sure I still won't understand it.
  9. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Here's an idea...adjust the name of Mountain View at the grand reopening when it's redone...Meeker's Mountain View, with Meeker Cafe and Meeker Theatre.
    Cynthia likes this.
  10. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    In the days where i posted way too much on message boards like this when were trying to save the world, we had a word for these kinds of linkage: Synchronicity. Hang on, let me fill in the blanks.

    With all due respect to Mountainview, there's already a theater lay-out at the Lake's Club. The rear portico entrance at one time hosted plays for a theater that had burned down. It needs some work, but along the lake it could be nothing short of spectacular. And naming the building after Meeker would be only fitting; the man was fired by Bob Johnson, his boss, when the building burned damn near to the ground the day before it opened. Seems once Bob went in and saw the gold bathroom fixtures and excessive costs he lost it and fired him on the spot. Once he calmed down, Meeker was back on the job and got it done post haste.

    Here's where the synchronicity comes in E: (from page 32 of the Webb Museum interview with John Meeker): "And i tell you go out there and look at the facilities. I am involved in trying to help them raise money for a theater. We were going to build a theater and we ran out of money in the budget (at Bell). A performing Arts Theater for plays and so forth." Long after he had been let go by the Webb Corporation (1981) John was still trying to make Sun City a better place.

    Imagine honoring his name and work with a 38,000 square foot community center and playhouse. Damn.
  11. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Mouths will continue to water for the future of a Meeker Lakes Club.
    Emily Litella likes this.
  12. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    You know what's scary C: sometimes late at night as i sit drooling on myself, i don't know if i am salivating at the idea of the Meeker Community Center or if i am just getting old.

    What does that t-shirt say..."old men drool."
    Cynthia likes this.
  13. Robert Estrada

    Robert Estrada New Member

    Im goona read Rico Stuff this seems to me the more I know the less I understand.
  14. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Hey Robert, welcome. I tried reading through it and got more confused than when i started. Maybe an attorney can get his head around it better than a lay person.
  15. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    I admit I didn't have the patience for it.
  16. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Me neither. Need a lot more caffeine.
  17. CMartinez

    CMartinez Member

    Okay, HTA is Healthcare Trust of America. They own and lease over 470 properties in the USA. The also happen to own the Lakes club. HTA, as well as some Trusts, a bank, and a city, is suing Roskamp Management Company, RMC, and Robert Roskamp. It appears there was a lease that RMC promised to make payments on a building, with an estimated worth of around $20M back in Bucks County, PA. RMC stopped making the payments and the building went into foreclosure, allegedly. At the foreclosure sale, no one else was notified of the sale, so RMC was able to purchase the property for $1, hence the lawsuit of alleged racketeering. The original case was issued a favored judgement for RMC, which meant they would allegedly be able to keep the building and the profits. HTA, which leases the building, then filed a RICO suit against RMC. Since the property and the owners live in PA, the case was transferred back to Bucks County, PA for the rest of the trial. So, this case is still active, and has a new jurisdiction in PA. With all of the motions being filed, it could take quite some time for the actual case to come to a final resolution.

    The Lakes Club could be purchased as a separate transaction, by removing itself from the suit, which would require another motion and approval. Since RMC no longer represents any of the AZ properties, it seems the ability to deal directly with HTA would make the transaction simpler, imho. Sorry for the Cliff notes version, but perhaps it will help with the understanding of where the case is so far.

    Everyone have a great day.
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
    Cynthia likes this.
  18. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Great summary. Does sound like the time could be a ripe time for asking about it. It’s not as if Lakes Club is their only investment so they might be willing to part with it.
    CMartinez likes this.
  19. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Thanks C, excellent summary. My confusion came from the fact the RMC were the ones we were talking to when i fact they were only managing the property. Curious how they could have been the sellers when they weren't the owners? Given what is going on with the RICO suit, nothing should come as a surprise. It would seem to me to be the perfect time to approach the real owners and see if there is any interest in selling the building. The reality is, it could change the future of Sun City 100% and with some a real long range plan/strategy could reshape all of our PIF investments for years to come.
    CMartinez likes this.

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