Resort History

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Nestled in the gorgeous Sonoran Desert, just north of Scottsdale for 50 years, Carefree Resort & Conference Center has had an enduring reputation as one of the Valley's most venerated and charming resorts. Built in the early 1960s, it was the only destination resort in the once-remote area now known as Carefree. Playing host to some of Hollywood's brightest stars, The Carefree Inn - as it was known then - was a favorite retreat for the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Lucille Ball, and Bob Hope.

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Today, this legendary resort retains much of the small-town hospitality and unique frontier heritage that guests have come to cherish. It is today, as it was when it first opened in 1963, an exquisite escape to the desert and a refreshing departure from the hum drum experience of nearby Scottsdale lodging and accommodations. To this day, couples who honeymooned at the "Carefree Inn" in the early 1960s return again and again to relive the romance of this extraordinary property and community.

The town of Carefree itself has a vibrant history. In 1958, two friends and business partners created the town, fulfilling their lifelong dream. Tom Darlington, an engineer, and K.T. Palmer, a secondhand dealer and frustrated lawyer, became friends in the 1940s and decided to establish a real-estate company. It was then that they discovered their shared vision of creating a new town in the high Sonoran Desert, and in 1955, purchased a local goat ranch for $44,000. Gradually, they acquired more than 2,000 acres of property adjacent to the ranch - forming a company they lightheartedly named Carefree Development Corporation.