Hello Friends and Family,

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Pointe South Mountain I

I went for a walk this morning and took a few pictures of the community that I live in. I recently realized that I have not talked much about the Pointe at South Mountain other than to mention South Mountain Park which is just at the end of the street I live on — and which is an integral part of our community. Folks from the Phoenix area know a bit more about the Pointe, especially those who worked at the old HP office that was previously located here. However, I think it is somewhat unique — I don't know many resort communities outside of a few in the Phoenix area (I'm sure someone will enlighten me about others around the country). Therefore, I thought that non-Arizonans might enjoy learning why we might be willing to put up with 110 degrees in the summer.

The Pointe is a resort community and, as such, is anchored by the hotel (also known as "The Pointe at South Mountain"). It is an all-suites hotel and sprawls over the property in two- to four-story buildings connected by second-story walkways. A few years ago, the owners changed the management company from Hilton to Destination Resorts. At that time they invested a bunch of money in refurbishing the hotel. Recently the hotel was sold and the new owners are planning to invest a bunch more money to upgrade the property again. That's good for homeowners since it will tend to inflate the value of our property as well.

One theme of the hotel is fountains. They are everywhere and running at all times. There is a big one at the traffic circle at the entrance as well as mid-sized and smaller ones all over the property. You'd think in the middle of the desert that you would not find so many fountains. At the Pointe, you would be wrong.

The Pointe has a very nice fitness facility which is open to the general public. It is only one mile from my townhouse and right across the street from the previous site of the HP Sales Office. I was a member for many years until the really fabulous Lifetime Fitness facility opened near the current HP Sales Office. Since both clubs have about the same membership rates, it was an easy decision to move to the larger, nicer facility.

In addition to the fitness facility, the same building also houses a luxurious resort-style spa and a restaurant with a bar. So you can have that Fettuccine Alfredo followed by the hot-fudge sundae for dessert — then do your time on the treadmill followed by a Swedish massage — all without breaking a sweat in the Arizona sun.

Of course travelers don't pick a resort just because of the fitness facility. So when the current owners spent all that money on upgrades, they added a water park, called the Oasis. It includes a huge water slide with multiple tubes,

a lazy river for tubing,

a beach-like pool with waves and a kiddie pool with a kiddie sprinkler/fountain. It's a lovely facility but now only available for hotel guests. Those of us who live in the residential area are not invited.

Of course the hotel guests can stay all day (drinking expensive beverages and eating expensive food) — good deal, huh. Seriously, it has been a tremendous draw, especially during the summer months which tend to be a bit slow in the desert heat.

Hmmm. There's more to say but I don't want to wear out my welcome. So I'll save it for next week. And don't forget to vote on Tuesday.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com