Youngtown, the nation's oldest retirement community,
lies 15 miles west of Phoenix. In 1954, real estate broker Ben
Schleifer and banker Clarence Suggs formed the Youngtown Land
and Investment Co. and bought 320 acres of farmland. They built
the first master-planned, adult community dedicated exclusively to
retirees. Youngtown was incorporated in 1960 and became the first
city occupied solely by senior citizens. Youngtown also has the distinction
of being designated as Chapter 1 by AARP.
Youngtown is located on the east bank of the Agua Fria River, just
south of U.S. 60. It is bordered on the west by El Mirage and on the
east by the much larger retirement community of Sun City. It has a
stable population of 2,700 and is known for its more mature landscaping
and lower housing costs.
Youngtown has a small-town atmosphere with specialty shops and
services including antiques, stained glass, and lamp repair. More
than 200 businesses are located in the community with a ratio of
almost one business per 10 residents. People from surrounding
communities take advantage of the shopping opportunities.
There is no city property tax and no elementary or high school property
tax. Taxes in Youngtown are one-half to two-thirds lower than
most other area communities.
Most Youngtown residents are retired and income derives from
Social Security, private retirement plans, investments and savings, as
well as stocks and bonds.
The Sun dome Center for the Performing Arts is located in nearby
Sun City West. It has more than 7000 seats and features top name
entertainment and celebrity shows throughout the year.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located to the north and has boating,
fishing, swimming, water skiing and other water sports. Camping
and picnic facilities are available. The lake has recently been
expanded to 10,000 acres making it one of the largest lakes in the
The White Tanks Regional Park is west of Youngtown and features
Indian petroglyphs or rock carvings in its 26,000 acres.
Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum is found to the northeast
and is a faithful replica of an 1880s Arizona village. Costumed volunteers
and crafts demonstrations are part of the experience. Many
buildings are originals from historic Arizona towns. Pioneer is closed
during the summer months.
Many ghost towns are found in the "gold country" northwest of
Youngtown mainly in the Hieroglyphic and Bradshaw Mountains.
Vulture, Bumblebee, Constellation, Octave, Tip Top and Crown
King are just some of the old mining towns found in the vicinity.