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

Southwest.

 

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.