Paradise Valley, Arizona

Coordinates: 33°31′52″N 111°56′34″W / 33.53111°N 111.94278°W / 33.53111; -111.94278
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Paradise Valley, Arizona
Welcome sign
Welcome sign
Flag of Paradise Valley, Arizona
"There is a reason we call this valley 'paradise'"[1]
Location in Maricopa County, Arizona
Location in Maricopa County, Arizona
Paradise Valley is located in Maricopa County, Arizona
Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley is located in Arizona
Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley is located in the United States
Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley
Coordinates: 33°31′52″N 111°56′34″W / 33.53111°N 111.94278°W / 33.53111; -111.94278
Country United States
State Arizona
 • MayorJerry Bien-Willner
 • Total15.41 sq mi (39.90 km2)
 • Land15.38 sq mi (39.83 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
Elevation1,854 ft (565 m)
 • Total12,658
 • Density823.02/sq mi (317.77/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP code
Area code480
FIPS code04-52930
GNIS feature ID2413114[3]

Paradise Valley is a desert and mountain town in Arizona east of state capital Phoenix, of which it is a suburb. It is Arizona's wealthiest municipality.[5] The town is known for its luxury golf courses, shopping, expensive real estate, and restaurant scene.[6] According to the 2020 census, its population was 12,658.[4] Despite its relatively small area and population compared to other municipalities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Paradise Valley is home to eight full-service resorts, making it one of Arizona's premier tourist destinations.

The town's name comes from the expansive area known as Paradise Valley that spreads from north of the Phoenix Mountains to Cave Creek and Carefree on the north and the McDowell Mountains to the east. Resident children attend schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District.


Paradise Valley, looking east to Mummy Mountain

The town's history dates to a more agrarian society. After the initial European settlement, Paradise Valley was first used for cattle grazing. In the 1880s, when the land was being surveyed so it could be developed into agricultural lots, the name "Paradise Valley" first came into use, given by surveyors from the Rio Verde Canal Company and its manager at the time, Frank Conkey.[7] The name may have been chosen due to the abundance of spring wildflowers and palo verde trees.[8] Mainly an agricultural area during the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s, the area began to be settled after World War II, on large, one-to-five-acre (4,000 to 20,200 m2) lots for which it became known.

As the neighboring settlements of Phoenix and Scottsdale began to grow and annex adjoining areas, the residents of what became Paradise Valley were concerned that the qualities they most valued would be lost if they were consumed by their larger neighbors.[9] These residents formed the "Citizens Committee for the Incorporation of The Town of Paradise Valley, Arizona", which collected enough signatures to take to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. The supervisors granted the petition, allowing the town of Paradise Valley to be incorporated on May 24, 1961.[8]

Today, Paradise Valley is Phoenix's wealthiest suburb,[10][11] known primarily for its many resorts and expensive real estate.[12]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has an area of 15.4 square miles (40 km2), of which 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2), or 0.18%, is water.[2]

Mummy Mountain dominates Paradise Valley's central terrain. Other landmarks include Camelback Mountain on the southern border and the Piestewa Peak mountainous area on the western border.

Camelback Mountain
Barry Goldwater Memorial

Several historical sites are within the town, including the Harold C. Price, Sr. House, McCune Mansion/Hormel Mansion, and Barry Goldwater Memorial Park.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

Paradise Valley's motto, coined by residents, is "There is a reason we call this valley 'paradise'."[1]

As of the 2020 census the town had a population of 12,658, consisting of 5,728 households.

From the 2000 census: The population density was 881.7 inhabitants per square mile (340.4/km2). The 5,499 housing units averaged 354.8 per square mile (137.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.6% White, 0.7% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.0% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. About 2.7% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 5,034 households, 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.1% were married couples living together, 4.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.3% were not families; 13.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the town, the population was distributed as 24.9% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 18.8% from 25 to 44, 35.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $150,228, and for a family was $164,811. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $52,302 for females. The per capita income for the town was $81,290. About 1.9% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over. In 2012, the Forbes magazine named Paradise Valley's zip code, 85253, the 71st-most expensive in the United States. This ranking also makes it the most expensive in the state of Arizona.[14] In February 2024, Business Insider highlighted how the city was seeing a notable increase in the number of wealthy transplants from California. The Wall Street Journal described this trend a year earlier.[15][16]


Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner, first elected in 2018, began his third term as mayor of Paradise Valley in 2022.[17] The mayor and six town council members are the elected representatives of the Town of Paradise Valley. The council has six members, who are elected to serve four-year staggered terms. In 2010, voters approved direct election of the mayor. Scott LeMarr became the first directly elected mayor in 2012. The council still selects its vice mayor from among its members.

The Town's accredited police department[18] is led by Chief Freeman Carney.[19]

In 2012, citizens gathered 500 signatures on a petition requesting that the council reconsider the issue of direct election of the mayor. In June 2012, the council voted to return the question of direct election of mayor to the people.[20] Residents voted to keep direct election of the mayor.

Paradise Valley is in Congressional District 6, which has been represented by David Schweikert since its creation in 2011.[21] Despite the town's conservative lean, at the state level it has been represented by three Democrats since 2020. A part of Legislative District 28, it is represented by Christine Marsh in the State Senate and by Kelli Butler and Aaron Lieberman in the House of Representatives.[22]


Most of Paradise Valley is within the Scottsdale Unified School District.[23] A small portion is served by Creighton Elementary School District and Phoenix Union High School District.

Several charter schools also are in the area including nearby Great Hearts Academies, BASIS Schools, and private schools such as Phoenix Country Day School.


Top employers[edit]

According to Paradise Valley's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[24] the top employers in the town are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Camelback Inn 604
2 Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia 358
3 The Scottsdale Plaza Resort 330
4 Sanctuary on Camelback 307
5 DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley – Scottsdale 165
6 Phoenix Country Day School 133
7 Paradise Valley Country Club 113
8 Hermosa Inn 101
9 Town of Paradise Valley 80
10 Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort and Suites 72

Confusion with other Paradise Valley designations[edit]

The town is not to be confused with Paradise Valley Village, an official municipal designation, in northeast Phoenix. For instance, Paradise Valley Community College, Paradise Valley High School, Paradise Valley Mall, Paradise Valley Golf Course, and the former Paradise Valley Hospital are all several miles north of the town, in Phoenix. The Paradise Valley Unified School District does not serve the town of paradise valley either, only the areas north of it; its boundaries end a few miles north of the border.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Katy Suzanne. "Escaping in Glamour – Part 2: Phoenix, Arizona". Archived from the original on August 18, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "2021 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Arizona". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Paradise Valley, Arizona
  4. ^ a b "Paradise Valley town, Arizona: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  5. ^ "Paradise Valley's 85253 is the Phoenix area's wealthiest ZIP Code - Phoenix Business Journal".
  6. ^ Corbett, Peter (November 9, 2006). "Median home price down in Scottsdale". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved March 12, 2008.
  7. ^ Will Barnes, Arizona Place Names, revised and enlarged by Byrd Granger, University of Arizona Press, 1960, p. 190.;view=1up;seq=216
  8. ^ a b ”Town of Paradise Valley History”,, accessed 4/7/15
  9. ^ "Paradise Valley Living".
  10. ^ Clancy, Michael. "Paradise Valley still wealthiest place in Arizona". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  11. ^ "Wealthiest Zipcodes in Metro Phoenix". Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  12. ^ "No surprise: Arizona's most expensive Zip codes are in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley - Phoenix Business Journal". Archived from the original on October 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes". Forbes. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  15. ^ "MSN". Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  16. ^ Brandt, Libertina. "Why Are Millionaires From All Over the Country Moving to This Little-Known Arizona Suburb?". WSJ. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  17. ^ "Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner | Paradise Valley, AZ - Official Website". Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  18. ^ "Paradise Valley Police Department now an accredited agency". The Daily Independent at Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  19. ^ "Paradise Valley police chief steps down, successor to begin in December". October 17, 2022. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  20. ^ "Help Center - The Arizona Republic". Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  21. ^ "Arizona's 6th Congressional District". Ballotpedia. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  22. ^ "Member Roster". Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  23. ^ "About Us Archived February 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine." Scottsdale Unified School District. Retrieved on October 2, 2012.
  24. ^ Town of Paradise Valley CAFR

External links[edit]