Sharing History: Condo complex  and museum forge fruitful union

Sharing History: Condo complex and museum forge fruitful union

By Alex Gallagher

A partnership between the Ascent at the Phoenician and Scottsdale Museum of the West is starting to bear fruit.

As work begins on the Mountain Club at Ascent, developers have relied on museum leaders as they incorporate into the building an homage to the venerable Jokake Inn.

The Mountain Club includes Ascent’s pool and fitness amenities.

Tucked against the mountain, its “architecture is reminiscent of the Jokake Inn,” says Todd Patrick, the vice president of sales and marketing for developer Replay Destinations, which has an office in the Airpark.

“We wanted to build a modern interpretation of the Jokake Inn, which has ties to the adobe architecture.”

Replay Destinations tries to incorporate the history of the area into its properties and turned to the Museum of the West to ensure Ascent echoes of the Jokake Inn, which opened as a tearoom in 1926 and began accommodating overnight guests two years later.

Enter the now-2-year-old partnership between Replay Destinations and the Museum of the West.

“This is a partnership that rightfully is with multiple beneficiaries, including the museum, Replay Destinations and its many new residents,” says Mike Fox, museum chief executive officer and director.

“I am certain many of the new residents come from backgrounds and interests in the arts and culture that will be stimulating and even expanding for us associated with the museum, too.”

Replay Destinations asked Fox to track down artifacts, letters and any other information that reflected the Jokake Inn’s history.

Noting that the Jokake Inn “had a tremendous history back in the early 1900s of hospitality, resorting, art and wine,” Patrick says Fox “helped us unearth some of the artifacts, stories and context of the Evans family, who built the Jokake Inn.

“From that day on, we thought there would be a tremendous opportunity to partner on something,” he adds.

Fox says the partnership has helped him promote his efforts to keep the history of the west alive outside of the museum’s walls.

“This has always been my mantra in helping museums develop in their communities — foster relationships that help share the information, knowledge, collections and other resources with a broader community than merely the visitors who come to the museum,” he says.

“This is a tremendous opportunity being afforded in this relationship with an international corporation to meet and welcome, educate, excite and entertain many new residents to the Western region and get them to better understand and appreciate the American West.”

Replay Destinations plans to house artifacts in a revolving exhibit within the Mountain Club. In turn, the works will have several themes and give residents a taste of the many exhibits on display at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

“We are anxious to introduce and energize these Ascent residents with the great themes of Western culture: integrity, optimism, perseverance, courage and creativity,” Fox says.

Within these themes, Patrick noticed striking similarities between the Jokake Inn guests and the incoming homeowners who put down payments on Ascent condominiums.

“When we really got to understand the history of the people and the guests that came to that inn in the early 1900s, we had a whole collection of artifacts and letters that were written to the owners saying that the magic and the beauty of Camelback Mountain was why they came to visit the Jokake Inn decades ago,” he says.

“It was very interesting to see that some of the letters and history of guests were similar to why people come to the desert today.”

It was for that reason that Patrick created the Ascent at the Phoenician.

“We’ve always wanted to do something special in the Scottsdale area,” he says, noting a parcel of land like that “does not come across a developer many times in our lifetime” in that it is “located adjacent to such a fantastic hotel property, at the base of an iconic mountain and right in the heart of Scottsdale.”

“It can’t be repeated.”

Patrick says he believes the exhibits will motivate Ascent residents to see Scottsdale’s museums and art.

“Our owners and guests will have a desire to be close to Fashion Square and Old Town, and we think this will give them the opportunity to drive over quickly once they want to see new exhibits at the museum or show friends who come into town the museum,” he says.

Fox is equally excited about inviting new residents to Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

“Ascent at the Phoenician will add many new residents to the region, which gives us a tremendous opportunity to fulfill our mission and foster a relationship with the new residents of the new properties,” he says.

Patrick also reported that the Ascent at the Phoenician has received down payments on 25 of its 30 golf villas that will be completed by the spring deadline and there are plans to open sales on 40 additional condominium units in about a month.

“We are anxious to introduce and energize these Ascent residents with the great themes of Western culture: integrity, optimism, perseverance, courage and creativity.”

Ascent at the Phoenician

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

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