Rio Rico, Arizona
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Other content provided by Richard A. Zidonis
For a reason unbeknownest to me, Rio Rico, Arizona, is considered an unincorporated group of census-designated places (CDP) in Santa
Cruz County, Arizona, United States. Meaning, from a census point of view, there are four Rio Ricos:
I don't know that it matters. No one has ever told me that they are from Rio Rico whatever.
The 2000 census indicates a total population of 10,413 between the four areas.
- Rio Rico Northeast, Arizona
- Rio Rico Northwest, Arizona
- Rio Rico Southeast, Arizona
- Rio Rico Southwest, Arizona
Along with Rio Rico's multiple personality disorder there are other anomalies. Rio Rico is home to a luxury Four Diamond resort that boasts a
Robert Trent Jones Sr. Golf Course that ranks among the top 25 public courses in Arizona. Down the hill from the
resort, the local grocery store will accept Pesos as readily as dollars. Well, they do accept dollars in Nogales, Sonora.
So what else is there? Well, how about a question: when is it necessary to drive south to ultimately drive north?
The answer is when you are
headed for the prestigious Solaro or Morning Star Ranch in your road hugging luxury automobile. That's when. Why, you ask?
Easy enough. Rio Rico is the most likely point of departure from Interstate-19 for those going to their multi-million dollar mansions
in the aforementioned areas. Rio Rico, you see, has a bridge over the Santa Cruz River.
Now when I visit someone's mansion in one of the Ranches, I drive through
the river in my 4x4, which is
pretty tough to do with a low-slung, comfy luxury car. I must admit that driving through the river with guests is a kick (a cheap thrill that
will end with the eventual Palo Parado bridge).
Now, all that said, Rio Rico is OK with me. I like the place. Oh... be careful when driving on the east side of the Santa Cruz River.
As is often the case in Southern Arizona, open grazing is the rule and not the exception. It is not unusual at all to find
cattle in the roadway, so be prepared to moooooo-ve over.