New Hospital in Cave Creek Expected To Open Next Year

Artist’s conceptual rendering of Abrazo Cave Creek Hospital. Courtesy of Abrazo Health

Abrazo Health announced in early February that it is set to begin construction a new small-scale community hospital in Cave Creek near the intersection of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Road. Expected to open in 2021, Abrazo Cave Creek Hospital is a new type of neighborhood hospital, sometimes referred to as a “microhospital,” designed with an emphasis on quality medical care, convenience, efficiency and short ER wait times.

Abrazo Cave Creek Hospital will focus on emergency and surgical services, with eight rooms for patients needing overnight care. The single-story, approximately 35,000-sq.-ft. facility at the southwest corner of Carefree Highway and 53rd Street will include a 13-bed emergency department, an operating room and eight inpatient rooms, along with additional services.

“I am thrilled to have Emergency Services available in the area,” said Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch. “I believe this makes Cave Creek a more complete Community.”

Abrazo Health currently operates six Valley hospitals including the acclaimed Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital. The Cave Creek hospital will be Abrazo’s third neighborhood hospital. Abrazo Mesa Hospital opened in October 2019 and Abrazo Surprise Hospital is expected to open later this year. Each is closely integrated with Abrazo’s larger sister hospitals, medical group and community physicians.

“We all prefer to receive care closer to home, and this type of hospital meets a need for access to medical care beyond what’s available at an urgent care or freestanding emergency center. The hospital will offer a 24/7 ER and have the ability to perform surgical procedures, with around-the-clock general surgery, hospitalist and emergency physician coverage,” said hospital CEO Ed Staren.

“Our goal is to provide multiple points of access for those who choose Abrazo for their care. Emergency care and operations like appendectomies and gall bladder procedures, for example, can be performed in the neighborhood hospital setting,” said Staren.

Patients with abdominal pain, sprains and broken bones, minor trauma, lacerations, dehydration, pneumonia and flu are typical of injuries and illnesses expected to be treated in the Abrazo Cave Creek Hospital emergency department.

“We’re anxious to begin providing care for our neighbors and friends in the Cave Creek area,” Staren said. “Providing quality medical care and excellent patient satisfaction are among our top priorities, and we want our ER waiting times to be among the shortest they can possibly be.”

When completed, the hospital is expected to create approximately 50 jobs. General contractor for the hospital is Adolfson & Peterson Construction; the facility was designed by E4H Architects.

For more information, visit


Town Holds Groundbreaking at Cave Creek Crossing

Pictured L–R: Councilwoman Susan Clancy, Councilman Paul Diefenderfer; Vice Mayor David Smith, Mayor Ernie Bunch, Councilmen Thomas McGuire, Councilman Robert Morris and Councilwoman Kathryn Royer; Photo by K. Miller

Shopping center to open in 2020

By Kathryn M. Miller

Members of the Cave Creek Town Council joined representatives from Kitchell Development Company and A. R. Mays Construction Thursday, April 4, for a groundbreaking at the new Cave Creek Crossing development.

Located on the southwest corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway in Cave Creek, the development encompasses nine acres. According to Rob Schranm, vice president at Kitchell Development, construction began immediately following the groundbreaking ceremony and is expected to be completed late in the first quarter or early second quarter of 2020. The 56,000-square-foot development will be a grocery anchored shopping center with multiple tenants.

“This development is part of the area that we changed to Commercial in the General Plan back in 2008 or 2009,” says Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch. “This change was in direct response to the Town’s great financial hardship during the last economic downturn. By waiting until the right project came forward to actually change the zoning, it allowed us to responsibly plan for a more stable financial future for Cave Creek in addition to the convenience factor for our residents.”

In addition to Kitchell Development and A. R. Mays, the general contractor, Butler Design Group is part of the project team. |CST

Mayors Proclaim March 2 ‘Dr. Seuss Day’ at the Library

Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch and Carefree Mayor Les Peterson at the Proclamation signing.

‘Storytime’ events to be held throughout the month

Carefree Mayor Les Peterson and Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch signed a joint proclamation declaring Desert Foothills Library’s commitment to children’s literacy and promoting reading in our community in honor of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday.

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s 115th birthday, and Desert Foothills Library will celebrate throughout March with a full month of Dr. Seuss themed programs. Programs will include the March 2 Birthday Party at 2pm and Saturday morning “storytime” each Saturday March 9–30 at 10:30am. These storytime events will each feature a special guest, such as the Phoenix Herpetological Society, Cave Creek Firefighters, green eggs and ham breakfast with Carefree Mayor Les Peterson, and Mother Goose Reads Dr. Seuss. All events are free and take place at Desert Foothills Library, 38443 North Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek.

In addition to support of Carefree and Cave Creek mayors, March’s programs are sponsored by Arizona nonprofit First Things First and local family Diana and Richard Deely.

For additional information, call 480.488.2286 or visit

Cave Creek Mayor Bunch Writes… JUNE 2018

Mayor Bunch Writes…

Public Service To Your Community Shouldn’t Take A Short-Term View

Many of us are here in Cave Creek for the open space, its rural nature and the funkiness of the town. It’s what attracted us here and sets us apart from the rest of the Valley. But the reality of running a town requires the ability to generate the revenues necessary to protect and provide quality services to its residents. Two-thirds of the revenues generated in Cave Creek come from sales tax with the balance from a variety of other sources. Our challenge is clear, “How do we preserve the unique characteristics of the town we love, while generating the revenues necessary to keep it financially sustainable.” This challenge has faced every administration, past and present, but it’s the future administration that must balance these realities as we move forward.

In 1972, I was towing a boat to Bartlett Lake and stopped at the intersection of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway. I was only 18 but realized at that time that this intersection will be an important part of Cave Creek’s future. Since that time, Carefree Highway has developed into a commercial corridor providing our residents the convenience of national retailers and the Town the benefit of the sales tax revenues they generate. This allows us to develop the Town Core with local businesses and smart growth opportunities that add to its uniqueness and vitality. The duality of the Carefree Highway and the Town Core as unique and separate commercial centers is a blessing for Cave Creek.

As a councilman, 10 years ago we created an overlay for specific residential properties fronting on Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway. This legislation made easy the rezoning of those properties for commercial development and in turn enticed retailers. This legislation has resulted in Tractor Supply, Auto Zone and Starbucks, with more to come. This economic development tool took nearly 10 years to be utilized and will be used for 20 years to come, offering additional convenience and tax revenues, while allowing the Town Core to grow funkier, more unique and truly Cave Creek.

Water, sewer, zoning, growth or no-growth are some of the issues that face the Town of Cave Creek as we move forward. Juggling and prioritizing these issues will be daunting task and one that requires education, collaboration and respect for the town, its residents and the people who serve…past, present and future.

Quiet leadership and true public service to your community doesn’t boast of its accomplishments nor does it wallow in is shortcomings; instead it sets a vision for the future and moves forward.

To learn more about the Town of Cave Creek, call 480.488.1400 or visit

Cave Creek Mayor Bunch Writes… MAY 2018

Mayor Bunch Writes…

May is upon us. The fall colors of out-of-state license plates have severely diminished. It’s hot and getting hotter as the month goes on. April and “Bike Week” is in the rearview mirror.

Speaking of which, I am in receipt of correspondence complaining about the activities and congestion in Cave Creek during this event.

Arizona Bike Week started out as a proclamation by the governor. I don’t know which Arizona governor started it, but it is here to stay.

When the economy began to tank in 2007 and went really bad in 2008, I’m told that our former long-term town manager encouraged the owner of The Hideaway to make this an event in Cave Creek as well. This was to help replenish Town revenues that were going to be lost because of the economic downturn.

Since that time Bike Week has continued to contribute to the Town’s revenues through sales tax. While individual sales tax numbers are protected from prying eyes by state law and I am not privy to actual individual businesses numbers, I am told that there is a bump in revenue to the Town of somewhere between $30K and $50K that had not been realized prior to the local businesses taking advantage of the event.

I know it is an inconvenience to our residents and some of the behavior is not what we would wish for our town but, as long as nothing illegal is taking place the broadness of the First Amendment takes precedence.

The deputies and traffic control costs are not born by the Town but are covered by the businesses that benefit from the event.

If you look closely at your property tax statement, you will not find a line item that goes directly to your town. That is because there isn’t a property tax that supports Cave Creek.

A huge amount of the town’s revenues come from sales tax, so the continued success of our town hinges on the success of the businesses.

Imagine if you will just exactly what would happen if we did not allow the advance preparations of traffic control and Security with this event. The organized chaos that you perceive would be very, very real.

As May comes upon us, those businesses that have behaved like the ant and not the grasshopper will still be here when the fall colors of license plates begin to once again change.

To learn more about the Town of Cave Creek, call 480.488.1400 or visit

Mayor Bunch Writes… APRIL 2018

Mayor Bunch Writes…

OK, here we are again. April already! As usual I’ll tell you there is always something fun happening in Cave Creek. So, come on up and experience it for yourselves.

On another note, I’ll climb up on my soapbox yet again to discuss something important to the entire state.

There is a move afoot to place on the ballot an item that would require electric utilities in Arizona to supply 50 percent of our electricity from renewable energy. On the surface, this is a great idea but, it falls very short on the implementation side. There simply is NOT a reliable source of storage for renewables that would ensure that we don’t have “brownouts” during the heat of summer. Technology solutions for longer term storage have not been discovered or invented yet. I’m sure it’s coming, and society will demand more renewables when those issues are solved but, it’s not ready for prime time just yet.

It might surprise many people to discover just how much power is generated by nuclear plants in Europe and they’re way ahead of us with renewables and cutting-edge building methods.

Passage of this ballot issue will severely curtail the usage of the Palo Verde nuclear power plant.

Fifty percent renewables for Arizona is a good idea whose time has not yet come!

Please don’t sign the petition or we’ll end up with another emotional issue possibly passed by voters who don’t understand the intricacies involved!

To learn more about the Town of Cave Creek, call 480.488.1400 or visit

Mayor Bunch Writes… March 2018

Mayor Bunch Writes…

March in Cave Creek is yet another exciting event-filled month for us.

The biggest thing in March has to be the Rodeo.

The Rodeo Parade starts at 9am Saturday, March 17 — Saint Patrick’s Day! This is always fun, and I’m told we’ve got some entries you just have to see to believe.

Get there early so you don’t miss anything! This year’s Mutton Busting competition is being held at The Buffalo Chip Saloon. Great entertainment watching kids ride sheep that don’t really want to be ridden!

On Monday at Tatum Ranch Golf Club, we have the Tournament. Check in starts at 10:30am with a 12:30pm Shotgun Start.

The Rodeo features three performances: Friday, March 23, at 7:30pm; Saturday, March 24, at 7:30pm; and Sunday, March 25, at 2pm. Friday night, March 23, David Lee Murphy will be performing at 10pm inside at Harold’s. Your Friday Rodeo ticket will get you into the performance for free or you can pay concert entry at the door until we reach capacity. The concert is sponsored by Sanderson Ford and KNIX Radio. There will be remote parking for the rodeo with bus transportation to and from the Rodeo Grounds. Check the website for further details on this. There is much more information online at!

This event is one way that Cave Creek continues to celebrate our Western Heritage so come on up and enjoy the festivities.

Many things are going on in town and we’ve got Bike Week coming up as well, so, if you’re making long-term plans for entertainment, be sure to include Cave Creek.

To learn more about the Town of Cave Creek, call 480.488.1400 or visit

CAVE CREEK RODEO DAYS 2018: March 17-25

It is one of the biggest events taking place in the Town each year, and the Cave Creek Rodeo Days celebration rides into town this month. Cave Creek Rodeo Days is celebrating 41 years of preserving western heritage and promoting the sport of professional rodeo this month, with events taking place March 17–25. Cave Creek Rodeo Days is comprised of an all-volunteer committee that is sponsored by Sanderson Ford in Glendale. The Kiwanis Marketplace in Cave Creek is a Platinum Sponsor for the 2018 Cave Creek Rodeo Days.

“We cherish our western lifestyle,” says Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch. “Our entire community is coming together for Cave Creek Rodeo Days. This event celebrates everything we love about our town.”

After the naming of the 2018 Rodeo Queen and Teen March 10, Rodeo festivities officially kick off Saturday, March 17, with the Cave Creek Rodeo Days Parade through the Town of Cave Creek. The parade begins at 9am, and several businesses will be serving breakfast along the way. Immediately after the parade, the Buffalo Chip Saloon & Steakhouse will host mutton bustin’ for the children, and the official kick-off dance beginning at 8pm.

The Cave Creek Rodeo Golf Tournament takes place Monday, March 19, at Tatum Ranch Golf Course, and the live rodeo action will thrill spectators with three performances, March 23–25.

Cervi Championship Rodeo is supplying championship stock for the Cave Creek Rodeo. The Cervi family oversees and participates in every aspect of the rodeo production.

Cave Creek Rodeo was voted first place for the 2017 Justin Boot Best Footing Award in the Turquoise Circuit. The award is given to the rodeo that had the safest, most consistent ground conditions throughout the entire rodeo. It ensures a safe and level playing field for the barrel racing contestants and their horses.

The three performances of the Cave Creek Rodeo (and two Slack performances) will take place March 23–25 at the Cave Creek Memorial Arena, 37201 North 28th Street in Cave Creek. In the middle of the action, join the Kiwanis Club of Carefree for a pancake breakfast Saturday, March 24, 7–11am, in Carefree’s Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion.

Those who would like to enjoy the 41st Cave Creek Rodeo Days VIP style need to be in the Stockman’s Club, a private area that offers catered food, complimentary beverages, preferred parking, and “up close to the action” seating for every PRCA performance. Friday night’s banquet will be served by Peaks & Valley Restaurant, Saturday night by Indigo Crow, and Sunday by Q-to-U-BBQ. Purchase tickets online at


See full Cave Creek Rodeo Days coverage here:

2018 Cave Creek Rodeo Days Issue

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