Wigwam Historic Timeline
On Thanksgiving Day, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company opened "The Wigwam" as a guest ranch.
In 1930, the first nine-hole golf course was developed, and in 1935 V.O. "Red" Allen expanded the course to 18 holes and became the first golf pro at The Wigwam. Between 1930 and 1940, building progressed rapidly and several new buildings called "wickiups" were built near the original main building, increasing capacity to 66 guests.
By the mid-1940s, The Wigwam had expanded to hold 110 guests. But with the establishment of "Luke Airfield" and its subsequent training activities during World War II, the guestrooms were leased to house military personnel.
In 1954, Reade Whitwell became manager of the resort as well as the Goodyear Country Club. The Wigwam underwent continuing improvements and expansions and reached a peak in 1969 when more than $2.5 million was spent on construction.
In 1965, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was brought in to oversee the development of a second 18-hole golf course and rebuild the first. The new 36 holes were renamed as the "Blue Course" and the "Gold Course."
In 1970, Whitwell was named General Manager of the resort and Vice President of the SunCor Corporation, which owned and managed The Wigwam. Subsequent construction of additional guestrooms increased the capacity to 425 guests. In 1971, a new country club was completed, replacing the old clubhouse that was destroyed by fire in 1969. In the fall of 1979, two plush Presidential suites, the Oraibi and the Bacabi, were constructed. Named after the oldest Native American village in Arizona, the Oraibi suite features more than 5,000 square feet of elegant Southwestern furnishings and decor.
By 1985, the number of casita guestrooms increased to 241 and could accommodate 500 guests.
In 1990, SunCor sold the resort to the current owners, Kabuto Arizona Properties. Kabuto made substantial enhancements to the resort, including a 10,800 square foot ballroom and 90 courtyard villas surrounding a second resort pool.
In the fall of 2005, a renovation of the Blue and Gold golf courses was completed with a design by renowned architect Forrest Richardson. Also, in early 2006, a 26,000 square foot Red Door Spa and fitness center opened at the resort.
Guests today will experience the "Rebirth of a Legend" with more than $25 million in additions and renovations in the last three years, including a new high-end steakhouse, state-of-the-art junior ballroom, and modern refurbishments throughout the property.
Sports legend Jerry Colangelo, Director of USA Men’s Olympic Basketball and former owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, and JDM Partners purchase the resort with plans to return the famed historic property to its legendary status. The resort joins the Destination Hotels & Resorts family.
Jerry Colangelo and JDM Partners invest $7 million in rejuvenation of the iconic resort, creating new amenities, new experiences and award-winning dining offerings.
History is remade with the re-launch of –The Wigwam. The resort returns to its original name and debuts a new resort experience that reflects Arizona’s beginnings and new amenities including a redesigned main pool, new outdoor plaza, indoor/outdoor bar and lounge and the opening of Litchfield’s, signature farm-to-table restaurant. New resort programming is incorporated into each guest experience including community events such as the weekly Farmer’s Market, Arts in the Park Concert Series and The Wigwam Fine Arts Festival.