Last Oct. 13, El Dorado Holdings Inc. partner Mike Reinbold told the Benson City Council that in some ways, he felt Tucson was going to be a suburb of Benson, rather than the other way around. Reinbold was giving the council a presentation of his vision for the project. Earlier in his talk, he told the council that he saw Benson becoming "Sedona to the south," given surrounding attractions as Tombstsone, Bisbee, the wine country of Sonoita, Elgin and Willcox and Kartchner Caverns.
The minutes can be read here.
Here's what he meant, according to minutes of that meeting. His Benson v. Tucson comment is at the end of this excerpt:
"Mr. Reinbold stated a very important part of the development process is that they create opportunity for business, adding as he stated earlier, there is a tremendous amount of business looking to relocate to lower priced market places and that have a better quality of life. Mr. Reinbold then stated their goal is to be very active with the City to help attract other business and new industry, adding as part of that process, they will be working on business development or light industrial, retail and other things that would complement their development. Councilmember Cook stated he was glad to hear that, adding he was disappointed with the prospect that Benson would become nothing more than a bedroom community and a 6-month RV stop over place.
"Mr. Reinbold then stated the first time they got on the property, they thought it was a beautiful ranch and then asked themselves what they were going to do with this 12,000 acres, adding in asking if Benson is a suburb of Tucson, their conclusion or view today is that they think Tucson is going to be a suburb of Benson in terms of better things and opportunities being in Benson."
Here's another excerpt from the same meeting, illustrating Reinbold's optimism about the development's prospects.
"Councilmember Boyle then asked if El Dorado was confident with the current situation, adding he didn’t want to be negative, but things are a mess throughout the world and again asked if El Dorado was confident things are looking up and that we have a bright future with Mr. Reinbold stating he has spent 40 years in the development business and in doing these types of things in emerging markets, adding he thinks this is a great opportunity. Mr. Reinbold then stated he wasn’t saying there weren’t challenges, but he thinks those challenges are surmountable.
"Mr. Reinbold then stated he has learned over the past year that this community has so much to offer but outside of Benson, not many others know about how great the community is. Mr. Reinbold then stated in developing emerging markets, they have frequently gone into areas where people would question their judgment or common sense as to why they choose that area, yet they have had tremendous successes in developing emerging markets. Mr. Reinbold then stated it’s all about getting what you have to the market and having the market knowing and understanding where you are, adding he thinks this community has so much to offer that doing that alone will take care of half of the job, again noting Benson is an amazing place."