It’s one of the Valley’s most iconic addresses, drawing the likes of John Wayne, Clark Gable and more than 10,000 annual visitors. And it now has new ownership committed to preserving its character and charm in perpetuity.
El Chorro, which first became part of the local landscape back in 1934, when it opened as the Judson School for Girls, has since become one of the state’s most popular dining and event destinations, hosting more than 150 special events and 90 weddings every year.
Grossman Company Properties — a preeminent real estate and hospitality development and management company with a six-decade track record in Arizona — recently purchased El Chorro and plans to continue its operation as a Paradise Valley institution.
Grossman has a track record of creating exceptional hospitality experiences including some of the finest boutique hotels in the western United States, according to a press release.
“We are pleased to be able to work with Jacquie Dorrance on this purchase and are proud to have the opportunity to preserve and enhance El Chorro,” said Grossman Company Properties’ Matt Crow, a Paradise Valley resident for more than 30 years.
Dorrance bought the property in 2009 in the middle of the recession and restored it to its historic grandeur. Dorrance sought out Grossman regarding the property knowing that it could be developed at some point in the future, and if it is, wanted to ensure it was done so in a way that is consistent with the property’s history and Paradise Valley town character.
The new owners plan on making subtle improvements to the El Chorro experience during the next couple of years, but otherwise plan to operate the property as it exists today for the foreseeable future, the press release stated.
With roots dating back to 1962 in Phoenix, Grossman Company Properties established a reputation for excellence, having owned and renovated the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa and many other noteworthy properties. The company currently owns and operates two properties in Phoenix metro, including the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, The Scott Resort & Spa as well as the High Country Motor Lodge, in Flagstaff.
Grossman also owns and operates several highly regarded properties and boutique hotels throughout southern and central California, among them La Playa Carmel, Hotel Carmel, The Inn at Laguna Beach and Laguna Beach House.
“Our approach to hospitality investment is to honor the history and legacy of a property while making it a successful and sustainable business, with an eye toward long-term stewardship,” said John Grossman, CEO of Grossman Company Properties. “Our plan with El Chorro is to take this approach and celebrate the property’s heritage while enhancing it for a new generation of patrons, in step with the unique character of Paradise Valley.”
The purchase ensures that El Chorro will remain an important part of Paradise Valley’s cultural heritage, and the property will never be redeveloped into two-story single-family residences, despite current conditions in the housing market.
“It was important to me to ensure that El Chorro is preserved for future generations and stewarded by owners who understand its importance to Paradise Valley,” Dorrance said. “This is an opportunity to pass on the El Chorro tradition to a great company that will ensure it is a part of the community for decades to come, rather than seeing it become a residential subdivision.”