History of Gainey Ranch

After nearly 30 years of being known and referred to as the “Oasis in the Desert,” Gainey Ranch rejuvenated its image to continue to appeal to a wide range of homeowners and maintain the high standard of resort-living lifestyle. As a part of the community’s rejuvenation, residents and visitors will notice multiple monuments throughout the community that feature a new logo, representing the community’s new and enhanced image.  There will be multiple phases of improvements, with phase one also including lush landscape and a sustainable irrigation system.


The 640-acre community, formerly an Arabian horse ranch owned by Daniel C. Gainey, was purchased in 1980 by Markland Properties. Markland Properties began the development of the master-planned community in the mid 1980s. Since that time, Gainey Ranch has been a prime choice for living in Scottsdale, prevailing as the “jewel” of the desert. With lush landscaping and palm tree lined roads, the Gainey Ranch community offers an “oasis” retreat in the middle of the Arizona desert.


As a dedication to the community’s past, and as a symbol for the community’s future, the original Gainey family house still stands and is the Estate Club today.


Daniel C. Gainey an enterprising Minnesotan who made a personal fortune selling school class rings. He later became a friend and confidante of two U.S. presidents and, along the way, achieved international recognition for his consuming passion and second career, the breeding of Arabian horses.


Gainey used his Scottsdale ranch to stable 30 to 40 of his 100 Arabian horses, grazed an average herd of 160 Hereford cattle and planted various agriculture crops.


Markborough Properties, a Toronto-based company owned by Canada’s Hudson Bay Company, the oldest chartered trading company in Canada, formed Markland Properties, a new company in the Phoenix metropolitan area. This was done through the efforts of James M. Kilday, Markland’s founder and chief executive officer, who acquired 560 of Daniel C. Gainey’s 640-acre parcel in late 1980 for the purpose of master planning and developing a new community called Gainey Ranch.


Kilday was determined to make Gainey Ranch what it deserved to be – a benchmark ‘living resort.’ Thus, a ‘luxury resort’ concept was conceived for the project. To Markland, the term ‘luxury resort’ meant a development that preserved and featured all the things that were here – the beautiful blue sky, the warm sunshine and the desert. What he wanted to do was take all things that are so great about Scottsdale and make them better. The Gainey Ranch Community Association still embraces Kilday’s mission and continues to make Gainey Ranch the best that it can be for its residents.