How to Survive the Summer: Water Recreation in Arizona

Boating, jet-skiing, fishing, kayaking, rafting, or swimming. We are blessed with many options for water sports that provide a welcome respite during the heat of summer. Arizona’s founding fathers had the vision to balance recreational use, functional water supplies, and energy management.


Only 20 minutes east of Fountain Hills, Saguaro Lake features a full-service marina, boat rentals, and restaurant. The Desert Belle is a resort cruise boat hosting guests on a 90-minute tour of the lake

It’s also a great venue for private or corporate events. Butcher Jones Recreational Site on the north side of the lake features a beach and a lake-view hiking trail.


On the upper section of the Salt River is the dam that started it all, Roosevelt Dam. The lake has 128 miles of sandy shoreline and crystal blue warm water. The full-service marina offers a full-hookup RV park, and boat rentals. It’s also a popular spot for fishing and has nearby hiking trails. Be sure to check out nearby Tonto National Monument.


Dubbed the “hidden gem of the Salt River Lakes”, Apache Lake gives visitors gorgeous views and seclusion. Surrounded by the Superstition Wilderness, it is a favorite for boating, fishing, water sports, hiking, and camping. There is a full-service marina, RV park and camping, a restaurant and bar, and three motels.


Canyon Lake has 28 miles of cactus-dotted shoreline and a designated swimming area. The full-service marina includes boat rentals. Visitors come for water sports, fishing, and camping at the Canyon Lake Marina Campground.


The Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch is situated at the bottom of Saguaro Lake’s Stewart Dam along the Salt River. This historic ranch is one of the most scenic guest ranches in the southwest. Spend a night in one of their rustic cabins, attend a cowboy dinner, or rent a kayak with full-service pickup at the end of your trip.


Fed by the waters of the Verde River, Bartlett Lake features shore camping, a full-service marina with boat rentals, and hiking trails. You can grab a meal at The Last Stop Bar & Grill located by the marina.


One of the most scenic water recreation areas in the Valley of the Sun, Lake Pleasant is a recreationist’s dream. Enjoy camping, boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking, stargazing, and wildlife viewing. There is a Discovery Center (closed during COVID-19), and a restaurant. This reservoir is part of the Central Arizona Project, bringing water from the Lower Colorado River into central and southern Arizona.


Tempe Town Lake is a desert oasis in the middle of the Phoenix metro area.  This lake’s water is supplied by the Colorado and Salt Rivers. Visitors can rent small boats, kayaks, and paddleboards. It is home to the ASU Sailing Club and is used by several rowing clubs. Other activities include fishing, biking, jogging, and picnicking.


Dirk’s Electric: Trusted Electrician

When Mark Derksen started his company, Dirk’s Electric, he set his eye on craftsmanship and quality in his work.

Mark is a master electrician and worked in the lighting industry for over ten years, designing and installing lighting packages for homes and commercial properties. His clients love his attention to detail, his ability to troubleshoot difficult electrical problems, and his perfect mix of easy-going personality and professionalism.

Whether you need work done inside your home, a new electrical panel, or a commercial lighting retrofit, Dirk’s Electric has the skills and the experience to get the job done right.

In addition, Mark is a Dark Sky lighting expert, helping clients select exterior lighting that accomplishes their goals without adding unnecessary light pollution to the night sky. He sits on the board of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association, helping the Town achieve its designation as an International Dark Sky Community in 2018.

Dirk’s Electric is a member of the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce, a graduate of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy, and is committed to making our community a better place for everyone.

When you need a trusted electrician who will do the job right, keep your home safe, and clean up when he’s finished, you can trust Dirk’s Electric. He is licensed, bonded, and insured.

Reach Mark at 480-203-1706, or at


Rental Investment Properties are still popular

Rental investment properties are still as popular as ever. Even during a pandemic, people want to get away and a short-term rental is often the easiest way for them to do that and remain socially distanced.

If you are thinking about turning a home or condo into a short-term rental property, there are some things you need to know about local tax laws before you take the plunge.

In Fountain Hills and Scottsdale, there are few deed restrictions when it comes to renting your property. However, many HOAs (Homeowner’s Associations) have regulations in place to protect the residents in the neighborhood. Be sure to start by reading your HOA’s rules and regulations.

There are generally no restrictions about the length of time your residential property can be rented. Yet, to enforce local tax codes, many cities such as Fountain Hills and Scottsdale are auditing online rental services to determine if short-term rentals are renting daily vs 30-days or longer.

Short-term rentals are subject to city tax requirements. In Fountain Hills, taxes for long-term rentals, defined as more than 30 days, are 1.6%. If the activities are less than 30 days, the owner is subject to paying hotel (or bed) tax rates which can be as high as 10%.

Most states, including Arizona, realized how much tax income was leaking out of the system through short-term rentals. As a result, they have cracked down on rentals through such online sites as VRBO, Homeaway, and AirBnB. These taxes previously came through the hotel bed taxes and are now being shared with these online rental companies.

The following links contain useful information provided by the Arizona Department of Revenue: (this is a great resource for hotel/bed tax rates at both the state and local level!)
Here’s a great article that addresses these issues, written for short term rental property owners: