Where is Eloy you ask? It is located just south of the junction of Interstates 8 and 10 near Casa Grande. We had never stayed in this area before. We were always on our way to somewhere else as we passed this area. This year we made it a point to stop in for a few days. We stayed at the Las Colinas RV Park in Eloy (Exit 200 from the south or north on I10). They offered both Passport America and Good Sam discounts. We were impressed with the park; quiet, very friendly staff, nicely landscaped and clean. The WiFi was Free and quite strong, that’s always a plus in my book. There’s a nice pool and the many acres of property adjacent to the park was open to walk your dog.
There’s not a great deal of things to do in Eloy, but it’s location works as a base for nearby attractions. The nearby Eloy airport is home to Sky Venture Arizona, a state of the art Indoor Sky Diving facility.
The facility opened in 2005. For $50.00 you can have 2 One minute flights in the chamber after a short video, some instruction and all the gear you need. This is a 14 foot, 1600 HP wind chamber, state of the art where you can really get the feeling you would have in the first few seconds of jumping out of a plane. The wind tunnel has four 400 horsepower fans at the top, that pull air up into the flight chamber. The wind tunnel simulates free fall at speeds up to 150 miles per hour.
If that doesn’t get your adrenaline going enough or now you are salivating for the “real deal” then hop on over to the airport next door and sign up for a Tandem jump with Sky dive Arizona. For $199.00 you can strap yourself to an experienced jumper and free fall from 13,000 feet for nearly a minute before opening the chute. Mark and I didn’t experience either option during the one day that we visited. But the more I think about it, the more I want to go back to Eloy sometime and try the indoor skydive experience. I know a few of our RV friends who might like to join us!
If you aren’t going to jump or you are safe on the ground watching someone you know jump, then find a spot in the spectator area and enjoy the show. Well it isn’t a show, it’s just 100’s of sky divers jumping out of perfectly good airplanes for the thrill of it every non windy day.
Bring your own folding recliner chair to the airport. Don’t strain your necks like this! You can just lay back and watch the 100’s of jumps that take place here each day that the wind cooperates.
CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA
In Casa Grande, just a few miles from Eloy, you will find The Francisco Grande Hotel and Golf Resort located off Highway 84. This hotel was the former spring training location for the San Francisco Giants Baseball Team (GO GIANTS!) The then owner of the team began developing the property in 1959 as a spring training location.. The first exhibition game was played in Casa Grande in 1961. On that day Willie Mays hit a 375-foot home run off Gaylord Perry in the 4th inning of the first game at Francisco Grande. The resort became a desert hideaway for many Hollywood celebrities during those early years.
Here are a couple of vintage photos of the official program for the exhibition game and the swimming pool; The pool area was designed as a Base with the pool in the shape of a bat and the hot tub as the baseball. Very cool. Francisco Grande Photos.
Next Stop, The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.