Arizona Racquet Club opened in 1956 to a mass of fanfare and publicity. This Camelback development had both location and star power. The owners were Hollywood actors John Ireland, Joanne Dru and Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin's son. Ireland envisioned a prestigious racquet club nestled into the north slope of Camelback Mountain modeled after the Racquet Club in Palm Springs.
After acquiring the site, the group hired architect Hiram Hudson Benedict, a prot?g?e of Frank Lloyd Wright, who was well known for his work in Carefree, designing what later became The Carefree Resort.
The project opened with a clubhouse, five tennis courts and a prototype casita, which became John Ireland's Arizona home. In those days the bungalow served as a private hideaway for many of the most famous Hollywood celebrities of the 1950s. According to "Camelback, Sacred Mountain of Phoenix," by Gary Driggs, local Phoenix teenagers worked at the club as Server Assistants, dishwashers and manual laborers. When interviewed by Driggs, some remember Jeff Chandler and Ester Williams, who were frequently seen meeting at the bungalow. Several other movie stars of the '50s, including Dean Martin, were seen at the bungalow in the company of various women. Charlie McCarthy, Edgar Bergen and Robert Stack were also frequent guests.