Recruiting all retirees - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Recruiting all retirees

June 12, 2007

Valdosta - Sands Horizon is the newest retirement facility in Lowndes County.  "They are one bedroom apartments. They are subsidized for low income elderly," says Manager Sheryl Wright.

But even before the ribbon was cut, the demand for housing was overwhelming. Leaving the future bright for this new community.  "We're planning to do several phases with about 30 apartments each," she adds.

This facility is just one of many, as the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce begins its push to recruit retirees.  "Our mission is to attract and locate amenity seeking retirees to the South Georgia area for economic development," says Alison Stokes, Coordinator of the Triple Crown Hometowns at the Chamber.

And it seems to be working.  Sandy Prentiss recently moved here from Tampa, Florida.  "When we arrived and saw the amenities in the Valdosta area it was a done deal. That was it!"

In fact, the chamber has already helped relocated nearly 400 households.  "That comes to over five million dollars in spendable income annually and over 50 million dollars in liquid assets that these retirees have brought to the community," Stokes says.

They expect these numbers to quadruple in the next few years, as they begin work on two new amenity-filled retirement villages, building at least 1,400 new homes. And they're creating a lot of hype.  "We are going to be first in line for that! Absolutely!" Prentiss says.

They hope the villages will convince Valdosta retirees to settle down the road and attract others from across the nation.

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