Real estate firm Century 21 recently conducted a national survey of 300 locations across the country to determine the nation's top 25 "dream" retirement communities and guess what . . . St. George didn't make the cut.
Oh well, maybe next year. I know I wouldn't mind retiring to Utah's Dixie; I'd just make sure I was somewhere else on Easter weekend when those 10,000-plus "you've-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it" kids hit town for spring break.The retirement havens that made the list did so based on "quality of life, climate, scenic beauty and cultural and recreational opportunities." Price of housing in the areas was not a factor.
Century 21 also consulted David Savageau, author of "Retirement Places Rated," to cross-reference their own findings. Savageau analyzed American Medical Association membership rolls of active and inactive non-government physicians to determine where most retired doctors go to spend their "golden year."
His theory is that most retired doctors have the finances to retire anywhere they want, so wherever they go must be good. I know that doesn't sound too scientific, but there must be something to it because of Century 21's top 25 retirement communities, only Jackson Hole, Wyo., is not in the top 50 for percentage of retired doctors.
Incidentally, Jackson Hole is one of only a few locales on the list that might be considered in the neighborhood of Utahns contemplating a retirement haven.
Century 21 cites Jackson's "majestic mountain scenery . . . home of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks . . . bursting with wild flowers, wildlife and mountain lakes . . . hiking, boat trips, camping, trout fishing, climbing and horseback riding . . . sophisticated shopping, four local theaters, five major art museums, more than 35 galleries and 70 restaurants . . . two golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Robert Trent Jones . . . world class downhill skiing."
Sounds like a promo for Utah, doesn't it?
But Jackson's housing prices sound more like Deer Valley. A newly constructed 2,000-square-foot home, says Century 21, begins at $200,000 and runs to $1 million. Existing homes range form $150,000 to $500,000.
Aspen, Colo., also made the top 25 "dream" list, its attributes sounding much like those attributed to Jackson - except for its celebrity status. "It's a hangout for Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith," says Century 21. "Nightlife is active, and dining is as much a spectator sport as a culinary experience."
New construction and existing homes are said to range from $750,000 to $1.5 million.
Other "dream" retirement havens cited by Century 21 are: Bar Harbor, Maine; Boca Raton, Fla.; Cape Cod, Mass.; Cape May, N.J.; Hilton Head, S.C.; Hot Springs, Ark.; Lincoln City, Ore; Maui, Hawaii; Monterey, Calif; Naples, Fla.; North Conway, N.H.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Palm Springs, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; San Juan Island/Puget Sound, Wash.; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Sarasota, Fla.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Southern Pines/Pinehurst, N.C.; Tryon, N.C.