Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
9:21 am EDT
Friday, April 16, 2021

In the Villages: We’re number 1…

The Villages is miles ahead of any retirement community anywhere.

Story: Joe Angione

I just watched a YouTube video on the 10 bests places to retire in Florida. The Villages ranked 4th. But the three that beat The Villages – Spring Hill was one – weren’t communities, but rather areas or towns where retirees have gravitated. They had nothing as comprehensive as the lifestyle and amenities found here in The Villages. 

From time to time there are complaints about something The Villages management does to improve its bottom line. Some people are rather cavalier about how they go about expressing their displeasure – like the way they ignored the pleas of nearby homeowners when they leveled the Hacienda Hills restaurant and pool complex. The locals complained bitterly. But what The Villages did here isn’t unlike what every community does to keep itself profitable. It wasn’t carrying its weight in revenues. The Villages is first a business, and profitability is what that’s all about.

The YouTube video mention the 450 top-quality retail establishments and restaurants serving Villagers… the more than 250 medical practices here to keep us healthy, longer… the dozens of daily recreation and entertainment opportunities that excite and energize us… the more than 50 championship and executive golf courses that have attracted people from all over America.  YouTube didn’t reveal that The Villages lifestyle has brought over 130,000 to live here, not only to escape the cold of the North, but to enjoy the most active living possible anywhere. 

When my wife and I moved here 23 years ago, there were only 12,000 villagers. But positive word of mouth traveled so fast that Village construction firms couldn’t build homes fast enough. In fact, most of the advertising money spent by The Villages management to sell homes was probably wasted. Most Villagers can claim that their glowing comments about life here really did the selling, not the ads. 

Some say The Villages is getting crowded, but so is most of the U.S. anywhere that conditions remain livable. It’s amazing that some retirement organization hasn’t duplicated The Villages’ format somewhere else in Florida. But no one has, at least not yet. 

A few point to Sun City Center near Ruskin, Florida, but it’s much smaller and pales in comparison to The Villages’ attractions and diverse, on-the-go living. We must admit, and proudly so, that The Villages is a “playland” for seniors unequalled across the nation. 

10 comments

  • thomas.ruszala@gmail.com'

    Dear Kathy.You are wrong on every account.All Villagers will tell you the Village homes are the best built homes in America.They are solid,beautiful,and would not appreciate at the incredible way they have if they were not top notch.The people are friendly and we care about each others welfare.Over a thousand great clubs.Great ET.Great eateries.Great squares.Great planning.People love the new areas.They are gorgeous!

  • dqmtv@yahoo.com'

    Sun City Center may be smaller, but sometimes smaller is better, or equally good. When we first started looking South, the Villages was our go to place. But golf carts 2, sometimes 3 rows deep concerned us. We found SCC, moved there with the thought of lets see if we like it. Yep, found all that we needed and it kept getting better. Yes, changes made and yea, sometimes had to drove a car to get to Apollo beach or St Pete beach, but a 35 minute drive was worth it. And we got to go back to our little area. Villages not for everyone. Nice but in our thoughts, SCC better. Either, enjoy the lifestyle

  • plecureryan@gmail.com'

    A lot of retirees cannot afford amenities at the villages which are getting more expensive and are moving away. Also lots of recreation, restaurants are closing. Taxes are getting to be too much. Glad I don’t live there with the traffic.

  • tlpdg@yahoo.com'

    Well, I would be interested in the ” so many nicer places” you mentioned. Top of the world? Stone creek? Del Webb? Harbour Hills? Even margaritavilles new community. I have seen them all, and none of them come close to the Villages IMHO. You will find clicks everywhere. I have lived here in 5 different villages over 12 years, so I have experienced all different areas. The amenities, volume of golf courses and town squares are not duplicated anywhere. And add in live music, miles of multi modual pathes and it just adds to the extras we have here. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty fantastic. Drive anywhere in a Florida city in snowbird season and you will really find out what heavy traffic is all about. I’m sorry it didn’t suit you., But for me, and many others there is no comparison.

  • Kayyk20@aol.com'

    I’ve lived here sence 1905. I came here with my husband to take care of my mom who lived here. They are no longer with me I’m here all alone now. I really liked it here but now things are getting quite different. I live on the historic side. Things are being taken away from us that they use to have near by. It’s all about money now.They just keep building and building. It’s just to big now. I really would like to sell and move some where else. It just has changed sence I came here. A word of advice, Check out other places before you decide.

  • flanagans_us@yahoo.com'

    There’s not enough money on this planet to make me want to live in that vile cesspool. The people who do live there deserve each other.

  • grouperking101@gmail.com'

    Living at the Villages is like living in a concentration camp. U can’t fart without asking or pissing off some New Yorker.

  • einmalig1955@gmail.com'

    There are so many nicer places than the villages. It’s very expensive the houses are poor quality and Jack of privacy. There are not top notch restaurants there are a lot of franchises restaurants where they charge higher prices to cover the cost of living. If folks want to spend a lot of money in their 70s with those of the same age that could work. For those of us who like families kids dogs and life around us it’s very lonely. If you’re single or widowed you will.not experience a warm feeling. The place is very clicky and not for everyone it’s targeted to certain people. I’m so looking forward to selling and leaving.

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