Life Care Services, one of the nation’s largest senior living operators, aims to capture some of Walt Disney World’s magic when it opens an $82 million, 239-unit community in nearby Celebration, Florida.
Windsor at Celebration will bring with it independent living, assisted living and memory care residences, in addition to some access to some high-end amenities, when owner-developer Big Rock Partners wraps up construction in the spring of 2018. Residents will be able to screen first-run films in the community’s stadium-seating movie theater, view Disney World’s nightly fireworks on the rooftop sky bar and scroll through 180 channels of DirecTV.
On the medical side, the community will partner with Adventist Care Center—the skilled nursing facility under construction next to the campus—and Florida Hospital Celebration Health, to ensure seniors have full access to professional health care.
Windsor also will closely interact with its neighbors in Celebration, a master-planned community known for its over-the-top holiday displays and initial development by The Walt Disney Company. That way, the community’s residents can get the same “Celebration experience” that people move thousands of miles to be part of.
“This is going to be a pretty great destination retirement location,” Angie Layfield, the community’s incoming executive director, tells Senior Housing News.
The goal is to give the community a similar look and feel as a five-star resort while offering the same senior care services as a more traditional community.
Marketing the magic
Another big part of the appeal is Windsor’s proximity to Walt Disney World. Windsor management expects its proximity to the theme park will help attract residents, as well as support other facets of the business, like activities and staffing
Though its residents won’t see Mickey Mouse roaming the halls, the community will take inspiration from Disney’s “ageless fun and discovery.” That could mean things like planned trips to the theme park or inviting Disney entertainers to put on a show at Windsor.
“There are people that enjoy that Disney magic and that hospitality lifestyle, but like it in a little more discreet way,” Layfield says. “We’re trying to find that balance of… not cheesing it up too much.”
To help conjure up the Magic Kingdom vibe, Windsor plans to hire many of its employees locally.
“We live in an area that is extremely concentrated [with people] that either currently work in the Disney family or have at some point,” Layfield adds. “So we get this added benefit of having a great pool of employees to choose from.”
Windsor won’t be the first senior living community to play off of powerhouse brands.
Musician Jimmy Buffett is taking a crack at the industry with Latitude Margaritaville, a 55-plus active adult mixed-use community in Daytona Beach, Florida. Though the first Margaritaville community hasn’t opened its doors yet, the singer is already lending his name for a second location in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Written by Tim Regan