Carson City - the capital for active adults?

Carson City has what many retired, active adults are looking for. And if they didn't know it before, they know it now.

Word is out that Nevada's capital is one of six "perfect retirement havens," according to Consumer Reports, published by Consumers Union, an independent nonprofit organization which says it is working for a safe marketplace for all consumers.

About 15 percent of Carson City's population is 65 and above, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2000, and consumer experts predict that will grow. Carson City is one of six cities expected to be popular in the next decade with the silver-haired generation.

Also on the list: Halifax, Nova Scotia; Lexington, Va.; Tallahassee, Fla., Thomasville, Ga.; and Vernon, British Columbia. The list was complied by Consumer Reports staff and author Warren Bland, who wrote the article "Retire in Style."

The cities were chosen by Consumer Reports for their beautiful locations, moderate climates, proximity to higher education and favorable tax structures.

This doesn't surprise Janice McIntosh, director of the Carson City Senior Citizens Center. She often fields calls from families and seniors checking up on the city.

"We're seeing more and more people come to Carson City, and it's a great community," she said Monday. "We have a lot of people investigating the community on their own. They're finding Carson City to be a pleasant town and they are amazed at our senior center."

A favored spot for stumping politicians, the center also offers activities and seminars for its 3,000 to 4,000 members. The Brewery Arts Center, Lake Tahoe and community events are also a big draw, she said.

But there is a down side to Carson City, which McIntosh is careful to stress to any senior seeking to relocate here.

"We try to be honest about the weather when people ask us," she said. "Snow is the biggest problem for some seniors."

The proximity to a college is also an important draw for active older adults, according to Consumer Reports.

"A lot of seniors like to take the humanities classes, such as the art and science courses," said Dan Neverett, dean of student services at Western Nevada Community College.

Of the 5,521 students attending WNCC this semester, 646 students taking credit courses are age 55 and over.

"It's an opportunity for them to keep active and, in my opinion, is also good for the interaction between the generations in the classroom," Neverett said.

Seeking to tap into this retirement market, housing developers often build and market communities just for active adults over 55.

Lynda Marz, vice president of sales and marketing for Landmark Communities, said a large part of the company buyer profile is retirees.

"It's very justifiable," she said. "They come for the climate, the four seasons. It's close to recreation, and it's a warm, congenial, friendly-type city. All the things retirees are looking for."

Quail Run in Carson City is one active adult community, with 129 homes. It's been sold out for several years.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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