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Halfway ‘Home’ – Literally and Figuratively

Touchmark Sales Manager Christy VanderMolen greets Marilyn Early from Atlanta, Ga., as Early prepares for a tour of Touchmark facilities. (Photo by Ray Newton)

Tom Biel, executive vice president of Touchmark at the Ranch, has a gleam in his eye and broad smile when he tells prospective buyers that the upper-end retirement living facility is half complete.

He is right on two counts.

First, more than 50 percent of the 45 single-family homes and even more of the 162 units in the Grand Lodge have been sold.

Second, construction at the 45-acre site atop a hill overlooking the east side of Prescott is now more than half done.

All this progress has occurred in the past year. Biel said he anticipates completion of the 200,000-plus square-foot Grand Lodge in March 2018.

“Response to what Touchmark is offering has been awesome,” Biel said. “We are getting inquiries and visitors from throughout the United States.”

Biel explains that Touchmark at the Ranch is offering retirement living to those 55 and older. “Given the demographics of the baby boomers, we know that millions of people will be looking for quality facilities which have amenities and hospitality services that can serve them as they grow older. And given that Prescott is frequently cited as one of the top 10 retirement communities in the United States, we at Touchmark want to provide the best we possibly can to appeal to retirees.”
Biel escorted several groups on an inaugural tour of the Grand Lodge in mid-May. One of those on the inaugural tour was Anne Babinsky, a retired Yavapai College faculty member and administrator who has already bought a unit. “I am so eager to get into the Grand Lodge. I won’t have to worry myself about yardwork or housekeeping anymore. If I don’t want to, I won’t have to cook. I can go to any of the three restaurants in the lodge. I’m ready to move in.”


Beyond the Typical Retirement Community

Christy VanderMolen, sales manager and retirement counselor for the Prescott development, described the Touchmark campus as “…diverse, yet cohesive.” She said that approximately 350 active adult single family or apartment homes will offer a full range of services. “We’ll have everything from independent living to assisted living to memory care – which will accommodate those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia illnesses.”

For those opting for single-family homes, a wide range of home sizes and floor plans featuring Southwestern style architecture can be reviewed, VanderMolen said. Already, more than 15 homes are under construction. Several more plans for the remaining lots available are pending approval so that construction can begin.

The Grand Lodge will have three distinct dining facilities, ranging from fine dining to a casual restaurant to a bistro. Residents in the Grand Lodge can select from among 99 independent living homes, 53 assisted living homes, or 10 Pembrook Program homes, which support individuals with early cognitive or physical challenges.

All occupants will be able to select from a wide range of amenities, such as restaurant-style dining.

She said other internal amenities included a beauty and barber shop, a chapel, a library, computer center, movie theater, arts and crafts center and activity and game rooms.   Housekeeping and assistance with personal care will be available, too. Underground parking will be available at the Grand Lodge.

She mentioned that for residents who have visitors, the Grand Lodge will have five guest rooms available, which are fully furnished and have kitchen facilities.

She described an 18,000-square-foot, multi-story clubhouse as having aquatic and fitness center facilities. It will be open to all residents of the development and to persons in the greater community who are 50 and older. The clubhouse also will include a convenience market, community center and meeting spaces for civic and social organizations and groups.

“We’ll have a Wellness and Life Enrichment program supervised by Director of Health and Fitness Lisa Fry, a trained professional. What’s more, the campus will feature an amphitheater, where we will bring in performing groups. It also has a barbeque area and pickleball courts,” VanderMolden said.

She noted that developers said more than 60 percent of the acreage will be dedicated to open space, with miles of hiking and nature trails which are open to the public as well as to residents.

Biel and VanderMolen both acknowledged that the full-service retirement community will require a large staff. In addition to the 12 full-time executive staff, there are expected to be about 130 full-time employees. “We already are accepting job applicants,” Biel said.

Monthly fees for the retirement community begin at about $2,200.

“At first glance, some people may think that’s fairly expensive, but then we explain that those fees include many costs that homeowners pay in separate bills – electric and gas services; water, sewer and garbage; cable TV, housekeeping, yard maintenance, property taxes, HOA fees,” said VanderMolen. “We think that once most people take a look at their current living expenses and then compare them to what we are offering, they realize that a full-service retirement community is more affordable than they might have thought.” QCBN

For more information about Touchmark at the Ranch, call 928-288-2080 or visit Touchmark is located at 300 N. Lee Blvd., in Prescott.

By Ray Newton, QCBN


Suggested captions are below.   Photos will be transmitted in separate message.

#1        Touchmark Executive Vice President Tom Biel briefs persons waiting to take an inaugural tour of facilities under construction. (Photo by Ray Newton)


#3        Touchmark Executive Vice President Tom Biel points out where various offices and homes will be located in the Grand Lodge currently midway through the construction phase. (Photo by Ray Newton)                                    (More captions on next page)

#4        Many persons who took the inaugural tour of Touchmark facilities under construction also enjoyed a hot buffet luncheon. (Photo by Ray Newton)

#5        The Grand Lodge at Touchmark will contain 162 homes when construction is completed sometime in March 2018. (Photo by Ray Newton)


Another set of photos will follow—lovely rendering of what completed facilities in the Grand Lodge are expected to look like. Below are suggested captions for those renderings.

#1        This architect’s rendering is of the formal dining room in the Grand Lodge, where guests will look to the west at a typical Arizona sunset. (Courtesy photo)

#2        This architect’s rendering is of the front entrance of the 162-home Grand Lodge currently under construction at Touchmark at the Ranch.   (Courtesy photo)













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