Editor’s Note: Linda Buskey, Managing Sales Director at Bay Creek, recently attended a conference which focused on destination and retirement communities, and the economic impact they can have. Ms. Buskey gave a presentation to Town Council on the conference, and we thought it was so well put together, and packed with information, we wanted to share it with our readers here.
Bay Creek appreciates the opportunity to address you this evening and share information we recently heard while attending a national conference in Charleston, SC which focused on the economic impact of destination and retirement communities and also update everyone on Bay Creek.
One of the presenters spoke and referenced statistics from the book How Money Walks. Once we returned we took a look at the companion website which provides results based on specific geographical areas. For example the IRS Tax Migration chart which reflects wealth transfer since 1992 shows Virginia has gained $479M in wealth with Northampton County seeing $72M of that transfer. Feeder states include New York, New Jersey, Maryland, District of Columbia and Connecticut among others.
Another speaker from the University of Georgia presented their study from 2013, which documented the Economic Impact of in migrating Retirees. This study was exhaustive and almost 100 pages. Some highlights that I believe we can take from this related directly to the benefit of retirees to a local community. The study looked at the average number of retirees to Georgia during the years of 2007 – 2011 and calculated an average 12-month period of 15,805 retirees who relocated into Georgia. Here are some very positive and powerful statics
1. Inflow generates $941M of Gross Regional Product (Sales)
2. $365M in income
3. 8,574 full and part-time jobs created (1.8 retirees equal 1 new job)
4. The average net worth of a retiree household was $931,465 in 2011 (or $503,495 per capita)
Correlation between Tourism and Destination Communities
Another speaker we heard was David Twiggs, author of the best seller “Destination Community”. Mr. Twigss states “economic growth comes from visitation; heads in beds and feet on fairways”, “people want to retire or buy second homes in areas they love to visit”
Tourism destination systems begin with integrating mindset, cataloging all tourism assets in the area regardless of boundaries.
From our perspective we see Cape Charles as four, distinct districts all working towards a common goal. These districts are The Marina District, Historic District, Harbor District and Golf District. We must all work together to create and brand our community for shared success.
“Quality of life and experiences must be core products for a tourism system to be sustainable in a community”, Mr. Twiggs stated. The primary needs must be lodging, dining, provisions ancillary activities, recreational/cultural/arts and retail. Those are the five primary needs that must be met to build an integrated tourism system.
Creating a team to build an integrated tourism system
“If you have an area with true quality of place that has real potential to be a real destination community. How do you realize the economic development? You must start by putting together a team. It is important to keep the team as small and as prioritized as possible “Mr. Twiggs stated. Only bring on passionate believers in the project.
The elements to consider when building a team include: Governmental Partners, Private Professional Community, Planning and Policy Makers and Key Business Stake Holders
The aforementioned team can build an integrated tourism system for the mutual benefit of all of those in Cape Charles. This body needs to be the market builder.
The Economic Impact of Bay Creek
Bay Creek has generated 229 prospect tours during 2015, all of whom have received a welcome bag prepared by a local gourmet shop which includes local gourmet products from the Eastern Shore. These prospects also toured historic Cape Charles, dined in local restaurants and shopped in local galleries and retailers.
During our last and most highly attended event, Pork and Pearls, Bay Creek strived to use local retailers to highlight what makes the Eastern Shore of Virginia unique. Between caterers, rental products vendors and supporting event contractors, over $50,000 was reinvested into the community for this one event.
Homes under construction within the last 18-months total approximately $20M in cost of construction. These will be a mix of primary and second homes. Four of these homes have been fully furnished by a local home furnishings retailer for the owners. The remaining homes have been partially furnished by the same local retailer.
Through Bay Creek’s sales and Marketing effort
I would like to now share with you some exciting Bay Creek news.
• As you may already know Bay Creek has been designated the Ideal Living Magazine’s Destination Community for 2016. Currently Bay Creek’s Developer, Bay Creek South, has made the financial commitment to build four extraordinary homes embodying the eastern shore lifestyle ranging in price from the $500’s to $2M+. These homes will be featured in Ideal Living Magazine’s Summer issue which will bring significant editorial focus on Cape Charles. During May, June and July these homes will be the focus of significant events and event marketing to drive prospect traffic to the town of Cape Charles.
• The most exciting news is that within the last 90 days Bay Creek has been recognized as a Southern Living Magazine Inspired Community. Joining a distinguished list of only 15 communities in the Southeast. This national recognition will be significant focal point of our sales and marketing efforts in the coming years. This award coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Southern Living; this milestone will celebrated through their efforts and create additional benefit to designees in the program. The February issue of this magazine will have a full page ad recognizing all of the Inspired Communities; also last week an e-mail blast went out to all of the Southern Living contacts announcing this designation.