MOST RECENT NEWS ABOUT SHENANDOAH
July 27, 2011
By Rebecca Layne
AARP CALLS LOCAL AREA TOPS FOR RETIREMENT
Winchester VA The city and the surrounding area have been chosen as one of the best bargains for retirees, according to AARP The Magazine.
An article in the September/October issue titled “The Good Life for Less” will feature Winchester and nine other U.S. cities that are both affordable and livable for retirees.
The issue will be available at the end of August.
So far, the article – which is already available online – has generated a buzz at the Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“We’ve already gotten calls,” said Executive Director Sally Coates, referring to the potential tourism boost the article could bring.
“They’re coming from people who want a visitor guide, which is the first step. That’s encouraging. That’s creating tourism.”
Coates has been asked by AARP representatives to send them pictures of Winchester, which they will showcase on The Today Show on Thursday to promote the upcoming magazine issue.
According to the article, the city, which “lulls visitors into a pastoral time warp,” is a “haven for history buffs.”
Nearby Frederick and Clarke counties offer “bucolic bliss,” with apple and peach orchards and stone houses from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The article encourages people to “spend hours wandering 250-year-old shady brick streets” in the 45-block historic district and to check out the Old Court House Civil War Museum and Patsy Cline’s former employer, Gaunt’s Drug Store.
Winchester was chosen among 350 cities nationwide. Magazine staffers looked at property and sales tax rates, the median housing price, cost of living, and tax rates on pensions and social security.
One retired couple who can vouch for Winchester’s place on AARP’s list is Robert “Buck” Jones, 67, and wife Brenda, 62, who moved to Frederick County from Annandale, Va., four years ago.
After looking in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia, the couple found that the county was a “great compromise” – with proximity to their daughter, peace and quiet and lower taxes.
“When we came out here, it all clicked,” Buck said. “We liked how it was rural but close enough to urban areas.”
Jones said the couple now pay a property tax rate approximately one-third of what they paid in Annandale.
“I am a tremendous fan, as you can tell,” Jones said of the area. “I love it.”
Coates said she believes the article will bring more tourism dollars to the area.
“A lot of people take notice of lists like this and follow them,” she said.
In 2008, Winchester was voted one of the 10 Best Outdoorsy Places to Retire by U.S. News & World Report. In June, Leisure Publishing designated the city as one of the Friendliest Towns in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Region of the country.
December 11, 2010
By Val Van Meter
SENIOR COMMUNITIES (excerpts)
Before Robert “Buck” Jones and his wife Brenda moved to Shenandoah, an age-restricted subdivision surrounding Lake Frederick, they searched two years for a retirement home. They considered places in Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee, but the Joneses settled on Shenandoah in large part because two of their children lived in the Washington area. Shenandoah, off Stonewall Jackson Highway (U.S. 522) south of Double Tollgate seemed a good place and was within easy driving distance of family members.
By the time they made the decision, Jones added with a chuckle, both children had moved away. Still, the Joneses have no regrets.
“This is a wonderful place to live,” he said. “We love Winchester and we love the Shenandoah Valley and we love the lifestyle of the people who live here and the courtesy they extend.”
At Shenandoah, Jones said, an important amenity is Lake Frederick, a state-owned and stocked 120-acre lake surrounded by the subdivision. The state’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries owns a 100-foot buffer along the shoreline.
No power boats are allowed, said Jones, which means the homeowners don’t have to hear the noise of motors or Jet Skis. “It’s very quiet. And it’s not an expense to the HOA. We don’t have to pay for the maintenance of the lake.”
The Shenandoah community also boasts a fitness center with indoor and outdoor pools and a full time activities director to plan events, activities and trips.