BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Jul 23, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Reflecting potential residents' desire to experience the lifestyle first-hand, Del Webb announced today a national roll-out and expansion of its long-heralded Explore Del Webb program. Prospective residents can now take advantage of full-access passes to any Del Webb active adult community nationwide without committing to make the move.
"We have found that people need to experience first-hand what living in a Del Webb community is all about," said Deborah Blake, National Marketing Director for Del Webb, adding that the program expansion is in response to feedback from over age 55 homebuyers planning their next stage in life. "A sales presentation is just not enough for these savvy consumers. They need to see and feel it. That means real access to talk to residents on their own, workout in the fitness center or play a round of golf."
Through the Explore Del Webb program, prospective residents (ages 55 and older) can sample the lifestyle at their leisure through all-access day passes, onsite vacation villas, and reduced-rate stays at nearby hotels. Previously offered at select communities, the new Explore Del Webb program is now available at nearly 50 communities in 20 states.
Participants can immerse themselves in the Del Webb lifestyle and gain an appreciation for the vibrant rhythm of life at a Del Webb community. Starting with a work-out in the world-class fitness center, a few laps around the pool and catching up on the day's news in the reading area at the amenity center, a prospect can more clearly envision what their life would be like as a neighbor in the community.
"We have known for years that the best way to sell Del Webb is by connecting our current residents with someone considering the move," said Blake. "This goes beyond just living in a home on a street in a great neighborhood; this is about embracing a lifestyle that can inspire life's most exciting possibilities: A life where the residents are active, social, and vibrantly engaged people who want to be neighbors with someone in a similar stage of life."
50 years of experience
The concept of test-driving the lifestyle is nearly as old as the brand itself: a year after opening Sun City outside Phoenix, Ariz. in 1960, Del Webb offered a similar program through a special rate at its Kings Inn Motor Hotel while offering guests the opportunity to try out Sun City.
The program was a success. From 1967 to 1977, 50% of the approximately 20,000 sales in the original Sun City were associated with the program which is widely regarded as the first "stay and play" program in America. Today's results are similar, with 25% - 60% of Explore Del Webb participants ultimately buying into a Del Webb community.
What about the neighbors?
Not unlike a family moving to a community because the neighborhood is filled with children about the same age as their own, prospective residents of a Del Webb community want to see that they have something in common with their neighbors. Through Explore Del Webb, participants can fully experience what life would be like as a resident.
Along with every amenity, special events and club activities are open for enjoyment through Explore Del Webb. Free rounds of golf, dinner vouchers, and golf carts are also commonly included in the program.
Del Webb residents frequently volunteer to guide Explore Del Webb guests through the community and provide the opportunity for participants to interact with them without a sales pitch. These resident ambassadors offer a true insider's view of life at Del Webb.
"Sometimes people are wondering if I am going to give them a sales pitch, but when we start talking, they see that we are the real deal and I have nothing to gain," said Denny Walker who lives in Sun City Shadow Hills (Palm Springs, Calif.) and regularly volunteers with his wife Mary to attend cocktail parties and breakfasts hosted for people visiting their community. "People ask us everything--like what we like and don't like."
Communities with onsite villas sometimes have another bonus: the villa hosts are typically residents within the community. Not only do Donna and Bob Meng live at Sun City Carolina Lakes (Charlotte, N.C.), but they are the "vacation getaway" hosts for the onsite villas at the community too.
"I tell people, 'Welcome to Sun City Carolina Lakes, you're now a resident. Go out and find your life here,'" said Bob Meng. "The best part of this job is the 'wow!' factor. People are just blown away by what is offered here and what an amazing place this is to live."
With the program expansion, Baby Boomers can now experience more than one community as they finalize their future plans, be it for retirement or just their next stage of life.
For more information on the Explore Del Webb program go to www.delwebb.com/explore.
About Del Webb
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010, award-winning Del Webb communities provide a vibrant, enriched lifestyle for those ages 55 and better, creating an unmatched experience for the next phase of life. Del Webb communities began with the original Sun City which opened outside Phoenix, Arizona in 1960 and have grown to include more than 50 communities currently open for new home sales in 21 states. Del Webb is the undisputed leader of active adult communities in America and draws on its 50 years of experience of providing residents an engaging life which fulfills their creative, physical, mental, and social needs. Together with Del Webb residents, the brand is redefining retirement. For more information on Del Webb, visit www.delwebb.com.
SOURCE: Del Webbfor Del Webb