BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Del Webb has expanded its "lifestyle test drive" nationwide – offering active adults real access to world-class amenities, social events and even the residents themselves. The new Explore Del Webb program offers people age 55+ the opportunity to take the legendary lifestyle for a spin at nearly 50 communities in 20 states.
"Getting a real hands-on experience is very important in the decision-making process of today's Baby Boomers," said Deborah Wahl Meyer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for parent company PulteGroup, Inc. With many Baby Boomers still working and/or planning to work at least part-time in retirement, Wahl Meyer said the program helps connect potential homebuyers with Del Webb residents who are making the transition to the next phase of their lives. Ms. Wahl Meyer said that the Explore Del Webb has proven to be a great education tool for consumers and that 25 to 45 percent of program participants eventually purchase a new Del Webb home.
"A sales presentation is not enough for these savvy consumers. They really need to experience the lifestyle, which means providing opportunities to mingle with residents on their own terms, access to the amenities, and enjoy the many special events and activities."
Every Explore Del Webb program offers unique features. At Sun City Carolina Lakes near Charlotte, NC, community residents Bob and Donna Meng greet visitors and consider the experience more like a bed and breakfast.
"Visitors really feel as though they are a part of the community," Bob Meng says. "I can tell they value the fact that we are residents."
Baby Boomers appreciate and trust insights from their peers, so one of the key components of Explore Del Webb is the opportunity for visitors to attend events where they can socialize casually with the neighbors.
Mary and Denny Walker, who live in Sun City Shadow Hills, regularly volunteer to attend cocktail parties and breakfasts hosted for people visiting their Southern California Del Webb community. "Sometimes people are stand-offish, 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 that I have nothing to gain. No gimmicks – just an opportunity to have a nice conversation," said, Denny Walker, who moved to the community from the Philadelphia area. "People ask everything - like how much is our electric bill or what we like and don't like."
Depending upon specific community facilities, Explore Del Webb allows interested homebuyers to stay at an onsite villa or to stay under a great rate at a nearby partner hotel. With almost 50 communities participating in the program, consumers can visit communities from California to Georgia and from the Carolinas to Massachusetts. For more information on participating communities go to www.delwebb.com/explore.
The overall Explore concept has its roots in 1961, about a year after Del Webb opened the original Sun City just west of Phoenix, Arizona. The Kings Inn Motor Hotel beckoned visitors and encouraged them to test drive the Del Webb lifestyle during their stay. The hotel promoted "air conditioned rooms and color TV" while Del Webb provided post cards for visitors seeking an "active new way of life" to send to their friends back home.
The program was a success. From 1967 to 1977, approximately half of the estimated 20,000 sales in the original Sun City were associated with the program, which is widely regarded as the first "stay and play" concept in America.
About Del Webb
Del Webb is a national brand of PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM). Del Webb, the pioneer of active adult retirement communities, is America's leading builder of developments for people ages 55+. Since 1960, Del Webb has redefined retirement and retirement living by meeting the housing and lifestyle needs of the active Baby Boomer. Del Webb's amenities and program offerings provide residents an engaging environment, which fulfills their creative, social, physical fitness and intellectual needs as they journey into the next chapter in their lives – whether it means retirement or still working. Del Webb has grown to more than 50 communities currently open for new home sales in 20 states. For more information on Del Webb, visit www.delwebb.com. To learn more about how to plan a smart future, check out financial tools at www.delwebb.com/value.
SOURCE Del Webb