Dave Molter

Column Dave Molter

Dave Molter is a freelance writer and Golden Quill and Keystone Press Awards winner. He also is a freelance musician in the Pittsburgh area.

Retiring minds want to know!

March 19, 2017

Where to best spend your Golden Years? Here’s one idea: Waste away in Margaritaville.

Papa Parrothead himself – singer/songwriter/author/stinking-rich guy Jimmy Buffett – is teaming with a Canadian developer to open several retirement communities in the U.S. for those “55 and better.” Ground has been broken for Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach, which will feature up to 7,000 homes in the “Old Florida/Key West style,” with prices starting in the “low $200s.” Furnished model homes will open in spring 2018, with the first occupancies envisioned for later that year.

Latitude Margaritaville’s website displays no architect’s renderings of the homes, choosing instead to use generic photographs from the same photographers who apparently also licensed the shots for Cialis and Viagra commercials. Two empty lounge chairs sit beneath a beach umbrella, facing a placid ocean; a disgustingly frisky 50s-something couple romps on the beach, holding hands. Both appear to be mobile and fit. Yes, the woman has gray hair, but there’s no hint that either she or her male companion will fall over just out of the frame, winded after a quarter mile. And, certainly, neither looks likely to have limped out of bed nursing stiff knees, wrists, shoulders and ankles. “Ibuprofen!” or “Shoot me now!” probably were not the first words out of their mouths that morning.

I understand. Savvy marketing. It’s hard to sell property by admitting that after you’ve spent the bulk of your 401(k) on a six-figure mansion in Daytona, all you’ll be able to afford to eat is the latest yummy variety of Friskies. Meanwhile, Buffett, whose Margaritaville-themed restaurants, hotels and merchandise reeled in more than $1.5 billion in 2015, eats something more than a cheeseburger in paradise. Fins to the left, fins to the right, indeed.

But if Latitude Daytona succeeds, I guess we can expect more retirement communities tailored to aging Summer-of-Lovers. Such as:

• Keith Richard’s Rolling Stoned Resort: Here’s your chance to experience all the debauchery of a world tour with the original Bad Boys of Rock. A chartered Lear jet flies you to a secret island compound in the Caribbean. Specially trained “Keef” impersonators mumble and stagger along with you to your cabana, where you’ll find a medicine cabinet fully stocked with OTC painkillers and rum. Over by the firepit, specially trained Mick impersonators strut with hands on hips, making duck lips, leading aerobics. At 4 a.m., everyone joins in a chorus of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” before collapsing in a gutter, ready to be awakened again at 5 by specially trained Charlie Watts impersonators, who drum you off to a breakfast of lukewarm tea and cold beans on burnt toast. After that, it’s your daily “pat on the bum from Keef’s mum,” and off you go, luv! Be sure to take a lap in the Brian Jones Memorial Pool.

• Mister Zep’s Wild Ride: Ever want to trash a hotel room? Ever want to wake up with someone whose name you never knew or, if you do, want to forget? Then this resort is for you! An officially licensed Led Zeppelin delivers you to a villa in the south of France at midnight. Start your day being wakened by a specially trained Jimmy Page impersonator (or the latest winner of “The Voice,” as available) playing the guitar cadenza from “Whole Lotta Love” through five Marshall stacks placed 2 feet from your pillow. You’ll have “brekkie” (fried back bacon; fried, poached or scrambled eggs; fried or grilled tomatoes; fried mushrooms; fried bread or toast with butter; and fried bangers). Then, while you’re retching, you’ll be treated to a chorus of “The Lemon Song” by a specially trained Robert Plant impersonator (or a skinny 15-year-old blonde girl, as available). After lunch (fried bangers and mash), join in the John Paul Jones Run – 5K to a nearby pharmacy – then back to your replica Holiday Inn room, which is equipped with the latest in TV technology, ready to be thrown from a window, kicked in or bashed with a cricket bat (available from the concierge for a slight additional fee). Then it’s down to the bar for supper (fish and chips; beans and chips; sausage and chips; spam and chips; chips) and a round of Zeppelin trivia (Q: What is “The Immigrant Song” about? A: No one knows!) At 5 a.m., it’s back to bed.

Too tired to climb the stairs? Use the Chairlift to Heaven.

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