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The Retirees of the Tri-Cities

We tend to get some false impressions about what constitutes a “retirement community,” and what may in the future. We think of warm places, in the south or southwest – Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, Miami. But those impressions aren’t always accurate and, as time goes on, we may be leaving out some other places of note.

Thus, today’s story in the Tri-City Herald about the growing retirement community in the Tri-Cities (or, more properly, the Quad-Cities, but that’s for another day).

Gary Ballew, Richland business and economic development manager, is quoted as saying, “The community in Richland is aging. Who will be living and working here 20 years from now?”

The story actually focuses on a different but related angle:

“That demographic is to economic development what broadband is to the Internet,” said Angelos Angelou, chief executive officer of Angelou Economics of Austin, Texas. “Communities that are trailing the national average on these statistics … are at risk of losing existing industry as the current work force comes to retirement. . . . Competition for economic development (in the future) is going to be determined not so much in companies recruited to a region, but in how successful communities are in attracting and retaining those young professionals . . .”

Attracting those much-desired young professionals – that select demographic – has been on the radar of television executives for years. It may become so as well, increasingly, at the level of city and regional management.

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