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The Mature Traveler

You Can Try Out Retirement Areas on Vacation

January 25, 1987|HANK KOVELL | Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests.

Opportunities for low-cost vacations are becoming ever more frequent due to special packages offered by retirement communities across the nation.

These inexpensive vacations are intended to give visitors an opportunity to look over a retirement area with an eye toward possible lease or purchase while enjoying the available facilities.

One such offer comes from a former Del Webb property in Florida, now run by an outfit called Sunmark, which specializes in developing planned residential communities. It operates a vast project called Sun City Center that lies 25 miles from Tampa on Florida's west coast.

Sunmark offers a four-day, three-night visit for $225 a couple, one of whom must be at least age 50. The price includes a daily continental breakfast, dinner for two at the Golf and Racquet Club and unlimited golf on the plush 18-hole championship course. (Carts extra).

You can also use the tennis courts, pool and club facilities at no extra charge. A one-bedroom suite costs $25 more for the three nights.

It's an even better deal if you elect to stay for six nights, because you get the same extras as above for $400 for two persons, $460 for the suite. After May 1 the prices will be less, with a three-night stay priced at $175 for two, ($205 for the suite), or $275 for the six-night stay ($335 for the suite).

This is a good way to tie in a visit to Walt Disney World and many of the other attractions available in Florida, most of which offer discounts for seniors.

For more information and a brochure write to Sun City Center, P.O. Box 5698, Dept. KV, Sun City Center, Fla. 33570. Or call toll free (800) 237-8200.

Also relating to travel and retirement, a recent Mature Traveler column on Guadalajara, Mexico, referred to that area as a popular one for retirees from the United States and Canada. Many readers indicated that they would be interested in more information about potential retirement areas.

A newsletter for retired persons entitled the Retirement Letter provides brief descriptions of desirable retirement areas, mostly in the United States, and is published monthly, with four Special Supplements throughout the year.

The Retirement Letter's editor has also published several books on this subject covering retirement locals both in the United States and abroad.

A free copy of the Retirement Letter, plus an order form with descriptions and prices of the books on this subject, are available by sending a self-addressed No. 10 envelope to the Retirement Letter, 7811 Montrose Road, Potomac, Md. 20854.

If you have the good fortune to be planning a visit to the beautiful "Land of Enchantment," New Mexico, in 1987 you can live in the lap of luxury in Albuquerque's Clarion Four Seasons hotel at a special retired-person rate of $59 a night for one or two persons.

Not only does this rate provide you with a handsome oversize guest room but you also get all the privileges of the Clarion's Executive Travelers Club, which includes a weekday continental breakfast (including prepared-to-order omelets), as well as complimentary snacks and cocktails every evening, Sunday through Thursday.

Fitness center facilities including tennis courts, racquetball, saunas, two swimming pools and health club are available at no extra charge.

For a brochure, write to Director of Sales, Clarion Four Seasons, 2500 Carlisle N.E., Albuquerque, N.M. 87110.

If you were unable to visit Vancouver, B.C., during the successful Expo 86 exposition, or even if you did, you may wish to plan a visit in 1987 when it will be easier to obtain accommodations.

Vancouver is tuned to the Mature Traveler market, and almost all of its public and private attractions offer discounts for senior citizens. These include the many colorful gardens, parks and arboretums, museums, aquariums, galleries and other points of interest.

Senior discounts offered by American hotel chains usually also apply to member hotels in Canada, and many Canadian-owned hotels have their own discount plans, so be sure to inquire, or you can get this information from any travel agent. Added to these favorable discounts is the advantageous rate of exchange in Canada for the U.S. dollar.

A handsome new Visitor Center has opened in Vancouver at the address noted below, and in addition to information, free maps and other printed matter it will also be a convenient central location to buy tickets for tours, the theater, concerts, sporting events and other attractions.

A new information pamphlet that lists admission prices and discounts for seniors is available. Ask for Sightseeing Attractions, which will be sent along with a Guide to Vancouver at no charge. Write to Vancouver Information Center, Dept. KV, 562 Burrard St., Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6C 2J6.

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