‘Certified Retirement Community’ applications taken

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser has announced the release of the 2019 application and guidelines for the Encore Louisiana Commission’s Louisiana Certified Retirement Community program.
The Louisiana Certified Retirement Community program is designed to encourage tourism and economic development through the marketing of certified retirement communities to those from out of state and those living in Louisiana.
The program recognizes cities or parishes in Louisiana as premier locations for retirees. Destinations selected for certification will benefit from state-level marketing efforts, networking opportunities and potential grant funding to support the program.
“We have identified 10 great areas in the Certified Retirement Community program since we began our efforts two years ago,” said Nungesser. “Each of these communities selected demonstrate qualities that make them premier locations for the nearly 76 million baby boomers nearing retirement.
“We want to help these communities enhance what we in the state already know – that Louisiana is a great and affordable place to live and retire. No other state can Feed Your Soul with an incredible bounty of food, music, history, and culture quite like Louisiana.”
In 1999, the Louisiana Legislature created the Louisiana Retirement Development Commission to market and promote Louisiana as a retirement community state. Through Act 342 of the 2009 Regular Legislative Session, lawmakers renamed the body the Encore Louisiana Commission with the goal of setting the guidelines and requirements in developing the criteria for a destination to become a Louisiana Certified Retirement Community.
The Encore Louisiana Commission will require communities to submit an application and undergo a screening process conducted by the commission before being designated a Louisiana Certified Retirement Community.
The deadline to submit the application is Friday, Dec. 6.
“Louisiana drew 51.3 million visitors in 2018. We are thrilled to welcome so many people to our state every year and sincerely believe there are great opportunities for many of these visitors to eventually make Louisiana a permanent retirement home,” said Assistant Secretary of Tourism Doug Bourgeois.
“Through this program, we want to assist our parishes in marketing those assets that cater to retirees, to let them know that Louisiana is a perfect place to spend your retirement years.”
Since its beginning in 2018, the Louisiana Certified Retirement Community program has designated ten communities statewide.
They include:
• City of Kaplan
• City of Lafayette
• City of Lake Charles
• City of Natchitoches
• City of Ruston/Lincoln Parish
• City of Thibodaux
• Shreveport-Bossier City
• Tangipahoa Parish
• Toledo Bend/Sabine Parish
• Terrebonne Parish/City of Houma
Once designated a Louisiana Certified Retirement Community, the Louisiana Office of Tourism will:
- Promote the certified community as a Louisiana Certified Retirement Community to retirees and potential retirees both in and outside Louisiana.
- Assist Louisiana Certified Retirement Communities in their efforts to market themselves as desirable retirement locations and to develop communities where retirees would find attractive retirement lifestyles.
- Assist Louisiana Certified Retirement Communities in enriching their locations resulting in positive economic development.
- Encourage tourism to the Louisiana Certified Retirement Community.
Additionally, Louisiana Certified Retirement Communities will be able to attend consumer shows and golf shows with the Louisiana Office of Tourism.
Visit the Encore Louisiana Certified Retirement Community Program website for more information and to download the 2019 program guidelines and application.

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