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Changing Boomer Generation Redefines Retirement as it Looks for an Adventure Lifestyle

Not every generation wants what the previous generation did. Recent studies and surveys show this is even truer when it comes to the more than 60 million Baby Boomers who will soon find themselves transitioning into retirement or already have. Many Boomers are looking for a community similar to the one found in Ottawa, Illinois, at Heritage Harbor Ottawa to meet their new retirement needs — waterfront real estate with the creature comforts of retirement, but plenty of recreational activities, a strong sense of community and still within reach of urban areas.

Not every generation wants what the previous generation did. Recent studies and surveys show this is even truer when it comes to the more than 60 million Baby Boomers who will soon find themselves transitioning into retirement or already have.

While previous generations have traveled far from their families in retirement to settle elsewhere, many variables are changing the landscape of life after full-time work and past notions of what retirement life would look like.

Many Boomers are looking for a community similar to the one found in Ottawa, Illinois, at Heritage Harbor Ottawa to meet their new retirement needs — a place with the creature comforts of retirement, but plenty of recreational activities, a strong sense of community, still within reach of urban areas and yet offers strong waterfront real estate values in the Midwest.

A resort community like Heritage Harbor in Ottawa, Ill., sits on prime scenic Illinois River waterfront property and offers amenities, such as a full-service marina with more than 450 boat slips, restaurant on-site, low-maintenance homes, in-ground pool, walking path and year-round activities.

“Once we saw what Heritage Harbor had to offer, we knew we had to be here,” said Harry Hultgren, who along with his wife, Ann, owns a cottage-style home in the waterfront community. “The opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation are simply unbeatable.”

Economic changes are shifting the mindset of Boomers. While in the past many would relocate to southern states, such as Florida or Arizona, studies show the age group is deciding to stay closer to their family and friends while continuing to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities well into retirement. They are redefining retirement. And with that redefinition, according to Baby Boomer Magazine, they are looking at building a more active and diverse lifestyle as well — physically and mentally.

According to Discovery Fit and Health, one of the 10 most popular activities for those of the Boomer generation is anything to do with aquatic recreation — an easy task when cruising via boat through the Illinois River or exploring one of its many channels or islands. It’s no surprise that latest U.S. Census data available shows a rising number of Boomers living in coastal communities, such as those along rivers, lakes and oceans.

While Heritage Harbor offers a variety of scenic waterfront homes and cottages to fit everyone’s lifestyle (click here to learn more) the unique location in Ottawa and Starved Rock Country completes the package, which mirrors the slogan: “Life is an Adventure … Live it Here.” Having four state parks within 15 miles is one of the reasons Tom Heimsoth, developer of Heritage Harbor, selected the location.

“People enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, dining, shopping and want to do it in a resort-like setting so they always feel like they are on vacation,” Heimsoth said.

In addition to the state parks, the history of downtown Ottawa wasn’t overlooked. The town is rich in architecture, has great annual events such as the Two Rivers Wine and Jazz Festival, outdoor Farmer’s Market, Midwest Morel Fest, outdoor music and other events that allow Boomers to enjoy their “off” time. Not to mention running parallel to Heritage Harbor is the I&M Canal, which is 61 miles of walking, biking and snowmobiling trail. Lastly, Discovery Fit and Health includes sky diving as a Top 10 eventual “must-do” for Boomers, which is especially accessible in the Ottawa area with SkyDive Chicago, the Midwest’s major destination for sky divers, just north of town.

As with any real estate property, location is key to what attracts people to an area and can be an important factor in its value. Realtor Judy Marsales recently told Real Estate Wealth magazine that the image and community where real estate properties sit can have as much to do with interest as the property itself. Marsales says locations that get the most real estate buzz have features in the surrounding community such as “wonderful vistas, biking paths, picnic areas and many music festivals,” among other amenities. She also confirmed that one of the latest real estate trends in the Boomer generation is a renewed interest in relocating to waterfront properties.    

The locale of Ottawa, Ill., in La Salle County fills all of these needs for those living or vacationing at Heritage Harbor Ottawa. Additionally, the area allows homeowners to experience a real sense of community that can be lacking in larger suburban or urban areas. It’s a less complicated way of life. But getting back to the urban area is just a hop, jump and skip away as Chicago and its suburbs, such as Huntley, Elgin, Romeoville, Shorewood, Crest Hill and more are a mere commute away.

It’s easy to continue working or telecommute if needed, as studies show more Boomers are working later into life and are choosing to explore entrepreneurial opportunities after full-time work. You’re never too far away from the hustle and bustle, but far enough to relax and enjoy life. No one has to make a choice of one or the other as those living and vacationing at Heritage Harbor have the flexibility to create their ideal lifestyle.

No other area can offer the recreational opportunities or strong sense of community like Heritage Harbor Ottawa can.

River Games 2010

River Games 2010 is confirmed for JULY 16-18, 2010. After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2009, River Games Returns to Heritage Harbor Ottawa!  Co-sponsored by www.all-actionsports.com, Quest Watersports and Chicago MasterCraft, participants are expected to number in the hundreds again – out for free pulls behind MasterCraft boats, camping, food, fun, and an end-of-day “Air and Water” show.
 
The die-hards arrive Friday evening and either camp on site at Heritage Harbor, stay in the marina on their boats, or live it up aboard a luxury cruiser via Heritage Harbor’s “Boat and Breakfast” program. Ski, wake and surf coaching and pulls are the main activity through the afternoon on Saturday – along with great food & beverages provided by Crawdad’s Bar & Grill. The day’s activities are launched from a floating platform anchored off Heritage Harbor’s east peninsula, which supports a constant flow of participants cycling onto several MasterCraft boats underway throughout the day. The backdrop is a gorgeous, unspoiled stretch of the Illinois Waterway bounded by trees and stone cliffs.
 
Riders young and old as groups and families enjoy this fantastic event – whether a first timer, new to the sports or seasoned vets looking to push the envelope just a bit more. A live radio remote, local news film crew and a few photographers are expected to be on hand to document the event again this year for general press and sport specific outlets.
 
Saturday evening’s emceed show will start with a skydive exhibition courtesy of www.skydivechicago.com and closes with some serious double-ups, and included shoreline passes by the regions best athletes showing everything in between, from barefoot tricks to wake surfing. After, a DJ’d gathering campfire side and at Crawdad’s for the overnighters who stick around for more great weather on Sunday.
 
Come camp Friday through Sunday or make it out for the big Day Saturday July 17 starting at 10am, 1988 N. 2753rd Road, Ottawa, IL 61350

Cruise Night in Ottawa

Old Town of Downtown Ottawa was a car enthusiast’s dream Friday night. With over 5 city blocks of great cars & trucks, there was something for everyone.

 

This family friendly event had a mix of styles and eras. There was everything from a classic Ford Model T to a 2010 Chevy Camaro with a slick custom paint job. There was music, food vendors, and many car owners that were happy to share a story or two about what made their car unique.

 

The LaSalle County Cruisers’ Annual Cruise Night in Downtown Ottawa was a great way to kick off Father’s day weekend.

 

If you missed Ottawa’s cruise night or just love classic cars venture to downtown Oglesby Saturday June 26th from 3-8 pm for the Oglesby Custom Car Show.

 

Stay tuned to learn more about the Adventure Lifestyle available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa and the surrounding communities.

Sunset Showcase

With temperatures in the mid 80’s and sunny, the weather could not have been more perfect for a night at the marina. On Thursday, June 17th Heritage Harbor Marina was host to well over 700 members and guests of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

Meg Skelly, Assistant Executive Director Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, had this to say about the event, “It was a beautiful night at the harbor and we couldn’t have asked for better support from all the Heritage Harbor team.”

 

The evening was full of breathtaking scenery, delicious food, refreshing drinks, live music and lots of fun including golf chipping and a charity duck derby hosted by ONYX (Ottawa Network of Young eXecs)

 

Bagshot Row performed from 6-9 and will be making a return appearance on July 3rd for HHO’s  4th of July celebration.

 

Stay tuned to learn more about the Adventure Lifestyle available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

The Captain’s Log of Winter Fun: Ottawa Area Events for November & December

 

Though Heritage Harbor will always be our focus, we hope your experience goes far beyond our entrance. The Ottawa area is bursting with special events, from children’s programs to eagle watching. We’ve tried to alert you to some of the best, so if you need directions or more information give us a call…

Art in the Park Any day @ Starved Rock State Park
Looking for a fall hike—from sunrise to sunset you can seek out the awesome wood carvings on the Lodge grounds and in the Park. Grab a map at the Lodge reception desk and start your hunt: from Indian carvings and Animal carvings to totems and functional carved art–you’ll have fun finding all the art the park has to offer!

Reddick Mansion Tours Saturdays from Noon-3 pm or by appointment
The Reddick Mansion stands facing historic Washington Square and was built in 1858 for the then-costly sum of $25,000. Mr. Reddick served as a state senator. Mr. Stephen A. Douglas was one of the many politicians entertained at the Reddicks’ home. This mansion has been restored to its original splendor and is open for tours on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. or by request by calling the Reddick Mansion Association at 815-433-6100.

Bluegrass Jam Sessions First Friday of every month @ 7:00 p.m.
Come out and join for an evening of Bluegrass music performed by Ottawa area musicians. Jam Session located at Christ Episcopal Church, 113 E Lafayette Street in Ottawa. For more information call (815) 257-6868.

Book Mouse Toddler Time Every third Saturday of the month 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Led by Mrs. B and Ms. Rachel, it’s a half hour of story-telling, wiggle-around-time, and poetry. Toddlers 2-5 and parents are welcome to join the fun. The Book Mouse, 820 LaSalle Street in Ottawa. For more information call (815) 433-7323

Festival of Lights Parade Friday, November 27th 6-9:00 p.m.
Celebrate the holiday season in Ottawa with the lighting up of Washington Square and a Christmas Parade. Meet on LaSalle Street for the parade and follow Santa to the Square.

Victorian Christmas Weekend of November 27th-29th
The Reddick Mansion will be decked out in its Victorian Christmas Decor. The Reddick Mansion stands facing historic Washington Square and was built in 1858 for the then-costly sum of $25,000. Mr. Reddick served as a state senator. Mr. Stephen A. Douglas was one of the many politicians entertained at the Reddicks’ home. This mansion has been restored to its original splendor and is open for tours everyday except for Tuesdays for more information contact the Reddick Mansion. On Saturday, November 28th from 10-3:00 p.m. by appointment you can have your family portrait taken in front of the beautifully decorated Victorian Christmas tree inside the Reddick Mansion. For more information or to make a portrait appointment, call (815) 433-6100.

Christmas at the Lodge with Prairie Singers Friday, December 4th 7-9:00 p.m.
Presented by the Prairie Singers 7:00-9:00p.m. The Prairie Singers are a chamber ensemble that will perform music from a broad range of historical periods, along with a wide variety of show tunes, popular, and classical favorites. We will start the evening with a few seasonal songs before enjoying a delicious dinner served in the historic Starved Rock Lodge. After dinner the Prairie Singers will deliver a musical delight to warm the heart. Tickets are $37.00 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets call 815-220-7386.

Christmas Farmer’s Market Saturday, December 12th 8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m
The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce invites you to this special Holiday inspired edition to Ottawa’s Farmers Market. The vendors will be offering a wide variety of goods, greenery, dog biscuits, jams & jellies, candy, gifts…and much, much more!! With the motto of we BAKE it, we GROW it, and we SELL it FRESH, you’re sure to find something fantastic at the Ottawa Christmas Farmers Market. The Farmer’s Market will be set up at Jeremiah Joes’ Coffee at 807 LaSalle Street.

Ottawa‘s Ice Odyssey Saturday, December 12th 10 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
The Ottawa Downtown Merchants are proud to present the First Ice Odyssey. Come downtown Ottawa and enjoy vendors, snowmen, elves, greenery for sale and amazing art of Ice Sculptures. Fun for the entire family. Contact ottawadowntownmerchants@gmail.com.

Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 19th @ Starved Rock Lodge 8:30-11:30 a.m
Join the jolliest man himself, as well as the Mrs., for a breakfast buffet right at Starved Rock Lodge. Following breakfast, you’ll be treated to Christmas stories told by Mrs. Claus. Children may take turns sitting on Santa’s lap to tell him their Christmas wishes and receive a chocolate treat. Adults $11.95 Under 10 $8.95. Early reservations a must. 800-868-7625 ext. 386

Let’s go to the Movies at the Roxy! Wednesday, Dec. 30th @ 10 a.m.
Calling all grade school students – come to the Roxy for a free movie which includes free soft drinks and popcorn! Movie has not yet been announced. Roxy Cinemas is located at 820 LaSalle Street in Ottawa, (815) 433-8303.

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