Welcome Back Snowbirds!

We are glad to see so many of our friends and neighbors back from “up north”! Each year it seems we see people returning earlier in the fall and leaving later in the spring. We hope that’s a testament to loving life here at West Villages.

This time of year, we also look forward to the return of numerous area events and activities, including those planned by the lifestyle and activities directors in West Villages, who are diligently planning and setting their calendars. Gran Paradiso introduced a new lifestyle director, Kristin Merritt. And Agnieszka DeLong joined the Island Walk team to partner with Mark Craycraft on community events that will appeal to all residents. We welcome them to West Villages!

If you were away this summer, you will notice several new developments here. The traffic light is being installed at Gran Paradiso and Island Walk; land is being cleared for West Villages Marketplace, the Publix anchored neighborhood shopping center that will include dining and service related retail merchants; The Preserve opened its amenity center; Oasis has new entry monument signs; Renaissance began phase two of its community; Grand Palm has begun work on its second amenity center; and Sarasota National opened new models. The Atlanta Braves Spring Training facility is on target and scheduled to host its first game—the last game of the 2019 Spring Training season.

We are looking forward to other firsts in the 2018-19 season: We will host our annual West Villages/Atlanta Braves golf tournament at Sarasota National Golf Club in February. Preto Boulevard will open, from Tamiami Trail to Playmore Road, located near the rear entrance to Island Walk. The park and paw park off River Road open in November. A new traffic signal will be installed at West Villages Parkway and S. Tamiami Trail, scheduled to be completed in Spring of 2019. The Atlanta Braves Spring Training facility will host numerous events beyond baseball—concerts, farmers markets, movie nights, family fun days and so much more.

With more flights in and out of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, Punta Gorda Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport, it is easier for almost everyone to get to our area. We look forward to seeing your friends and family visit us at West Villages!

Seasonal residents and tourists are vital to our economy. We are grateful they choose to live or vacation here. Their investment in our community helps make it possible to have our vibrant arts scene, enhance our beaches and attract top restaurants and entertainment. So welcome back and may this be another wonderful year. It is good to have you home.