DAYTONA BEACH — The New York Times recently reported that “The Future of Aging Just Might be in Margaritaville,” but for residents of this fast-growing active adult community, the future has already arrived.
On Thursday, representatives of Chicago-based 55places.com presented the developer of Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach with an award as the nation’s most popular 55-and-older community in 2018.
The award comes on the heels of Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach’s inclusion in another industry ranking of the nation’s top 50 master-planned communities of 2018.
The community going up on the north side of LPGA Boulevard, just west of Interstate 95, last year sold 412 homes, with roughly half built to date.
“It’s more than we expected, which was around 350,” said Bill Bullock, president of developer Minto Communities’ Latitude Margaritaville division.
Latitude Margaritaville welcomed its first residents in March 2018 and is now home to more than 400.
“In the morning, I’ll wake up and pinch my husband to make sure we’re not dreaming,” said Donna Waryga, 62, who moved to Latitude Margaritaville from the Philadelphia area with her husband Walt, 66, in November.
“It has been way beyond our wildest expectations,” the self-employed travel agent who works out of her home said of living in the Jimmy Buffett-themed active adult community.
Waryga said the opportunity to live near the beach and the planned amenities, including a residents-only town center and private beach club were what initially appealed her and her husband.
But what they have found they enjoy most about living at Latitude Margaritaville are the other residents.
“The people, we love everybody on our street. We feel the camaraderie,” she said, adding that they typically wind up chatting extensively with neighbors whenever they pick up their mail and enjoy going on organized outings including bowling at Ormond Lanes or Happy Hour visits to nearby restaurants such as Bahama Breeze or 31 Supper Club.