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A tale of two communities

Highland Springs and Eagle’s Trace residents meet for the first time

Created date

November 26th, 2013
Eagles Trace residents meet Highland Springs

Texans vs. Cowboys. Astros vs. Rangers. Reliant Arena vs. Jerry s World. When it comes to Texas rivalries, Houston and Dallas can be fiercely competitive. But on a crisp, fall day, those tensions were all but erased as representatives from each city shared a meal and an afternoon of lively conversation. Thirty-five residents of Eagle s Trace, an Erickson Living community in West Houston, paid a late September visit to their sister community, Highland Springs, in North Dallas. This was the first time we ve taken a group of residents to Highland Springs, says Tina Felps, community resources coordinator at Eagle s Trace. We enjoyed an overnight trip to Dallas, which included visits to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Before heading back down Interstate 45, the group stopped at Highland Springs for lunch and a tour of the North Dallas community. Members of the Highland Springs Resident Advisory Council and their spouses were on hand to welcome the guests.

Compare and contrast

For most of the Houston guests, the trip marked their first visit to another Erickson Living community. I was keen to see how Highland Springs compared to Eagle s Trace, says Camilla Nichols, who moved to the West Houston community in February 2008. The two clubhouses resemble each other, with a few changes in d cor and the location of certain rooms. The comparisons continued as residents of both communities shared a meal of assorted sandwiches and salads, topped off with key lime pie. We re similar in many ways, said Highland Springs Executive Director Matt Neville as he greeted the guests from Eagle s Trace. Eagle s Trace and Highland Springs opened within a year of each other. Both communities opened a continuing care neighborhood this year. And we offer comparable amenities and activities. Still, Neville couldn t help but mention the Texas Rangers had bested the Houston Astros the night before, although he was quick to add the score was a close 3-2. Barbara Blachly, community resources coordinator at Highland Springs, says more joint ventures are in the works for residents of the two Texas communities. We re planning a trip to Galveston in December 2014, says Blachly. We d love to stop in Houston and pick up any Eagle s Trace residents who are interested in joining us.

Same motivation for moving

Bill Williams, a retired vice chairman of KPMG accounting firm, moved to Eagle s Trace when it opened in 2005. At Highland Springs, he was intrigued to see founder John Erickson s vision playing out in another community besides his own. I started following John Erickson in the early 1980s when he opened his first retirement community in Maryland, says Bill. I liked the idea of having all the amenities a medical center, a fitness center, a pharmacy, a bank, and restaurants under one roof. I did my research before I moved to Eagle s Trace, and I still think Erickson Living is the best model out there. As Bill took in the friendly atmosphere at Highland Springs, he noted that residents, whether they live in Houston or Dallas, chose their communities because they valued the Erickson Living lifestyle. It s impressive to see it in action, says Bill. I m glad to be part of it.