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On-the-spot answers

The Tribune sits in on a Wind Crest sales event. This is what we heard.

Created date

October 13th, 2017
Photo of a female resident in a community garden, one of the many amenities at Wind Crest.

Wind Crest has more than 100 clubs and activities, including gardening. The community provides garden squares on the west side of campus so you don’t have to give up gardening when you give up lawn maintenance.


The living room in Wind Crest’s clubhouse buzzes with conversation as people researching their retirement living options gather in several groups of 10 to 12. A resident ambassador answers questions about life at the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

In one group, an adult daughter and her mother ask about the financial structure and continuing care options. In another, the topic is a bit lighter—what activities are available on campus? In another, the discussion covers local transportation and travel groups. 

Asking questions and getting on-the-spot answers is one of the best reasons to visit and tour Wind Crest. Knowledgeable staff members are on hand as well as the people who live there, who offer honest, firsthand answers and insight. 

Visitors tour available apartment homes and have the opportunity to join the priority list or reserve an available apartment. At the informative luncheon for prospective residents, a delicious, chef-prepared meal is included for a taste of what life could be like without having to cook all the time.

The Tribune attended one of Wind Crest’s recent events for first- and second-time visitors. Here’s what we heard.

Visitor: What are some of the activities available on campus? Could you give some examples? 

Sales Counselor Molly Thorne: We have over a hundred activities. You’ll find quilting groups, arts and crafts, theater, singing, current events discussion groups, walking groups, the wood shop, gardening, continuing education classes, religious groups, language groups, and political groups. We have people who play water volleyball, billiards, golf. You name it, we have it here. And if we don’t, you can start it. 

Visitor: And we have access to all of that? What about our guests? 

Thorne: Residents and their guests have access to all amenities. It’s included in your monthly service package, which also covers property taxes, a flexible meal plan, utilities, 24/7 home maintenance and security, cable television, and parking. You are also free to use any number of your meals for your guests. 

Visitor: What is the average percentage of increase to the monthly service package year over year? 

Sales Director Jason Atwell: Over the past ten years, we have averaged a monthly service package increase of around 3.5%. We encourage residents to plan for a 3%–5% yearly increase to cover cost of living adjustments and to continue delivering a high level of service to our residents. 

It’s also worth noting that the monthly service package stays constant for the entire year, so you can easily budget your monthly living expenses, and you only have one bill to pay rather than keeping track of several. You’ll never have to worry about “surprise” repair bills to your home or any HOA “assessments” at Wind Crest.

Visitor: What about if we need continuing care? How much does that cost? 

Atwell: Continuing care costs depend on your level of care. We are a fee-for-service community, so each level of care has different pricing. This way, you’re not paying for services you don’t need. 

If you need skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care, long-term care, or just some help in your home with medications, you can get those levels of care here on campus in Mill Vista Lodge, our on-site continuing care neighborhood. 

Also keep in mind that only about 4%–5% of independent living residents need assisted living care. That speaks highly to what happens in independent living—dining, activities, fitness opportunities, and medical care all contribute to longevity and independence.

Visitor: How is the food? 

Thorne: Wind Crest consistently ranks number one among all 19 Erickson Living communities for dining services. We have several new restaurants in our new neighborhood, including Windows, Timberline Tavern, Burton’s Steakhouse, and Blue Sky Café. Ask our residents. You’ll most likely hear they love the food—and not having to cook. 

Visitor: What’s the benefit of joining the priority list? 

Atwell: The priority list is a way to get the apartment home of your choice. If you want a specific floor plan or location, the priority list puts you in line for getting your first choice. With our continued popularity, being flexible with your your home preferences will get you in sooner. 

It’s also a great way to attend more events so you can really get to know your future neighbors and the community before you move in. It makes the transition that much easier. 

Thorne: Priority list members can also attend additional exclusive events like seminars by Personal Moving Consultant Beth Brandenburg, who will walk you through the next steps of meeting with real estate agents, downsizers, and movers. 

Visitor: What services does Brandenburg provide, and does it cost anything? 

Personal Moving Consultant Beth Brandenburg: Every Erickson Living community has its own local personal moving consultant. I’m the personal moving consultant here at Wind Crest. I provide complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a real estate professional. 

I meet with prospective community members in their homes, armed with a magnetic floor plan of their new apartment. We choose which existing furniture pieces to bring. Then I measure them out and place the to-scale pieces on the magnetic floor plan to show exactly where and what will fit.

Visitor: How do you join the priority list? 

Atwell: You make a $1,000 refundable deposit along with a $150-per-person, nonrefundable application fee. The $1,000 is either applied toward your entrance deposit when you reserve an apartment, or returned to you should you find that Wind Crest isn’t the right fit. 

The 90% entrance deposit goes to your estate, or if you decide to leave, the deposit is returned to you once the apartment is reoccupied (the Residence and Care Agreement has full details).

Thorne: The priority list is really a great way to get to know whether Wind Crest is right for you, and the best part is it’s completely noncommittal.