Tribune Print Share Text

Introducing Tallgrass Creek

What to expect during your first visit to the Overland Park community

Created date

March 22nd, 2018
Sales Counselor Elaine Bahr (right) shows Joe and Cozette Spurney where their new home is located in Hummingbird Square, Tallgrass Creek’s newest residence building. The Spurneys just moved to Tallgrass Creek in March.

Sales Counselor Elaine Bahr (right) shows Joe and Cozette Spurney where their new home is located in Hummingbird Square, Tallgrass Creek’s newest residence building. The Spurneys just moved to Tallgrass Creek in March.


Tallgrass Creek Sales Counselor Elaine Bahr has several accomplishments under her belt, but one stands out.

“I’ve had the honor of introducing Tallgrass Creek to so many people, including almost everyone who moved these past few months to Hummingbird Square,” says Bahr. “I’ve met some amazing people with amazing stories.”   

Hummingbird Square is the fourth residence building at Tallgrass Creek, a retirement community in Overland Park, Kans., owned and operated by Baltimore, Md.-based Erickson Living. About a hundred new residents have moved to Hummingbird Square since the building opened its doors in October.

These days, Bahr continues to introduce prospective residents to all four of Tallgrass Creek’s residence buildings. Goldfinch Lane, the community’s fifth building, is scheduled to open later this year. Goldfinch Lane offers 78 spacious apartment homes featuring 12 different designs, including several floor plans back by popular demand.

We caught up with Bahr recently to find out what potential residents can expect from their first visit to Tallgrass Creek.

Tribune: So how do you introduce Tallgrass Creek to a prospective resident?

Bahr: Well, I listen a lot. Everyone’s emotional, financial, and social situation is different so every initial meeting is different. Some people are interested in moving this year or even next year so I tailor the meeting to what our guests want to know.

I’m always happy to show our model apartments; the fitness center with its indoor, temperature-controlled swimming pool; and our restaurant and other more casual eating areas. I’ve hosted people interested in seeing the woodshop, creative arts studio, and full-service spa and salon, so we cover what’s most important to visitors.

Tribune: How long does that first meeting last?

Bahr: A visit and tour will usually take around an hour and a half, but I’m very cognizant of people’s time. I want our visitors’ questions answered, but I never ignore their personal schedules.

Tribune: Are there any misconceptions you’ve encountered from first-time visitors?

Bahr: (smiles) Yes, there are. First, some visitors have been delighted to note there is absolutely no pressure in these meetings. As I said, I listen a lot and make sure our guests leave with the information they want. If they choose to tour, I really want them to get a feel for what life is like here.

Also, some visitors have a misconception that today’s retirement communities are what their own parents or grandparents may have experienced decades ago. People are surprised and gratified to see how active the people who live here are and all the different social, educational, and physical activities that are available.

Tribune: What are visitors most interested in knowing about?

Bahr: (laughs) Well, like most of us, food! We now have three different dining venues, including our newest restaurant, Milo’s Cafe and Market. Milo’s was named after Tallgrass Creek’s very first community member.

I specifically talk about our Signature Dining program, which features fresh, made-to-order menu offerings. It means all food is prepared at time of service rather than in large batches and kept warm.

We love to host visitors at lunch or dinner so they can experience the quality of our food and the flexibility of our dining program.

People are also curious about physical fitness opportunities. They’re surprised we have so many weekly land and aquatics exercise classes—28 to be exact—for all levels of experience and ability.    

Finally, guests frequently express concern about moving, sometimes from a large family home they have lived in for years. So I always cover the benefits of our Erickson Living Realty and Moving Services, which allows access to Tallgrass Creek Personal Moving Consultant Nancy Worthington. She provides complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of real estate professionals.

I also mention our Move On Us program that allows incoming Tallgrass Creek residents to earn up to a $2,000 credit on their account once they’re living at the community.

Tribune: What surprises first-time guests most?

Bahr: That’s easy. They’re surprised by how friendly, upbeat, and welcoming community members are. Many times, they’ll ask residents they pass by while we’re touring about everyday life at Tallgrass Creek and are encouraged by the answers.

They’re also surprised when I show them the monthly activity calendar, which details when each of the 65 resident-driven clubs, activities, and special events happen each month. Activities at Tallgrass Creek cover everything from nature-centered day trips to educational gatherings led by professionals.

Tribune: Are most residents from either Kansas or Missouri?

Bahr: Well, many are. But we have residents from both coasts and everywhere in between who moved to be closer to their children. I had one resident from New York comment just the other day she now knows what the term Midwestern hospitality means.

Tribune: What do you want prospective residents to know when they leave Tallgrass Creek?

Bahr: I want them to know our sales team is with them every step of the way should they join us. We offer home visits so we can give direction and advice about how to simplify their move and much, much more. We all work together to make it as stress-free as possible.

I also want prospective residents to know that if they’re interested in moving to Tallgrass Creek now or later, it’s a great idea to join the priority list.

But mostly, I want them to feel how special this place is, both inside and out. Tallgrass Creek is a wonderful place that truly sells itself.

What is the priority list?

The priority list is composed of people who plan to move to an Erickson Living community like Tallgrass Creek. All it takes is a fully refundable $1,000 deposit and a $150-per-person, nonrefundable application fee to reserve a residence.

When prospective residents submit their deposit, that date is noted as their priority list date. Once their preferred floor plan becomes available, the sales team gives first right of refusal to priority list members based on their joining date.