By Michelle Caceres
Just because Encore at FishHawk Ranch is a 55 and over community, don’t assume that its residents sit around all day playing bridge.
Well, in all honesty, they do have a weekly Bridge night, but it’s sandwiched in between Pickleball, line dancing, Yoga and aqua fitness classes. Let’s not forget Wine Down Wednesdays. In fact, residents are given a monthly activity calendar so chock-full of entertainment options, life here can seem more like a vacation than the daily grind.
The hub of this community is The Oasis Lifestyle Club, 5,000-sq. ft. complete with full-time activities director Sandy Acevedo, a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, resort-style lap pool, bocce, pickle ball courts and basketball gym.
When Dee Haupt made the decision to move from Pinellas County to FishHawk to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren, she immediately fell in love with the vibrant community.
“Sometimes I’m up at the Oasis Lifestyle Club two or three times a day, taking yoga and line dancing classes or playing Bridge,” said Haupt. “I had no idea there were so many activities.”
Haupt finds herself attending most of them, as do many other residents.
Resident and author Ed Blash heads up the breakfast and board game clubs. He gets his daily work-out in at the gym.
“I wasn’t looking for a social center, but I’m pleased with all the options,” he said. “You really have the choice here to be as social as you want.”
With a calendar that changes every month, one might think it is difficult to come up with fun and unique events tailored to the over-50 set.
“Not so,” said Acevedo, who once worked at the Y.M.C.A., and was accustomed to hosting large gatherings and coming up with new activities. Holidays are easy but it’s the days in between that can prove more challenging. August’s party is a Cheeseburger in Paradise party. “My staff and I start thinking about an activity and our brains just go crazy,” she said.
The 240-home community currently has 42 occupied homes but are selling quickly.
Homes in Encore at FishHawk Ranch, built by David Weekley Homes and situated on 50’ homesites, start in the high $280’s and feature expanded outdoor living areas and inviting living spaces, great for entertaining and connecting with friends.