by Cheri Nelson, July 13, 2019
I had the pleasure of attending the Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) meeting on July 12, 2019. The meeting was held in the lobby of the Woodlands with Chairperson, Pam Avila presiding. Also in attendance were two guest speakers – Kevin Sexton, HSVPOA Director of Tourism and Community Affairs and Dr. Doug Rossi, Chief Medical Officer at CHI St. Vincent.
Sexton discussed Discovery Packages
In an HSVPOA staff outreach effort, Mr. Sexton discussed the effectiveness of the Discovery Packages. Discovery Package yearly sale totals in 2018 were 19 Golf and 18 non-golf. The POA’s goal for 2019 is to sell at least 50 Discovery Packages. Thus far this year, through June 30, 39 Discovery Packages have been completed. Eleven were golf packages and 28 were without the golf component. As of June 12th, the total number of Discovery Packages scheduled for the entire year is 55.
Other marketing strategies
Other marketing efforts mentioned by Mr. Sexton were the Volunteer Host Program, which now has 24 volunteers participating, the new RV Discovery Package, which was initiated last week, and the Diamante Stay and Play Discovery Package that is being promoted by Diamante.
HSVPOA partnered with Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism to promote HSV
Sexton said the POA has attended promotional marketing events sponsored by Ideal Living, in Kansas City, Chicago, and Dallas. By partnering with the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, HSVPOA was able to man a booth at these shows with the state covering the cost of the booth. The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism focus is on promoting to retirees, as they recognize the large number of “Baby Boomers” that have or will be reaching retirement age in the near future. Mr. Sexton was relatively strong in his encouragement that the marketing of this demographic was key to increasing households in the Village.
Nalley – not all retirees are able to relocate
Ms. Nalley stated that while this demographic is large, the POA has come to the realization that with the previous housing crisis of 2008, not all retirees have the financial stability to make a transition to a new area. As an example, she cited that many are living in areas where it is nearly impossible to sell their current homes, thus limiting their ability to move.
Also, many in this demographic do not have the financial stability of a pension or other retirement savings which would allow them the freedom to relocate. In addition, many “Baby Boomers” are in the unfortunate position of not only caring for their children/grandchildren but also must provide care for elderly parents. Because of this, “Baby Boomers” are sometimes referred to as the “Sandwich” Generation.
Dr. Rossi announced a merger with Dignity Health
As part of CHI St. Vincent’s outreach program, Dr. Rossi relayed that CHI has now merged with Dignity Health which is located in California, Washington, and Wyoming. This makes CHI part of the largest non-profit health care system within the United States. For the time being CHI’s name will remain the same but the merger will, in his view, allow them to provide better services.
New medical provider coming to HSV
Dr. Rossi went on to discuss CHI’s prestigious status within Arkansas, mentioning some of the honors the facility in Hot Springs has recently received. CHI is committed to providing health care to Hot Springs Village and announced there will be a new Medical Provider located within the Village, starting in September.
Dr. Rossi opened the floor to discussion and HSVPOA Board Member, Mike Medica, inquired about CHI increasing their presence in the Village, in order to ensure that Villagers understand what services will be available.
I asked Dr. Rossi if CHI would consider expanding the urgent care facility hours to provide better coverage for HSV. As we all know, the majority of injuries and illnesses do not happen between 9 and 5 Monday through Friday. He acknowledged that it was an option to be considered but that they were not at this time looking into that possibility.
Once the guest presentations were completed they moved on to other business :
Jones talks about Balboa Marina
Greg Jones presented a brief synopsis of plans for Balboa Marina. Mr. Jones intends to present these plans to the ACC within the next couple of weeks and is hoping to break ground for the new facility within a couple of weeks after ACC approval.
Mr. Jones, in his role as committee liaison for the Broadband Improvements Project, and Ms. Nalley spoke briefly about their search for improved broadband services. Ms. Nalley stated that she has had contact with a couple of broadband providers recently and anticipates the timeline for improvement is 18 months out.
Keck and Yurik discuss 2020 Census and Mt. Carmel
Committee members Keith Keck and Jerry Yurik also discussed the upcoming 2020 Census. Mt. Carmel Community will not be included in the HSV boundaries, per the Saline County Judge’s decision.
50th Anniversary Committee update
A 50th Anniversary Committee member stated that the Logo for the Anniversary is completed. The official anniversary date is April 20th, although starting in January, there will be events throughout the year. The 50th Anniversary Committee is discussing the option of having various government officials such as the governor, state senators, and other dignitaries attend the celebration, most likely on the official date of April 20th.
The meeting was then adjourned.
by Cheri Nelson, July 13, 2019
Edited and formatted by Cheryl Dowden