As life slowly returns to normal, Tom Smith, Executive Director at River Landing at Sandy Ridge, says the community is just hitting its stride when it comes to realizing everything that the new clubhouse and expanded wellness center have to offer. 

The much-anticipated clubhouse opened in early 2020, just in time for the pandemic, with two new dining options, a pro shop and well-appointed meeting spaces. “The last event we had at the clubhouse before the pandemic was our Employee Awards Ceremony in early March of 2020,” explains Tom. “And the first event at the clubhouse since emerging was the 2021 Employee Awards Ceremony in June.”

Wellness also got a boost during the pandemic as the wellness center expanded to offer new classrooms, a Workout Zone, an indoor walking track and pickle ball courts.

While people outside of the community haven’t been able to enjoy the clubhouse and wellness center, the residents and staff have been thrilled to have these new and expanded facilities available for a variety of reasons. One big reason is the increased ability to serve the additional residents who moved into River Landing over the past 18 months as part of the community’s recent expansion.

With so many new residents successfully moved in since December of 2019, having the new clubhouse and expanded wellness center was essential to keeping everyone — residents and staff — active and engaged. In Tom’s words, “it’s been a real blessing.”

As an example, Tom points to a particular favorite activity among residents and staff. “Pickle ball is the big new sport here,” Tom says. “It is amazing how many residents we have playing now on a daily basis. I think we have 50 residents who play. Maybe two-thirds of those people didn’t know what pickle ball was before we started.

“I didn’t really know what it was and now you’re talking to avid pickle ball players here,” he adds, referring to himself, Lisa Waite (associate executive director), and other staff members.

However, the real benefits of having these new and enhanced amenities are just starting to blossom as activities, classes and dining options continue to open up. “We’re slowly working on programming, with chorus, EnLighten lifelong learning and other classes,” he explains. This includes expanding existing programs to provide more opportunities for more residents.

“We even have a new game room with arcade games, table tennis…” says Tom. “We just ordered a new skee-ball game, which our residents’ grandkids will really enjoy.”

Back at the clubhouse, residents have been able to indulge in its two unique dining options — the Overlook Restaurant and the Hilltop Pub. Each offers a distinct menu ranging from the Overlook’s refined variety of creative fare and healthful options to Hilltop’s offerings of pub favorites. “For example, we had a mint julep party for the Kentucky Derby,” says Tom. But starting in August, residents will finally be allowed to have outside family members join them for a meal. 

The mood is definitely upbeat,” says Tom. “We’re getting to a point where even the most hesitant residents are more comfortable participating. It’s very exciting for everyone.”

Future residents are invited to tour the new clubhouse and the wellness center every Thursday in July. RSVP by calling 336-389-4107.

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