‘Hotspot’ listing a challenge to do even better

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 27, 2009

From time to time we learn that a magazine or television show has celebrated Vicksburg. For example, as we reported earlier this month, Vicksburg is one of more than a half-dozen Mississippi cities and towns named a top location for retirees by Charlotte, N.C.-based Retirement Lifestyles. Our city will join Madison, Oxford and towns on the Gulf Coast as “Southern Retirement Hotspots” in the magazine’s first issue in 2010.

Almost every time Vicksburg attains such a listing, voices of skepticism rise.

They shouldn’t.

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Vicksburg was lauded for its culture, affordability and sense of community. Oxford was highlighted as an active college town and for its downtown, while Madison was noted for its suburban location near Jackson. The magazine noted the entire Gulf Coast, including Gulfport, Biloxi, Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Long Beach and Pascagoula, calling that area “affordable and stable.”

As the article notes, retirees will be the fastest-growing segment of the population in decades to come. The article, specifically, said the magazine was featuring smaller towns that are “under the radar” of the national media to highlight.

While the recognition is welcome, it should also be seen as a challenge. People who really care about this community will react by working with others to see that existing assets for retirees are preserved or enhanced and that more are added.