Erickson Foundation opening retreat in Maine

BUSINESS DIGEST

May 23, 2008|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,SUN REPORTER

Catonsville-based Erickson Foundation is opening a vacation retreat in Maine that will focus on helping recent and soon-to-be retirees map out the next phase of their lives.

The foundation, a nonprofit associated with the chain of retirement communities run by Erickson Retirement Communities, purchased the 380-acre Point Lookout retreat on Penobscot Bay in Northport in December and plans a grand opening in July, an Erickson spokesman said yesterday.

Point Lookout was built in the 1990s as a corporate retreat and conference center for credit card company MBNA, which was acquired by Bank of America. The foundation purchased the 380-acre site from Bank of America.

Point Lookout is the newest venture for John Erickson, the company's chairman and chief executive, and represents an extension of the core business of developing and managing retirement communities such as Charlestown in Catonsville and Oak Crest in Parkville, said the spokesman, Mel Tansill.

Guests in their 60s and 70s will have access to a structured program on how to make the transition to retirement while staying at the resort, which features 106 guest cabins, a fitness center and gymnasium, a bowling alley, tennis courts, state-of -the art conference facilities and six miles of scenic trails.

"Say you have a person who's been professional and they've done that all their career and spending 40 to 60 hours a week, and now ... their career is coming to an end but they still have an immense amount of talent and ability," said Rick Grindrod, president of Erickson developing enterprises. "We will bring those folks to do a physical, psychological and avocational assessment and give them feedback on what their next horizon might be."

He said that program would be marketed to individuals as well as corporations that would contract to send soon-to-retire employees. He said he would expect 400 to 500 guests to register for the program in its first year of operation. Point Lookout will also serve as a satellite campus for The Erickson School of Aging, Management and Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Erickson will also market the facility to corporations and educational institutions that could use it as a conference center and run seminars or summits with a focus on aging.

Point Lookout fits into the Erickson's mission of inspiring senior citizens to have a higher quality of life, Tansill said. The company has expanded beyond retirement communities with ventures such as the Retirement Living TV network.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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