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Vigneto marketing will include tourism draw

San Pedro Valley News-Sun of Benson, Arizona

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BISBEE — As a marketing strategy for Villages at Vigneto — the large-scale, master-planned community being proposed for Benson — the developer will be working closely with the region's chambers of commerce and tourism groups in promoting Cochise County and the surrounding region.

Standing before the Cochise County Tourism Council on Wednesday, Mike Reinbold, the principal of El Dorado Benson LLC, talked about why Cochise County is ideal for a project like Vigneto, a development that will include such amenities as a town core with boutiques and restaurants, a golf course, parks, trails, open spaces, amphitheater, and more.

Reinbold said the development will be modeled after a successful large-scale community in full large-scale community in Ocala, Fla. — the Villages (of Ocala) — offering the residents a lifestyle, not just a place to live.

"In my mind, the Villages of Ocala is the premiere active adult community in the nation," Reinbold said. "And the reason they're successful, is they don't sell real estate....They sell lifestyles."

He pointed to findings of two recent studies that indicate Cochise County has been ranked in the top 1 percent of places to live throughout the country, with 3,111 counties considered. In addition, it has been ranked as Arizona's top county, said Reinbold.

He also touched on the tremendous support the proposed 28,000-home development has received from local businesses and economists since El Dorado announced its intention to build the project on a 12,300-acre property along State Route 90, formerly known as Whetstone Ranch.

"We have the support of four counties and 15 or more towns and cities," said Reinbold. "That kind of support says to the nation, 'this region is open for business.'" He also noted that it's rare for development activities to receive such support, as it's typically reserved for major manufacturers.

"So, a big part of what we see in our marketing is promoting the region and working collectively with all the different (tourism) groups to best get our story out there," he said. "Not just the story of Vigne-to, but the story of why you should live in this region."

When asked how he expects Benson to attract buyers for a project the size of Vi-gnetto, which proposes to build and sell 2,000 homes a year, Reinbold said he believes the region's natural beauty, appealing climate and local attractions will be its greatest selling point and plans onto capitalize on the area's "natural amenities."

He noted that in Phoenix, where the warm climate is a big draw for retirees, a large percentage of active adults live in Phoenix during the winter months, but leave in the summer. Because of its temperate climate, Cochise County is expected to be an attractive option for active adults wanting to invest in a place where they can live year round. Reinbold says he sees the region's mild climate, coupled with its natural beauty, as a big draw.

"Once people come here and see the region for the first time, they will want to come back," Reinbold is convinced. "Cochise County's climate is far more appealing than what other active adult, large-scale communities, such as the Ocala development in Florida and even (the city of) Maricopa offer," said Reinbold, who frequently points to the tremendous growth those two communities have enjoyed through the years.

Vigneto will be 85 percent active adult and 15 percent conventional housing, and is expected to take about 18 years to build-out. It will be marketed throughout North America, including Mexico, Reinbold said, adding that Vigneto's marketing campaign is going to be extensive and will be starting in 2016.

Once people come here and see the region for the first time, they will want to come back.

Mike Reinbold, Principal of El Dorado Benson LLC

Copyright 2015 San Pedro Valley News-Sun, Benson, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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