Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun
Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 | 1:59 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Councilwoman Linda Strickland was not surprised to see Boulder City named among the 25 Best Places to Retire by Money magazine. She understands the appeal of the quiet town of about 16,000 situated between Lake Mead and Las Vegas.
What surprised her was one of the statistics the magazine cited: that 49 percent of the town's residents are older than 50.
That was, she said, "until I realized that I'm over 50 and there's a lot of people I know my age."
Boulder City was ranked No. 6 on Money's 2009 list of Best Places to Retire, which was based on affordable housing, medical care, tax rates and arts and leisure, magazine spokeswoman Amy Rosen said.
"Among the reasons the writers liked Boulder City is that it is in Nevada and a short drive to Las Vegas if that's one's preference to visit," she said.
The magazine's brief write-up on Boulder City mentioned Bootleg Canyon, Lake Mead, the two municipal golf courses, the indoor swimming pool and racquetball courts among the town's amenities making it attractive.
Those factors were the tie-breakers, she said.
"They were looking at the baby boomers that are retiring that might be interested in a more active retirement lifestyle," she said.
Boulder City's director of parks and recreation understands that focus.
Roger Hall, 56, said he often sees older residents on the River Mountain Trail hiking or walking, as well as on the 35 miles of hiking trails at Bootleg Canyon. Hall has ridden some of Bootleg's bicycle trails — the cross-country ones, not the downhill ones, mind you.
He doesn't hesitate to rattle off the amenities Money missed: the stocked fishing pond at Veterans Memorial Park, the fitness center, tai chi classes in the park, the arts center and softball fields.
Don Sanders, 62, sees plenty of people of his generation at the BC Adventure Bicycles shop on Arizona Street. His retirement to Boulder City 4 1/2 years ago was accidental.
"We lived in Phoenix for 30 years," he said. "It got too crowded, and we ended up here."
He sees retirees from Summerlin come to Boulder City for weekends, he said. They bring their bikes and relax for a weekend. He gets that.
"That's why my wife and I stayed," he said. "The laid-back, comfortable atmosphere."
Christina Frausto, 57, and her husband, Joe, 54, appreciate that atmosphere as well. They moved to Boulder City one month ago from Southern California, Christina Frausto said, and they are loving it.
"We like the friendliness. It's definitely a culture shock for the better," she said.
Her husband joined the Police Department's Citizens Academy to learn more about city government, and "He's just been blown away by the low level of crime and the ease with which you can talk to people in the city," she said.
It's quiet, people obey traffic laws, and it's easy to walk and ride bikes, she said.
In fact, she bought a mountain bike and is eyeing the Bootleg Canyon trails.
"And I'm trying to get up the courage to do the zip lines," she said.
Sanders said maybe Boulder City shouldn't publicize its strengths too much.
"Because then we'll be overrun by retirees," he said.