Article Courtesy of The
Daytona Beach News-Journal
By Clayton Park
Published June 3, 2018
DAYTONA BEACH — Latitude Margaritaville made national headlines last year when
it was first announced.
Now, the planned Jimmy Buffett-themed 55-and-older community has earned another
national accolade: it has been named the nation’s most popular active adult
community of 2018.
Chicago, Illinois-based 55Places.com gave
it a No. 1 ranking in its list of the country’s 100 Most
Popular Active Adult Communities.
Of course, Lana Byer could’ve told you that.
The 71-year-old retiree originally from Pittsburgh became
one of the first residents to move into Latitude
Margaritaville Daytona Beach in April. The community, which
has been steadily adding residents since March, is now home
to several dozen people, both singles and couples.
“I absolutely love it. I know I’m going to be very, very
happy here,” said Byer. “My neighbors are wonderful. We’re
already socializing all the time.”
Other Florida communities to make the 55Places.com’s top
10 included Ocala’s On Top of the World at No. 2, The Villages at No. 7 and
Kissimmee’s Solivita at No. 8.
“After Minto Communities and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Holdings
announced in February 2017 that Latitude Margaritaville would be the first
active adult community to be inspired by Buffett’s music and lifestyle,
interest skyrocketed quickly,” stated 55Places.com in a news release
Thursday. “No active adult community received more page views on
55Places.com during this time frame and it received four times as many
inquiries as any other community.”
55Places.com describes itself as the No. 1 resource for information about
active adult communities in the United States, offering “unbiased
information and reviews,” as well as photos, videos, descriptions, floor
plans and listings of homes for sale.
Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach welcomed its first residents in March.
More than 330 homes have been sold so far, with two dozen now occupied, said
Bill Bullock, president of Minto’s Latitude Margaritaville division.
The community already has an activities director on duty who has been
organizing group outings, including trips to see Daytona Beach Tortugas
baseball games, free concerts at the Daytona Beach Bandshell and meals at
“We just got together at Stonewood (on LPGA) and there were so many of us,
we took over the entire sports bar area,” Byer said.
“This is a completely different culture,” Byer said of life at Latitude
Margaritaville, compared to living in Lakeland, where she lived the first 12
years of her retirement. “People really want to get to know each other and
mingle. In Lakeland, people tended to keep to themselves.”
The top ranking by 55Places.com “reinforces what our prospective buyers have
been telling us and what our current residents are enjoying,” Bullock said.
“We are honored by this recognition.”
Minto is currently starting construction on an average of nine new homes a
week, Bullock said.
Latitude Margaritaville, upon full buildout, will ultimately extend north to
State Road 40.
Each of the two phases will have its own Latitude Town Square complete with
resort-style amenities, including a Paradise Pool, a Latitude Bar & Chill
restaurant, Changes in Attitude poolside bar, a Fins Up fitness center, an
amphitheater for live music, arts-and-crafts and wellness programs, a Last
Mango Theatre for dances and banquets, a Barkaritaville dog park and pet
spa, a Workin’ N’ Playin’ center, a workshop for golf cart maintenance and
repairs, pickleball, tennis and bocce ball courts and walking trails.
It will also offer a private oceanfront club in Ormond-by-the-Sea that will
be accessible to residents via a continuously operating loop shuttle.
The initial phase of the town square is expected to open in spring 2019,
said Paula Robertson, a spokeswoman for Minto.
Sutton Properties also plans to break ground this summer on a Publix grocery
store-anchored Latitude Landings retail center at the south entrance to
Latitude Margaritaville, on the corner of LPGA Boulevard and the new
partially completed south extension of Tymber Creek Road. The road extension
will eventually be built out to connect with where Tymber Creek Road
currently ends just south of State Road 40.
Minto and Margaritaville Holdings also plan to build Latitude Margaritaville
communities in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and in the Florida Panhandle,
near Panama City Beach.
For a complete list of 55Places.com’s 100 most popular active adult
communities, go to