This is one of the findings in a research report commissioned by a US property developer currently building a spa-centred "wellness community" development in Florida. Golf course communities are on the wane, says Canyon Ranch, Americans now want spas close by, fed by cycle paths.

Majority of Americans want to live within cycling distance of shops and amenities

The study was commissioned by Canyon Ranch, an operator of health resorts and spa facilities, and American LIVES, Inc., a market research firm.

"Baby boomers are aging well, and with a desire to live an integrated lifestyle in a wellness community that effortlessly incorporates physical and spiritual wellness into daily living," said Canyon Ranch VP Kevin M. Kelly.

"Canyon Ranch recognizes this need and now, armed with the validating research from this study, is moving ahead with Canyon Ranch Living, a Miami Beach oceanfront healthy living community slated to open in 2005. This is the next logical step in the evolution of lifestyle retirement communities — and differentiates itself from the golf communities that currently exist. Canyon Ranch Living is a viable and preferable choice for living healthy, raising families and feeling a strong sense of community."

Kelly commissioned American LIVES to test a new community concept based on: multi-cultural neighborhoods that foster community interaction; healthy living and wellness in daily life; cultural and educational opportunities; and planning and design sensitive to the environment.

8400 adults took part in the survey. 61 percent agreed they would like to have a spa and "wellness centre" near where they lived.

72 percent of those asked said they wanted to live within walking or biking distance of local stores, even if the goods cost a little more.

The first Canyon Ranch Living community project is six acres of oceanfront property in Miami Beach, and when opened in 2005 will have 151 condo-hotel suites and 467 condo residences

Canyon Ranch Living residents will have access to a 60,000sq ft spa as well as a ‘Health & Healing Center’. The development will also feature include walking and biking paths along the beach

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