A group of investors hopes to build a lavish 120 unit assisted living home in Ocoee, FL . They plan to request funding from the Ocoee City Commission on June 18th in the form of tax-exempt bonds. Up to $35 million.
Why is this newsworthy?
Two of the principals have direct connections to the professional sports world. The project is targeting former NFL and NHL players with memory problems. The long-term goal is to open a home in every city with a professional football team.
Would this marketing gimmick work?
Apparently yes. The mayor of Ocoee thinks the project would be a “coup.” He thinks the jobs created by the project would be a boon to the city. This is the rational every politician uses for public/private investments. It’s not necessary.
It could work but…
Surely other gimmicky businesses with celebrity ties have prospered (Planet Hollywood, the Hard Rock Cafe, etc.). However, they did not apply for tax-exempt bonds to finance their endeavors. All Sports Memory Care plans to make 20% of the beds available to low-income residents to qualify for public funding.
AllSports Senior Living has a sweeping, confused mandate for the Ocoee memory care center. They hope to attract brain injured athletes who would willingly place themselves under the care of researchers from affiliated hospitals and universities. No potential affiliate has yet supported the center. They also haven’t offered an estimate of their prospect’s numbers. Professional athletes are a minuscule part of the population. Is there a critical mass that would sustain this project? My guess is no. Their marketing strategy neglects “regular” folks.
The company explains the project this way: “Our concept offers a unique vision for an Assisted Living Facility that combines, world class healthcare with a combination of Cruise Ship theme meets Sports Entertainment theme of brick and mortar.”
AllSports Senior Living will probably undertake a feasibility study (if they have not done so already). It is possible they have a sound business plan. They might get approval for the bonds and go on to make the memory center successful. Then the other centers in NFL cities would follow…
But, I wouldn’t buy stock in this company. The most successful developers do market research. Their findings determine what they build. AllSports doesn’t seem to have done their homework.