St. George, Utah is one of the fastest growing retirement locations in the United States. Once called the “Dixie” of Utah because of a cotton-growing experiment, this southwestern Utah town sits near Interstate Highway Fifteen (I-15) today. Because the locale has appealed to the Baby Boom generation, both as a vacation spot and as a place to retire, it has also become a mecca for their offspring, the Millennial Generation.
The Me Generation
The Baby Boom generation has had it quite good. The generation before them lead America into the unheard-of classification of a super power after being on the winning side of World War II. That generation then went to work, creating an international surge of industry that reaped unparalleled financial gains. Their offspring, the Baby Boomers, were born into a time of plenty. Baby boomers, because of their sheer numbers, disrupted everything. They accumulated more wealth, across social lines, than any generation of Americans before them. Because they had the money to do it, they expanded the art of the vacation, acquiring time share condominiums during the airline travel boom, which complemented the expanding American Interstate highway system. With money, the means to travel, and the desire to see it all and have it all, life was good and how could tomorrow be anything but better? Alas, the rest of the world recovered from World War II. Now we have competition, for everything, and the bubble of good times has deflated back to where it was before the great war. The American economy struggles to advance beyond 2% per year. The Baby Boomers feel like it is time to pass the torch, time to retire well to someplace like St. George. Let the new generation go to work. Welcome to the Millennials!
Go West Millennials!
Millennials, the generation whose birth year ranges from the early 1980s to the year 2000, have borne a heavy a burden. They began to come into the work force during the time when the Tech Bubble burst. The promise of the new millennium was dashed by 9-11. Their generation has gone to war, like the one before the Baby Boomers did, except their war has lasted for more than thirteen years and its end is in doubt. There will not be a wellspring of happiness coming to them or an economic upturn like the one that happened in the 1950s. Millions of them have graduated from college in debt and they cannot find work. Even the ending of their great war works against them because the military jobs are drying up too. Defeated at a young age, huge numbers of them have had to return home to live with their parents while they scrape some kind of poor work together to pay their bills as they seek their American dream. It is out there somewhere. Wait a minute, it is out there. It is out west!
Time is a Millennial’s Wealth
The Millennials turn to each other for comfort, and because they are connected, when one of them figures something out, they tell the others about it. A growing number of them have figured out that their Baby Boomer parents have these time share condos that are just sitting around, when they could be traded to get to a Millennial gathering place – like St. George, Utah! America is breathtakingly beautiful in Utah. The red rock mountains in Zion http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/directions.htm and Bryce Canyon National Parks are there to be explored by young hikers, bikers, climbers, campers, star gazers, dreamers, and all of these things fit the Millennials to a tee! The northern rim of the Grand Canyon is near St. George. So are a house boat on Lake Powell, the painted desert, and casinos. If you are at least age twenty-one, you can get to a casino at Mesquite. Don’t bother with Vegas until it is time to fly home. The wild places of America have fed the souls of every generation. It is the Millennial’s time to have it, and by having it together, they can swap ideas. It is like being a member of a tribe. Ever see “Dances with Wolves?” It’s cool to a member of the tribe. Go west!