A (3 year early) Christmas Gift

The Blue Ridge Business Journal gives us a gift this year on Page 25 of the Dec. 17th issue.

What could it be? And why would I be writing about it?

It's a infobox titled "Retirement by the numbers in the Blue Ridge Region." It gives us a peek into what the 2010 census will hold for the Roanoke/Lynchburg MSA.

Estimated population between the two? 688,241

Thats nearly 700k (which will probably be more likely by 2010) for an area most companies write off as too small.

Too small? I think not. Those are exactly the kind of numbers that people need to look at. More than that, 289,061 of those near 700k are 65 and older. Whats known as "free money" in the retail industry. Those who most likely do not have mortgages, have money socked away in retirement and savings accounts.. the golden gooses of the world.

The group under that, the overwhelming Baby Boomers? 270,000 of them reside in the area - they are the big wave getting ready to break.

Much like the 2000 Census claims a total of 75 people living in the 24011 zip code, and thats a number we know has grown since then.

I guess we will finally start making some waves after all - especially if we can get the Trans-Dominion Express running, thereby making commuting possible between Roanoke and Lynchburg with ease and comfort.

But, with these numbers comes the realization that only 129,180 people in the combined MSA are under the age of 40. A daunting number when you consider the landslide of retirees just ahead of them.

But it is this small group - 130k strong, that is truly the future of the Roanoke-Lynchburg MSA.

Anyway - I can't wait for the 2010 Census. Might just be a bit of a wake up.

Major businesses, take note.

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