Columbia County is a leading place in the state for people to spend their golden years, according to a magazine devoted to making Georgia a relocation destination for retirees.
Retire in Georgia Magazine ranked Columbia County among its 10 Best Places to Retire in Georgia, in its Fall/Winter issue. The magazine is published semiannually and serves to promote the state's amenities and quality of life to seniors.
Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Beda Johnson cited the county's low cost of living, quality of life, natural resources and the Augusta medical community as strengths. She called the honor "a slam dunk" for the county, and said it could boost tourism because retirees looking to relocate typically travel for extended periods and stay in hotels when researching a community.
Development Authority Executive Director Zack Daffin said the honor provides verification of the county's superior quality of life for seniors. Martinez this year was named the 76th best place to live in the nation by Money magazine, which in 2005 named Evans the 32nd best place to live.
"What this does for us, really, is it gives us confirmation of the things we're saying from an outside source," said Daffin, who has long sought for retirement community developers to build in the county.
Sites were chosen on criteria such as cost of living, health care, housing, climate, travel and tourism assets, population, recreation and lifelong learning opportunities, according to a news release. Columbia County was paired with McDuffie County on the list.
"It's a big deal," said Elizabeth Vance, the McDuffie County tourism director. "I think it's a great thing anytime you're named the best of anything. ... It only validates that McDuffie is a great place to live."
The magazine is distributed throughout the state in visitor information centers, chambers of commerce, county commissions, economic development and business organizations.
Morris News Service reporter Lynn Davidson contributed to this report.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.