Sarasota, FL (Nov. 3, 2011) - The 14th annual Tour of Homes, held from November 4-20, will feature a variety of activities and events that will highlight Lakewood Ranch as a great place to live, work, learn, play and shop. There are 41 models to see and tour on the Ranch—more than ever before; up 13 from last year.

To assist visitors on the tour, Lakewood Ranch is utilizing Microsoft Tag technology in the Tour of Homes magazine and in front of the new home models. Microsoft Tag is powerful 2D barcoding technology that helps make the most of customers’ mobile phones. With Tag, businesses can give their customers fast access to more information and engage with them in an interactive and personal way. Microsoft identified Lakewood Ranch as the first community to be “tagged” in 2010 and efforts continue with this year’s Tour of Homes. Visitors to the University Parkway information center will find a how-to wall with examples of community Tags and the colorful bar codes will link customers’ phones to videos about the new home builders and the models in this year’s Tour of Homes. “It is a very cool and cutting edge way for us to give consumers information right in the palm of their hands,” said Lakewood Ranch Director of Marketing Candice McElyea. “With 41 models to see, it’s nice to be able to find out information about the builder and their building style right on your phone.”

Thirteen models are new this year with eight more planned for next year. “We are expecting a huge crowd for this year’s tour,” said Jimmy Stewart, LWR Communities’ vice president of sales. “Our sales traffic has been tremendous in the past few months—and we’ve sold more than 300 homes so far year to date. This year’s tour will show off exactly why so many people are choosing to call Lakewood Ranch home.”

301 homes have been sold in Lakewood Ranch since January 1 through September 30. That’s up from 145 in the same time period in 2010. Closings are also up this year with 280, compared to 92 in 2010.

In this, our 16th year as a community, we’ve achieved some significant milestones:

  • More than 20,000 people have visited Lakewood Ranch information centers and models since the start of 2011—a 60 percent increase from this time last year and the number of visitors is translating into a 240 percent increase in sales over this time last year. Lakewood Ranch is leading the region and the nation in real estate recovery.

  • Lakewood Ranch was ranked the 12th best selling master planned community in the United States and the 2nd best in the state of Florida by a national real estate consulting firm.

  • The launch of the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, a multi-purpose facility that is home to 22 full-sized, mixed-use fields for soccer, lacrosse and other amateur sports, and features Celebration grass and underground irrigation. The complex is used for amateur and professional top-flight and world-class sporting tournaments, events, camps and clinics.

  • The Parade of Homes awarded Lakewood Ranch the “Best Development” recognition.

  • The LECOM School of Dental Medicine broke ground on its 110,000 square foot building expected to cost $52 million and to be completed in 2012.

  • Commercial construction has exploded north of State Road 70, with more $100 million in growth expected over the next year.

  • New and fantastic shops and restaurants are now open on Main Street. If you have a sweet tooth, Pastries by Design offers custom cakes and cupcakes, and then you can work them off at Athletic Edge Sports—a private fitness consulting and sports performance gym. The popular breakfast and lunch restaurant in downtown Sarasota, Station 400 is opening a second location on Main Street this month, and the Viking Culinary Center is a must see for anyone who enjoys food or cooking it! Also coming soon are a martial arts studio, and Pinchers Crab and Seafood Restaurant. All are great additions to our other Main Street offerings.

  • This year, guests will be able tour models in The Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, Country Club East, The Lake Club, Central Park, Greenbrook, and stop by the new Taylor Morrison temporary sales office for Esplanade now open at the Summerfield Information center, for information about the new active lifestyle community.

    The tour magazine is available at any Lakewood Ranch Information Center. Information centers are located at 6220 University Parkway and in Summerfield Park at 6310 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. The Lake Club has its own sales and information center, located just outside the village’s main gates. Information centers and models are open daily, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m.

    Starting Friday, Nov. 4th, the full tour of homes guide, including the map and builder floorplans, can be downloaded at, or can be picked up at any Lakewood Ranch information center.

    Special events are a major portion of the annual Tour of Homes. The 2011 event schedule can be found at

    About Lakewood Ranch
    Lakewood Ranch is the 8,500-acre award winning master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee counties on the West Coast of Florida. Just minutes from the Gulf Coast beaches, and cultural assets in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch is already home to more 15,000 residents and features A-rated schools, a hospital, the Sarasota Polo Club, a 75 acre sports complex, its own Main Street with theaters, shopping and dining, and four million square feet of commercial property.

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