Rainbow Vista Retirement Community

Last August I came across a new retirement home for gay seniors in Gresham. Today The Oregonian gives us a none-too-rosy update on its status. Rainbow Vista isn’t going away, but neither does it seem to be a huge success. Of the whopping two tenants in gay owner Henry Moshberger’s complex, both are straight.

Some designer has got to want the good karma that would come from redoing the lounge pro-bono…

It is arguable that there just isn’t enough of a population to sustain an entire complex of queer seniors, but in the city with the fourth largest population of same sex couples, success is more likely here than elsewhere. But besides the fact that Gresham doesn’t have a particularly gay-friendly reputation, there are other reasons Rainbow Vista may be struggling.

The O mentions that, of the other two gay retirement homes that have emerged recently, the more upscale residence in Santa Fe seems to have similar struggles, while the more affordable home in Hollywood is faring better.

And indeed, the prices seem to have dropped at Rainbow Vista since I last checked, although I’m assuming this is due to the lack of an included meal plan. Though queer seniors are often stereotyped as rich, the reality is that, on the whole, we have a lower median income. So price is important.

Which brings me to RB’s second pitfall. If one is going to trek out to the burbs and pay as much as you would in town, most folks, and especially us queer artsy types, are going to expect some flash for our cash. Vista may be cozy but it is certainly not a haven of design. The website also has a distinct 90s feel.

Even someone who is not a marketing master can see that if you’re going to go with the traditional old lady floral prints, you’ve got to make it at least a little kitschy for the q boomer crew. I mean, c’mon, they experienced the 60s …

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