The Peaks in Ronan

by Vince Devlin

A relatively new, but rapidly growing, concept in senior living is making its way to Ronan this spring.

It’s called “independent living,” and that’s what The Peaks will offer.

“It’s a step below assisted living,” explains co-owner Sage Dorrington, who along with his wife Lindsey hope to have The Peaks fully open by April 1, and final paving and landscaping completed soon after.

There will be 10 upscale two-bedroom, 1 ½-bath units – “senior condos, almost” – with attached single-car garages available for people age 55 and older who value their independence, and don’t want to be tied down by everything from yard work to cooking.

It will help if they enjoy unobstructed views of the Mission Mountains, however. The Peaks, located at 575 Eisenhower St. SE, is being built on 14 acres, and faces the mountain range.

The Peaks in Ronan is located at 573 Eisenhower St. SE and faces the Mission Mountains.

The Peaks in Ronan is located at 573 Eisenhower St. SE and faces the Mission Mountains.

What The Peaks doesn’t offer is health care, although residents are welcome to hire their own health care providers. What it does offer are dining options for breakfast and lunch, linen service and weekly light housekeeping, for extra fees. Yard work and snow removal are taken care of.

The 1,000 square-foot units all have granite countertops, walk-in tile showers, complete appliances (including washers and dryers), wider doorways and handrails in appropriate locations. What they don’t have are steps of any kind.

“It’s really for healthy people who want the independence to travel, or don’t want to take care of an entire home anymore, or don’t want to go up and down stairs,” Dorrington says.

Each unit has its own private entrances. There are no communal hallways, but there are communal gathering areas – an activity center with a two-sided rock fireplace and big-screen TV, a community garden, a fitness center and a dining hall.

Meals can be served either in the latter, or delivered to the apartments. And, pets are welcome.

The price isn’t cheap – $2,500 a month for a single person or $2,700 for a couple – but it includes most everything, such as utilities, water, cable TV, phone, wifi and garbage service. Dorringston says prices are still being worked out for the optional amenities – the meal plan, for instance, could cost another $400 to $500 a month.

“Our selling points are small-town living in a place with good health care,” Dorrington says (St. Luke Community Hospital and Healthcare is located in Ronan, and Providence Health and Services operates a medical clinic, St. Joseph’s, there too).

The Peaks also will sponsor wine and cheese parties, movie nights and excursions to places like Glacier National Park, or Missoula for shopping.

And the owners?

“My wife and I live in a house across the street,” Dorringston says. “The Peaks is not run by a corporation. We’re right there, and can adapt and adjust to people’s needs and wants.”

Sage is from Libby and Lindsey is from Ronan. They both graduated from Carroll College, and previously lived in Kalispell, where Sage was director of faith formation for St. Matthew’s Catholic Parish and Lindsey was a pharmacy technician.

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