INTRODUCTION TO THE “THEN AND NOW” SERIES
Visitors touring CoHo sometimes ask how our expectations for community prior to move-in differ from our current day-to-day reality.
Comparing “then and now” is the framework for this series of blog postings. The source of historical perspective is the CoHo newsletters published in 2006 and 2007 (they are still available on our website). This was an intensive time, with the primary focus on actively building the community (both in terms of actual construction of buildings and the collection of folks who would be our neighbors).
What were our dreams in 2006? What is our daily life like now in 2014?
First, read the original newsletter (link below), then return to this posting for current perspectives.
In 2006, CoHo offered the first of 16 Welcome Weekends to give folks a concentrated overview of our community. In the space of a weekend, folks could attend an orientation, tour our site, share a meal, attend a team meeting and a community meeting, and have lots of time with a buddy. Some visitors stayed in CoHoots’ homes for their visit. At the end of the weekend, visitors could decide if they wanted to start the membership process to become CoHoots and purchase a unit.
The weekend format enabled us to focus on recruiting during monthly Welcome Weekends and invest time/energy on other community tasks the rest of the time.
Welcome Weekends proved to be quite successful, especially with out-of-town folks. At move-in, about two thirds of our households moved into CoHo from outside Corvallis.
A few Welcome Weekends were offered after move-in, but by 2011, they were discontinued. We discovered the dynamics around unit resales were very different from the excitement during the days of project development.
The next phase was offering public tours during our four quarterly work parties so visitors could see us in action around our 6.8-acre site (see a visitor’s perspective on work party via this posting “A Visitor’s View of CoHo on Work Party Day“). This model continues to be workable and was expanded in 2014 to include public tours during our half-day work parties. We also continue to give private tours on request.
While Corvallis was hit by heavy rains and high water several times since move-in, the prediction that CoHo was “above it all” was accurate.
CoHoots actually enjoyed one very rainy season by hauling canoes and kayaks down to the Crystal Lake Sports Fields next to us and paddling around an area that hosts lots of baseball and soccer in the dry season.
P.S. Richard’s closing comment in the 2006 newsletter was “Guess I’ll have to find something else to worry about.” He was elected as the city councilor for our neighborhood and then became the president of the Corvallis city council. Guess he had plenty to worry about….