Fox Ridge

City: Maumelle
Category: Category III (76-300 Employees)
Year: 2008

Rodney Thomason became involved with Fox Ridge, a company that develops retirement communities, in 2005, when he was asked to help resolve management issues at Fox Ridge in Bryant, then $80,000 in debt.

Using $100,000 of his own money, Thomason turned the Bryant property around and, with the help of bank financing, went on to build Fox Ridge North Little Rock and Fox Ridge Chenal. He now owns all three.

Thomason's "main goal is to make sure the residents are being treated like I would want one of my own family members treated."

The Fox Ridge communities offer independent and assisted-living facilities for seniors, with a focus on providing luxury amenities. These include apartment-style accommodations, housekeeping service, meals prepared by trained chefs, fitness centers, movie theaters and on-site banking, activities directors, salons and physicians' offices.

Among the things that sets Fox Ridge apart from other retirement communities, Thomason said, was his commitment "to do it right, regardless of the cost. Most people go to a retirement facility to retire. We want to keep them active and keep them healthy as long as possible — socially active and physically active."

Fox Ridge communities help seniors and their families by making their services all-inclusive, providing them at a fixed monthly rate. That means that people on fixed incomes know exactly how much living at Fox Ridge will cost.

Thomason's attention to detail has led to strong growth, with revenue in 2008 increasing 60 percent compared with 2007.

He sees the market for his facilities only continuing to expand. "Six thousand people a day turn over 60," Thomason said. "The aging population of 60 and over will double in five years, and 80 and over will triple in five years, so our market is just getting so large so quick."

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