May 09,2018 - Babcock Ranch, Lee Health leaders light it up with friendly power competition

Handel, CHANDEL@NEWS.COM Published 9:30 a.m. ET May 8, 2018   

 Babcock Ranch, Lee Health Leaders in a friendly power competition     


A friendly competition between Babcock Ranch developer Syd Kitson and Lee Health president and CEO was part of opening ceremonies at The Ranch’s Healthy Living Center Craig Handel


It was NFL vs. NBA last Tuesday for opening ceremonies of Babcock Ranch’s new Healthy Life Center.

Make that MBA.

There was Lee Health president and CEO Larry Antonucci, who has a master’s degree in Business Administration, and his team of Mathieu Knapp and Dave Cato. They took on Babcock Ranch Developer Syd Kitson – who used to play for the Green Bay Packers – and his team of Tyler Kitson and Rick Severence in a power-generating workout.

While it appeared Antonucci – who nailed a couple of shots – and his team edged Kitson’s squad, the real winner was the community’s grid.

Located just outside Lee County in Charlotte County, Babcock Ranch is touting itself as America’s first solar-powered town.

Equipment at the center can power the grid with each workout on a machine. Kitson and Antonucci started the competition by racing on rowers, which generated watts of power. So did team members riding the stationary bikes. A half-mile equates to approximately 3 watts of energy. A total of 166 miles on a stationary bike would lead to a kilowatt, which could light a 100-watt bulb for 10 hours.

In addition, 0.6 miles on a rower would produce the equivalent of one kilowatt of energy, which would lead to 10 hours of life on a 100-watt bulb.

Kitson said 125 homes have been sold with 250 built by the end of this year and more than 500 after 2019.

The plan calls for 19,000 homes to be built in a community that also will be environmentally conscious.

“Great day,” Kitson said with a smile. “Health and wellness is such a key for us. It’s a proven fact. You live longer in a healthy environment. That’s an absolute fact.”

Babcock Ranch has 50 miles of trails, which Kitson said are “walkable, hikable and bikable.”

In the gym are hurricane-resistant garage doors, which open.

“We wanted to bring the outdoors in,” Kitson said. “It creates a nice breeze.”

While just a few dozen people have moved into Babcock Ranch, there are 100 people who have joined the life center because the town has memberships open to anyone.

Antonucci talked to attendees about transforming an idea into reality.

“It’s just the perfect partnership between Lee Health and Babcock Ranch,” Antonucci said. “We’re meeting both our missions to make lives healthier.”

Go to full story