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Silvergate seniors dazzled by festival of lights at historic Mission Inn Hotel

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – Tales of the celebrities, heads of state and famous guests who have graced the halls of the 120-year-old Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside, California were colorfully shared by a hotel historian this holiday season with current and future residents of Silvergate Retirement Residence, a boutique collection of senior living communities that places a strong focus on lifestyle enrichment for seniors.

The entire Silvergate family, including nearly 100 residents and guests, came together to celebrate and enjoy the Festival of Lights at the mission-revival style inn.

"Our annual holiday celebration has become a Silvergate family tradition," said Patty Martinez, executive director of Silvergate's Fallbrook community, whose residents and guests enjoyed a delectable fine-dining experience in the same room where presidents, royalty and celebrities have gathered for more than a century.

"Rather than being at home alone during the holidays, our residents have an opportunity to come together and enjoy the magic of the season like extended family. This event – like so many of our outings – is just one more reason why living at Silvergate makes such a difference for seniors who want unique things to do as part of their retirement lifestyle," Martinez said.

Surrounded by the grandeur and beauty of the Mission Inn at the holiday season, Silvergate attendees were treated to a historical overview of the hotel's priceless artworks and later meandered through an array of holiday lights and decorations.

While dining in the hotel's historic Spanish Art Gallery, Silvergate's guests were enchanted by the stories imparted by hotel docent Barbara Ann Burns. In her talk, Burns recounted the history of the hotel's colorful owner, Christopher Columbus Miller. She also shared about the weddings and honeymoons enjoyed at the inn by figures such as Richard and Pat Nixon, Bette Davis, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Burns spoke of the many visits made to the inn by famous figures like Andrew Carnegie, W.C. Fields, Clark Gable, Tom Hanks and Ted Kennedy. Guests left with a better understanding of the majesty of the hotel and why it is considered a national treasure on the West Coast.

"I wouldn't have missed this holiday event with Silvergate for anything," said Mari Spirito, who currently resides at Silvergate's Fallbrook senior living community and was missing activities like this while living alone throughout the pandemic. "I thought I would continue to go places like the Mission Inn in my retirement years, but after my husband passed away, making these types of outings happen on my own became difficult to do. Instead, I kept missing out. When I moved to Silvergate, I discovered their Activities Team takes care of all the planning, transportation and coordination to exciting locations like this, and all I have to do is jump on the bus and go enjoy the day with my new friends and neighbors. Being part of this community is such a great way to live in retirement."

"Because our owners are locally based, they are able to regularly attend these kinds of events and be engaged with our residents and guests on a more personal level," said Helen Gray, marketing director for Silvergate Fallbrook.

"We are fortunate to have them so closely involved with all of our communities. They support these types of events because they are the caliber of activities that they would want for themselves and their own family members in retirement. That type of involvement is rare in senior living and really sets us apart from other retirement communities," Gray added.

Planning events that keep seniors active and engaged has long been the aim of the Activities Teams at Silvergate, whose calendar of events are consistently filled with creative ways to keep residents on-the-go and entertained year-round.

For those interested in learning more about Silvergate, call Gray at 760-728-8880. For general information about the independent living, assisted living and memory care, visit

Submitted by Silvergate Fallbrook.


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