Black and white photos – infinitesimally grainy, but authentically film – hang evenly-spaced on serenely colored walls in a cozy, spacious n room. The photos harken back decades to nostalgic eras of downtown Rome and Cedartown, scenes that residents recall all too clearly at the Renaissance Marquis.

On October 12th, that same common room was filled with laughter and cheer as a crowd of family, friends and staff gathered to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Floyd and Polk Counties’ Premier Senior Living Community.

Mayor Jamie Doss, along with other distinguished guests, commemorated the occasion by marking the past, present and future of senior care locally, knowing that generations to come will experience the comfort and compassion at the Renaissance Marquis.

Living History

Established in 1997, Renaissance Marquis began as a single building erected on the property of what had once been the site of a drive-in movie theatre. In fact, many residents have said they remember going to that theatre when it existed, says Executive Director Blake Ray.

Over the years, the Renaissance Marquis grew into the three-tier system it is today, extending its care services to seniors who can live independently, seniors who need more hands-on care and those coping with dementia and Alzheimer’s and need round-the-clock servicing.

Living in a retirement community is anything but boring. With in-house entertainment, planned excursions, a library, a coffee shop, an aviary perfect for conversing with fellow residents and a peaceful, scenic courtyard for relaxation and enjoyment, residents quickly feel at home.

The dining room is almost always occupied with the 120 residents who enjoy everything from daily activities to special occasions, such as holiday feasts. Each Christmas season, Food Services Manager Mary Wilbanks crafts impressive, intricate Gingerbread Houses that draw onlookers for miles. “One year she did a replica of the Renaissance Marquis building,” Ray says. “This year, she’s doing Santa’s Workshop. She starts making it a month and a half in advance of Christmas. It’s amazing.”

But the party that honored the 20th Anniversary of the Renaissance Marquis was alive with meaning the likes the community had never seen.

“It was our way of saying thank you to Rome and to Cedartown,” Ray says. “We’re giving back for all the support we’ve had all these years. Our owner and chief operating officer came in and gave roses to our women residents and a sweater to our men. It was our way of saying thank you for choosing us.”

Dedication to Seniors

Ray says the staff at the Renaissance Marquis truly sets it apart from other retirement communities insofar as their compassion and care for residents.

“We have a team who is dedicated to our residents, they love our residents,” he says. “We have some of the best staff I’ve ever seen at any assisted living facility. You can tell they want to be here and they love what they’re doing. They’re not just here for a paycheck.”

While some seniors may mark the transition of moving into an assisted living home as a loss of independence, they may soon find they gain more than they thought they would.

“After coming to live here, there’s generally a significant shift in mood, it’s something to do with the social side of it,” says Ray. “There’s not a good way to quantify it, but it’s very, very real. Even just coming to the dining room for three meals a day and conversing with other people… the more interactions we have, the happier we are.”

The Renaissance Marquis is a place of comfort and family, and after two decades or care, the staff are looking forward to devoting more decades to the seniors of Northwest Georgia.

“We’re very blessed to have been able to serve hundreds of seniors for 20 years,” Ray says. “It’s our purpose to help make their lives as happy and comfortable as possible, and we’re thankful to continue to do just that for years to come.”

is an award-winning journalist who values every chance to flex her creative writing muscles for V3. A healthcare marketing professional by day, Lauren thrives in the creative arts as a dancer, a radio, stage and film actress and director of commercial and creative video projects. She lives in Rome with her husband Michael and their cats Stella, Bella and Beauregard.