|Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire|
07/28/2012 – ATIN – In a further indication that sober living is the hottest ticket in treatment these days, interventionist Ken Seeley, in an expansion of his Intervention911 firm, has put multi-millions on the line in a major Palm Springs sober living “hotel.” Taking sober living startups to a whole new level, Ken Seeley Recovery Community, as the new sober living operation is called, is launching at 45 beds spread out over two former hotel properties. Seeley’s partner Eric Mclaughlin, who joined 911 in 2008 to run the business side of the fast growing firm, has played a key role alongside Seeley in the new addiction treatment venture. NIMBY might have been a problem, but wasn’t. “The idea was that we were acting as redevelopment agents,” said Seeley, whose Intervention911 firm is a pioneer in the development of the contemporary interventions field. “The community was behind us as we were helping in the transformation of what are quite a few underused and neglected hotel and motel properties in Palm Springs.” (Mclaughlin says that one of the properties was pretty much in mint condition, while the other was in need of fairly significant redevelopment.) Seeley is following in the footsteps of treatment operations like Michael’s House and Spencer Recovery, both of which previously engaged in hotel conversions to launch treatment operations in Palm Springs. With The Betty Ford Center as impetus, Palm Springs is now one of the nation’s major addiction treatment hubs. Seeley has chosen a relatively – relative to Malibu – modest price point for his operation, with monthly costs ranging from $800 to $3,500 and averaging about $1,000. (Along the California coast, for profit sober living prices average closer to Seeley’s high price point of $3,500, driven in equal parts by higher real estate costs and the profit motive) The total investment in the two conversions, which have retained their Palm Springs 1950s heyday names of The Palm Tee and Alexander Inn, amounts to about $2.5M. Seeley and Mclaughlin financed partly with SBA help and self-financed the rest, working out a private loan deal with the property owners. According to Seeley, the new sober living centers, one of which opened in December and the other in April, have a census currently of 17, with 25 beds designated for men and 15 for women. Palm Springs is not by any means the only locale where the hotel conversion is being used for addiction treatment expansion, with South Florida’s Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches currently engaged in a mega 165 bed initiative. Other Florida treatment players are also using conversions, driven by a massive decline in Florida real estate prices in recent years, which have made expansion less expensive for addiction treatment operations. The cash rich addiction treatment industry is often one of the few bright spots in otherwise sluggish local economic environments, especially in Florida and Arizona, but in other regions as well.