of the many features of The Cliffs at Glassy is the
Tom Jackson-designed mountaintop golf course –
with 75-mile views.
private luxury community market is booming – from
fully owned second homes to fractional living arrangements
to destination clubs in the world's best resorts.
Catering to a clientele of empty nesters, families, retirees
and corporate members, each community maintains its own
character, while preserving what everyone craves: world-class
quality. The key to success seems to be the flexible options
available to prospective buyers, many of whom want a vacation
home without the hassles of homeownership. Several sites
offer full ownership, in which a buyer can use the home
as a permanent residence or a quick getaway. The homes can
be passed down through generations and often come with housekeeping
and maintenance options and a host of resort activities
– from golf to riding to fly-fishing tours. High-end
fractionals offer partial deeded ownership of a property
with first-class furnishings, service and resort-style benefits.
This market and concept have “steadily experienced
considerable growth as well as general awareness and acceptance
among the public,” says Matthew Budjack of Ragatz
Associates. The destination club is a dream vacation. Members
pay annual dues for a specific number of days, then choose
from luxury accommodations in some of the finest resorts.
While popular with private members, the clubs are catching
the eye of corporations looking for unusual perks for top
sellers and prospective clients.
“Sharing this area with others is essential to our
- James B. Anthony, president and CEO, The Cliffs Communities
Cliffs at Glassy Clubhouse.
Six communities on 15,000 magnificent acres nestled in the
Carolina Crescent – the leading edge of the Blue Ridge
Mountains between Ashville, NC, and Greenville, SC. The
first community, The Cliffs at Glassy, was followed by The
Cliffs Valley, three communities making up The Cliffs at
Keowee and The Cliffs at Walnut Cove.
Overview: Founded in 1991 by James B. Anthony,
The Cliffs Communities strives to develop luxury residential
areas that preserve the integrity of their environments
in the U.S. and around the world. Each of the Cliffs'
six distinct communities in the Carolinas offers buyers
a variety of options, from homes on peaceful Lake Keowee
to mountain retreats on the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway.
All sites share a focus on relaxation and wellness, boasting
private parks and trails, state-of-the-art fitness centers
and award-winning golf courses.
Amenities: Depending on the community's
location, The Cliffs features the following: first-class
equestrian facilities; health-and-wellness centers and spas;
lakeside pools and pavilions; tennis; canoeing, kayaking
and boating; more than 25 miles of hiking trails; private
parks; miles of shoreline; marinas and beach clubs; volleyball
and basketball; children's play areas; family campground;
mountain lodge; chapel; gourmet market; award-winning inn
and fishing outfitter's shop.
Golf Courses: Five championship golf courses
designed by the masters will include two Jack Nicklaus Signature
courses (one opened in April 2005 and another is in the
design phase). The Glassy Course is a par-72 course designed
by Tom Jackson that has been called one of the most scenic
in the nation. Tom Fazio designed the par-72 course at The
Cliffs at Keowee. The Valley Course, designed by Ben Wright,
is also a par-72.
Clubhouse: Two clubhouses (and a third under
construction) offer pro shops, restaurants and bars and
Dining: The clubhouses at The Cliffs at
Glassy and The Cliffs Valley present a range of dining from
casual to formal. Indoor and al fresco tables show off stunning
views at The Lakeside Restaurant at Keowee Vineyards. La
Bastide French Country Inn serves provincial fare.
Special Services: Membership in one community
allows access to the facilities, amenities, programs and
services throughout The Cliffs Communities. The three communities
at Lake Keowee will stay connected through an intercommunity
water-taxi service. The Cliffs at Glassy offers a helicopter
Due Diligence: The average homesite varies
in size depending on the community. 700 of the plotted 3,100
homes have been built across The Cliffs Communities, with
most between one and two acres. The average daytime high
is in the mid-80s in summer and the upper 40s in winter.
Rainfall averages are about 8 to 9 inches in summer months
and 3.8 inches in winter months.
Price Range: Homesites, from $200,000 to
more than $2 million; custom homes, from $600,000 to more
than $2 million.
The 32,000-square-foot Members Lodge features gourmet
dining, private dining room, terrace, lounges and
a pro shop. Center: The waters surrounding Greenbrier
offer abundant fishing opportunities. Bottom: the
Hunt Cabin, a historical landmark and center for gatherings.
Location: The grounds of the renowned Greenbrier
Resort in the majestic Allegheny Mountains at White Sulphur
Overview: Though Greenbrier opened in 2000,
it is steeped in history. A National Historic Landmark, the
6,500-acre Greenbrier resort was once the summer home of Civil
War General Robert E. Lee, and more than 25 U.S. presidents
have visited the circa 1778 estate. But Greenbrier is known
for thoroughly modern amenities and an emphasis on outdoor
sports – including golf, riding, European sporting clays
and fly-fishing – that appeal to families supporting
conservation and tradition. “The whole sporting-club
concept is for people and families who enjoy an active lifestyle,”
said Steve Schram, managing director and a partner in Greenbrier's
development firm Dolan, Pollack & Schram LLC.
Amenities: 2,000 amazing acres of open space
and bridle paths for hiking, biking, jogging and riding; full-service
equestrian facility; Member's Lounge with guest rooms;
private trout streams with guided fly-fishing; tennis and
squash; fitness center and spa; 5,000-acre upland wing shooting
preserve; Land Rover Driving School; Falconry Academy; white-water
rafting; bowling alley; shopping arcade with 30 shops; movie
theatre; children's sports, cooking and daycare programs.
Golf Courses: The Greenbrier Course, a 6,681-yard,
par-72 course that has hosted both the Ryder Cup and the Solheim
Cup; the Old White Course, a 6,640-yard, par-70 course designed
by Charles Blair McDonald and Seth Raynor; The Meadows. The
Snead, an 18-hole, 7,025-yard course by master designer Tom
Dining: Options include the Main Dining Room,
with a formal setting; Sam Snead's, a casual eatery
at the Golf Club; the Tavern Room, a gourmet dining venue;
and Draper's Cafe, a casual snack bar with an à
la carte menu.
Special Services: Some homesites offer shuttle
and room service from the Greenbrier Resort. Skiing privileges
are available at Snowshoe Mountain.
Due Diligence: Greenbrier Sporting Club is
2,000 acres on the Greenbrier Resort. Nearly 300 homesites
have been sold, with 65 completed, 40 under construction and
15 up for architectural review. Greenbriar is within a four-hour
drive from Cincinnati and Cleveland, OH, Charlotte, NC, and
Washington, DC. Amtrak offers train service from several major
cities, and Greenbrier Valley Airport is 15 minutes away.
High temperatures range from 40 in January to 83 in July.
Average rainfall is 4.3 inches in May and 2.9 inches in November.
Price Range: Homesites start at $400,000.
Greg Norman-created course at Oldfield provides breathtaking
860-acre private club community that was created on a bend
in the Okatie River in Okatie, SC, part of the charming, secluded
South Carolina Low Country.
Overview: Originally a Native American village,
the area known as Old Field was granted to Governor Robert
Johnson in 1732. Crescent Resources LLC purchased the former
farm estate in 2000. The firm strives to provide outdoor,
river-focused activities – such as boating and fishing
– for families, empty nesters, baby boomers and retirees.
“It's more than just a golf community,”
said Scott Stephens, vice-president, Sales and Marketing.
“We bring the river to everyone here.”
Amenities: Sports club with heated lap pool;
outdoor free-form pool; six Har-Tru tennis courts; equestrian
facility with boarding, trails and rings; outdoor spa; aerobics;
cardio and strength-training machines; massage, steam and
sauna; snack and juice bar; game room; playground; picnic
areas; kayaks and canoes; fishing and fly-fishing; gazebo
Golf Course: Two-time British Open Champion
Greg Norman created Oldfield's 18-hole, 7,142-yard par-72
Clubhouse: Part-hunting lodge, part-outfitter's
store, part-wildlife education center, the Outfitters Club
overlooks a freshwater lagoon and the Okatie River and is
the true hub of the community. A river pro is on staff for
instruction and outings.
Dining: River House is the oldest structure
at Oldfield, with traditional Low-Country cuisine served for
breakfast, lunch and dinner. Al fresco dining on the upper
porch offers spectacular views of the river and marsh at sunset.
Special Services: Turkey Hill Plantation,
a private, 21,000-acre hunt club, is open to members and guests
for a specific number of hunt events each year. Yearlong beach
membership at The Westin Resort Hilton Head is available.
Due Diligence: About 240 of a final 550 homesites
have been sold. Site size averages a half-acre. Oldfield is
about 30 minutes from Hilton Head Island, historic Savannah,
Beaufort and airports. The average summer temperature is 85
degrees with about 6.4 inches of rain. The average winter
temperature is about 50 degrees with about 3 inches of rain.
Price Range: $150,000 to more than $900,000
for lots; $519,000 to $1.5 million for finished homes.
the Marina Village at
Bay Creek; center: Bay Creek Golf Club's Nicklaus
course; bottom: a 7,000-square-foot showcase home
in Heron Pointe Village.
splendid acres in Cape Charles, on Virginia's lovely
Overview: Developed by Baymark Construction
Corp., led by CEO Richard Foster, Bay Creek emphasizes golf-and-marina
activities on the southwestern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula.
When completed, this new community will include single- and
multifamily homes, custom cottages, duplexes, townhouses,
living/retail spaces and a full-scale replica of an 1886 lighthouse.
Foster says that a top-notch spa along with golf-and-marina
amenities in such a peaceful, unspoiled location is appealing
to buyers. “It's a little rural setting,”
he says, “but in two minutes you're in the middle
of the Chesapeake Bay and, in fifteen, you're in the
Amenities: 224-slip, deepwater access marina;
bay-front beaches; scenic walking, jogging and birding trails;
crabbing; gardens; golf academy with clubhouse; Junior Olympic
swimming pool; tennis courts; fitness center; kayaking and
canoeing; retail shops and restaurants. A Hall of Champions
golf-heritage museum and festival park with a replica carousel
Golf Course: The 7,204-yard, par-72 Arnold
Palmer Signature Course at Bay Creek Golf Club made several
top ten lists during its first two years. A second 7,216-yard,
par-72 Jack Nicklaus course designed to crisscross the Palmer
Course is scheduled for completion this year. Both will be
Clubhouse: The golf courses will share a 50,000-square-foot
clubhouse and golf academy. A community center with a pool
and tennis courts is planned.
Dining: Aqua, for fine cuisine; and Cabana
Bar for casual dining.
Special Services: Golf-cart paths lead out
of the gated community to the charming town of Cape Charles,
which allows golf-cart traffic on its streets.
Due Diligence: Bay Creek is about 220 miles
from Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, PA,
and 45 miles from Norfolk, VA. About 150 of the planned 2,700
homes are already constructed. Also available are 40 fully
furnished resort-home rentals for a three-night-minimum stay.
Plans for the site include a 100-room hotel and world-class
spa. Cape Charles and Northhampton County are known for their
low tax bases, and Bay Creek is seen as a catalyst to reinvigorating
the area. The average summer temperature is 77 degrees with
a winter low of 40. Average annual rainfall is about 43 inches.
Price Range: $400,000 to $1,500,000.
Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, overlooking
beautiful acres on the shores of Lake Oconee in Greensboro,
Overview: Hundreds of years ago, the Creek
tribe inhabited the forests between Atlanta and Augusta, GA,
drawing sustenance from the Oconee River. The environment
changed dramatically in 1979, when the Wallace Dam backed
up the river, creating the 19,000-acre Lake Oconee, the pristine
center of Reynolds Plantation. Consistently ranked among the
top golf destinations in the country, Reynolds Plantation,
opened in 1987, is also one of the oldest. It includes the
Ritz-Carlton Lodge, a 251-room hotel with a large spa and
access to the plantation's 81 holes of world-class golf.
The Reynolds family, who once used it as a hunting-and-fishing
preserve, still shapes its vision.
Amenities: 70 miles of sensational shoreline;
the 26,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa with fitness/wellness
center, indoor lap pool, sauna and steam baths; boating, canoeing
and water sports; Lake Club (scheduled to open in the winter
of 2005) with lakefront park, swimming beach, docks, boathouse,
tennis center, indoor and outdoor pools; childcare center
and nature and heritage center; 30 self-organized clubs and
groups; walking trails.
Golf Courses: 6,698-yard, par-72 Plantation
Course designed by Bob Cupp; 7,048-yard, par-72 Great Waters
Course by Jack Nicklaus; 27-hole National Course designed
by Tom Fazio; 7,393-yard, par-72 Oconee Course designed by
Clubhouse: The 14,000-square-foot Greatwaters
Clubhouse features spectacular views of Lake Oconee, private
dining rooms, locker rooms and golf shop. The Plantation Clubhouse
offers two dining facilities. The Oconee Clubhouse is home
to the Oconee Pro Shop and the Golf Club Fitting Center.
Dining: The Great Waters Overlook Room offers
refined plantation cuisine; the Linger Longer Bar and Grill
specializes in dry-aged beef, free-range chicken and Maine
lobster; the Plantation Grille serves casual club fare.
Special Services: Take-out service is available
at clubhouse snack bars.
Due Diligence: Reynolds Plantation is located
an hour from both Atlanta and Augusta. Property sizes range
from a half-acre to more than nine acres. More than 2,000
properties have been sold since 1987, with more than 1,400
rooftops now in existence. The average high temperature in
July is 90, with a low of 52 in January.
Price Range: Cottages and vacation villas
go for $200,000 to more than $750,000. Homes are $400,000
to more than $2 million.
#1 at sunset at Roaring Fork's
award-winning Jack Nicklaus-
designed golf course.
Roaring Fork Club
270 picturesque acres nestled in the Roaring Fork Valley in
Basalt, CO, about 16 miles from Aspen.
Overview: Approved for development in 1997,
the Roaring Fork Club includes 48 hand-hewn spruce log cabins
and 12 guest suites, as well as 22 housing units available
for Basalt residents and club employees. Roaring Fork offers
several ownership options, including full ownership and fractionals.
Cited in prestigious guides for its exceptional golf, wine
list and resort interior design, the club works to foster
family traditions and conservation with its emphasis on education
and rustic charm reminiscent of an old-fashioned Adirondack
fishing camp. “It's understated upscale,”
says co-managing partner James W. Light. “It's
sort of a throwback to a simpler way of life.”
Amenities: Fly-fishing on Roaring Fork River
and Spring Creek; eight stocked trout ponds; fishing guides,
tours and instruction; fly shop; skiing; tennis; outdoor pool;
hot tubs; hiking and snowshoeing; artist-in-residence program;
family and children's programs and summer camp.
Golf Course: An award-winning par-72, 7,312-yard
course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Clubhouse: With the architectural lines of
an old fishing lodge, the Member's Lodge features dining
facilities, vintner's room, library, billiards, fitness
area, business facilities, locker rooms and golf shop.
Dining: Simple, elegant comfort foods are
served in the Dining Room, a picturesque outdoor veranda and
the intimate Wine Room at the Members' Lodge; casual
riverside dining is available at the River Cabin and poolside
at the Sports Complex. The club's wine list placed first
at the National Restaurant Association's 2003 America's
Best Wine List Awards.
Special Services: Full-service event planning
and catering; full-time concierge and bell staff; pre-arrival
shopping service, storage and choice of housekeeping options.
Members can choose from skiing options at Snowmass, Aspen
Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. Roaring Fork fosters
family togetherness with multigenerational parties and events
and an upcoming legacy program that will allow adults to deed
both cabin time and club membership to their children.
Due Diligence: Roaring Fork Club plans call
for 24 more cabins and nine more holes of golf on a neighboring
parcel. There are also plans for two mountain lodges –
one in Aspen, one in Snowmass Village – with ski-in/ski-out
luxury accommodations for club members. Roaring Fork members
park their cars in two designated areas and use golf carts
throughout the property. With its lower elevation, Basalt
enjoys a much drier and more desertlike climate than Aspen.
Price Range: $345,000 to $2.45 million.
to bottom: Among the many features of Snowflake Circle,
a 3,500-square-foot residence in Steamboat Springs,
CO, are open spaces, cedar siding, a massive stone
fireplace, private decks with hot tub and amazing
views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.
destination club of luxury private properties in fabulous
resort areas throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Europe.
Overview: Ultimate Resort was created to offer
individuals, families and corporate members club properties
averaging $1.5 million in value in some of the world's
most desirable locations. Six sites now available are Los
Cabos, Mexico; New York City; Scottsdale, AZ; Steamboat Springs,
CO; Sunny Isles Beach, FL; and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Club
members travel when and where they want through a membership
plan that offers buyers flexibility, says Jim Tousignant,
president of Ultimate Resort LLC. “Owning a second home
is hassle-oriented. And even the best hotels don't give
you that home experience,” he says. “We can offer
luxury services and destinations with the feeling of home.”
Amenities: Vary with location, but usually
include access to beach, golf and/or health clubs, private
pools and spas. City residences typically offer 1,200 square
feet of living space in one- or two-bedroom suites. Beach,
golf and mountain residences average 3,000 to 4,000 square
feet and three to four bedrooms. Homes are fully furnished
and outfitted with whole-house audio, high-speed Internet,
large LCD and plasma TVs with DVD and other amenities, including
private wine cellars.
Special Services: Extensive concierge service;
local hosts assist in stocking the residence with food and
provide maid and home services. The hosts can plan and make
reservations for golf tee times, tennis, boating, local restaurants,
attractions and events.
Due Diligence: Members pay an initial fee
and annual dues based on the number of days they will use
Ultimate Resort properties. Reservations are booked 180 days
in advance. Members can earn more time or extra services through
a member-appreciation program. Ultimate Resort is not designed
to be a time-share or fractional-style program. In the next
few years, Ultimate Resort anticipates a total of 100 residences
in the existing locations and Paris, London, Rome, Turks &
Caicos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Chicago, Las Vegas and Napa
Valley, CA, among other locations.
Price Range: There is a one-time membership
fee of $150,000, of which $100,000 is a refundable deposit.
Limited-time discounts are offered. Annual dues are based
on five usage plans, ranging from $10,000 for 21 days to $14,000
for 42 days.
image 1: Courtesy of the Cliffs Communities. image 2: Courtesy
of the Cliffs Communities. image 3,4,5: Courtesy of the Greenbrier
Sporting Club. image 6: Courtesy of Oldfield. image 6,7,8:
Courtesy of Bay Creek. image 9: Courtesy of Reynolds Plantation.
image 10: Courtesy of Roaring Fork Club. image 11,12,13: Courtesy
of Ultimate Resort.
The Cliffs Valley Clubhouse.
See above listing for additional information.
The Cliffs, 866.654.4502; www.cliffscommunities.com