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The New Resort Craze: Exclusive Golf and Ski Clubs

Jun 19, 2008
It has often been said that Utah has the greatest snow on earth; which is a big deal if you're into skiing and snowboarding. Boasting thirteen world class ski resorts and hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics, Utah skiing sets the standard for other ski resorts to follow. So it isn't surprising that Mt Holly, a Utah ski resort, is helping to pioneer the next big trend in ski resorts; exclusive ski and golf resorts for members.

As a private ski and golf resort, all facility and amenity use and privileges are limited to property owners within the resort, and to their guests. The resort in effect becomes a gated community as well as a ski and golf club. Membership is on an invitation only basis, and the buy-in price is typically $1-3 million.

The concept of a private ski and golf resort for owners only has been attempted just once, at the Yellowstone Club in Montana established in 2000. There, the owners of luxury homes and condominiums play golf on their private links and ski on their private ski mountain.

Yellowstone Club is limited to 864 residential properties, which start around $1 million. And all house plans have to be approved by a Yellowstone Club planning board to maintain aesthetic excellence. The enterprise has reportedly been a smashing success. Utah's Mt Holly will be the second such club, with certainly many more to follow.

Formerly known as Elk Meadows, Mt Holly is becoming the proverbial Phoenix of ski resorts, rising from the ashes of several failed attempts to create a successful resort, the last ending sadly about five years ago. Despite an impressive ski mountain, which starts at 10,000 feet and an abundance of snow, Mt Holly could never escape the stigma attached to being located in middle of a rural county with a population of 6,500.

Historically, the only way to offset low numbers of patrons was to charge a small fortune for a lift ticket. Luckily, that now seems to suit the public mood. Millionaires are looking for a place to buy a "cabin" with easy access to skiing, golf, and the delights of rural life. Of course it helps if that cabin is in a private club and provides all the luxurious amenities of a five star hotel.

There are already rumors flying of other ski and golf resorts following Yellowstone Club and Mt Holly in becoming exclusive resort communities; Battle Mountain in Colorado, Vermont's Killington ski and snowboard resort, and Whitefish Mountain in Montana to name a few. Whether those resorts will go private or not is mere speculation, but there will certainly be many new private resorts wanting to recreate the experience of Yellowstone Club and Mt Holly in the future.
About the Author
Mt. Holly (http://mthollyclub.com) is Utah's elite private ski and golf club. The author Art Gib is a freelance writer.
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