October 15, 2009

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Life on the Links

Golf Communities Hook Multi-generational Families

By Heather L. King

October 15, 2009

Whether you’re an executive seeking a more relaxed environment to raise your family or an empty nester looking to slow down and have a place to entertain family, friends and colleagues, Utah offers a variety of golf communities designed to fit your lifestyle. Not Your Dad’s Golf Community Red Ledges, a 2,000-acre development located in Heber Valley, is one of the state’s newest golfing communities. “The goal from the beginning was to be a premier mountain recreation community,” says Todd Cates, vice president and project manager for Red Ledges. This private development includes the recently opened 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, with plans for a nine-hole Nicklaus Design short course, a Cliff Drysdale Tennis Academy and Jim McLean Golf School in the works. Other amenities include an equestrian center and a village center with pools, spa, kid’s club, private Deer Valley ski lodge, Adventure Cabin and dining. The design of Red Ledges, explains Cates, “Is making sure that we are providing the lifestyle and the services to the people who want to live in this type of a community.” In Park City, Promontory Club is spread across 7,000 acres with its own herd of elk roaming the property. This private luxury resort community offers championship golf courses designed by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus, an equestrian center, a kid’s cabin and private ski lodges at Deer Valley and Park City Mountain ski resorts. Tennis, spa and restaurants round out the scalable amenities with build-out plans to include a total of five golf courses and additional clubhouses. “This is no longer your dad’s golf community,” Rich Sonntag, managing director at Promontory, explains. “One of the primary focuses of a place like Promontory is having those hooks for the other members of that three-generational family so the son or daughter will bring their families. What we are aiming for is an active, multi-generational lifestyle. This is a family legacy home where the kids and the grandkids are all going to have wonderful memories.” At Your Service Although the term “golf community” is still an excellent description of what’s available at both Red Ledges and Promontory, today’s golf communities have found that members are now also seeking opportunities for world-class, year-round activities. Beyond club-provided access to Main Street Park City and three ski resorts, Promontory’s Sonntag says, “We have a clubhouse called the Outfitters Cabin that’s devoted entirely to trail sports—mountain biking, hiking, cross country skiing. Our outfitter takes people wakeboarding on the local reservoirs, or we have a stocked fly fishing pond for training and then we take people down to the Weber and the Provo rivers.” Members at Red Ledges can call the Adventure Cabin to arrange any recreational adventure they desire. “If somebody wants to go cross country skiing, we would set them up to go to Soldier Hollow,” Cates says. “If they want to go on a fly fishing trip, we would arrange a trip to the Provo River.” Go for the Green Within most golf communities, preserved open space is a critical element, allowing for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking on hundreds of acres that will be forever protected from encroachment. Both Promontory and Red Ledges are about 10 to 20 years from reaching full capacity and a variety of acreages and home types with wide-ranging views of mountains, rock formations, reservoirs and forests are still available. Red Ledges is currently offering estate property, luxury cottages (2,100 to 4,000 square feet) and semi-custom homes. Promontory Club offers estate lots of 20 or 40 acres, custom home lots, large cabins (3,400 to 5,000 square feet) and Trappers Cabins (2,400 square feet). All of these properties are built around smaller communities or villages that offer family-friendly attractions, golf or clubhouses with particular amenities. With all of these options available to owners on a year-round basis, it’s no wonder that more members are considering these properties as primary rather than secondary residences. Cates explains that Red Ledges estimates that 25 percent to 30 percent of their homeowners will live on the property full time. “We’re finding a lot of executives are going to these types of communities while they’re still working. People are so tired of I-15 that they have a much easier and quicker commute from Heber to Salt Lake than they do from Provo to Salt Lake.” Sonntag sees a similar trend at Promontory. “Our homes are acting as both primary and secondary homes depending upon where the executive is in his career—he can even telecommute from here to other cities. The incredible airlift in and out of Salt Lake City lets them base their families out of here—it’s a unique thing for the person who commutes.”
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