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U.S. Members-Only Ski Resorts By Bob Wilbanks, NSCN

Montana’s Yellowstone Club
The first resort that recently started catering to the top 1% was the Tim Blixseth’s 2,200-skiable acre Yellowstone Club adjacent to Big Sky Resort. The Yellowstone Club drew around 250 big name homeowners who paid $250,000 for a membership (plus $5 to $35 million for a house at the club — and annual dues of about $20,000 each) but Mr. Blixseth ended up divorced, in bankruptcy in 2008, and finally ended up in jail over his financial dealings of the club. The Yellowstone was purchased by CrossHarbor Capital Partners and is still operating as a private ski and golf club. The resort is served by 15 lifts.

Vermont’s Hermitage Club
The $75 million Hermitage Club, (formally Haystack Mountain Resort) is the only private ski resort in the east. Initial cost is $65,000, plus $5,150 annual dues. Begun in 2011, membership is capped at 1,500, and is now 750 member-families. The club packages skiing with fine dining, luxury lodging, and year-round recreation including an 18-hole golf course and a covered ski lift with heated seats — all just a 3.5-hour drive from New York City.
It’s located in the towns of West Dover and Wilmington, to complement the small-town, historic flavor of the Deerfield Valley. After crossing a truss-and-lattice covered bridge at the club’s entrance, families encounter a resort with a 1842 country inn, folks skating on a pond, and gliding over the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh. In winter, there’s snowmobiling on the mountain after dark, traveling to a mountaintop cabin by Sno-Cat for fine dining, and a 5,000-bottle wine cellar.
The master plan for the club includes more than 100 homes, a $15 million hotel, and a $3 million airport expansion to accommodate the majority of the private jets of the members. A $21 million, 80,000-square-foot Club House has 14 spa and treatment rooms, a movie theater, and an edit suite for GoPro helmet cams — where skiers and boarders can edit footage they’ve recorded on runs and post it on social media.

Colorado’s Cimarron Mountain Club
Membership in Colorado’s new Cimarron Mountain Club are available but just 12 people get to buy into the resort. starting at almost $4 million each. Denver attorney John Aronstein has owned 2,000 acres on the north slope of the Colorado San Juan Mountains since 2002, but now plans to develop his personal winter playground into the most exclusive ski and snowboard mountain in the West. So far, more than 60 trails have been cut along a 2-1/2 mile ridge off 11,453-foot Castle Rock peak. There are a few beginner trails, but it’s mostly chutes, couloirs, and steep glades on 1,600 vertical feet on the north end of the mountain slope.
Access to the skiing terrain will be via unlimited Snocat rides for members and snowmobiles, which is the only way into the dozen multi-million-dollar homes to be built on the property. Home site prices range from $2.7 million to $3.8 million, and annual dues start at $50,000.

Or You Can Rent Utah’s Eagle Point Resort
For the less-wealty who still want to ski on a private mountain, for $10,000 per day, Eagle Point Resort in southwest Utah will, rent the whole ski hill for up to 200 guests any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday this ski season — equipment rentals included! About 40 cabins and condos are available at additional cost and the 12,000 square-foot Canyonside Lodge is available for parties, meetings, and entertainment.

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