As a skier, there’s nothing better than getting first tracks. Sure, you need to wake up well before dawn, get yourself to the mountain and hopefully wait in just a short line along with your fellow dedicated mountain bunnies.
Once up top, you can peek for just a moment at a mountain that is all yours. Just fresh powder, even fresher air and no people to weave in and out of as you carve down the mountain.
But, those first solo tracks is likely all you’ll get as mountains are getting more crowded than ever and there’s nothing you can do about it, except, well, buy a private mountain.
And that’s exactly what Cimarron Mountain Club wants you to do.
Cimarron Mountain Club (“CMC”) is an exclusive (and we mean extremely exclusive) ski club on a very big mountain. The mountain, located in Colorado, includes 1,750 private wilderness acres ready for you to take on… that is of course if you can pay about $3.2 million and if your application is accepted. And don’t forget the $55,000 to $65,000 annual dues.
“Private ski resorts are the new private jet,” Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations, a Virtuoso Ltd. travel agency, told Bloomberg about the increasing popularity of properties like CMC. “They give luxury travelers a hassle-free, line-free experience, so they can focus more attention on their family and travel partners.”
See, CMC and those 1,750 acres will be shared by just 15 members and their families and friends, but may just be worth the investment if you’re serious about skiing and the outdoors as it also comes with 1,610 vertical feet and a projected 80 runs from beginner to expert, meaning it actually has more skiable terrain than Aspen Mountain.
The idea for this private ski heaven came straight from the mind of Jim Aronstein, a retired natural-resources lawyer from Denver and his wife, Patsy, who both searched high and low through the western mountain ranges for what could be the world’s only, intimate private wilderness club with skiable terrain to rival the best.
The Aronstein’s purchased the land in 2004 and in 2012 invited some close friends, Kim and Gail Koehn, to join them as the initial Members. Next, the couple started thinking about how they could share the mountain with just a few other ski lovers.
First, they called John Norton, a classmate of Jim’s at Dartmouth College who also happens to be the former second-in-command at Aspen Skiing Co. and boss of Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Norton then invited Johnnie Stevens, the former COO of Telluride Ski Resort, Andy Daly, the former President of Vail Resorts and mayor of the town of Vail, and Bill Kane, the former planner for Aspen Skiing Co. and longtime principal of planning outfit Design Workshop, who now serves on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.
Each of these ski industry heavyweights has been serving as an informal Board of Advisors ever since and have contributed significantly to the unique vision of CMC.
So what did this dream team of skiers come up with for that $3.2 million price tag?
Beyond private skiing, members will also get a 35-acre parcel on the land that they could choose to build a cabin on. However, they don’t have to as for the price they will also gain access to the mountain’s main lodge, which will come complete with rooms and condos to rent. According to Mountain Living, the central lodge will come with approximately 14,000 square feet including six guest rooms multiple seating and dining areas, bar, game and kids' areas, fitness, steam and massage rooms, outdoor pool, hot tub and an ice skating pond.
Or, members can choose to stay in one of three four-bedroom club cabins, which will be just a short walk from the lodge. Those cabins will come complete with two master suites and two additional bedrooms, living and dining areas and outdoor seating areas.
And of course, members will be able to use the club and the mountain all year long with hiking, 15 stocked ponds and a 20-acre mountain lake on property ready to explore, along with a planned three-mile singletrack mountain bike loop for tons of summer fun.
Want in? You better hurry as the Denver Post reported that six of the 15 memberships have already sold for the mountain’s 2018/2019 projected opening.
If you’re looking for this private club feel without the enormous price tag check out places like Silverton Mountain, a private mountain in Colorado that only allows 80 people to hit the slopes per day. Tickets for unguided skiing go for just $69 per person per day, but be warned that this mountain tends to sell out months in advance.
Want all of Silverton Mountain to yourself? You can rent that too, for just $14,000 a day. But it may be worth it as Aaron Brill, co-owner of Silverton Mountain told Bloomberg, “Fresh powder is one of the rarest commodities in the world.”