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Cordillera’s golf courses sold

CORDILLERA, Colorado – One of the partners in The Club at Cordillera has purchased the entire club, and has big plans for the future.

The purchase, which closed Friday, does not include the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, but does include the development’s four golf courses and clubhouses, as well as other facilities.

The new company, Cordillera Golf Club, LLC, is run by the Wilhelm Family Trust. David Wilhelm, a 40-year veteran of the development business and one of the first developers of the Cordillera Valley Club on the north side of Interstate 70, is the main shareholder in the trust. The trust also includes his sons Patrick, Jonathan and Nicholas. The family owns or is a partner in golf courses and clubs near Basalt and Aspen, as well as the Mayacama Club in Sonoma, Calif.

“Now that we own 100 percent of The Club at Cordillera, our goal is to re-establish it as one of the top private golf communities in the country,” David Wilhelm said in a release about the sale. “We look forward to providing high-quality family experiences that create lifelong memories.”

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But why do this deal now?

“The opportunity presented itself to obtain an irreplaceable asset in the Vail Valley,” Cordillera Golf Club President/CEO Rudy Anderson said. With 20 years of development and progress, Cordillera has a well-established presence in the valley, he added.

While the golf courses themselves won’t change, club members will see the first part of the new owners’ plans next week.

That first change will be to offer existing members something called a “premier membership.” That will allow the adult children of existing members to have full club privileges, including golf. The new membership will also give members access to the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt and to Mayacama. Those memberships will be transferable through members’ estates, too.

In the long run, Cordillera will create a vacation club, tied into the Wilhelms’ other properties.

In a background meeting before the sale closed, Nicholas Wilhelm said he and his family believe that the second-home market is going to evolve away from people buying large second homes they only use for a few weeks or months, and toward memberships in clubs that allow them to spend time at different luxury resorts. Cordillera is going to follow that model.

Developing real estate – particularly smaller, but still luxurious cottages and other units – is going to take some time.

“There are no unsold lots at Cordillera,” Anderson said. “But we’ll work with existing lot owners.”

Asked if he thought the new company could find willing sellers, Anderson said, “I don’t think that’ll be too difficult.”

Anderson is a longtime veteran of the resort and golf club business, and will relocate from Florida to come to Cordillera.

“This is a beautiful part of the country,” Anderson said. “And the opportunity to be involved in the redevelopment of an absolutely iconic property – what a way to use your bag of skills.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.

Golf courses: Three 18-hole courses and a 10-hole course.

Club amenities: The Trailhead, with a pool and children’s programs; the Summit Athletic Club; fly fishing and backcountry pack trips.

Members: About 800.

Web site: http://www.cordillera-vail.com.


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