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Predator Ridge resort rolls out golf, wine and scenery in Pacific Northwest
By Katharine Dyson,
The Predator Ridge resort and golf community is an appealing option for those looking for second or vacation homes. Real estate sales have been good since the first properties came on the market in 1999 and appreciation has been impressive.
There's a little piece of heaven in the southwestern corner of Canada: the Okanagan Valley. The only tough part is learning how to spell it. Think wine, golf, lakes and drop-dead scenery. Playing courses like Predator Ridge, Harvest Golf Club and Gallagher's Canyon only adds to the superlatives that describe golfing here.
Blessed by a sunny high-desert climate, the Okanagan Valley is in the southern mid-section of British Columbia (that's in Canada, not the UK or South America) - just four and a half hours from Vancouver and six hours from Seattle.
The area is filled with lakes, orchards and more than 100 wineries. Kelowna is the big Kahuna when it comes to cities, Lake Okanagan is the epicenter and ice wine, which has been called a sweet dessert in a bottle, is a locally made, highly prized product.
I didn't see a whole lot of congestion either on the roads or in the air. Even in the cities of Kelowna, where small boutiques, cafes, art galleries and one-of-a-kind shops line the streets, and Vernon north of Kelowna near Predator Ridge Golf Resort, life runs sweetly, the air is fresh.
Predator Ridge real estate
One of the premier properties in BC, Predator Ridge resort is situated on 1,200 acres between Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes. Its perky collection of 58 craftsmen-style cottages and 78 lodge suites surround 27 spectacular holes of golf. Think remote, natural, a.k.a. Oregon's Bandon Dunes or Pronghorn, and you get the picture.
Appealing to those looking for second or vacation homes as well as those who want to downsize, Predator Ridge residences have large kitchens, double garages and generous storage areas. Special features include stone fireplaces, balconies, high ceilings, decks and large windows revealing stunning views of the golf course or valley. Some homes have double masters with en suite baths.
Designed to blend into the surroundings, The Lodge & Spa buildings echo the natural colors of the environment, as do the construction materials of wood and stone. For the most part, the interiors also evoke a sense of the outdoors, with soft natural colors and appointment like clay pottery, nature-oriented artwork and textured fabrics.
Sales have been good since the first 41 Peregrine Cottages came on the market in 1999. And in 2006 and 2007 phases one and two of Osprey Coach Homes, sited along the Osprey course, sold out within an hour.
In addition to the one- and two- bedroom Lodge Suites overlooking the golf course and hills (500 to 1,000 square feet), there are approximately nine neighborhoods at Predator Ridge, including Longspoon Ridge, Falcon Point, Dormie Point and the new Birdie Lake. When completed the master plan calls for the community to have 1,800 to 2,100 homes.
Appreciation has been impressive. Homes at Domie Hills, which opened in 2004 with home sites selling for $150,000, have been resold for up to $270,000.
Ross McGaw, sales director, says, "Since the very beginning, sales at Predator Ridge have been consistently solid. We have an established reputation for quality both in the design and construction of our homes and amenities. Our spectacular golf is a huge asset.
"This year we introduced our first ever town homes, which have opened up interest from a new market for us, young couples and families who are looking for a resort lifestyle that offers affordability, convenience - but still the luxury that Predator Ridge is so well known for."
Longspoon Ridge, a new neighborhood with 34 home sites above Dormie Hills and west-facing views of Okanagan Lake or Osprey's downhill hole No. 8, is offering home sites from $165,000.
The homes in Vista View (2,500 square feet) - and Vista Crest's 26 homes set on the hillside above - round out the neighborhoods.
People visit and buy here because they love outdoor pursuits like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, water sports and, of course, golf. They also like the carefree lifestyle: the development takes care of landscaping, snow removal, maintenance and operating details.
It is fitting that Predator Ridge is the result of the efforts of the man who first brought Titleist golf equipment to Canada, in 1957. Growing his business from $35,000 to $35 million, Herb Paterson eventually sold his business back to Titleist and began fulfilling his dream of building his own golf resort. In 2007 Paterson and his partners sold Predator Ridge to Wesbild Holdings Ltd.
Golf at Predator Ridge
The first course opened in 1991. Currently there are 27 holes designed by Les Furber, but work is progressing on another nine designed by Doug Carrick and scheduled to open in 2010.
The courses get high marks from Sergio Garcia, who played in the 2000 Skins Game at Predator Ridge. Indeed, he liked the place so much, he bought two cottages. Earning 4.5 stars from Golf Digest, the layout has holes routed around lakes, pines, meadows and streams.
Sage-covered hills, bentgrass greens and dazzling white silica bunkers set the stage for a feathered population of red tail, osprey and peregrine, which also happen to be the names of the three courses.
Besides golf, Predator Ridge has three outdoor pools and hot tubs, a fitness center, a spa, a newly renovated clubhouse, café, Golf Performance Centre, an extensive practice facility, and a network of walking and hiking trails along with activities like weekly yoga, spin and pilates classes.
Predator Ridge has received numerous "best" awards; Best Community in Okanagan's lake district and Best Resort Development are just two. Last year the Canadian Homebuilders Association awarded "The Preston" design the "Best Production Home over 2,200 square feet."
Those who want to stay and play golf at Predator Ridge have a choice of accommodations in the spacious lodge suites or the Peregrine Cottages and Falcon Point Vacation homes. A golf package based on double occupancy is priced from $168 per person and includes golf and lodging.
For more information, see PredatorRidge.com or call (888) 578-6688.
August 27, 2008
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.