Martis Camp in Truckee, CaliforniaFEATURE STORY

New Martis Camp community a luxurious gateway to Lake Tahoe's mountain splendor

TRUCKEE, Calif. -- One of Northern California's newest luxury residential communities, Martis Camp, features home sites amidst the mountain splendor of the High Sierras near Lake Tahoe.

Which begs the real question: How often would even want to be inside of your new home?

Just minutes from the old mining town of Truckee, Martis Camp brings the best of the area's spectacular surroundings right to your doorstep. The Tahoe area is a four seasons community that doesn't lend itself to loafing around. This mountain getaway is where the action is.

"Lake Tahoe is really becoming the 'in' destination by wrapping the best every season has to offer in one place," said Brian Hull. "You can enjoy all your favorite recreational actitivities any time of year."

Martis Camp in Truckee, CaliforniaIn the winter, this includes exclusive ski-in/ski-out access to Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort's ski slopes via the Martis Express ski lift. But if snow season in the mountains leaves you hankering for more golf, a half hour's drive over the mountains brings you to Reno-Sparks, which offers a sunny, high-desert climate that is usually suitable year round for golf.

This is also the location of Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which has non-stop service to most of the West's major cities including Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix. For private fliers, Truckee's commuter airport is just five minutes down the road.

A glimpse at Martis Camp's initial home construction reveals architecture styles that range from more classic, mountain lodge homes to more contemporary and eco-friendly models. When the development is fully built to its 653 sites, less than 10 percent of the land will have been developed and 85 percent will remain native vegetation. Estate lots start as small as about 1.5 acres and are priced starting at $400,000, while smaller cabin lots near the club amenities are also available. Sites range from homes perched overlooking the valley to tucked away in the woods.

Off-course activities at Martis Camp

Martis Camp in Truckee, CaliforniaThe golf season around Lake Tahoe can be tantalizingly short, but the brand new Family Barn, which won Best Recreational Use Facility at the Golden Nugget builder awards in June (one of three awards won by Martis Camp), keeps things busy no matter the weather.

Step inside the new facility, and what's offered inside is a surprise around every corner. To the left is a full-length basketball court (that also has nets and sticks for street hockey), while below is a two-lane bowling alley.

It's not all sports, though. Tucked away is a movie theatre, and outside is a concert venue. Head upstairs, and you'll discover an area totally unexpected: an art loft where residents can get their hands dirty in one of many classes offered.

With the official opening of the Family Barn out of the way, attention now turns to the main clubhouse that will sit overlooking the 18th hole and feature fine dining, a full-service spa, outdoor patio and more. Plans currently call for the clubhouse to open the fourth of July weekend of 2011, which will kick off Tahoe's summer season.

Golf at Martis Camp

The centerpiece of the community is the new private golf course at Martis Camp, a mountain marvel designed by Tom Fazio that can stretch to more than 7,700 yards. Rest assured, between the many elevated tee shots and 5,900-6,500 feet of altitude and firm, fast fairways everyone feels like a big hitter at some point throughout the round.

Martis Camp golf course - No. 17That's not to say the course is a pushover, either. Among the club's early members are The PLAYERS champion Tim Clark and Ricky Barnes, and the back tee slope rating is a hearty 75.9/141.

Fazio is a master at creating some exceptionally photogenic holes that in all likelihood sells a good amount of real estate wherever his project may be. In a setting as spectacular as Martis Valley in the High Sierras, there are numerous contenders for a signature hole -- or at least a signature view.

The par-3 17th features a green that sits atop a slope and rock outcroppings, while numerous other green sites and elevated tee shots make the most of the course's location beside Northstar. One of the best vantage points is the 10th tee box, which sits high above the fairway and helps erase a few yards off the 642-yard sticker.

While Truckee's newer residential golf developments such as Gray's Crossing and Timilick (which is just down the road from the Martis Camp entrance) have opened up their tee sheet to public play, Martis Camp reports that demand for sales and memberships are still going strong, and they plan on remaining exclusively private.

Near the golf course is an amenity for those not up to a full round, an 18-hole, grass putting park designed by Dick Bailey that features a mix of short and long putts on multiple green levels. Between them, a gently tumbling creek running through it. "We wanted to create a water flow that was just big enough to create the gentle sound of running water," noted Bailey.

It's those kind of attention to details in construction that have led to Martis Camp becoming a prime mountain getaway.

July 9, 2010

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.

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