There are only so many times you can handle battling the hordes on Australian ski slopes, and unless there's a special occasion, that number is usually one. Ice thinner than your grandpa's hair has pushed Aussie's to fork out extra dough in favour of snowsport utopias like Japan and Canada. But how much would you pay for 1,750 acres of untouched North American powder? For those who call this private club home, that number is extremely high.
Cimarron Mountain Club in Colorado might be the world's most exclusive ski resort and open to only 13 members at one time. The Club sits in the San Juan Mountains, a rugged range that makes up part of the Rocky Mountains approximately 4.5 hours drive from the revered winter town of Aspen. Currently, The Club boasts 60 ski runs and offers heli-skiing for off-piste enthusiasts.
To get a touch, an initial fee of $AU3.71 million is required, plus an annual fee of $AU87,000 to cover operating costs. For your cash, you'll get 115 days of skiing per family member, shared access to a four bedroom lodge, and a 35-acre parcel of land on which to build a personal chalet (although OTT mansions are prohibited).
Cimarron Mountain Club is the brainchild of Jim Aronstein, a retired natural resources lawyer, with the goal of creating a sanctuary for a select few families to enjoy. In an interview with Business Insider, Aronstein said "I was simply tired of the ski resort experience and dreamed for decades about creating the world’s only intimate and private wilderness club with skiable terrain to rival the best. My wife and I identified more than a dozen potential sites, located in six Rocky Mountain states and provinces, and visited every one. In the end, just one met all the criteria."
The Club officially launched in July 2018, with six families already signed up and just seven family spots remaining up for grabs. According to a resort representative, all members are self-professed "powder-hounds and highly successful titans of industry".
Members aren't restricted to winter months though, as the Club is open year round and offers extensive hiking trails, fishing at 15 stocked ponds, hunting, canoeing and mountain biking. Check out the promo video for Cimarron Mountain Club below:
Cimmaron isn't unique in its pricey membership structure - a number of alternative exclusive mountains have been around for decades. The Yellowstone Club in Montana was reportedly the first of these clubs, with notable members over the years including Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. Yellowstone's buy-in is around $AU420,000, but since potential members have to own a property in the reserve as a prerequisite for inclusion (which can cost between AU$2.8 million and AU$35 million), the total cost can be greater than Cimarron. Also worth consideration is the exclusivity factor, as Yellowstone has in the vicinity of 250 members.
All images courtesy of Cimarron Mountain Club.