All the details are below, and here is the link to the membership sign-up form and here is a description of the amenities currently available.
What’s included in membership?
Members have use of the Spring House, the Writer’s Hut, and the grounds, as well as seasonal use of our boat on Lake Glenville (more on that below). We provide housekeeping between visits and during longer stays.
How many members do you expect to have in this first phase?
Until we complete the next phase of construction (probably some time in 2024), we plan to offer only about 15 memberships.
How does membership work?
Each lodging and the boat have a designated number of points associated with each date. Members may have used 10,000 points in the most recent 12 months, and they may hold that many points in reservation for future dates. The calendar will always extend at least a year into the future.
How much does it cost?
Membership is $2,500 per quarter. When joining, members commit for the first year; thereafter, they may cancel any time.
May my friends or colleagues use my points?
Yes, they may! Your loved ones, friends, and colleagues may use your points as your guest.
How might a member use Big Ridge over the course of a year?
To give you a frame of reference, here is what 7 visits over twelve months might look like:
– 1,395 points: 3 nights mid-week in June, both the Spring House’s upper level and garden level (four bedrooms)
– 1,660 points: 4 nights over a weekend in mid July, the upper level of the Spring House (2 bedrooms), plus two afternoons on the boat
– 1,710 points: A weekend in August, the entire property including the Writer’s Hut (5 bedrooms), plus two afternoons on the boat
– 620 points: 2 nights mid-week in early November, the entire Spring House
– 540 points: A weekend in mid November, the upper level of the Spring House
– 1,550 points: 3 nights beginning New Year’s Eve, the entire Spring House
– 620 points: 2 nights mid-week in late February, the entire Spring House
Over the course of that year, this member, their friends, their loved ones, and their colleagues enjoyed 18 nights at Big Ridge (a total of 62 bedroom nights in all), plus 4 summer days on the boat. Also, that adds up to just 8,094 points, so the member could have visited more often if they’d wanted to.
How do reservations work?
In the first year or so, we’re going to employ a pretty low tech process: Members will have access to this calendar showing availability. They’ll text, call, or email to reserve their preferred dates, and they’ll be booked! This is how we did it during our “soft-launch” and it worked pretty well.
Again, members can hold in reservation up to 10,000 points in the future, and have used 10,000 points in the most recent 12 months. They’ll get a monthly statement showing these details.
Cancellations within two weeks of a visit will incur a 50% points charge, and cancellations within a week will incur a 100% points charge. There is no charge for reservations cancelled within a day of the booking.
The Big Ridge Membership Club model is a bit novel, and I haven’t found any off-the-shelf software tools available to handle this sort of system. Maybe something will emerge within a year or so, but I’m expecting that won’t happen and we’ll need to build something ourselves to be able to handle a larger membership. In the meantime, the small membership of our first phase allows us to make sure this sort of system works for our members, and make adjustments as needed.
Refundable first quarter
For those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to visit, joining now would require that you join sight-unseen. I don’t like the idea of committing anyone to something they don’t fully understand. As such, if you haven’t yet been able to stay in the Spring House but you do want to join now, if you come up and then decide Big Ridge is not for you, we’ll cancel your membership and refund your first quarterly payment.
Dining not included (yet)
A significant part of the Big Ridge Mountain Club plan includes full-service, family-style dining, which will commence after we complete the next phase of development. In the meantime, the upper level of the Spring House has a fully-functional kitchen and the garden level has a robust kitchenette.
Important info about the boat
Members will also have access to our great sport boat (a 2012 Moomba Mojo) on nearby Lake Glenville. It’s available for your use from late May to late September. It is not as simple as a pontoon boat and therefore requires an hour-long orientation for the pilot. My son Alex or I will provide the orientation, so let me know when it’s convenient for you, and we’ll make arrangements to do that when you’re up there.
What are you planning for the future?
We aim to break ground on the second phase of development early next year. That will include the main lodge building (our working name is the Hamburg House), a pool and event pavilion, and another cottage. With completion of that phase, we’ll be able to fully-staff the club, and provide family style meals for members and full-time housekeeping.
I like it! How do I join?
Here is the sign up form. I look forward to seeing you in the mountains!