Wilderness Club expands its horizons

Article content

True to its name, Montana’s Wilderness Club is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine and protected Kootenai National Forest. And, if you’re fortunate enough to be a homeowner in this small and revered mountain resort community, you can wander off on, say, a foraging expedition and be gone, well, a long, long time. However, this isn’t recommended. After all, there is just way too much to do right on the property.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Located approximately four hours southwest of Calgary near Eureka, Mont., the Wilderness Club is an upscale gated resort community that has, like a nice bottle of old-school California cabernet, aged quite nicely over the years. And there are plenty of new and exciting changes on the horizon.

Article content

Owned by Calgarian Brian Ehlert (his brother, Barry Ehlert, owns the Windmill Golf Group, which includes Mickelson National Golf Club, Heritage Pointe and The Hamptons, among others), Wilderness Club has weathered the COVID-19 storm and is currently underway with a significant expansion, which includes new residential phases and many more amenities.

“The pandemic taught us many things,” says Ehlert, who has owned the Wilderness Club since 2011. (The Wilderness Club was established in 2009.) “But the idea of living and working remotely has certainly been a lasting theme. People want to truly escape. And this is the essence of Wilderness Club. We have what many people are seeking in their recreation property. We’re in nature. We’re surrounded by mountains, lakes and protected forests. But there are numerous outdoor pursuits right here that are a huge draw as well.”

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

Unquestionably, the star of the show at Wilderness Club is the spectacular Sir Nick Faldo designed golf course, which is now managed by Troon Golf. Routed through towering lodgepole pine and featuring beautiful bunkering and shaping throughout, the 7,207-yard course is consistently touted as one of the best golf courses in the state of Montana by reputable publications such as Golf Digest and Golfweek.

Unquestionably, it’s the “in nature” element of the golf course that really stands out. Eye-popping mountain vistas, dramatic elevation changes, and a gorgeous finishing run along the lake are other highly memorable elements. (The golf course is open for public play and stay-and-play packages are readily available at www.wildernessclubmontana.com.)

An outstanding disc golf course (also considered one of the best in the state), pickleball courts, outdoor pool and waterpark (with a super-fast 75-metre waterslide), kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding on the lake, beach volleyball, basketball, soccer, bocce and a fitness centre are other activities that you can do at Wilderness Club.

Advertisement 4

Article content

However, it’s the next chapter at Wilderness Club that is now piquing the most interest. Two new residential phases, a beach club on Lake Koocanusa, and, perhaps the most exciting component, a spacious new village centre that will be located overlooking Wilderness Lake and the stunning 18th hole of the golf course, are the key pieces.

“The first phase of construction for the village centre will be starting this fall,” says Ehlert. “The initial phase includes a meticulously planned, state-of-the-art general store that will cater to the diverse needs of our community. The centre will also be home to our new golf shop, real estate centre, front desk and concierge for our members and guests, dining options, and a luxurious events centre that overlooks the lake. This grand venue will host everything from weddings and conferences to community gatherings and celebrations. It’s going to be set in a prime location with exceptional views in every direction.”

Not surprisingly, many of the newly released lots (approximately 30 in the latest phases) will also feature beautiful mountain and lake views. The 550-acre resort community, which is about 50 per cent complete, features luxurious cabins, cottages, as well as large estate lots with custom-built homes. The architectural theme at Wilderness Club blends mountain modern elements with plenty of rustic wood and stone. Vaulted ceilings, lofts, stone fireplaces, large timber beams, sunken cedar hot tubs and spacious wrap-around decks are common elements throughout the community.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Lot prices at Wilderness Club start at $195,000 and top out at $350,000. Home prices start at $745,000. Prices are in US dollars.

“Although many of our Canadian owners sold during COVID-19 due to the border closures and travel restrictions, our community remains multi-national,” says Ehlert. “Canadians, especially Albertans, are coming back in high numbers and interest is strong. Our sales centre is busy.”

Yes, given the times, the allure of “the wilderness” might just be the biggest reason why places like Wilderness Club are gaining plenty of traction. You just don’t wander off too far.

THE DETAILS

COMMUNITY: Wilderness Club.

LOCATION: Eureka, Mont.

DEVELOPER: Brian Ehlert.

INFORMATION: wildernessclubhomes.com

WHAT’S AVAILABLE: Luxury cottages and estate homes.

PRICE: Lots from $195,000 USD.

Article content