cp fishingWe’ve looked at a few ski areas recently (namely Aspen and Taos), but as the temperatures warm and ski season begins to wrap up, it’s time to return closer to home and talk about the really important stuff: bass fishing! (more…)

Boot Ranch Chef Aaron StreitmaterBoot Ranch is our favorite vacation (or permanent!) home community in the Texas Hill Country. When Chef Aaron J. Staudenmaier moved to Fredericksburg (from Dallas — he worked under Chef Kent Rathbun at Abacus, Jasper’s and at the farm-to-table concept, Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen) to become the Boot Ranch Executive Chef in October 2012, he came with a vision to showcase the best of the Texas Hill Country farms and vineyards in five-star style. With several seasons of exploring the best farmers and vendors in the area under his belt and refining his creative ideas with their ingredients, Chef Staudenmaier is ready to share some of his introspection and findings. His quest continues and the bounty begins:

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Long Cove proving groundsDoug Gibbs, Director of Resident Services over at Long Cove, tells us he is gearing up for the most active spring season ever. EVER. And he means that literally because The Toy Barn — remember that? — is filling up with athletic equipment of all kinds. From Lacrosse to biking and baseball and fishing, there is enough gear in this the fanciest of “toy barns”for everyone in the family! That means at least an activity or two per family. And the golf clubs are on order.

But if athletic activity doesn’t float your boat, well, the Coast Guard Auxiliary sure will. 

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Phillip Day may just have the most enviable job in the world right now. While most of North America is freezing – buckets of snow in the northeast, 23 degrees tonight in Dallas brrrrr – Phillip is in charge of the sales and marketing for the best second home property in the Carribean, BahaMar, in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Better yet, BahaMar’s Vice President of Residential Sales is a Texan. Raised in Dallas and educated down the road at Baylor, Phillip is one of us! Here’s a little bit about BahaMar: The $3.6 billion, yes, with a “B”, project is set on 1,000 acres of prime beachfront paradise and will soon become one of the world’s largest, most luxurious resorts with everything jet-setting second home owners who love water, sun and fun could desire, and then more. That sun part is really sounding good right about now.

The total square footage of the development is expected to hit 3.3 million, with every square inch devoted to luxury. Baha Mar’s Grand Opening is set for December, 2014. There will be four hotels including a luxury Grand Hyatt, Rosewood, Mondrian and the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel. All of the hotels will surround a 100,000 square foot casino that promises to combine the best of Las Vegas and Monte Carlo. Jack Nicklaus himself is directing construction of a brand new 18-hole Nicklaus Signature golf course. Baha Mar includes a world-class convention center, a 2,000 seat concert hall, world-class spas, 40+ luxury retail stores, 30+ restaurants, bars and nightclubs and all set on one of the world’s most spectacular beaches.

DSC_0034-3Baha Mar is selling 274 fully furnished tastefully designed private residences. There will be one to three bedroom condominiums along with a handful of four bedroom beach villas all overlooking miles and miles of sparkling clear, aqua blue ocean.

Baha Mar even allows residence owners to participate in the hotel brand’s rental programs – a great way to pay for maintenance costs! Perhaps the best news yet: the lift will be so convenient, you will practically land at the resort.

Seriously, Baha Mar has already invested $250 million in building new tree-lined boulevards that will connect the resort to Nassau’s sparkling new Lynden Pindling International Airport with only a 10 minute ride. Lynden Pindling is the largest airport in The Bahamas, and was recently enlarged even more. If you fly private, you can depart the mainland and be on the beach by ten. Fly commercial, you can early-bird it from DFW via Miami in the morning, and be on the beach by afternoon. Thawing out from the cold at my computer, toes numb, I called Phillip to find out how things are progressing at Baha Mar:

CD: So yes, Phillip, we are freezing our arses off in Texas. The pre-holiday ice storm blew out our spa. We had a few days of paradise then this. It’s 37 outside right now. What is your temperature in Nassau?

Phillip: As a Dallas native, I remember how incredibly cold it gets during Texas winter blasts! I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that the temperature here in Nassau is in the high 70s. Every day is a beach day!

 

CD: What’s the water temp?

Phillip: I don’t know the exact water temperature today but I can tell you that I’m looking out the window of my office at Cable Beach and there are lots of smiling people swimming in the blue ocean!

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CD: I hate you. Was it crowded over the holidays (trying to think negative thoughts)?

Phillip: Baha Mar won’t open until December 2014 so we don’t have guests yet. However, I can tell you that the Baha Mar teams from Rosewood, Grand Hyatt, Mondrian and the Baha Mar Casino Hotel are already hard at work as they prepare for next holiday season. It’s going to be an incredible five star Grand Opening experience in one of the most glorious settings in the world!

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CD: Any movie star sightings? Some of our friends were splashing with Reese Witherspoon.

Phillip: We had a few. I saw Richard Gere and started to tell him about you but I’m sure it would have made Walter jealous.

CD: What happens in BahaMar stays in BahaMar. How’s my boyfriend, Sean Connery?

Phillip: Playing golf every day at Lyford Cay. Don’t get too excited, Candy. He plays golf with his wife.

CD: So I take it that with the purchase of a home at BahaMar, I could be escaping this frozen hell-hole as long as Jet Blue doesn’t cancel my flight out there, or Southwest doesn’t land in Cincinnati by mistake?

Phillip: Absolutely! The trip from Dallas is so easy. My favorite is the direct flight American offers from DFW to Nassau.

CD: How much to get me in the door – a pied a terre, a studio, a room with an electric kettle – anywhere to get my beauty sleep in-between sundown and dawn?

Phillip: Our prices start at just over $1,000,000 for a fully furnished one bedroom residence. But you have two children who will want to come with you and Walter so you should look at the larger residences. We have two and three bedroom residences along with a handful of stunning four bedroom villas. As I’m sure you remember from your visit here earlier in the year, all of our residences come equipped with phenomenal ocean views and an easy path to the white beaches.

CD: Oh I remember. Sales going well?

Phillip: We are very, very pleased with our sales thus far. In fact, we just sold a gorgeous Mondrian residence about an hour ago to a wonderful Montreal-based family!

CD: Where are most of the buyers coming from?

Phillip: Baha Mar owners will truly represent the world. We have many purchasers from, of course, the United States and Canada. But we also have buyers from as far away as China, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, France, Italy, Venezuela and Brazil.

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CD: And the opening is in less than a year…

Phillip: Grand Opening will be in December of this year and, because it is a single-phase development, all of the amenities will be unveiled together. It’s so much fun to see everything take shape. You see the beautiful architecture becoming a reality, the grass of the Nicklaus Signature golf course growing in, the Bellagio-style show fountains being built, etc… and it just takes your breath away. The level of luxury that Baha Mar will provide will truly be something the Caribbean has never seen before. But maybe the best thing to see is the incredible team of professionals Baha Mar has assembled. I’ve never seen such passion for a single goal – to provide the ultimate resort experience to our owners and guests. Baha Mar is going to blow people away!

Tahoe Snow

I ran into a friend over the holidays right about the time I was mailing off my water bill, frantically. Seems I had switched from paper to electronic billing, but then the emails never arrived, I got busy, and yes, I faced the holidays with a termination letter from Dallas Water. One of our refrigerators broke down and defrosted because power surges during the ice storm blew the computer panel. Just got the dryer repaired, then the pool heater broke. Our friend has a couple homes he has to maintain, and commiserated: how do you manage to keep up all your homes, I asked?

“It’s almost a full-time job,” he said. “You have these systems — heat, A/C, the pool — and at any given time one or another can go out. That’s why you have multiples.”

This friend keeps an Excel spread sheet of when every bill is due at each home, and lists all the systems — heat, A/C, hot water heaters, pool equipment, appliances, by date and when last repaired. And he never leaves home without it.

There must be an iphone ap for this?

Tahoe Vista sunset

Dallas resident Lisa Harvell has three homes, one in Lake Tahoe, one at Lake Whitney, and one in Dallas.

How does she keep them organized?

I am naturally an organized person, says Lisa. The properties outside of Dallas are very low maintenance. At Lake Whitney, it’s more natural, there’s no grass to mow, and Lake Tahoe is totally rustic.

“All we have used out at the lake is a weed eater,” says Lisa, who works at Timious Real Estate Title & Development.

No Excel tricks for Lisa — “I’m old school,” she says, “I just pay the bills when they come in the mail.”

Do you really use your homes, I asked?

Tahoe Backyard & conservation area Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe

Yes! Lisa and her husband of 44 years go to Lake Whitney, to their two bedroom, two bath log cabin with an awesome porch, almost every weekend in spring and summer. It’s a one and a half hour drive. They hit Lake Tahoe 3 to 4 times a year, flying in to Reno and then driving. That home is also a two bedroom, two bath single family with a great room and huge deck located in Tahoe Vista, population 200, on the north side of the lake.

“As you can tell, I spend half my life on that deck,” she says.

Right now, one son lives in the Tahoe house, which makes upkeep a lot easier.

Does Lisa have any second thoughts about multiple home ownership?

You have to be invested emotionally, she says. She loves being in and around nature, and has no plans to lease her casas.

“I bought them for the love of the area,” she says. “I have a high stress job and need a lot of short trips to decompress.”

Tell us how you manage all your real estate properties, keeping up first, second and third homes… it’s pretty amazing!

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What three words all but guarantee a crowd and a good time, even during the craziness of the holidays? The Texas Hill Country and Golf!

BootRanch 12.4 Candy Sean Jason

 

Me, Sean Gioffre and Jason Lenox

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Amy Weinreb, Ralph Randall

Keith Cross

Keith and Melinda Cross

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Andrew Ball, Vicki White, Sean Gioffre

Joyce, Jan, wfe and Glen

Joyce Kelly, Jan and Walter Evans, Glen Boudreaux

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The divine Karen Luter

SecondShelters.com, Anteks and Boot Ranch threw a fun little event on December 4 down in the Dallas Design District, talking about all three. More than 67 people came by to check out the luxurious second home destination originally developed by golf great Hal Sutton: Boot Ranch.Sean Gioffre and Andrew Ball (up from Boot) had their boots on and ready to stomp out some Dallas fun. Some of those included current Boot Ranch homeowners who wanted to spread the word about what a great place Fredericksburg is for a second or permanent home only four hours southwest of Dallas.

Candy and Hal Sutton

Hal Sutton in Dallas last spring

Sutton’s development dream team planned for 387 home sites of various sizes, shapes, and prices, all with a definite Texas Hill Country look and flavor. He chose a beautiful spread of 2050 acres with the Palo Alto Creek winding through about five miles north of Fredericksburg, on the road to Llano. In case you don’t know, this is where most big time Texas billionaires play rancher — Kelcy Warren, Tav Lupton, David Bamberger of Church’s Fried Chicken fame, to name a few. Here Hal created one of the best golf courses in Texas, a place he hoped would and believes will rival Augusta National. With its rugged hills dotted with cedars, curves and creatures, Boot Ranch offers golfers some of the most beautiful golfing terrain in the state. There are twin 40-foot waterfalls in front of the 10th green. The Dallas Morning News has ranked Boot Ranch no less than five times as one of the Top Ten Courses in Texas, and the course has been rated by Golf Digest as one of the Top 10 courses in the COUNTRY. The course measures 7,250 yards from the championship tees for a par of 71. Even veteran golfers find it a challenge each time they play. There is also a 34-acre practice park, which includes a short game range and an executive Par-3 course. The Director of golf is Emil Hale, hand-picked by Sutton himself.

Anteks, of course, is the best place in town to find rustic home furnishings perfect for a second home in the Hill Country, or anywhere.

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Edo Popken, Candy Evans, Adam Endick
Kim Macleod, Randy Pruett, Candy Evans
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Current Boot Ranch residents mingled with designers, entrepreneurs and of course, Realtors!Bernadette SchaefflerEdo PopkenMargaret Chambers, Glen Boudreaux, Keith Cross, John Bolt, Joyce Kelley of Nathan Grace Realtors, Karen Luter of Allie Beth Allman,  Amy Weintraub and Ralph Randall of Dave Perry Miller, Marvin Jolley, Vicki White, Jane Idzi, and Susan Mooney, all from the Keller Williams Elite office at Preston Center, and more. All nibbled Wendy Krispin and tossed in names for prizes, from a bottle of Museum Tower’s private reserve wine to a collection of goodies from British Emporium to the big cahuna — a golf weekend outing weekend at Boot Ranch and luxurious accomodations.

Of course, we all explored Anteks, including Jason Lenox’ copper accessories line recognized as one of  Oprah’s Favorite Things 2013. Outside, a Range Rover Evoque sat in front of Antek’s, reminding everyone that this is the perfect SUV for a little off roading in your new home on the range. Fabulous photography at the party by genius Bob Manzano.

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Empire Pass Front

Word comes from Ben Fisher of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty that Jim Furyk, one of the best golfers in the world and the one with the most distinctive swing, is selling his Deer Valley ski condo for a tidy $2.399 million.

Jim Furyk

The 2,100-square-foot condo is inside the exclusive Flagstaff at Empire Pass, the newest building inside the Villages at Empire Pass. So just what do you get with this amazing three-bedroom, four-bath unit?

An easy walk to the Talisker Club for breakfast or hors d’oeuvres in the evening. Spa rooms, jet tubs and a pool are all there, Flagstaff onsite amenities include a kids room, workout facility, a pub for meeting your friend for apres ski. Hot tub and fire pit draw you outside even in the winter months. The property is sold furnished and the seller will pay the $100,000 deposit to Talisker for a full club membership.

Sounds like a pretty amazing deal, don’t you think?

Empire Pass Living Empire Pass Kitchen Empire Pass nook Empire Pass Bath