Despite the fact that The Southridge Club didn't even have a membership deposit component, it is still one of the highest priced clubs in the history of the destination club industry.
Members instead simply paid annual dues. Memberships entailed a three year right to use affiliation with the club, where members would have ten nights of access each year. The cost of these annual dues amounted to $300,000 over the three year membership.
For these high annual costs, members would be able to enjoy the Hollywood lifestyle at three of the most famed properties in sunny Palm Springs, California.
Originally built in 1968, the Elrod House anchored the club's property collection. Designed by John Lautner, an apprentice early in his career to Frank Lloyd Wright, the estate would incorporate portions of the rocky terrain into the structure, having contractors build 10 feet deeper to unearth massive rocks that are now a pillar to the property's design. Created to serve as Arthur Elrod's "party house," the spectacular house features over 9,000 square feet of living space on the 23 acre lot.
"Just think of it as my pad, baby, OK?" directed Steve McQueen to Santa Monica decorator Peter Shore. "Decorate it as if it belonged to a man, a bachelor. No feminine stuff." Next door to the Elrod House, the Steve McQueen House would offer members the chance to step back into the past and enjoy the lifestyle of a Hollywood A-lister. McQueen's original furniture would remain in the property for members to enjoy at their leisure.
The third iconic property in The Southridge Club portfolio was the Boat House, a 4,400 square foot architectural marvel that has nothing to do with boats. Built for racecar drive James Jeffords in 1989, the four bedroom, five bath residence doesn't have the flair that the dramatic Elrod House has, but the sucken bar, glass fire place, and inviting pool all would delight members.
Members of The Southridge Club would have access to all three residences simultaneously, a total of 13 bedrooms and over 17,000 square feet of living space. With this abundance of room, The Southridge Club was designed primarily for large families traveling together or businesses looking to host once in a lifetime corporate retreats.
Despite the high price tag, the exclusive destination club would quickly find their first member; a US based billionaire. In November of 2009, just as the club was starting to ramp up their marketing efforts, the owner of the three club residences wished to move in another direction. Rather than pursuing the club venture, he would elect to sell the Elrod, Steve McQueen, and Boat Houses.
Despite the setback, the operators of The Southridge Clubs are considering the creation of similar club in the future. Targeting a European collection of residences, the as yet unnamed club will cater to the same audience that The Southridge Club identified.
Check back frequently to learn more about the status of any of these new clubs.