Trendwest breaks ground on Round Hill time-share project
Trendwest Resorts, out of Washington, broke ground about two weeks ago on a 110-unit time-share project in Round Hill.
Trendwest purchased the 11-acre wooded site on Elks Point Road from Falcon Capital in May for $7.4 million, according to the Douglas County Assessor’s office.
Trendwest officials said Round Hill was chosen because of its unique environment and because many of the resort operator’s club members were interested in Tahoe as a vacation destination.
“We chose Lake Tahoe because of its vast recreation opportunities,” spokeswoman Pat Peckol said. “Come on. Where else on God’s green earth can you find everything Tahoe has to offer.”
Peckol said the resort will most likely be named the WorldMark Lake Tahoe. WorldMark is a homeowners association that sells membership in the resort’s ownership program. Club members earn vacation credits and can use them at any of Trendwest’s 44 resorts in the United States, British Columbia, Mexico, Fiji and Australia.
“The (Round Hill) project allows us to offer a limited number of units for sale through the Trendwest Fractional Interest Program,” said Gary Olmeim, Trendwest’s vice president of resort development. “The remaining units will be assigned to Worldmark, The Club.”
Peckol said a price range hasn’t been established for the time-shares, but she expects them to go on sale when Trendwest finishes construction of its six residential resort buildings, scheduled in spring 2002.
The unit size or amenities haven’t been decided on either, according to Peckol.
However, the resort will offer a lodge, pool and workout facility.
Falcon Capital had been trying to find a buyer for the property for three years. Sunterra Corporation entered into an agreement with Falcon in 1999, but backed out a month before it filed Chapter 11 protection.
Kevin Lane, son of Falcon co-owner Randy Lane, said Falcon owners even thought about developing the land, because time was running out on the three-year ground-breaking deadline set by Tahoe Regional Planning Agency permits.
“Trendwest made an offer in the 11th hour,” Lane said. “We sold it to them because we’re not in the business of developing resorts. The return could have potentially been a lot greater if we developed it, but the risk would also have been a lot greater.”
Falcon Capital was able to transfer market-rate allocations for the Round Hill resort from the demolition of the Lake Vista Apartments on Kahle Drive.
Pam Drum, TRPA public information officer, said Falcon is responsible for the restoration of the sensitive land along Kahle Drive where two of the five Lake Vista Apartments still stand. The restoration is one of TRPA’s requirements to mitigate the new construction.
The environmental assessments for the Round Hill project were completed and public comment collected nearly two years ago when Sunterra was going to build the resort, Lane said.
Sunterra originally proposed 138 units. Since Trendwest is constructing only 110 units, TRPA permits were issued to Trendwest after staff evaluation of the proposal and did not have to be voted on again by the bistate Governing Board.
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