Discovery Land Company
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (August 2010)|
Discovery Land Company is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based developer and operator of resort communities and private clubs in North America. The Company has been noted as one of the world’s finest developers of resort communities by Robb Report Vacation Homes  and Luxury Living magazines.
- 1 History
- 2 Properties Developed
- 2.1 Baker’s Bay
- 2.2 El Dorado
- 2.3 Kukio
- 2.4 Gozzer Ranch
- 2.5 The Madison Club
- 2.6 Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club
- 2.7 The Hideaway
- 2.8 Spanish Oaks Golf Club
- 2.9 Foreclosure of Spanish Oaks
- 2.10 Mirabel
- 2.11 Vaquero
- 2.12 Iron Horse
- 2.13 Cordevalle Golf Club and Lodge
- 2.14 The Estancia Club
- 2.15 Yellowstone Club
- 3 Philanthropy
- 4 External links
- 5 References
Discovery Land Company was founded in the 1990s by Michael Meldman with the opening of The Estancia Club in Scottsdale, Arizona and then the Iron Horse project in Whitefish, Montana with an emphasis on family lifestyle and the establishment of Discovery’s Outdoor Pursuits programs. Discovery has since gone on to craft its brand as a developer of luxury family lifestyle clubs. Discovery’s portfolio includes 14 properties in Hawaii, California, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Texas, and North Carolina in the U.S. as well as Los Cabos, Mexico and the Abacos in the Bahamas.
Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club is a controversial private golf and ocean community, marina, and club located on the northern point of Great Guana Cay in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas. Only 150 miles (240 km) from the Florida coast, Baker’s Bay may feature more than 6 miles (9.7 km) of beachfront and offer views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Sea of Abaco, a private 18-hole Tom Fazio golf course, a private marina, as well as private beach club and spa. But the future of the development remains in question while a court date with the [Privy Council] looms. The 610-acre (2.47 km2) private community might offer 244 custom homesites, ranging up to 1-acre (4,000 m2) in size, 115 single-family developer-built residences, and a marina village with resort amenities.  The Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club is opposed by environmentalists, including the Sierra Club, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Greenpeace and others, particularly marine and coral conservationists, because of the impact of the marina and golf course on nearshore marine environments, including the island's coral reef.
Discovery Land Company faces Save Guana Cay Reef at the highest court in the British Commonwealth. On July 7, 2009, the locals of Great Guana Cay had their environmental case against Baker's Bay Golf & Ocean Club heard. According to the [Privy Council] website, the decision regarding the development's future will be on November 17, 2009.
Baker's Bay Golf & Ocean Club is opposed by dozens of conservation groups, including Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society as well as Sierra Club. Litigation against the government and Baker's Bay Club by citizens of Great Guana Cay continue. The first case is moving to Privy Council.
El Dorado is private, gated beachfront community and golf club located in Los Cabos, Mexico. The project has an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, and includes a beach and private golf club, and 210 custom estate residences, villas, and casitas on approximately 520 acres (2.10 km2) of beachfront land facing the Sea of Cortez. The project features custom lots, villas, and casitas with ocean front and view lots selling for $2M to $10M. 
Kukio is private beachfront community and golf club located on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The project has an 18-hole championship golf course and a 10-hole short course both designed by Tom Fazio, a private beach club, and 375 custom estate residences and cottages on over 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) of prime Kona Coast land. Lot prices at Kukio range from $1M to over $15M+ and membership is $275,000.  A private charter airline, the Kona Shuttle, provides transportation from Oakland, California.
Gozzer Ranch is a lakefront 395-home community and private club located in Northern Idaho in Coeur d’Alene. The community’s amenities include a Tom Fazio-designed golf course, luxurious fitness center and spa, full service 152-slip marina and family-friendly member service levels that raise the standard for lake front communities in the United States. Gozzer Ranch started sales in 2005 with lot prices averaging over $500,000. 
The Madison Club
The Madison Club is located adjacent to the Hideaway in La Quinta, California, The Madison Club is a private golf community. The Madison Club’s 225 home owners have access to an 18 hole Tom Fazio designed course, clubhouse / spa facilities, and member service. Lots' prices average over $2M. 
Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club
Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club is a private golf and residential community located in the Highlands-Cashiers region of the western North Carolina mountains. Acquired in late 2003, the development plan includes 318 homesites, 18 holes of private Tom Fazio golf, and a mountain lodge-style clubhouse. 
The Hideaway is a golf club and residential development located in La Quinta, California. The Hideaway’s 36 holes of golf provide members with Clive Clark and Pete Dye designs. The residential offering consists of 450 single-family homes and homesites. Lots are listed from $200,000 to $1M+. 
Spanish Oaks Golf Club
Acquired in September 2005, Spanish Oaks is a 400-home gated community and private golf club located in the Hill Country of Austin, Texas. In addition to the 18-hole Bobby Weed-designed golf course, development plans include a swimming hole, fish camp, Member’s clubhouse and Discovery’s signature Outdoor Pursuits program. 
Foreclosure of Spanish Oaks
In 2010, Spanish Oaks and its owners (Hillwood Partners, Discovery Land Company and CCNG, Inc.) defaulted on their original loan of $34.4 million and was forced into foreclosure. As a result, the property has been closed to its members since July 15, 2010. On September 7, 2010, Spanish Oaks Golf Club was sold in foreclosure to Comerica Bank for a reported $29 million, and although the remaining members of the club have been in talks with Comerica to re-open the golf course for play, no date has been set for this to occur. To date, all facilities, including the member's clubhouse and golf course, remain closed indefinitely.
Mirabel is 346 home gated golf community located on 713 acres (2.885 km2) of Sonoran Desert terrain in North Scottsdale. Situated at an elevation of 3,000 feet (910 m), Mirabel offers commanding views of the Scottsdale/Phoenix valley. The Tom Fazio-designed golf course opened in December 2001. Lot prices range from $300,000 to over $900,000 with a membership price of $125,000. 
Vaquero is a 335 home gated community located on 525 acres (2.125 km2) of rolling terrain in Westlake, Texas near DFW and Alliance airports. The community features a private Tom Fazio-designed golf course in North Texas. The golf course opened for play in November 2001. Lots range from about $200,000 to over $1.75M with a membership price of $175,000. 
Iron Horse is a Tom Fazio championship golf course and year round resort residential community comprising 311 home sites on 820 acres (3.32 km2), located in the popular resort area of Whitefish, Montana. The project broke ground in 1998 and sites range from $200,000 to $2M. The membership price is $125,000. 
Cordevalle Golf Club and Lodge
Cordevalle Golf Club and Lodge was Discovery’s sole hotel and golf-only project, an invitation-only golf club in Santa Clara County, California designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. featuring a clubhouse with a 45 room hotel and spa in the Santa Clara Valley. The project opened in 1999 and nearly all the 435 memberships were sold to Silicon Valley business leaders. Discovery’s interest in Cordevalle was sold in 2007 to a European investor.
The Estancia Club
The Estancia Club is an exclusive luxury golf course community in Scottsdale, Arizona. An equity club, Estancia was turned over to the membership unanimously. The 640-acre (2.59 km2) gated community has achieved the highest average per lot sales price in Arizona for any master planned community at the time. 265 lots are priced from $175,000 to over $1M, with villa product ranging from $900,000 to over $3M.
In 2008, the Discovery Land Company entered an agreement with Yellowstone Club, establishing a long-term partnership for development and management. In 2009 the Yellowstone Club was purchased and brought out of bankruptcy by investors led by CrossHarbor Capital Partners including a 5 percent share by Discovery Land Company.
Discovery Land Company has established a charitable foundation to assist communities surrounding each of Discovery’s developments by providing support to programs that serve families and children. The focus of the Foundation today is to assist in the development of innovative high quality foster care programs utilizing residential facilities. The Foundation also contributes to specific groups in need and environmental charities. The Foundation also mentors and connects its charitable grant recipients with additional resources to further their growth and success. Examples of the Foundation’s cooperative partners and grant recipients include: LIVESTRONG - The Lance Armstrong Foundation, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of America, H.O.P.E. Farm Texas, Neighborhood Place of Kona/Youth Development - HI, Whitefish Sports Facility Foundation, Amigos De Los Ninos de Cabo San Lucas Mexico, Friends of the Environment - Abacos The Bahamas, Blue Ridge School Education Foundation - Cashiers NC, Hopi Elementary Scottsdale AZ.
- Development Newsmaker of the Year 2007, Golf Inc., March 21, 2007.
- Leading Man, Luxury Living, February-March 2007.
- Reef defenders in Bahamas sue over mega-resort, San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 2006.
- Prime Minister says Baker's Bay serves national interest of the Bahamas, Bahamas Weekly, December 12, 2007.
- Lender reclaims Spanish Oaks at foreclosure auction, Austin Statesman, September 7, 2010.
- Press Release:Yellowstone Club Enters into Agreement with Discovery Land Company, Business Wire, September 2, 2008.
- Yellowstone Club revival, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, January 2, 2011.