Living the Dream
By Lori Bamber
Describing British Columbia’s Predator Ridge Resort to people who haven’t yet had the good fortune of being here generally begins with the geography and climate. The immense skies and sweeping mountain views of the high grassland plateau are bordered by Lake Okanagan to the west and Kalamalka Lake to the east; in any season, the mild air is so sweet that you’ll find yourself breathing deeper the moment you arrive.
Unless you’re an avid golfer, in which case you may begin your description with the two award-winning 18-hole courses.
But ultimately, for those who make Predator Ridge their home, it comes down to the lifestyle. New residents spark friendships along the 12 kilometers of walking trails; in the three daily fitness classes or at the gym on the top-of-the-line fitness equipment. The award-winning Range dining room and Clubhouse Lounge provide memorable meals and a casual spot to gather with neighbours for happy hour or the hockey game.
“It’s so easy to get to know people here,” said Claire Radford, a Predator Ridge property specialist and homeowner for more than 11 years. “Our fitness centre manager does a fantastic job of organizing hikes and snowshoeing outings, and there are also lot of informal gatherings, like our book, poker and bridge clubs.”
That sense of community is something that Wesbild, Predator Ridge’s parent company, has worked hard to help facilitate by investing in the kind of amenities that bring residents together.
“I visited this facility many times under the previous ownership and I’ve always admired their vision,” said Brad Pelletier, Wesbild’s vice president Okanagan. “When Wesbild took over in 2007, it became possible to invest in the resort in a way that has established Predator Ridge as the best residential golf course community in Canada.”
That’s a key selling point for potential residents, said Predator Ridge property specialist Jason Koverchuk. “The people who come here are looking for comfort. They’ve worked hard, and they’re ready to relax and enjoy life – they’re not interested in waiting for a clubhouse to be built. They can see that it’s all here, and that this safe, stable and growing community.”
Since the boom of 2007-2008 ended, a number of other planned communities have gone through restructuring or even receivership, adds Koverchuk. But “when a resort developer can afford to build a second golf course during challenging economic times, it says a lot. Wesbild has the financial wherewithal to weather the storms, and to continue to invest in the community.”
This year, for example, Predator Ridge is opening a general store and is doing a complete overhaul on their practice facility. “Why? Because that is what our homeowners tell us they’d like to see,” Koverchuk explains.
Although Predator Ridge now extends to almost 500 homes and is just 30 minutes from Kelowna International Airport (15 minutes from downtown Vernon), the feeling of being away, in nature, is still very much part of the experience. Home plans are designed to blur the boundary between indoors and the natural splendour outside, with features such as living room walls that open onto views of mule deer and marmots on the hillside and some of the many kinds of predatory birds for which the ridge is named circling overhead.
The recipient of the 2012 Tommie Gold Home Builder of the Year Large Volume award, along with a host of others, Wesbild isn’t resting on its achievements.
The company also continues to invest in the team that makes these achievements possible, said Pelletier. “In keeping with the culture of the Okanagan, our staff is friendly and warm. But they’re also very skilled and energized. And we continue to bring on the best people, like Canadian golf icons Richard Zokol and A.J. Eathorne, because that’s what our residents deserve. That’s what it means to be the very best.”
For more information visit www.predatorridge.com
This article was originally published in Tee Times, Predator Ridge’s Resort and Lifestyle Magazine. Republished with permission.