Many years ago, when I first started working on the resort master plan for Bear Mountain Ranch in Chelan, Washington, we looked to the recreation-oriented projects surrounding Bend, Oregon as our models. At that time, there simply were not many significant recreational communities anywhere in Washington and we could not help but notice the similarities that the Chelan-Wenatchee area had with Central Oregon – friendly small towns, high desert arid climate, surrounding mountains, deep rivers and beautiful scenery pretty much everywhere you looked. It looked fairly obvious then, that North Central Washington had all the same things going for it that was making Bend, Oregon so successful. It was just a matter of time.
Now, 20 years later, I can see how Central Washington is finally showing the signs of that huge potential. In particular, the area stretching along the Columbia River from Vantage to Pateros has seen numerous quality projects created during the past decade or so. More are undetribly on the way. In fact, the Wenatchee area is one of the very few spots in the country that has been minimally affected by the recent downturn in the real estate market. Prices have not tumbled here, but have remained steady. Why this is so is the subject of another article, but I will point out that it's partly due to the high desirability of the area and that it was not overbuilt like many other parts of the country.
So let's take a look at a "baker's dozen" of these recreational communities. Undoubtedly I've left some good projects off the list (not intentional, we'll update this map later this summer with additional projects), but this is a good start for those of you heading over to Chelan now to look for recreational real estate and to help you make an informed decision before you buy. You might even bring the " Buying Recreational Property in Central Washington " guide with you while you visit these communities: check off the characteristics that you're looking for as you tour each of them.
What I find interesting is that each of these is distinctly different from the others, catering to different tastes, needs and recreational pursuits. Whether its golf, water sports, hiking trails, fabulous views, location, clubhouse or other amenities, one of these developments is bound to meet your desires and fit your pocket book.
There's only room for brief descriptions here, but links to websites are provided to help you continue your research of these recreation-oriented communities:
- Sun Mesa Preserve: Gorgeous planned community overlooking Lake Entiat with 90% open space, miles of walking and cycling trails, stunning views, future clubhouse and equestrian center. Twenty-acre parcels priced from $ 129,000 and up.
- Saska Hills : New community nestled into a valley on the edge of Entiat. 35 acres of open space and trails. Quarter-acre lots from $ 75,000 to $ 145,000.
- Bear Mountain Ranch : Master-planned community featuring a beautiful championship 18-hole golf course, trails, future clubhouse, quarter-acre lots and fractional-ownership homes with views of Lake Chelan. Lot & custom homes from around $ 900,000 up; reservations for 1/8 fractional-ownership homes.
- Clos CheValle : One-half acre Lake Chelan view lots surrounded by 100 acres of vineyards and open space. Miles of walking trails and a community park. Lots from $ 265,000 to $ 319,000.
- Beebe Ranch : ac acre riverfront lots from $ 200,000 to $ 400,000. Soon sold-out, but there are future plans for a marina and master planned resort.
- Ridge at the Haystack : Gated community of two- and five-acre view lots located on east side of the Columbia River. From $ 90,000 up.
- Silver Spur Resort : A 2700-acre private resort community of 5% 2B acre properties overlooking Lake Pateros. Clubhouse, lake access and equestrian facility. Priced from $ 84,000.
- Desert Canyon : Acclaimed 18-hole golf course near Orondo. Limited real estate opportunities from $ 350,000.
- Ravenwing Ranch : A 10,000-acre private community featuring river front access and miles of private walking and equestrian trails. View lots of 2- to 10-acres from $ 475,000 to $ 790,000.
- Spanish Castle Resort & Spa : Proposed resort community along the Columbia River offering condominiums, townhomes and custom homes adjacent to future 18-hole golf course.
- Sunserra : Condominiums at Crescent Bar overlooking the Columbia River and a 9-hole par-3 golf course. Sold out, but resales available.
- Sagecliffe : A 700- acreurally -based master planned resort community overlooking the dramatic Columbia River Gorge and future links-style golf course. Limited to 49 homesites priced from $ 495,000 to over $ 1,000,000.
- Canyon River Ranch : Co-ownership Yakima riverfront lodge suites available from $ 159,000 and up. Renowned fly-fishing and other outdoor activities.
Enjoy your tour!