The Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, located less than an hour from the university town of Charlottesville, is running a stay and play special this year that includes one night of lodging, two days of golf and prices starting at just $144. Wintergreen features 18 holes by Ellis Maples at the top of the mountain with breathtaking views, and 27 by Rees Jones in the valley at the base of the mountain. For about the price of a night in a Holiday Inn Express, inveterate golfers get 45 holes of golf at what works out to $3.20 per hole (or for free, if you consider you are paying entirely for the lodging).
I have fond memories of visits to Wintergreen and especially of its golf courses. I hosted a family reunion in 2011 at Wintergreen for my siblings and their children just after my son’s graduation from Washington & Lee University a couple of hours away. Everyone had a great time and a family dinner in one of the condos at the top of the community’s highest mountain offered a beautiful sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains and the famous snakelike highway named for them.
I have played the mountaintop course at Wintergreen, Devil’s Knob, just once and the Rees Jones course, Stoney Creek, a few times. I prefer the latter but for sheer eye candy views, Devil’s Knob cannot be beat. I have a special soft spot for Stoney Creek because my son Tim posted the low individual score in a college golf tournament there. I followed the college kids around for two days and learned how I should have played the course previously.
Jim Justice, the wealthy West Virginia industrialist, purchased the financially troubled Wintergreen in 2012 and immediately invested $12 million to rehabilitate some of its aging infrastructure, including restaurants and the resort’s snow making equipment. (Wintergreen is that rare place where a golfing skier can tackle the slopes in the morning and the golf course in the afternoon if conditions are right in January.) But Justice, who also owns the famed Greenbrier Resort, found he was overcommitted in his business ventures and, in 2014, sold Wintergreen to EPR, a Missouri-based real estate investment trust. At the time of the purchase, EPR maintained a $3.9 billion portfolio of properties.
The community comprises 1,300 detached homes on the mountain and another 500 in the valley around Stoney Creek. Nearly 1,000 undeveloped lots are parceled out across the community. Prices (and taxes) are comparatively low at Wintergreen. We note one current single-bedroom, single-bath condo on the mountain is listed for just $59,900; two-bedroom units begin around $80,000. Mountain style homes with multiple bedrooms start in the $160s. Homes around the Stoney Creek golf course in the valley are of a more recent vintage and priced accordingly from the low $300s.
Steve Marianella is our professional contact at Wintergreen, and we would be pleased to introduce you to him. Just send me a note.