Discovery-Land-Co-WEB
DISCOVERY LAND COMPANY

THE REMARKABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF “MAGIC MIKE”

Discovery Land Company continues its expansion across North America and the Caribbean.

Beverly Hills, California: The world’s largest developer of exclusive, private residential resort communities, Discovery Land Company boasts over 10,000 members and an expansive portfolio of properties that ranges from Hawaii to the Dominican Republic and from Idaho to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Founded in 1994, Discovery passed the $2 billion mark in annual real estate and membership transactions in 2018.

Behind the expansion is Discovery’s genius founder and CEO, Mike Meldman, not your typical suit-and-tie kind of guy. Calm, casual, unconventional, and self-confident, he frequently does business in a T-shirt and flip-flops, a dress code that carries over to Discovery golf courses.

“While I wasn’t an avid golfer when I started the company, I do love the game and do play a lot more now,” said Meldman, “I wouldn’t classify myself as a golf purist and to this day, I question why golf at other clubs require a tucked-in collared shirt to step onto the first tee. The game of golf can be so much more fun and does not require such formality.

“I hired Tom Fazio to design the majority of my courses. In my mind, he is the best in the business and understands the balance of aesthetics and playability. I want you to enjoy the day, not grumble about losing a dozen golf balls.”

Meldman’s vision, however, goes far beyond gorgeous greens. “Much of our success is credited to a focus on a lifestyle for the whole family, not just the golfer,” noted Meldman. “Our hallmark Outdoor Pursuits program started at Iron Horse in Whitefish, Montana, and programming continues to take full advantage of the great outdoors. From zip-lining at Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic to paddle boarding offshore in Hawaii, we aim to create one-of-a-kind experiences that stretch the boundaries of what you would expect at a private club.

“There’s always something going on at our communities. All you have to do is show up,” said Meldman, adding that the beautiful settings and the extraordinary amenities all point to an even more important goal. “I am drawn to untouched places where our team can create intimate communities, where parents can spend time together with their kids and grandkids. Time is, after all, really our most valuable asset.”

Fazio Fantastic

“I have known Mike for decades and have designed more than a dozen courses for Discovery,” said Tom Fazio. “His positive attitude, ethics, boundless energy, and determination to do it right turned him from a pioneer in the industry to the most successful developer of all time.

“My Discovery courses represent my best work. If Mike is looking at a property, it has to be special. Our philosophies for the game mesh well.

“My business relationship with Mike has turned into a friendship,” added Fazio. “I consider him to be understated, humble, yet confident, methodical, and kind. Some have inquired why Discovery has the ‘Midas touch.’ There is no luck involved. The Discovery team is committed for the long term and they understand the importance of structuring a private community—no matter how exclusive—to thrive in any economy.”

Family First

Discovery currently has 25 private communities with more on the horizon, spanning more than 6,500 miles including international locations. “We have witnessed the ups and downs of the industry, the dawn of high-end daily fee facilities, and the growth of golf management companies,” said Tom Collopy, Discovery’s vice president of development. “Through all the changes in the golf landscape, our commitment to deliver the best private club amenities, service, and architecture has never wavered.”

That’s not to say Discovery Land Company hasn’t changed its mix of offerings. “Our foundation has always been ‘family first,’” noted Collopy. “But, our newest communities highlight trends that our members have requested. For example, there has been a shift in demand from custom lots—that allow you to build a home from scratch—to developer-built product. We have found, even at the highest end of the market, that many customers are willing to sacrifice some customization for a faster, more efficient process.

“Another change is the importance of outstanding practice facilities. Many members would prefer an afternoon of working on their game over heading out on the course. The days of a practice facility being used simply to warm up before going to the first tee are long gone.

“Finally, we are creating our own luxury resort brand and will have our own Discovery boutique hotels,” said Collopy. “The benefits are twofold. Members and their guests have access to accommodations, and the resorts bring interested parties considering real estate, which opens up an entirely new market. It truly is a win/win scenario for everyone.”

On The Radar

Business at Discovery is robust. Recently developed communities like The Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Chileno Bay Club in Los Cabos, Mexico, are experiencing strong sales. Meanwhile the company has three new projects and more in the pipeline for 2019.

“It now sometimes takes years, and in some cases up to a decade, for a project to close before Discovery can turn the vision into reality,” said Collopy. “Our three newest projects represent the finest Discovery has to offer, each with a twist tailored to their location.”

Playa Grande sits on the north shore of the Dominican Republic. “A long string of adjectives can’t adequately describe the Rees Jones oceanfront design,” said Collopy. “It’s as beautiful as anywhere in the world with an Aman Resort as an added perk. The steep ocean cliffs are the ultimate course hazard, and, after a visit, you are likely to agree with Rees’s assessment that the course is ‘better than Pebble Beach’ with year-round warm water and sunny skies to boot.”

Driftwood is located on the outskirts of Austin, Texas.  “The ‘live music capital of the world’ has a void of high-end private club communities,” said Collopy. “With several new corporate headquarters, including Apple, coming to the city, the prospects for growth are only expanding. This is the first Discovery community that will include a city club as an added amenity. Located downtown, it will be a place for members to enjoy a cool drink and have a good meal while listening to a local band.”

Troubadour, in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, will open this fall. “Nashville and Austin have a similar vibe,” said Collopy. “They both offer warm hospitality, a vibrant local culture, and a quirky sense of humor.  Troubadour will also offer a service unique and perfect for Nashville. We are converting Loretta Lynn’s old on-site mansion into a members-only music studio. What won’t be different are the club’s stocked comfort stations for a quick golf course treat. Plans call for a Sip’n Shack next to the practice facility where you can indulge in a Tennessee whiskey or a shot of homemade moonshine.”

For a complete overview of Discovery Land Company’s communities, please visit DiscoveryLandCo.com or contact info@discoverylandco.com to request additional information.

 

 

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