CDA National Reserve — where wildlife and a few lucky golfers play.


COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO: The appeal of the interior Pacific Northwest is undeniable. Outdoor summer activities range from golf to parasail rides on the lake, while colder season outings include miles and miles of ski runs.

“I have an incredible love of our country, and Northern Idaho represents the best of ‘red, white, and blue,’” expressed Frank Suryan Jr., founder and CEO of Lyon Living. “I consider it the ultimate patriotic state with hard-working people, a clean environment, and low taxes. What a combination! I purchased The Club at Rock Creek last fall and rebranded it CDA National Reserve. I strongly feel that there is a void in the marketplace for our membership offering. There hasn’t been a new private community built in greater Coeur d’Alene in almost a generation, while the area has firmly established itself as a go-to destination.”

A Contrarian By Heart

In 1988, Frank established Lyon Living with an initial focus on apartment development. In the following years, the company became a conglomerate with interests ranging from oil fields, retail, hotels, office buildings, golf apparel, IT, education tech, flooring, and fast-food franchises. With 2,500 employees and annual revenues of $500 million, it’s a powerhouse on the West Coast.

“I look for solutions which are unconventional that others may shun,” said Frank. “One of my favorite books is The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership by Dr. Steven Sample. His messaging includes ‘avoid greenlighting everything that is proposed by outsiders.’ Too many cooks in the kitchen delay decisions. Consultants are hired to assist in recommendations, not make them for you.”

Breaking the One Dimensional Mold

A common thread among top-rated courses includes delivering different playing experiences throughout the round. “A shining example of this is Cypress Point in California,” said Frank. “While most accolades for Cypress focus on its ocean holes, the forest and dunes holes are equally compelling. CDA National Reserve has a similar mix of holes that include lake, creeks, mature forest, and dramatic elevation changes. Plus our 40+ wooden bridges are a signature of Tom’s design.

“I’m a competitive golfer, but certainly don’t play to scratch. In my eyes, fairness, speed of play, conditioning, and variety of holes are distinguishing factors that make a good golf course great.”

Sensing an opportunity, Frank approached the then developer, Bill Foley (owner of the NHL Vegas Golden Knights), with an offer to purchase the community. “Bill and I go back on many levels and we are friends,” detailed Frank. “It didn’t take us long to strike a deal. For years, the club searched for an identity in the marketplace. I value it for its potential and bright future. Considering all the amenities that were already in place and zoning entitlements were approved, I felt our vision was certain to succeed.”

Fresh off a rebranding of the Marriott Hotel at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California, Frank and his team were familiar with the nuances of change.

“There are three critical pillars for success at CDA National Reserve,” advised Frank. “First, there must be mutual respect for staff and members. During times of change, worries mount. It’s important to be transparent in goals and why decisions are made. Second, there must be a wide-ranging breadth of amenities that extend far beyond the golf course. That’s why our Hunt Club, now under construction, will provide access to thousands of acres of wilderness and will offer both bird and big-game hunting. Additionally, our new Lakehouse will offer private boat slips and endless water activities. Finally, design elements must pay tribute to the land. Our new, modern architecture will blend with the surrounding landscape and focus on natural materials from the area.”

Full Throttle Ahead

Tom Weiskopf has returned to the club to enhance golf course features. “We will not cut corners or compromise on quality,” stated Frank. “Over $60 million in new construction and amenities are well underway. This is not just talk, but action. I think the market approves, considering we have sold 35 lots and homes in real estate during the past six months.

“This is not a future pipe dream. We are moving mountains in short order. This season, our new fitness center, golf clubhouse, and lake clubhouse with private boat slips will open for member use. To keep on schedule during what has been a challenging time to secure necessary construction materials, we installed lighting around the golf clubhouse so crews can work six days per week, well past dinner time.”

The “front-eight” holes feature vast Palouse views of mountains, meadows, and Lake Coeur d’Alene. The “back-ten” holes play through heavily wooded terrain with abundant wildlife. It’s not uncommon for porcupines and deer to be your gallery on the ground and a soaring bald eagle to be watching from the air.

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