Auberge Resorts goes northwest; Justice expands

No. 15 at Pronghorn's Nicklaus course

Boutique operator Auberge Resorts added its first Northwest property, taking over management of the 48-room lodge at Pronghorn Golf Club & Resort near Bend, Ore.

Pronghorn, a 640-acre property, was acquired earlier this year by The Resort Group, based in Honolulu. Troon Golf continues to manage Pronghorn’s two golf courses.

“Over the last 90 days, we looked at how to relaunch the property back into the market,” said Spencer Schaub, general manager of Pronghorn. “It made sense to have a very strong boutique brand like Auberge and continue to have a strong golf brand like Troon and a strong real-estate brand like Sotheby’s.”

Pronghorn originally was envisioned as a private retreat, with courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio. In recent years the Nicklaus course has been opened for public play and ranks No. 6 on Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Oregon. In recent months, the Fazio course has been added to stay-and-play packages for guests staying two or more nights and playing multiple rounds.

Auberge is best known for its luxury resorts in California’s Napa Valley and near central Colorado’s ski resorts. It also operates Palmetto Bluff, home to May River Golf Club, a highly regarded Nicklaus design in Bluffton, S.C.

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Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier in White Sulpur Springs, W.Va., continues to add to his growing resort business.

Justice is prepared to spend a reported $16.5 million to buy Wintergreen (Va.) Resort, a four-season property. Wintergreen has 11,000 acres, 45 holes of golf, snow skiing and spa. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of June.

This is the third resort in Justice’s portfolio. He bought The Greenbrier out of bankruptcy court in May 2009. He subsequently acquired The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, W.Va., a 54-hole property.

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