By Charles Fleming
Los Angeles Times.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) >Members of the Bighorn Golf Club, paid an initiation fee of $110,000 and $6,500 in annual dues for the privilege of parking their exotic cars in The Vault, Bighorn’s extra-exclusive private garage.
PALM DESERT, Calif.
Palm Springs real estate is expensive. But if you want to pay top dollar for parking, look to nearby Palm Desert.
Members of the Bighorn Golf Club, a private facility inside a golfing community in that desert town about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, paid an initiation fee of $110,000 and $6,500 in annual dues for the privilege of parking their exotic cars in The Vault, Bighorn’s extra-exclusive private garage.
Bikers get a break. They paid only $55,000 for their spots.
The 50 car spaces at the 24,000-square-foot facility were sold before The Vault began construction in 2014, and the additional 8 motorcycle slots also were gone before the museum-like space opened in November. Now there’s a waiting list.
Access to the pricey parking garage, with entrances and exits through bank vault doors, is limited to Bighorn Golf Club members. That’s a pretty steep buy-in, too.
An individual club membership, without golf privileges, costs $100,000. Throw in golf, and that climbs to $250,000.
Many of the club members also are residents. Home sites go for around $2 million. Existing 3-bedroom villas start at around $1.7 million. The top home currently on the market is offered at $21.1 million. Another is said to be valued at $43 million.
The car collection in The Vault is a bright rainbow, skewed toward red, of classic, antique and exotic automobiles.
In one lane is a Chip Foose-designed 1932 custom Ford roadster. Nearby are a 1970 Dodge Challenger convertible two-seater, and a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. Those three cars are owned by a father, son and daughter team of Vault members.
There’s a custom pin-striped 1958 Chevrolet Impala, a dirt track sprint car, a chopped 1949 Mercury, a 1933 Cadillac Chrome limousine and even an 1886 Benz carriage, along with a healthy dose of Porsches, Ferraris and other European and British exotics.
Members provide their own maintenance and upkeep, but Vault membership does come with privileges, including access to the 4,000-square-foot Redline Lounge and unlimited runs in a virtual reality race cockpit where amateurs can face off with virtual pros on any race track, in any race car they desire.
Entrance is high-tech. Each car has a chip in it that signals the vault doors to open. Access to the lounge is by fingerprint scanner.
Cocktail tables and bar stools in the lounge overlook the garage. Patio seating offers views of the Bighorn golf course.
Vintage, car-themed pinball machines provide other entertainment.
Each parking space comes with its own storage closet, and a stretch of wall for posters or other car art.
Bighorn marketing director Theresa Maggio said about half of Bighorn members are from Southern California, but only about 10 percent of the 426 Bighorn homeowners are year-round residents.
And while The Vault is still full, Bighorn is not. Another 500 homesites are being developed, Maggio said.