Thursday afternoon, Matthew Schniper and I were
wined and dined by Garden of the Gods Club executive chef Nicholas Arnold and Red Energy Public Relations president Amy Sufak. They wanted to get the message out that the club is more open to new members than ever, having added 700 since the club's ownership transferred from billionaire Lyda Hill to the California-based Sunrise Company four years ago. (Word from a few members at a 60th anniversary celebration the Indy attended last week is that a mass exodus occurred as a result, but that membership is back up.)
And though a level of, shall we say, exclusivity is still being pushed by the organization — full membership costs $9,500 to $12,500 up front, with $235 to $440 per month after — the food sampled today is available to the general public in a variety of (also expensive) ways. You can buy out the dining room for an event for around ten grand; dine with a member; stay at one of the club's 87 hotel rooms (rates currently run $255 to $545 per night, but supposedly fall to about half that in the offseason); or grab a day at the spa, where packages start at $135, and enjoy the club's relaxation-specific menu.
But for the financially well-endowed, or those just looking to splurge, the Garden of the Gods Club offers the best view of the best features of the city, in the city, and a service level commensurate with that of any highly rated establishment. Plus there's the chance to "put your tennis skills to the test with an invigorating match, or enjoy a cool swim in our junior Olympic-sized pool. Additionally, the Club offers a 27-hole championship golf course featuring bunkered greens, towering pines, and the landscaping of the lush mountain range," says the propaganda.
In any case, enjoy the shots from lunch; click to enlarge any photo.