Luxury Lake Tahoe Hotel Adds $10 Million Lakefront Club

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe hotel has opened a luxury perk for guests called the Lake Club on the shore of Lake Tahoe.

The hotel and spa is at the Northstar California Resort, which is mid-mountain at a ski resort in Truckee. The new Lake Club is about 20 minutes away on the lake.

Lake Club adds to the resort’s summertime offerings. In winter, the Ritz boasts a location where skiers can literally ski from the hotel to Northstar, with the hotel offering a ski equipment concierge.

The new club features outdoor dining by the lake or on an upstairs deck, a private boat pier for kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. It also has an outdoor spa, fire pit and a large lawn. The $10 million project was completed at the end of June, said Kira Cooper, spokeswoman for the resort.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe has 152 regular guest rooms, 16 executive suites, and three Ritz-Carlton suites, which range from 1,900 to 2,600 square feet. The presidential suite rents for between $2,000 to $5,000 a night, depending on season and other factors. The regular rooms and suites range from more than $400 to $1,900 a night, according to the Marriott International Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR) booking engine. The rates vary by season.

The new Lake Club adds another feature to what is already an amenity-laden hotel. Despite being a relatively small hotel by its room count, it features a huge 17,000-square-foot spa.

The Lake Club is available as a special room package for hotel guests, or it can be added to regular rooms for a $250 daily access fee, which includes food and most beverages. Fees vary on a seasonal basis.

The hotel runs an hourly shuttle between the lake and the main property, Cooper said.

The architecture and interior design of the club was done by Tahoe City-based Walton Architecture + Engineering, an architectural design, interior design and engineering firm.

Golf Is the Long Game for Affluent Brands

Golfers are passionate about golf and are willing to spend money to pursue their hobby as well as to keep up their lifestyle of quality products and travel.

You may not first think of golfers as those who seek out luxury and quality goods—in fact, if you’re not a golfer yourself, you probably picture them only as retired old men wearing a pair of cheap docker shorts with some old polo shirt from some golf trip they took a lifetime ago. But if that’s your mental image of golfers, you’re missing out on a great market with dollars to spend.

Despite smaller television ratings than football, basketball, and baseball—golf, by the numbers, remains a marketer’s dream. According to Nielsen, 27% of golfers earn $100,000 or more. And 43% of PGA fans are more likely than average U.S. consumers to own second homes, and 60% are more likely to own stocks or stock options, according to Simmons Market Research and Experian Information Solutions Inc.

“Golfers tend to seek out a luxurious type of experience with all of the products and services that they buy,” says Jon Last, vice president of corporate marketing, research and brand development for Golf Digest Publications. “In a lot of the research that we have conducted, the golf market tends to outspend even the most affluent people when you are looking in categories like travel, automobiles and real estate and, of course, within the golf categories as well.”

3rd Annual UC Open – THANK YOU!

Yesterday, September 25, 2017, saw the Union Club host it’s 3rd annual UC Open at Gorge Vale Golf Course.  Approximately 80 golfers enjoyed the tournament, and Mother Nature did her best to ensure a dry, mild climate was delivered, too!

On behalf of the Club, we would like to thank Tournament Organizers Barrie Hewstan (Past President), Gary Kirk and Keith McCallion; Event Coordinators Grace Van den Brink (Vice-President) and Lyle Soetaert (Finance Chair), and, last but not least, our SPONSORS:

Dev Wood Consulting

Winchester Galleries

Browns Social House
Collins Barrow

Harris Victoria Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
Hendry Swinton McKenzie Insurance
Intact Insurance
Knappett Projects Inc.
Lee & Lorraine Ferreira
Paul Mara Fine Jewellery & Watches
Wallace Driving School
Wellburn’s Food Market

10 Acres Bistro
Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar
Five Star Whale Watching
Garyali Architect Inc.
Jeff Bray, Capital Public Affairs
Magnolia Hotel & Spa
The Maritime Museum of British Columbia
Past President Bernard Beck and Family
Phillips Brewing & Malting Company
Rick Arora, 5th Avenue Holdings
Sam’s Deli

Kerry Gibson
Mike Kynaston
Grace Van den Brink
Paul Vanden Brink



Get to Know a Golf Course Like the Back of Your Hand

With the Club’s UC Open coming up on Monday, September 25, we thought it would it would be neat to introduce you to the newest golf gadget that has all the Pro Shops talking!

If you’re in the market for the newest in on-course technology, Johnny Miller has something you’ll want to consider!

If you’ve listened to Johnny Miller often enough on NBC golf, you’ve probably heard him say that when he was playing his best, he used to ask his caddie to give him yardages in half yards.

If you are old enough to remember watching televised golf in Miller’s prime, which was the 1970s, you’ll know he was probably not kidding. Anyone who saw those desert victories in person or on TV will recall that Miller was able to hit it to within three feet of the pin on many occasions. He was that accurate, at least for a while.

We should not be surprised that he’s involved with a golf equipment company that has put GPS on the back of a golf glove: Zero Friction DistancePro.

Miller’s not just a spokesperson for Zero Friction, he’s part owner of the company. But he has the kind of track record that makes him an expert. If you look at his victories, you’ll see that he was a Tiger Woods type player in his era. In 1974, he won eight tournaments. In 1975, he won four times. In 1976, he won three, including the Open Championship.

Because so many of Miller’s victories were in the desert, he got a nickname: The Desert Fox, previously attributed to the WWII German general Erwin Rommel.

Miller won back-to-back-to-back at the Dean Martin Tucson Open (and then NBC Tucson Open) from 1974-1976. He won the Phoenix Open back-to-back in 1974 and 1975. And he won the Bob Hope Desert Classic back-to-back in 1975 and 1976. His strategy was simple. Hit it close to the flagstick.

Miller’s accuracy was uncanny, and so if he said he needed distances to within a half yard, who can disagree. Perhaps in the spirit of needing to know better distances, Miller and Zero Friction came up with the Zero Friction DistancePro GPS Glove. Yes. That’s right. GPS has migrated from your phone or watch to the back of your hand.

The DistancePro GPS device is a matchbox sized – for those who remember matchboxes – or a third of a credit card-sized GPS unit that attaches to the back of the golf glove with Velcro and a special metal dowel to hold it in place. The DistancePro GPS unit gives distances to the front, center and back of the green on more than 35,000 golf courses. To activate it, you download the Zero Friction DistancePro app and sync the phone to the GPS unit. When you get to the course, you’re ready to go.

You have to be within a 100-foot range of your phone for the distances to show on the GPS. So put the phone in the back pocket or park the cart close. The battery lasts for 400 hours, and it’s very easy to change as Joe Jung, the National Sales Director for Zero Friction demonstrated at the ING Conference at the World Golf Village earlier this season.

When you wear out the glove, you take the DistancePro GSP unit off that glove and put it on a new one. You’re ready to go again.

What will they think of next!?

UC Walking Club

Many members have commented that they enjoy nothing more than a decent walk in our fair city. The Union Club figured: if so many members are out and about walking, and more and more health benefits from walking are being realized, why not form a Walking Club?

Please join Past President Barrie Hewstan for any of the following walks, all departing the Union Club’s front stairs at 9:00am:


Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Time: 9:00am
Walking Area: To West Bay Marina & Village, along the West Bay Walkway.

Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time: 9:00am
Walking Area: To Ross Bay Cemetary, via Beacon Hill Park and Cook Street Village.

Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Time: 9:00am
Walking Area: To Selkirk Trestle, via Vic West and the Galloping Goose Trail.

Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Time: 9:00am
Walking Area: To the Bay Centre, Empress Hotel, Grand Pacific and Laurel Point Inn to view Christmas displays.

Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Time: 9:00am
Walking Area: To Government House, via Rockland and Fairfield.

If interested, please register at the Front Desk.

A Club for People Age 35 and Over Just Opened in NYC

If you’re sick and tired of the flocks of selfie-taking, avocado toast–eating youths that fill up dance halls across New York City these days, a new club in Chelsea is the place for you.

RetroClubNYC, which opened its doors last Thursday at 161 W 23rd Street, is geared toward the 35-and-over crowd. Now open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the spot features throwback music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and aims to be reminiscent of the bygone clubs of those eras.

“We’re catering to a slightly older crowd,” owner Jeff Wittels tells us. “I don’t think there are any dance clubs like that in the city.”

The bar is more of a celebration than a recreation of New York City’s discotheques of yore and is designed to attract people who twinkled their toes into the night when acts like the Bee Gees and Sylvester were at their height.

“We’re bringing back the vibe from the old days of Studio 54,” Wittels said, “except without some of the things that got them into trouble back then.”

If you’re a twentysomething who simply wants to groove out to some vintage jams, fear not. RetroClubNYC is open to anyone older than 21, and Wittels said that its debut last week attracted people of all ages (and an Australian tourist). He also said that the bar’s DJs are including some contemporary tunes on their playlists, citing Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

Wittels first announced the concept for the club back in January, and it drew more hype than almost any other “trendy” bar opening in the city. Its Instagram account has amassed more than 13,000 followers since then, and the space has already started booking private events.

The bar is still working on its food and drink menu, but Wittels says it will feature small plates and “drinks that you don’t really see anymore,” including sloe gin fizzes, Long Island iced teas and a rotating signature drink called The Retro, the ingredients of which are kept secret.

For now, the club will open its doors at 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but Wittels is hoping to add more days during the week this fall.

Wittels declined to tell us his age, but assured us that he is definitely older than 35.

The Ultimate Golf Yacht

With the Club’s 3rd Annual UC Open on the horizon (tournament date: September 25), we thought it would be appropriate to take a look at the design concept of the Ultimate Golf Yacht:

The 344-foot-long Fairwei (pronounced “fairway”) superyacht design concept is what happens when an award-winning design studio, professional golf trainer, and a golf-loving client from Hong Kong conspire to design a golf-centric yacht. And come to think of it, with yachts regularly being built that are much longer than the longest holes in golf, I’m surprised someone hasn’t had the idea sooner.

The concept comes from the Grey Design/Zues Twelve studio that has a reputation for innovative design and golf pro Francis Jacquemin who’s made a name for himself helping well-heeled golfers improve their swings…aboard their own charter yachts.

And there may be no better way to do that than on a yacht with numerous dedicated golf areas such as putting greens and top-deck tee boxes.

Meanwhile the interior features a swimming pool and spa that’s quite similar to what you’d expect to find in an exclusive golf resort.

Fairwei is also to reported to include: biodegradable golf balls that will turn into fish food in less than 48 hours, floating targets, and high-tech golf swing analysis software and golf shot distance calculator.

What’s Happening This Weekend in the CRD?


Join up to 9,000 craft-beer lovers to sample unique brews and meet the brewers behind the taps at the Great Canadian Beer Festival, Friday and Saturday at Royal Athletic Park.

It’s the 25th year for the two-day event, making it the longest-running craft-only beer festival in Canada. The micro-brewery industry has never been more popular in B.C., with close to150 companies. That’s a far cry from when the first festival was held 25 years ago, when there were only 12 to 15 companies in the whole province.

“It’s all about getting small breweries into a great venue in front of an appreciative audience,” said Gerry Hieter, the event organizer.

This year, participants can taste offerings from 66 breweries and two cideries, with more than 250 beers and ciders on tap.

“This year, we had 20 more breweries than we could accommodate,” said Hieter. “We have 14 new breweries this year, as well as five that have been with us every year for the past 25.”

You can belly up to the bar for a chance to sample dozens of variations on ever-popular India pale ales, pilsners, bitters and wheat beer.

New varieties include Dad Jokes Double IPA from Twin Sails, Captain Cooper’s Tart Cranberry Ale from Trading Post Brewing, Wild Brett Wasp Ale (a collaboration between Fieldhouse Brewing and Brassneck Brewery, it’s a must-try sour ale fermented with yeast harvested from a wasp’s gut), Numbskull IIPA: Ahtanum Edition from Lighthouse Brewing, Popinjay (a dry-hopped New World sour from Strange Fellows Brewing), Lucifudge Cherry Choco Porter from Swans, Belly Flop Apricot Grisette from Big Rock Urban and Fruity Mother Pucker Sour Ale from Axe and Barrel.

New this year is the Drake Eatery Cask Tent, with eight breweries serving unique cask beer.

While most of the suds come from B.C., the festival welcomes brewers from as far away as Halifax. New breweries this year include: A-Frame Brewing, Andina Brewing, Backroads Brewing, Hathi Brewing, KPU Brewing, Luppolo Brewing, Mt. Arrowsmith Brewing, Riot Brewing, Sooke Oceanside Brewery, Strathcona Beer Company, Twin Sails Brewing, Two Wolves Brewing, Whitetooth Brewing, and White Sails Brewing.

A variety of local food vendors will offer both West Coast and ethnic flavours, while local musicians and buskers wander the grounds.

“People tell us that what sets us apart from the competition is the event’s lively atmosphere,” said Hieter.

Any profits from the event are donated to CFAX Santas Anonymous.

Tickets are $40 per day and include a B.C. Transit Get Home Safe bus ticket. Beer tokens are $1.50 each (cash only). Each token can be redeemed for a four-ounce tasting.

The event runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Royal Athletic Park, 1014 Caledonia Ave.

For details or tickets, go to



Enjoy the last blast of summer at Metchosin Day, a community celebration always held on the first Sunday after Labour Day, on the Metchosin Municipal Grounds.

This is the 50th year for the celebration, which coincides with the regular Sunday Metchosin Farmer’s Market, with more than 100 vendors selling vegetables, meat products, fruits, crafts, artisan creations and more.

Take a hayride for 25 cents or upgrade to a backhoe digger for 50. Watch a sheep-shearing demonstration and see the winners of the baking, photography and produce growing competitions.

Watch youngsters in a gymnastic demonstration, in a pet show and showing off their 4H showmanship.

Car buffs will enjoy the collection of classic cars and motorcycles.

Members of the Victoria Motorcycle Club will set up an obstacle course with natural and manmade challenges to showcase their skills, with a show every two hours starting at 10:30 a.m.

The Metchosin Equestrian Society has several events planned, with local trainers, horses and riders demonstrating their skills between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the riding ring.

The Pioneer Museum is also nearby for those who want to learn more about the history of Metchosin.

There will be all-day entertainment by Metchosinites throughout the day on the main stage, with Morris Dancers performing around the field all day.

Food is available all day, including ice cream and hot, buttered, locally grown corn on the cob. Wash it all down with beer and wine in the beer garden.

Admission to Metchosin Day is free (donations accepted). The event runs 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday on the Metchosin Municipal Grounds, behind the fire hall, 4450 Happy Valley Rd. Free vehicle parking with entry and exit via Rocky Point Road. Free bicycle parking behind the Community House, just past the disabled parking.

For more information, go to



The Vining Street Party on the Plaza is a humble neighbourhood block party that has grown to include a whole community, and now spans six hours with professional musicians and entertainers on the grounds of Victoria High School on Sunday.

This is the 10th year for the event, which this year includes Canada 150 celebrations. Organizers expect more than 2,000 people to show up at the party, which includes a community barbecue.

Family-friendly activities include giant puppets, a cardboard castle, The Great Goffini, face painting, dance and martial arts displays and magnet experiments.

More than 70 local artisans, vendors and exhibitors will display their wares in a marketplace and 400 silent-auction items will be available for bidding.

The street party is an important fundraiser for community projects, raising more than $21,000 last year.

This year, net proceeds from the event will benefit the Learning Curve Society, funding programs for children who experience learning and behavioural challenges.

Admission is free. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of Victoria High School, 1260 Grant St.

For more information, go to


Get lost (and found) at the opening of the corn maze at Pendray Farm — and help raise food and funds for the Sidney Lions Food Bank on Saturday.

Organizers bill their field of corn as the largest family-friendly maze in Victoria, with 10 kilometres of trails on a 14-acre plot of land at the West Saanich Road farm.

This year, the design of the maze is a salute to Canada 150.

There will be activities for all ages, including a treasure hunt, children’s maze and corn sandbox.

On the opening day, the Pendray maze and two other local businesses — Werner Mayburry Wealth Management of Raymond James, and the Spitfire Grill — are banding together to collect food donations for the Sidney Lions Food Bank.

Collection boxes for non-perishable foods will also be located at the Spitfire Grill, 9681 Willingdon Rd., until Sept. 9. The restaurant and Werner Mayburry Wealth Management will be matching online donations up to $500 each for a total of $1,500.

Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children three to 12 years old. The corn maze will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the farm, 9537 West Saanich Rd. For more information, go to


Discover a gem of a lake at Marvelous Matheson, a CRD Parks program that kicks off the fall season at Matheson Lake Regional Park, Metchosin, on Saturday.

The 157-hectare park, established in 1994, is neighbour to Roche Cove Regional Park.

It boasts a picturesque lake, set behind forested hills in Metchosin, with access to hiking, swimming and fishing activities.

On Saturday a CRD Parks naturalist will take adults 18 and older on a guided walk to uncover the cultural and natural history of this park.

There is a loop trail around the lake, with a sandy beach area perfect for a relaxing picnic or a refreshing dip.

The park is adjacent to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, with some cyclists using the park as the starting point for a cycle day trip.

Those who like to catch their supper will find the lake well-stocked with Rainbow Trout.

Participants for Saturday’s hike are encouraged to bring a snack, some water and wear sturdy footwear.

There is no fee to join the hike but you need to pre-register. The hike runs 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Matheson Lake Regional Park.

Try to arrive 10 minutes before the start of the program. Please leave pets at home. For more information, go to Call 250-478-3344 to register and find where to meet.

Victoria Sailor Treading Water with World’s Best

Recently featured in our local media, Max Gallant is the son of Club members Illarion Gallant and Twyla Rusnak, and the grandson of Club members Dr. Conrad and Carole Rusnak…congratulations Max!

At 21-years old, Victoria product Max Gallant is one of the best Olympic class laser boat sailors in the world. Currently ranked second in Canada in his class, Gallant is hoping to compete for his country at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

Max Gallant began sailing at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club (RVYC) at just seven-years-old and instantly fell in love with the sport. Through the years, Max continued to progress.

“I would say it just kinda progressed,” Max says, “As I did it more and more I got better, and I enjoyed it so much that I kept doing it, and in sailing the more time you spend doing it, the better you get, so from there it just all progressed, and now here I am.”

“Max was one of those little kids that you couldn’t get him to not be here,” RVYC coach Steve McBride says. “We actually had to tell him, hey can you take a week off, not because we wanted to take a break from him but for him to take a break and get some perspective on some other things, so that was when he was young, sailing opti-dinghies and he basically lived here at the yacht club.”

From Victoria, born and raised, the Olympic class laser boat sailor cherishes the benefits of training at home.

“Being able to train at home is invaluable,” Gallant says, “I think it’s the best thing there is, having the PISE sports center up by Camosun is unreal, and just being able to train at home, it makes everything so much easier.”

He is a very easygoing guy of the water, but don’t let his smile and charm fool you. When it’s race time, Max’s competitive side comes out.

“Max’s personality on and off the water is dramatically different,” McBride says, “On the water he’s all business, but on shore, he is the guy that everyone wants to hang out with, wants to talk to, he’s really easy to work with.”

“Oh I’m definitely a very competitive person on the water,” Gallant says with a grin, “Angry face on the water.”

With a fourth place finish at the recent Cork Olympic Class Regatta in Ontario, the Canadian National Team member is keeping up with the globe’s best. Currently ranked 55th in the world and second in Canada in his class, Gallant isn’t shy of setting big goals.

“My goal is to represent Canada at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo,” Gallant says, “I think it would be unreal, it would be an amazing experience to attend the Olympic Games, and see through what I’ve already started.”

“I think that’s an achievable goal for Max, but I think Max has more in him than just Tokyo,” McBride says, “For all of us to see Max achieve that goal, it would be a little bit of crowning glory for everybody involved, because it takes the community to really make that happen.”

Gallant now heads to the Laser World Championships in Split, Croatia, which take place from September 12th to 19th. Max will once again be pitted against the top sailors the world has to offer.

To view CHEK News’ footage, please click here.

Bentley Releases Customizable Golf Collection

Bentley Motors recently launched a collection of golf clubs and accessories at the PGA Merchandise Show. Like their luxury cars, these irons are anything but average. Ranging in price from £300 ($433) for the BH1 Hybrid to £2,500 ($3,615) for the BC1 Cavity and BB1 Blade Irons, the entire eight-iron set runs around $3,500.

Buyers will be able to add various options, like alligator skin grips or colors that perfectly match the interiors of their Bentleys. The company is working with Japan-based Seven Dreamers for custom shaft options, which could easily add an additional $120,000 to the price of each club. Before you think this collection is only about looks, Bentley Golf clubs promise to perform well too and are made with one piece of Japanese carbon steel.

The company also offers plenty of accessories, like $722 ball markers and pitch forks, as well as a $3,606 tour bag.

It’s never too early to start Christmas shopping!  🙂