Everlands is a new destination club with a difference. Eventually it will offer members unlimited time, all inclusive, in 45 breathtaking properties in some of the most stunning locations all over the world, all with a strong element of conservation. The founders of Everlands have taken the Destination Club model, where members pay a one-off joining fee, and an annual management fee which allows them to holiday in a selection of properties, and put a different kind of emphasis on the project. Instead of just having the chance to stay in some fabulous houses, Everlands is aiming at creating a club full of members who thrive on experiences and relish the idea not only of making the most of their membership, but also of leaving a legacy for generations to come. All Everlands properties are fantastic and important estates which are purchased to be looked after, and cared for into the future.
Everlands is therefore looking for philanthropic members, people who already have an interest in conserving important and biodiverse areas, and who might bond over shared interests in some of their properties. Unlike most destination clubs where a family takes over a whole property, Everlands’ properties have between ten and twenty rooms and suites, more redolent of a boutique hotel, and guests, if they want to, can mingle at dinner and swap adventure stories: ‘In most safari lodges people eat together in the evening and share their stories, and this is the kind of atmosphere we want to encourage,’ said D’Arcy Wyvill, Membership Development Director. Indeed, the idea of likeminded people meeting in exceptional environments is an original and interesting way of thinking about building the membership of a club, and one can see how good could come of people of a philanthropic and conservationist bent coming together from time to time.
The concept of Everlands is extremely high-end: from the outset each member (plus family) is appointed a specific lifestyle manager who will be there throughout their membership to get to know the members and ensure their needs are met from start to finish throughout their stays at the properties, and is on hand for advice in activities, or locations, which might suit each member. Most of the estates have a sporting element to them, whether it’s bone fishing in the Bahamas or safari in Africa, Everlands is more geared towards people with a love of the outdoors, and nature.
All 45 properties are not yet bought or up and running, but those currently available to visit include Lone Mountain Ranch in the Rocky Mountains – one of the foremost year-round sporting destinations in the world – and The Point on Lake Saranac, New York, which was built by William Avery Rockerfeller, and has over 70 acres of breathtaking countryside through which to adventure. There are also properties in New Zealand and The Bahamas for those who want to adventure outside the US.
The destinations are not just limited to the States: Everlands are negotiating on properties all over the world, including houses in Turks and Caicos, Croatia, Russia, Kenya, and South Africa plus an explorer ship complete with helicopter. Their property in the UK is already up and running – Hotel Endsleigh in Devon is a stunning boutique hotel which has already garnered an enormous amount of praise. Set in beautiful countryside just a few miles from Tavistock it’s a perfect base from which to explore the countryside, and there are plenty of sporting opportunities nearby, from fishing to fieldsports.
Members will own equity in all the properties, animals, vehicles, sea planes and anything attached to them, and all the experiences at each house are included in the membership, which costs an initial fee of £285,000 (going up to £500,000 for those who join further down the line) with annual fees of £20,000. The club is aiming for 1,800 members and full membership is expected to be achieved in the next five years. It is hoped that memberships will be gifted down through families, which can have a long-running association with the project, but should a member want to leave they can ask Everlands to sell their membership at the then market price, which it is hoped will give members a profit from the capital appreciation the properties and their contents have accrued during their time with Everlands.
Everlands are also setting up the largest conservation prize anywhere in the world. The Everlands Prize is an award of $1m given to an individual or individuals who have contributed an outstanding amount to conservation issues, voted for by the prize committee (which includes the members) and funded by members’ contributions. ‘We want to find people all over the world who have ideas which are not only fantastic but replicable so we can take their prize and work with them to apply their idea in more situations, whether it’s preserving pampas grass or conserving the wildlife which lives in it,’ explains Mr Wyvill.
The club is being backed by some high profile figures including the venture capitalist Bob Birch and Dr Richard Leakey, and Zaha Hadid is also on board. The project is a bold one, but those who are building it up are convinced they can do good in their world while showing members the time of their lives.
Everlands is currently looking for fifteen ‘founder investors’ in the UK. Having already secured 20 of these important first members in the US, they are asking for a few supporters to join first, for a fee of £500,000, which is above the current normal membership rate as it stands. However, in return your investment is secured against Hotel Endsleigh, which these 15 will effectively buy, and which Everlands will buy back once they’ve reached a certain level of membership.
Founder members also receive
* 0.25% equity in the development company
* Free membership in Everlands the Club (value approx £295k-£500k)
* No annual dues in the club for 3 years (value approx £60k)
* Estimated payback December 2009 (once the Club reaches 250 members)
* Investors who decide to look at this as a straight investment and do not want to use their free membership also have a one time put option on this and the club will guarantee a buy back at the offered opening membership rate
* Net returns just over £700k over 5-6 years.
Effectively once the club has reached 250 members, Everlands buys back the Hotel and all founding investors receive their money back, plus the continued membership of the club and the equity in the Club itself.
The cut off date for founder investors is the end of September this year. For further information, or to find out more about becoming a founding investor or a member, call +44(0)207 736 9726 or visit www.everlandslife.com.